Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Green Meadow Waldorf School - Sex Scandal Continues


Mareesa Nicosia, mnicosia@lohud.com11:33 p.m. EDT July 21, 2014
In the wake of accusations that a once-esteemed teacher sexually assaulted students at the Green Meadow Waldorf School years ago, neighbors of the former teacher were unnerved to learn that he lives among them.
The revelations about the teacher, John Alexandra, were made public this month by Green Meadow and reported July 13 by The Journal News, following a school-solicited investigation into reports of pervasive sexual abuse at the private Rudolf Steiner school in Chestnut Ridge.

Alexandra, 72, has been banned from the Green Meadow campus where he once lectured, but continues to live in relative obscurity at 77 Sharon Drive, a white townhouse with black shutters wedged next to a small home-based day-care center in the Country Village Heights Condominiums.
"I wouldn't think that someone like that would live around here because there are a lot of kids," said Geffry Sylvestre, 23, who recently moved in with his mother and 7-year-old sister a few doors down from Alexandra. "Everybody should be on their guard. If I see or suspect anything I'll definitely call the police."
Investigators hired by Green Meadow identified Alexandra about a year ago as the alleged perpetrator of multiple past offenses ranging from statutory rape to groping, stalking and harassment. He has not been charged with any crime. In a majority of older cases, the statute of limitations for reporting a crime has passed.
Most of the assaults are alleged to have occurred in the 1970s and '80s, when Alexandra was a high school math teacher, but two others were reported in 2001 and 2013.
Two other former teachers are identified in the report — one who allegedly committed a sexual assault in 1983 and one found in possession of child pornography in 2005. Neither of the findings has resulted in arrests. 
The Rockland County District Attorney's Office received the school's report July 8 and has yet to comment on the findings.
Craig Gordon, who left Green Meadow as a high school senior in 1979 and now lives part time in New Rochelle, said he'd seen and chatted with Alexandra regularly over the years at the Hungry Hollow co-op, right up until a few days before Christensen's memoir made news last summer.
Gordon recalled Alexandra, his former math teacher, as a gregarious, charming and intelligent man whom he understood to be "rigid" in his adherence to the ideals of anthroposophy. Gordon said that ideology dominated the school environment during his 12 years there and resulted in students' health and safety not being prioritized as they should have been.
"There apparently was an environment that made it seem OK to stick your hand in the candy jar," Gordon said Monday, referring to the sexual assault allegations. "It's bizarre to me that the things that happened back then and the environment back then (was one in which) parents wouldn't press charges."
Kathleen Wright, who knew Alexandra and his wife, taught for a brief time at the school and sent her children there from 1979-85, offered sympathy for the accused offenders.
"I feel very sad for them," she said. "Because I feel it's like an illness. It must be difficult for them. They must have been tortured souls. I'm sure they knew it was wrong. What I'm picturing is how these teachers will now be crucified by the public. We feel their pain."

This is what at work again?  Class... let's all say it together... KARMA!

It was these teachers' karma to have these "impulses" (in their pants) and this must certainly have come from the spiritual world - past lives and so forth.  I'll have to check my "Manifestations of Karma" to see what produces sexual predators and those who excuse them... maybe it's something as simple as eating too many beets in one lifetime.  Steiner would know for sure.

This is how harm is excused in Waldorf environments.  It was the child's karma to be harmed and the teacher's (or bully's) karma to dole out the harm.  What else could explain such behavior from such fine people?  Stronger forces are at work here.  It really isn't the Anthroposophists' fault.

From the Green Meadow Waldorf School Facebook Page - posted days after the teacher sex scandal broke. Is this suggesting parents shouldn't discuss what happened at the school with their children?  Maybe Kim John Payne should add "Is it KARMA?"

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Richard Moeschl - Admitted Waldorf School Groper


Richard Moeschl was a middle school teacher at Green Meadow from 1979 to June 1983. In 1983, Mr. Moeschl sexually assaulted a female middle school student during a school-sponsored  trip. T&M’s investigation revealed that this female student’s victimization became known to Green Meadow when Mr. Moeschl admitted to another Green Meadow teacher shortly thereafter what had happened. Mr. Moeschl had already planned to leave Green Meadow at the end of the 1983 school term, having taken a teaching job at a Waldorf School in California, thus Green Meadow did not have to determine if he should be fired. However, there were other steps T&M concluded Green Meadow should have taken. 
The investigation concluded that Green Meadow failed to act appropriately when the School became aware of the incident. There was no formal internal investigation conducted, nor were the police contacted. Other than the faculty member to whom Mr. Moeschl admitted his criminal behavior, no other Green Meadow personnel questioned him about this. When contacted by T&M during its investigation, Mr. Moeschl admitted to inappropriate sexual contact with this student and no doubt would have done so at the time. No one from Green Meadow ever spoke to the victim about what happened, nor did anyone determine if she needed counseling. The victim’s parents were not contacted that year in a timely or appropriate fashion and indeed did not become aware of what happened to their daughter until she told them a number of years later in an effort to prevent Green Meadow from allowing Mr. Moeschl back on campus. In short, Green Meadow failed to handle this matter in an appropriate fashion. 
Before Green Meadow, Moeschl was apparently at Pine Hill Waldorf school (1976)

The question "Why do parents send their children here rather than to public was directed to Richard Moeschl, fifth grade teacher. "Since Pine Hill is an independent school, the opportunity exists for more in depth development of the child as an individual here than in a public school system; 'there is a closer teacher-child relationship, greater consistency' said Moeschl. 

OK, so where did Richard Moeschl end up?  I don't know where in California he transferred to (yet).  He's apparently in Ashland, Oregon but not working as a school teacher.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Eugene Schwartz - Child Pornographer



Eugene Schwartz was a lower school teacher employed at Green Meadow from 1981 to 2005.
T&M’s comprehensive investigation led it to conclude that in 2005, Mr. Schwartz was in
possession of child pornography at his residence on Threefold property. The child pornography found in Mr. Schwartz’s possession was viewed by other witnesses and was reported to the
administrator at Green Meadow. At the time, there was less than one week left in the school
year. Green Meadow assigned another teacher to teach with Mr. Schwartz in his class for that
last week of school and to accompany him for all graduation activities. It then severed its
professional relationship with him after the term ended.

T&M’s investigation revealed that after the child pornography was discovered at his home, Mr.
Schwartz admitted to at least one adult member of the Green Meadow community that he was
attracted to young girls and to another that he was a sex addict. T&M also determined that Mr.
Schwartz admitted to another witness in the Threefold community that he had a “problem” with
child pornography. During the course of its investigation, T&M learned that Mr. Schwartz had
taken many photographs of students, including students in swimwear, with at least one
provocative photograph of a young female student on Threefold property.

T&M concluded that after Mr. Schwartz was discovered to have possessed child pornography, it
was incumbent on the School to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation to determine if
he had acted inappropriately with any Green Meadow students or other children in the area. At
the time, this was not done. Subsequently, T&M did not find any evidence of inappropriate
sexual contact between Mr. Schwartz and any Green Meadow student.

Possession of child pornography is, and was in 2005, both a State and Federal felony offense. 
However, the law did not require Green Meadow to report Mr. Schwartz’s possession of child
pornography to law enforcement. The School at the time sought, and followed, the advice of its
then legal counsel as to how and to whom to communicate what they learned about Mr.
Schwartz and why he was no longer working at Green Meadow.

Based on the results of T&M’s investigation, Mr. Schwartz has now been permanently barred
from Green Meadow and Threefold property.

Let's read that last sentence one more time:

BASED ON THE RESULTS OF T&M’s INVESTIGATION, Mr. Schwartz has NOW been permanently barred from Green Meadow and Threefold property.

Schwartz is a big deal in Waldorf!
Eugene Schwartz has served as Director of Waldorf Teacher Training at Sunbridge College, as well as having worked with the late Ernest Boyer at the Carnegie Foundation to establish new curricular ideas and methods. He has lectured on new ideas in education at Harvard, Columbia, University of Tennessee Medical Center and the Aspen Institute. Eugene recently graduated his fourth 8th grade class, from Green Meadow Waldorf School and now serves as a consultant to both Waldorf and public schools. He also provides resources for home schoolers through his website, www.millennialchild.com. His many books and articles have been widely published in the US and throughout Europe, including Millennial Child and Why the Setting Sun Turns Red and Other Stories for Children. As the father of two grown boys and two girls, and the grandfather of three boys, Eugene has experienced the joys and challenges of family life in two different millennia. http://www.storewaldorfinthehome.org/category_s/74.htm

Parents should be advised that Mr. Schwartz is a Waldorf school consultant and a regular visitor to MANY Waldorf schools.  Also, see this: http://thewaldorfreview.blogspot.com/2014/06/why-waldorf-bullies.html for Mr. Schwartz mocking parent complaints about bullying.  He implores parents to trust Waldorf teachers... while he himself, a former Waldorf teacher harbors a self-admitted sex addiction which includes a focused interest in child pornography.  

If your Waldorf school isn't giving you straight answers, THIS is the type of thing they may be hiding!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Green Meadow Waldorf School - Sex Scandals Revealed

The results of the investigation are in!

Here's the school's apology.

Page 5 describes them letting yet ANOTHER child abuser move on to another school.  They are HIDING the name of the abuser, the faculty member who knew about the abuse, and the school he was moved to (almost certainly another Waldorf school in California).  Page 6 describes yet ANOTHER teacher in  possession of child pornography - who had a "problem" with child pornography and took pictures of his students in swimwear.  Again, Green Meadow is hiding (redacting) the name of the teacher.  Eugene Schwartz!  Why?  The unnamed child pornographer is barred from Green Meadow property.  No mention of other Waldorf school environments.  He is being protected!  Schwartz roams freely at ANY Waldorf school.

The information I have struck out above was inaccurate.  The school did indeed publish the names of the abusers but the newspaper redacted those names (not the school). 


Alexandra's WIDELY KNOWN and sometimes CRIMINAL actions included inappropriate long and forceful hugging and frontal rubbing of women to the point of his visible arousal.   

Can we agree Green Meadow Waldorf School is a cesspool and that their teachers and administrators are lying cowards? 

Multiple teachers hid or overlooked John Alexandra's pedophilia and abuse of power at this school for DECADES! Alexandra's involvement in and contributions to Anthroposophy are significant.  He's a very big deal in the Waldorf movement.  
Teachers allowed this to happen.  "Mr. Alexandra was a prominent member of the community and in a position of authority.  Therefore his child victims were even less likely to come forward."  The article goes on to say adults "observed his inappropriate behavior yet encouraged students to maintain a relationship with him."

Which teachers were there during this time - besides the ones named in the report?

Well, for one, our good friend Harlan Gilbert - http://www.gmws.org/page.cfm?p=473  relentless editor of the Wikipedia articles and author of Waldorf books - and his wife http://www.gmws.org/page.cfm?p=472 both worked there during the time Alexandra was there.  Any chance they hadn't heard rumors about him?  Or the teacher who molested a child on a camping trip?  Or the teacher who collected child pornography along with swimsuit photos of his students?  Their children attended this school while these predators were on the loose.  Are they outraged?  Or does Mr. Gilbert continue - even in light of these revelations - to do his job as a cult missionary and thwart any attempts at critical content of Waldorf on Wikipedia articles?

As I looked at the pictures of other teachers on their website, I couldn't help but wonder who knew about Alexandra's activities and said nothing.  Some have been at the school for a very long time - and in the Threefold community as well.  Is it just a huge cult environment?

Who else do we know from this school - someone who was around during the time Alexandra was molesting children?  Why our other good friend, Eugene Schwartz!  You know... this guy... THE CHILD PORNOGRAPHY COLLECTOR

The guy who mocks parents who complain when their child is bullied.  He and Green Meadow are discussed in this thread post Yahoo! Groups

The most disturbing part of this news story (to me) is the following sentence in the second paragraph (I've added my emphasis):

"The findings, revealed in a damning report by a private investigative firm hired by Green Meadow, also accuse two other teachers of sex crimes — one of possessing child porn and another of assaulting a girl on a school-sponsored trip. It says the school failed to act when complaints of teachers' alleged criminal behavior surfaced.  It says the school FAILED TO ACT when complaints of teachers' alleged criminal behavior surfaced.
In the case of John Alexandra, the alleged serial offender, the school's lack of response enabled his predatory behavior, the report finds.
'Allowing Mr. Alexandra to freely roam Threefold property resulted in giving him essentially unrestricted access to students and faculty members, and thereby enabled him to continue to victimize others,' investigators said."

"FAILED TO ACT" - Where have we heard that before?  Oh yeah, almost every critical review I've documented (over 600 now) suggests the parent approached the school first - and the school *failed to act* on their complaints.  Hey, they're all just hysterical parents - no reason to look at possible problems with the school, right? 

This applies even if action is required by the law:  http://petekaraiskos.blogspot.com/2010/03/highland-hall-breaking-mandated.html

Failing to act is essentially letting karma work itself out.  THAT'S what we're talking about here... it's the VERY SAME principle that Eugene Schwartz promotes when he suggests children's play should run out its course.  http://thewaldorfreview.blogspot.com/2014/06/why-waldorf-bullies.html
Bully and victim have a karmic role to play.  If it's a child's karma to be bullied, or molested, or raped by their teacher - or, as Steiner suggests, even to have a van overturn on them - too bad!!!  Much stronger forces are at work here.  Parents need to know that this is a BASIC principle of Anthroposophy!  Teachers will not interfere - even while they are watching your child being harmed!  EVEN if your child is being molested by a fellow teacher.  They will FAIL TO ACT because that's what karma (Anthroposophy) insists they must do.  It's CRIMINAL!
Green Meadow certainly seems to demonstrate regularly they entertain the very worst Waldorf has to offer within their community.  Parents should be warned.  Do you think maybe Wikipedia might mention something about it?

BTW, same school and the Chestnut Ridge community was involved in this story:

So, is Green Meadow a one-off case?  That's what we thought about another VERY similar case in 2009.

Excerpts are here: https://sites.google.com/site/waldorfwatch/extremity
The entire story is here:

"As an English teacher with a penchant for romantic poetry, Roger Graham knows how to write a love letter. But in 2001 when he began writing to one of his 16-year-old female students, the married Graham, in his fifties, may have penned the final chapter for the Newcastle Waldorf School, a Rudolf Steiner school he helped establish in the early 1980s."Dearest heart! Most beloved, heart of my heart!" he wrote to the girl, then in the same class as his daughter. "I yearn for your lips and arms … "
Graham wrote to "my luminous goddess" some 20 times over the next six months, during which they began a physical relationship, hugging and kissing before, during and after school.
"He touched my chest a few times and often squeezed my bottom," she wrote in a 2006 report to the NSW Ombudsman. They went to dinner together, and occasionally met after school at Newcastle's Dixon Beach, where Graham took the girl "up to the bushy hillside and was on top of me, kissing".
She wrote: "Perhaps the whole thing was a turn-on for him. Certainly he seemed to take more risks as time went on."
The relationship was discovered in May 2001, and Graham was stood down on full pay. Even then, he continued to write to the girl, his letters passed on by the school's co-founder and senior teacher, Keitha Montefiore.
In 2003 Graham was re-employed as a consultant to the school, but the position was terminated in 2006.
"Now, slowly but surely, Roger has started to appear around the school again," says Deb Wood, a parent of a former student. "There has been a push to get him back into the school, because they regard him as a guru. Staff members even approached the girl and her mother to see if they would not kick up a stink about Roger coming back."
For Wood it was the last straw. "I withdrew my daughter late last year, after it became apparent to me that none of the teachers, male or female, saw the inappropriateness of Roger having a relationship with an adolescent student."
Graham's re-emergence is the latest in a long line of controversies at the 140-student school, including the sexual grooming of students by male and female teachers in the mid-2000s and allegations of emotional and physical abuse dating back to the early 1990s.
In 1995 eight children and several parents made statements to the child protection and investigation unit of Newcastle Police, alleging seven teachers shook, choked, hit and kicked students as young as seven. A teacher also reportedly pushed a boy through a classroom window, breaking his arm.
The school - the recipient last year of $800,000 in state and federal funding - has since been the subject of complaints to the Department of Community Services, the NSW Ombudsman, the Association of Independent Schools, the Board of Studies and politicians.
"They espouse all these beautiful things about 'the kingdom of childhood' and the creative and expressive side of the education," says Maria Larratt, who withdrew her son Leo in June 2006. "But after a while you start to notice some strange things about the way the place is run."
Several teachers have gone on to marry former students, who in turn became teachers at the school. "The whole place is incredibly incestuous and parochial," says the former board member.
Called the College of Students, the practice has led to an unusual level of fraternisation between students and teachers. In 2006 a female teacher was dismissed, allegedly for inappropriate contact with two male year 12 students. That same year, a male teacher resigned, reportedly after a physical altercation with a student.
Of most concern perhaps has been the school's history of unorthodox discipline - what a Newcastle DOCS officer described in a 1995 letter to the school as a "concerning pattern of [the] use of physical force". The letter queried the school's solicitor, Bruce Hansen, about the use of "milkshakes", together with teachers pushing, throttling and kicking children, and quoted a girl, 8, claiming "nearly all of the teachers tell you that if you tell your mum you get more of it tomorrow".
There is far more in the article please read the whole thing.  http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/no-class-act-20090710-dg2v.html?page=-1

Then there's this: http://www.waldorfcritics.org/articles/Sex%20abuse%20cases-%20Wladorf%20school%20suspends%20teacher.html

 The parents at the Waldorf school --- where the 67-year-old had worked as an English teacher at different grade levels since 2000 until his arrest --- were deeply concerned. "Since his arrest, there is nothing else to talk about," says one father as he stood amid the construction debris and insulation material that the parents --- on their own initiative and despite the holidays --- needed for the renovation of the orange-colored main building. They had collected more than 400,000 Euros [$580,000 US] in donations for the remodeling and new construction of a kitchen and a multi-purpose room. Everyone here is mum about the teacher. The parents just refer to the statement of the school administration. Among his colleagues on Saturday, the news was getting around slowly at first. "I just can't imagine it!" said a female teacher who only found out by querying the Tagesspiegel [Daily Mirror] about the case. "It's such a mystery to me!" The school has around 430 students and 35 teachers. In light of the existing case, doubts have been raised about the requirements for associations where adults work with young people --- better to check in advance as already required by sports clubs. "Wherever there is a lot of working with children, then police certifications must be required," said CDU-politician Peter Trapp to the Tagesspiegel.

Here's an excerpt from another very sad story about a Waldorf school that failed to act:


Now I am not upset anymore with the ten year old boy, who was hitting girls on the butts. He being an immature ten year old boy who needed an adult to sit him down and explain why that kind of behavior is not okay. I am livid and furious and outraged about how a grown man could sink so low as to sexually harass a ten year old girl and allow and condone that kind of behavior. I know that when teachers go to school to become teachers they are taught about education law and when congress passes a new law or the Supreme Court rules on a law regarding education teachers are made aware of it. Title IX was passed in 1972, nine years before I was born and twenty years before the incident. The Minnesota state statute says all schools even private much have a sexual harassment policy, and this statute was passed in 1989. I know that Mr. M knew what sexual harassment was and that it was against the law in the 1991-1992 school years. However,after I was sexually harassed he turned around and violated my civil rights and sexually harassed me and taught every single student in that classroom that sexual harassment was okay. As a woman, a feminist, and a future lawyer it disgusts me and boggles my mind. I've heard that a lot of times Waldorf schools ignore civil rights laws and it's wrong. 

"A former teacher in Sonoma Valley was jailed Thursday on three counts of childmolestation. Patrick Lilley, 52, was arrested after an investigation revealed hehad sexually abused two pre-teenaged students approximately two years ago.
Lilley was booked into Monterey County Jail with a bail of $300,000 and isawaiting extradition to Sonoma County, reported Sergeant Cecile Focha. According to staff at Monterey Bay Charter School in Pacific Grove, Lilley was employed there as a first-grade teacher at the time of his arrest; this was his firstyear at that school. Lilley had started at Woodland Star School in Sonoma Valley in September of 2004, teaching first grade. He moved along with that class through the fourth grade until June of 2008, when, according the May 2008 school newsletter, he left the area "to live closer to his sister."

Transferred from one Waldorf Charter to another.

What we thought was completely unbelievable is turning out to be completely excusable in Waldorf environments.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Stop Steiner in Stroud - Waldorf reviews

Here are a couple of reviews from the Stop Steiner in Stroud site:


I worked for over a year at a local Steiner College. Coming from a statutory and voluntary sector background in social care I was stunned by many aspects of how that Steiner institution operated. Staff and students were repeatedly put at risk of harm because of poor information dissemination and a seemingly total lack of awareness of the importance of that information and how it should be treated (ie. student’s medical conditions, behavioural triggers). Racism and homophobia, I’m afraid, were apparent and – worse – remained unchallenged, or considered unimportant. Diversity Awareness training consisted of a bunch of staff talking about what part of the world they were from and sticking pins in a map. The seniority of positions that staff held appeared to have more to do with their display of unquestioning loyalty and how ‘in’ they were with management, than the qualifications, experience or appropriate attitude they had for the role. If you weren’t ‘in’ and if, like me, you asked too many questions, you were made to feel very ostracised indeed. In just the short time I was there, there were a LOT of serious incidents (this is coming from someone who used to run a supported housing unit for homeless young people with high support needs). Somehow, I suspect, reporting of these was quite low. When I raised concerns about a bullying member of staff, I was informed with what I felt was misplaced pride, that this was the first time anyone had had to refer to the safeguarding and complaints policies, so no-one quite knew what to do hence the delay in dealing with it! (Unthinkable in any mainstream care or education setting!). A handful of staff members that I can think of, in positions of responsibility – particularly in regard to pro-social modelling – simply had no grasp of appropriate professional boundaries whatsoever. I left in the end, because I realised that simply nothing would change, however many flags I raised. Really and truly the people who run that institution are blinkered, complacent and terrifyingly self-righteous. On appearances it’s an idyll. I certainly thought so. Scratch beneath the surface though, and you’ll find things to make your hair curl. I am quite sure that there are plenty of people there who believe in the benefits of what they’re doing and genuinely try to effect positive change in the lives of vulnerable young people. I would not want to belittle their efforts. Thank god for them. Overall, however, it strikes me that the organisation they work for needs to take a good long hard look at itself.
I am in Forest Row…
We moved here a year ago and it seemed a heaven at first – lots of posters about things like [thoughtful] parenting, outdoor play, natural toys. It seemed like a perfect little oasis.
How wrong we were. A year on, I am still very socially ostracised due to my clear lack of interest in embedding myself in this culture. You can blame my husband for his wisdom – he researched Steiner quite thoroughly when we first moved here and found out things that very quickly changed our feelings about this place. We will move soon (we are only renting), but will not be moving far as this area is good for contact with both sets of my son’s grandparents. I feel sad and torn about this as I really do not know how far away I would have to move to really escape this world. We class ourselves as “gentle” parents and, as you may know, Steiner toys and schools tend to be promoted in this world too, as on the surface it offers a longer and more innocent childhood and an alternative to the state system. It pains me to know friends entering their children into this system. But there is only so much I can say…
I am glad to find this site. But also sad that it needs to exist. We’re expecting a Free School here too, despite having I think the largest Steiner school in the country and countless associated organisations.  What am I doing here?