Parents defend St. Andrew's School following release of critical report

Posted at 5:34 PM, Aug 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-22 18:41:02-04

Parents at Saint Andrew’s School are speaking up in defense of the private, Episcopal school.

A pair of reports commissioned by the school showed administrators ignored warnings about a faculty member’s relationship with students, putting boarding students at risk.

Parents showed a sense of surprise Monday afternoon. But overwhelmingly, parents leaving Saint Andrew's School repeated how much they love the school.

“This is a great school and we’re very pleased my son is in this school,” said Leif, the father of a first grade student.

“We just love it, we love the school, everything about it,” added Meghan Kanzer, also the parent of a first grade student.

The reports made public Friday detail how a former faculty member violated boundaries with students living on campus. In one instance, the faculty member took a student to the beach at midnight.

Another time, he let a different student spend four nights in his on-campus apartment. The reports showed no indication of sexual abuse.

According to the reports, key administrators knew what was happening, but didn’t share the information with authorities. They launched an internal investigation, which the reports criticized.

The faculty member at the center of the investigation, whose name was not published in the reports, no longer works at the school. 

“In today’s world, it’s important to be honest about things and I think our board has been very up front and transparent with us, and I think that’s a good thing,” said Kanzer.

In a statement the school said it is overhauling its policies and procedures. Now, faculty and staff will have mandatory training every year on how to handle child abuse.

A spokesman from the Boca Raton Police Department released the following statement:

“We were made aware of potential issues and looked into them and there were no reports of a crime.”

A spokeswoman from the Florida Department of Children and Family Services said the agency "does not have an investigation into the school at this time."