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Over a year ago, St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire published an investigation that revealed decades of sexual abuse allegations. The school is currently being sued by two alumni over faculty sex abuse allegations.

And yet they haven’t established a therapy fund for alumni who were abused, something academics, attorneys and victims believe is essential for healing.

Chester Irons' relationship with St. Paul’s School didn’t always feel so complicated.

He’s in his 60s now, yet he can still remember the exhilarating feeling of being dropped off at the Concord boarding school for the first time.

"I stepped out of the car with my parents and said goodbye to them and ran off with a bunch of friends I met literally 20 minutes earlier. It was a new beginning, a new adventure and I was very excited," he recalled in a recent phone interview.

St. Paul's School

The head of the elite St. Paul’s School in Concord is resigning.

Michael Hirschfeld has been part of the prestigious prep school’s faculty since 1994, and has led the institution for the past seven years. Like many administrators, he is also an alumni, and he sent both his children to St Paul’s.

Hirschfeld made the announcement at the school’s Chapel assembly Thursday and in a letter to the greater St Paul’s community. He didn’t explain why he was leaving the school, just that “the time is right for new leadership.”

The 2018 -2019 school year will be his last.

Eddie Cheuk

New Hampshire's Attorney General Gordon MacDonald recently announced a criminal investigation into sexual assault allegations at St. Paul's School, in Concord. We discussed recent local stories involving private schools such as St. Paul's, as well as the broader culture in elite boarding schools that may contribute to this issue.  And we talked with a N.H. lawmaker who says she'll be working on changing laws to better protect victims of sexual violence.  


Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House has passed a bill allowing districts without the option of public schools to use tax money to send students to qualifying private schools. Religious schools are excluded.

The measure, better known as the Croydon bill, passed 210 to 147. It now heads back to the Senate who are likely to concur. From there it's  to the Governor, who has said he’ll sign it.

St. Paul's School

An investigation into sexual misconduct at St. Paul’s School in Concord has found substantiated claims of abuse involving 13 former faculty and staff. NHPR’s Peter Biello spoke with Cambridge attorney Eric MacLeish, who has experience litigating against institutions accused of sexually abusing children, and has been in touch with three alleged victims of sexual misconduct by St. Paul’s faculty and staff.

Holly McCabe

For a small state, New Hampshire has a plethora of private schools, each with a rich academic and cultural heritage.  Although the schools are private, many have art galleries that are open to the public.  Student and faculty art shows are on regular offer, but there is also compelling and unique work from both national and international artists.

Eddie Cheuk

Former students at elite private schools all over New England are coming forward with allegations that teachers and school officials sexually abused them. The schools in question include several in New Hampshire, St. Paul's School and Shaker Road School in Concord, Cardigan Mountain School in Canaan, Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, and Phillips Exeter Academy. 

School officials in the town of Croydon plan to challenge a state Department of Education order that the district stop tuition payments to private schools.

After leaving the K-4 Croydon Village School, most of the town’s students attend Newport Middle/High School.

However, the New Hampshire Union Leader reports the town has been sending one student to Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, paying half of the roughly $30,000 tuition.

Sen. John Gallus, a Republican from Berlin, has joined only four North Country members of the House in supporting a bill that would give a business a tax credit when it donates to a parochial or private school.

As NHPR’s Dan Gorenstein reported the Senate Wednesday passed House Bill 1607.

Advocates of the bill say it gives less wealthy families more choices in where they wish to send their children.

Lawmakers heard testimony Monday about a bill that would give public school students an average of $2,500 for homeschooling or private school attendance.

The funds would come from a tax credit given to businesses that donate to state-certified scholarship programs.

 “In the last decade eight states have launched education tax credit programs to expand educational opportunities for hundreds of thousands of students,” said House Majority DJ Bettencourt, who sponsored the legislation.

“Education tax credit programs have saved money in other states,” said Bettencourt.