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Thread: Prep School Teacher Admits He Had Sex With Students, Doesn’t See What the Big Deal Is

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    Default Prep School Teacher Admits He Had Sex With Students, Doesn’t See What the Big Deal Is

    After allegations of ongoing sexual abuse at the elite Horace Mann School surfaced several weeks ago, a longtime teacher at the school has come forward and admitted that he did have sex with several of his students.

    Tek Young Lin was a beloved English teacher who was also a chaplain and a cross-country coach at the school. He's freely revealed details of at least three students he remembers sleeping with, which is shocking; but what's even more shocking is that he's surprised that anyone thinks there's anything wrong with what he did. To him, at the time, apparently these relationships seemed totally normal—though it doesn't appear the students involved always felt the same way.

    All of the teachers who were named in the original New York Times article about the abuse at Horace Mann have died, but since it was published allegations have been surfacing against other teachers. That's what's happened with Mr. Lin, who is now 88 and has been retired since 1986.

    While some have expressed surprise that Mr. Lin had been involved in abusive relationships with students, others say that he had a tendency to develop fascinations with certain boys under his care. Lin himself told the Times in a phone interview that he'd had sexual relationships with students. As for how many, he estimates, "maybe three, I don't know." He blamed his hazy memories of the events on his age, but he is sure about one thing: he didn't think he was doing anything untoward. He explained, "In those days, it was very spontaneous and casual, and it did not seem really wrong." Of course, just because something doesn't seem wrong to him doesn't mean it wasn't wrong or that it didn't feel very wrong to someone else.

    Interestingly, Lin is a little mystified that this has come up in a negative way at all: "I'm surprised they remember. It was all so casual and warm."

    Well, that's certainly not something you usually hear from a rapist of any stripe. Lin said he acted "occasionally out of impulse," but again stressed that his behavior was a product of its time: "In those days, the '60s and '70s, things were different." Things certainly were different in the way organizations responded to these types of abuses and the ease with which they could be shoved under the rug, but they certainly were not different enough to mean the victims didn't suffer just as deeply. Look at the Catholic Church abuses that happened during the same time—not exactly a product of a more relaxed, easygoing time.

    Though an apologetic Lin maintains he never forced himself on anyone:
    The only thing I can assure you of was that everything I did was in warmth and affection and not a power play. I may have crossed societal boundaries. If I did, I am sorry.
    That these were not violent attacks, but rather relationships with at least some degree of affection, is something confirmed by three of his former students who were willing to speak to the Times. One said he turned Lin down for sex, a second said that he'd not had sex with Lin but there had been physical contact, and a third man said that he'd had sexual contact with Lin that began when he was 14 or 15 and went on for several months—though he said they had a relationship that lasted years.

    Lin offered up some details of his contact with the first boy, saying he'd come to dinner, played the violin for Lin, and they'd chatted about a movie. While they didn't touch, the student says Lin wanted to have sex but he refused. He says,
    There was nothing malicious in what he was doing to me. He probably fell in love with me and he confused sexual desire with his ability to think rationally as a teacher.
    This student felt what had happened to other kids at the school was far worse. Though a second student of Lin's was less forgiving and is described as "grappling with feelings of disappointment and anger."

    Understandable. When he was 17, Lin invited him to sleep over—something which was not viewed as odd by his parents—and that's when, according to the Times, the encounter occurred:
    The two slept on mats on the floor in their underwear. Mr. Lin asked to give him a massage. The teacher straddled his back and rubbed against him. The next morning, Mr. Lin caressed him. "It was like it was another person," the man said. But nothing more happened, he said.
    That was the last time he spoke to Lin, and he entered therapy soon after. He now says he thinks it was right of Lin to admit he'd been in these relationships but that there's no way he couldn't have known it was wrong: "Delusional might not be the right word." He added, "But to not have the awareness that there's a built-in power dynamic with a teacher and student?"

    Indeed, it does seem rather unbelievable that Lin could have not know there was nothing unethical or unprofessional about pursuing relationships with young boys—no matter how consensual it seemed to him. But he seems to have lived in an odd, somewhat sheltered world. The third student, with whom he had a series of sexual encounters, recalls that Lin had photos of some of his students hanging on the walls of his apartment and that he referred to them as his "pillars." He says that Lin said things to him like, "I just want to cuddle," but that he never did anything the boy did not want to do. In a way, he seems most sympathetic to Lin, saying,
    Did Tek behave in a way that was inappropriate? Absolutely. Was he warm, was it a wonderful relationship? He opened up areas of philosophy to me. Yes.
    That feeling of warmth and understanding seems to be what's so complex about all the alleged abuses at Horace Mann. These were teachers and professionals who by all accounts did have a positive influence on any number of students—often including those that they had inappropriate contact with—and that makes it difficult to see them as sexual predators in the way we might see another type of abuser. But that, coupled with the fact that so many of these abuses were never spoken of or dealt with until years later, doesn't mean there wasn't plenty of bad done along with the good.

    And that's what Lin's former students seem to be having trouble sorting out. They all three said Lin had a positive influence on them and were reluctant to say anything that might damage Lin's reputation. And if you throw away any mention of the sexual relationships, Lin seems like a kind and compassionate man:
    Small and delicate, he was known for his passion for grammar, for the cherry trees he planted all over the Horace Mann campus, in Riverdale, and for his classroom in Tillinghast Hall, which overflowed with plants and palm trees.
    He was a Buddhist and reportedly had a "Zen-like presence" and a reputation for being hard working and gentle. In fact, one of his victims remembers Lin crying when one of his cherry trees was trimmed: "He was a very sensitive man." But that doesn't negate the fact that he stepped over a boundary that he should have seen, no matter how innocent he might have seemed—something which Lin appears to be coming to grips with today:
    At the time it seemed it happened and it was done, but apparently it wasn't, and if I had in any way harmed them, hurt them, I am truly, truly sorry. I hope if they have been hurt, they will overcome that hurt, and I should be very happy to help in any way I can.
    None of the students who've accused Lin of initiating inappropriate contact with him today reported it to the school back then. And, obviously, Lin never mentioned it to the school either, about which he says, "Oh no, it was very discreet. It seemed O.K. in those days." Which points to what seems to have been a far larger problem with the culture of the insular school. Thomas M. Kelly, who is currently the head of the school, would not comment about Lin, but the school's PR firm did issue a statement:
    If what Mr. Lin has told The New York Times is true, the conduct in which he says he engaged was appalling. We urge him to cooperate with law enforcement authorities.
    Given how forthcoming Lin has been to the Times, it seems entirely likely that he would cooperate with them. Though as of right now, he says nobody has been in contact with him. Even if they were, it's very unlikely that he'd ever face any kind of punishments because the statutes of limitation have run out. As for how Lin sees his future, he says of his current state, "You can't see the shore of youth and you only see the shore of death, the shore you are going to. I have a healthy outlook to dying." It certainly doesn't sound like a man weighed down by his past, though unfortunately it is a different story for some of his victims.

    Prep School Teacher Admits He Had Sex With Students, Doesn't See What the Big Deal Is


    Earlier:
    Horrifying Details From a Decades-Long Prep School Sex Scandal
    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


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    Elite Member Novice's Avatar
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    And that's what Lin's former students seem to be having trouble sorting out. They all three said Lin had a positive influence on them and were reluctant to say anything that might damage Lin's reputation. And if you throw away any mention of the sexual relationships, Lin seems like a kind and compassionate man
    Because, of course, groomed victims never defend their abuser. This writer is an idiot IMO.




    Jesuschrist. Just because it wasn't as bad as what the other teachers were doing doesn't make it right!
    SEXUAL ABUSE
    Horrifying Details From a Decades-Long Prep School Sex Scandal

    By Katie J.M. Baker, Jun 6, 2012 2:10 PM
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    Horace Mann, one of New York City's most prestigious high schools, has an idyllic 18-acre campus in the Bronx, a hefty list of influential alumni including Robert Caro and Eliot Spitzer, and — according to this weekend's New York Times Magazine cover story — a long, secret history of sexual abuse.

    The piece reads like a Dickens novel: innocent teenage boys — some, like the author of the article, Amos Kamil, plucked from poor neighborhoods to be placed among the elite — are groomed by larger-than-life coaches and teachers who come off as eccentric and impassioned but are at best creepy and at worst predators.

    There's Mark Wright, the assistant football coach and art teacher who was "the ultimate Horace Mann success story" — he had graduated from the school and was described as "a Picasso in cleats" at Princeton — who would paint portraits and hold "physical examinations" that were really just excuses to molest students. One man told Kamil about his own portrait session:

    "He told me to bring a bathing suit, but when I got there he said not to bother putting it on. I was really uncomfortable but did it anyway since he was across the room. I remember exactly what he said: that he needed to see the connection between my legs. The next thing I knew, he had my penis in his hand. I was so scared. He was a pretty intimidating guy. He began performing fellatio and masturbating," Andrew said, now breathing with effort.

    Finally, one of Wright's examination subjects spoke up, and Wright left the school. But the students and their families never received any explanation as to why he was suddenly gone, and his victims were not invited to discuss their experiences. No one wanted to talk about what had happened.

    Then, there's Stan Kops, a history teacher who made kids uncomfortable whether he was punishing or rewarding them: he once penalized a student by making him take his shirt off in class and stand next to the window, and he would sometimes cancel class for "frolic" time, during which all of the kids — and Kops — would run around and, well, frolic in the classroom. "I was new in seventh grade and remember thinking that this was a different kind of school where a teacher was physically ‘handling' me," one man remembered. "I can remember him being kind of red and breathless after particularly vigorous frolicking."

    It took a while for Kops to resign, since many students felt loyal to the man who "made students feel that he cared deeply about their education and their well-being. In return, a pretty sophisticated student body chose to view his behavior as merely odd when, in many other contexts, it would have been deemed outrageous or even threatening." He finally left after a student reported a camping trip incident — Kops pressed against him in the dark and then took him aside the next morning, grabbed his own crotch, and said "What were you doing last night?" — but went on to another private school, where officials said no one from Horace Mann indicated he would be anything other than a "safe bet." When that job didn't work out, he killed himself.

    Multiple students were also abused by Johannes Sommary, the head of the arts-and-music department. "He was a hero to me," said one man, "But he was also a monster." Another former student, M, who told Kamil that what happened with Sommary drove him to drink and shoot up heroin later on in life, described their relationship:

    Somary took him on glee-club trips and then on solo trips to Europe, M. said: "We stayed at the best hotels, I met with the great classical musicians of the time and ate at the finest restaurants. I was expected to have sex with him and did even though it repulsed me every time. It was all very confusing. At one point I told my parents I no longer wanted to sleep in the same room with him on the European trips." When Somary found out, he "drove to my house and sat in my living room like a jilted lover, begging me to stay in the same room with him," M. said. "Right in front of my father." M.'s mother, who confirmed his story, said she and her husband didn't understand the nature of their son's discomfort. They thought he was just being a teenager, preferring the company of his peers. He couldn't bring himself to tell his parents the truth.

    Decades later, in 1994, Somary was still teaching at Horace Mann and still abusing students. One boy, Ben, sent a letter to Phil Foote, then Horace Mann's headmaster, accusing Somary of "grossly inappropriate sexual advances," and Ben's mother confronted Somary (who was also her coworker) as well:

    "Ben kissed me first," she says he told her. When she demanded, "How dare you put your tongue down my son's mouth!" his reply, she says, was, "That's how we Swiss kiss."

    A lawyer warned the family that there was nothing they could do unless they had evidence of the abuse on tape. Eventually, Ben's mother dropped the case. 15 years later, Ben committed suicide.

    The article has somewhat of a positive ending; Kamil says there's no way such rampant abuse could persist these days, thanks to social media and recent scandals that have put child molestation in the spotlight. He also mentions that the students who spoke up saw quick action from the school and went on to live normal lives. But, given that very few victims speak out, the piece is a sobering reminder of what happens to people who are sexually assaulted and deal with the trauma for decades after. Since it's extremely difficult for people who have been abused by authority figures to come forward, it's imperative that administrations take responsibility for even the most scandalous, unspeakable events.

    That seems obvious — but just think about Penn State, or the Boy Scouts, or the Catholic Church. Are things really more transparent nowadays?

    Prep-School Predators [NYT Magazine]
    the article that WCG links to.
    Free Charmed.

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    Elite Member Sylkyn's Avatar
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    I think I have had all the sick perverted pedos (Sandusky's shit putting me over the top) I can stand for at least one week. Christ.
    McJag likes this.

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    I have got to find a way to block the news sub-forum from showing up for me; I'm ready to snap.
    Who was the first person to say, "See that chicken there? I'm gonna eat the next thing that comes outta its bum"?


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    Teacher: Sex with students was “casual” and “warm”

    A teacher admits having sex with students but says he's "surprised they remember." An expert says that's typical

    More startling than the fact that he gave an interview to the media, or even that he admitted to having had sex with his underage students, was that Tek Young Lin described the many-decades-old incidents as “warm” and “casual.”

    In Sunday’s New York Times, the former teacher at the elite Manhattan private school Horace Mann, which is now the focus of widespread allegations of abuse, said, “The only thing I can assure you of was that everything I did was in warmth and affection and not a power play.” Of his three former high school students who spoke with the Times about the incidents — two of whom say the sexual contact began at 14 or 15, one of whom said it began at 17 — Lin said, “I’m surprised they remember. It was all so casual and warm.”

    James Cantor, a psychologist and editor in chief of the research journal Sexual Abuse, tells me this sort of rationalization is common among adults who pursue sex with minors. “People who do go on to molest children, before they get to that point very often have talked themselves into hearing and seeing and perceiving whatever it is they want to hear and see and perceive,” he says. “From the point of view of (the) pedophile, he’s really very hungry to see signs of response from the person, from his point of view, he’s flirting with. So something that will seem innocuous or unrelated to the kid, for the pedophile, for whom this has an erotic or sometimes even romantic tinge, that will be the lens through which he perceives everything.”

    Child molesters often “look for kids who have few other role models, especially adult male role models,” he says. “So the kid who often does want a father figure in their life does respond with genuine affection, but from the point of view of the pedophile, that affection is mistaken or misinterpreted as an erotic interest.” It’s difficult to get perpetrators to see that error of interpretation. “From the point of view of the pedophile … they have spent their entire lives seeing the world and seeing their interactions with everybody in it in a completely different way from how everybody else perceives it.”

    Now, in the case of Lin, there isn’t any evidence that he’s a pedophile, meaning someone who is primarily attracted to pre-pubescent children. The three students that spoke with the Times ranged in age from 15 to 17 when the incidents happened, which is more suggestive of ephebophilia, in which an adult has a sexual preference for mid-to-late adolescents. In those cases, the abuser’s justifications may come even easier — and the question of consent can sometimes become trickier, he says. “By that age, they know what a sex drive is,” Cantor says. “A 16-year-old knows what flirting is. They have a much better idea of what’s going on and a greater ability to get out of the situation.”

    Complicating things, are the views of the accusers, all of whom “cited Mr. Lin as a positive influence in their lives, even today, and seemed reluctant to speak, not wanting to hurt the reputation of a man who had opened their eyes to philosophy and literature, and whose strict grammar rules they remembered today,” according to the Times. Said one, “There was nothing malicious in what he was doing to me. He probably fell in love with me and he confused sexual desire with his ability to think rationally as a teacher.” None of these former students explicitly identified the incidents as abuse in the Times piece.

    Thankfully, there is some clarity to be found here: The age of consent in New York at the time was 18 — although the cases are likely unprosecutable at this point.
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    Now, in the case of Lin, there isn’t any evidence that he’s a pedophile, meaning someone who is primarily attracted to pre-pubescent children. The three students that spoke with the Times ranged in age from 15 to 17 when the incidents happened, which is more suggestive of ephebophilia, in which an adult has a sexual preference for mid-to-late adolescents.
    thank you. finally responsible journalism that unserstands that distinction.
    that said, prof is a creep and abused his position, even if he was a nice Buddhist guy who taught them good grammar.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    As a boarding school brat myself, I can share that my roommate claimed she slept with a teacher (I lived with the girl for 3 years and DO NOT believe that she did). She suddenly brought it up when the teacher busted a kid in our class for drinking. He'd already had his one chance and was about to be booted. My idiot roommate decided that she would share her lascivious story with the headmaster and that would somehow save the student who got caught (didn't seem logical then and doesn't 25 years later). Kid still got kicked out of school, teacher got fired and I never again had any respect for my roommate.

    At my reunion last month, we were talking about this and turns out no one believed her story. But I also learned that students and teachers were sleeping together all over the place. It's nowhere near the same as the Horace Mann stories and I wouldn't call any of the girls in my class victims, although except for my roommate all the other stories were new news to me (I really must have been more naive than even I thought). It was just the 80s and a lot of students had too much money, too much freetime and a lot of access to drugs.
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    (Replying to MontanaMama) This is some of the smartest shit I ever read

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    it didn't just happen in the 80s, I personally know of several cases of people sleeping with teachers, including 2 good friends whose affairs with teachers continued well beyond high school and turned into long-term relationships. but the vast majority were like your boarding school experience (except I didn't go to boarding school). and like you, I don't necessarily think of the kids as victims.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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