Private Connecticut school uncovers cases of student abuse

Greenwich Country Day School - Google Street View

GREENWICH — Two former teachers at a prestigious Connecticut private school sexually abused at least eight students during their tenures, the school’s current headmaster said.

Adam Rohdie, headmaster of Greenwich Country Day School, sent an email Friday informing families and faculty of the findings of an outside law firm hired to investigate allegations first reported in September, The Greenwich Time reported in a story published Tuesday.

“We know that no action that we take today will erase the deep pain caused, but we do hope that our commitment, now and in the future, to confront all such behavior, may bring some healing,” Rohdie said. “This report also allows me, once again, to offer my deepest personal apologies and to apologize on behalf of the school, and to offer our help and support to the survivors of misconduct.”

The alleged inappropriate sexual contact occurred from the late 1960s through the 1990s.
Neither teacher still works at Greenwich Country Day School.

Jim Arden, who worked at the school from 1970 until 2001, abused at least three students, according to the investigation. Arden, who died in 2016, founded the Jim Arden Foundation to help orphaned and abandoned children in the African nation of Tanzania. A message left with the foundation Wednesday was not immediately returned.

Peter French, who worked at the school from 1961 until 1999, engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with at least five students, the investigation found. A message left at a number believed to be French’s was not immediately returned Wednesday.

Police and child welfare officials have been informed of the investigation’s findings, Rohdie said.

Rohdie, who started working at the school after both teachers had left and did not know either of them, said the school now has “formal policies and procedures” in place to prevent abuse of students.

Greenwich Country Day, founded in 1926, is a coeducational school with 900 students in preschool through ninth grade. Former President George H.W. Bush and actress Bryce Dallas Howard are among its alumni.