A 15-year-old former student at the Friends School of Baltimore has been charged as a juvenile in connection with three separate sexual assaults against students at the school that occurred between November and January, the Baltimore Sun reports.
While asking students not to talk about the incident on social media or in a casual way, Head of School Matt Micciche said the school makes a point of discussing important though sometimes painful subjects, as doing so nurtures students and teaches empathy.
The Friends School of Baltimore, in Roland Park, was founded in 1784. According to its modern website, the school “provides a coeducational, college preparatory program guided by the Quaker values of truth, equality, simplicity, community, and peaceful resolution of conflict. By setting high standards of excellence for a diverse and caring community, Friends seeks to develop in each student the spiritual, intellectual, physical, and creative strengths to make a positive contribution to the world.”
“We hope that through our actions we will begin to eliminate some of the stigmas and barriers that have traditionally kept allegations of this nature from surfacing and that have left victims feeling silenced,” Mr Micciche wrote in an email sent to parents on January 11. The boy, who allegedly assaulted two girls and one boy, was charged on February 3.
“I have been impressed by the restraint that our students have shown thus far in this regard, and I hope and expect that they will continue to behave admirably,” Mr Micciche added.
Students at the school have taken an active role in sex ed, and it has led to programs, including guest speakers and outside professionals who have come to the school to participate in students’ learning and development.
“Learning and conversation around these topics begins—in developmentally appropriate ways—as early as fourth grade and increases in sophistication and frequency as students move through the Middle and Upper School,” Mr Micciche wrote.
He was speaking generally about the education programs at the school. The school isn’t expected to address the specific charges in this case directly since the boy was charged as a juvenile and since a police and an internal school investigation are in the works.
“While discussing these topics can be challenging for all of us, we believe that it is a critical part of young people’s development,” he added.