I’m watching the news, and there’s this big story coming out of Rhode Island about this tony private school that during the ’70’s and ’80’s was abusing its students and has been covering it up ever since. The school is called St. Georges. Google says St. Georges is a “private, Episcopal and coeducational boarding school in Middletown, Rhode Island”. The school lists its street address as 372 Purgatory Rd.
Now I hate to rip off somebody else’s catch phrase, but the address does put me in mind of Bill Engvall’s, “Here’s Your Sign”. I mean, it you were dropping your kids off at the school where they would be basically living full time, wouldn’t the word “purgatory” throw you off a bit? It’s kind of like moving into the “Abandon Hope” trailer park. Not that the name can be used as an excuse for the behavior. To me, there’s just way too much irony involved, and I never though of the Episcopalians as a particularly ironic lot.
So, it turns out the school had been charging folks $56,000 a year to fondle, abuse, rape and take nude photographs of their children. Allegedly. According to reports, the investigation has uncovered at least seven perpetrators who are still alive and could be charged with crimes. The alleged crimes were never reported to authorities until the Fall of 2015. The report is coming out now because of the lawsuits brought by over a dozen former students. It is so sad for folks to have to wait forty years to get some sort of relief from the people who were supposed to be their protectors and mentors. I’m thinking at least tuition times ten per year of attendance should get the ball rolling.
In a twisted side note, I have always referred to Episcopalians as Catholics Lite. Episcopalians have a lot of the same drama and rituals involved in their worship as the Catholics. It appears that protecting child abusers was part of the similarities shared by the two religions. None of the alleged perpetrators in the St. George case were reported to the police. Even when the administration had evidence of their misdeeds and terminated their employment, the school protected their own reputation by not reporting the abusers to the police. Sound familiar? The only thing missing in this case from completing the Catholic trifecta was quietly transferring the abuser to another diocese so they could continue the perversion on another group of kids. Thank the Saints, St. Georges didn’t have another school they could quietly transfer their pervs to.
What’s in a name? The real Saint George was a wealthy Roman soldier who was arrested for not renouncing his faith and agreeing to worship Roman Gods. He was tortured many, many times, but he would not recant his beliefs. One torture session even included being lacerated on a wheel of swords, but George held fast. Eventually, George was executed by decapitation. He never renounced his beliefs or his moral code. High standards indeed for a school to live up to. Maybe the school’s administration should read up a little on their namesake, and aspire to his bravery.
Reading St. George’s story has made me feel better, maybe there is hope for the upper class.