According to the Daily News’ Michael O’Keeffe, Poly Prep Country Day School [9216 7th Ave] headmaster David Harman sent a letter to alumni this week, just days after attorney Kevin Mulhearn filed papers in Brooklyn federal court accusing administrators of lying – and possibly perjuring themselves.
The accusations arose when school officials denied having knowledge of sex abuse allegations against football coach Phil Foglietta until 1991 – Something Mulhearn, the attorney for a group of plaintiffs who claim they were molested – with charges spanning decades of the coach’s career, disputes.
According to the report, Harman’s letter “appears to be an attempt to reassure alumni and parents that the administration sympathizes with Mulhearn’s clients,” but some alumni of the elite private school tagged it as both “tone deaf” and “soul-less.”
From the News:
“At best, it is tone-deaf. At worst, it is insulting to the victims,” says Kenneth Stern, a New York attorney, author and expert on anti-Semitism.Stern and two other members of Poly Prep’s class of 1971 – San Francisco psychologist Bernard Bauer and Harry Hellenbrand, the provost of California State University-Northridge – wrote a column last year that compared the Brooklyn school’s sex-abuse scandal with the Penn State case. The article, posted on a Washington Post education blog, was widely read in Poly prep alumni circles and helped spur a boycott of donations to the school.“As you are aware, there are several former Poly Prep students who have identified themselves as victims of abuse while at the school from the 1960s to the early 1980s who are seeking to recover damages from the school,” Harman wrote in the message to alumni that was obtained by the Daily News. “We sympathize with these individuals, and we have worked diligently and in good faith to begin the healing process and to give all involved an opportunity to arrive at a fair and equitable solution.