Deaf children were put in straitjackets, sexually abused, and forced to eat until they vomit, an investigation has revealed.
One year after claims from a former student of “inappropriate physical conduct” done by former staff and faculty at the school, the American School for the Deaf in Connecticut released results of the investigation.
According to the school, it corroborated allegations of sexual abuse against numerous former staff and faculty, including a longtime executive director who was accused of sexually abusing a pupil.
Almost 40 alumni reported physical abuse and persistent corporal punishment from the 1960s through the 1980s.
They said they were restrained with straitjackets and belts, punched and slapped, forced to kneel on broomsticks, confined in closets and a clothes hamper, and forced to eat until vomiting as punishment, according to the school.
In a letter to the school, Executive Director Jeffrey Bravin said: “As a school community, we offer a sincere and heartfelt apology to the survivors of the inexcusable actions identified in this report and for the fact that the School did not prevent or stop them.”
An outside attorney was hired to conduct an investigation after the board of directors became aware of the allegations.
The attorney interviewed over 80 alumni, staff, faculty and other witnesses.
One former student said late Dr. Edmund Boatner, who was the executive director from 1935 to 1970s, sexually abused her.
The report said: “While Dr Boatner is unable to respond to the allegations, and we recognize his otherwise unprecedented contributions to ASD and the deaf community, we found our alum to be highly credible and corroborated by the constancy of accusation witnesses.”
All of the former employees named in the report have been banned from school and any commemorations giving them recognition have been removed.
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