Thursday, July 31, 2014

Steiner Schools Racism and Bullying Exposed in Secret Dossier

Steiner Federation Refuting Allegations of Racism and Bullying

Should Rudolf Steiner schools receive public money?

Steiner schools have been popular for decades among the more liberal and bohemian middle classes.
Sandra Bullock and Robin van Persie are both former students.
Newsnight has learned that complaints were made to the Department for Education - that in some of these privately funded schools teachers said they thought bullying was part of how kids "worked out their karma".
Chris Cook reports.  
The BHA said the government notes raise questions over whether the movement is a suitable recipient of state funding but the Steiner schools’ membership body insisted that allegations against individual schools did not reflect the culture of the movement as a whole.
Officials said aggrieved parents had produced a large amount of material to support allegations of bullying and racism. They had also received complaints about the effect of the Steiner philosophy on schools.
The officials note that Rudolf Steiner’s philosophy contains racist elements, such as that "blond hair bestows intelligence" by diverting nourishment from the eyes and hair into the brain, and that the spirit is reincarnated through the races, from "black to Aryan".
The briefings state that then secretary of state Michael Gove had been made aware of complaints from two parents that a school failed to act when their mixed-race child had been the victim of racist abuse by pupils and that teachers had used "racist epithets". 
“A recurring theme in the material provided is that bullying is not tackled within Steiner schools,” the document says. It notes a complaint by a parent who witnessed an attack on their son where a teacher is alleged to have justified non-intervention by claiming the children were “working out their karma”.

Government forced to release briefings expressing serious concerns about racism and bullying in independent Steiner schools after losing Information Tribunal case against BHA

  • On racism, officials describe some of Steiner’s writings as ‘racist and anti-Semitic’. It goes on to say that ‘the Department has received concerns from two parents surrounding the treatment of their mixed-race child at a Steiner school, including racist abuse by other pupils which the school allegedly failed to act upon despite repeated complaints, and the use of racial epithets by teachers. Officials met the parents who provided a large amount of material on the anthroposophical basis of Steiner pedagogy and its apparently racist nature… The materials indicate that the curriculum is structured around the spiritual philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, called anthroposophy (spiritual science), which includes the belief in the reincarnation of the spirit through the races, from Black to Aryan… Racist elements of Steiner’s writings were highlighted in the material, including statements such as “blond hair actually bestows intelligence. In the case of fair people, less nourishment is driven into the eyes and hair; it remains instead in the brain and endows it with intelligence”.
  • On bullying, ‘A recurring theme in the material provided is that bullying is not tackled within Steiner schools. One parent complains that they witnessed a physical attack on their son where a teacher failed to intervene, and subsequently justified this approach by claiming the children were “working out their karma”. A teacher training document entitled How should bullying be handled? asks “can a child’s karma or destiny be that of a victim or bully? It is a child’s destiny to seek certain experiences to build his or her self-esteem and inner self. Should a potentially abusive situation be stopped, and if so, at what point?” It goes on to state “there are normal levels of aggressive behaviour particularly as children are exploring the cruel aspects of their nature. Every school provides the opportunity for some bullying to take place, as children test each other out and work out their roles in the classroom and playground relationships. 
In addition to the material provided by parents, the Department’s Independent Schools team is aware of serious complaints of staff bullying pupils in 8 of the existing 25 registered independent Steiner schools. In several of the cases of bullying complaints, there is also a concern about the way the school has handled the allegations, failing to investigate accusations of bullying and physical abuse by teachers in some cases
‘In four Steiner schools, the Department has received complaints about physical abuse from teachers towards pupils, including spitting in a pupil’s face, making sexual innuendos and throwing a rounders bat at a pupil. At one school, a teacher was allowed to continue teaching for two days after a pupil reported that they had made inappropriate suggestions to them. The pupils were encouraged to visit the teacher at his home to deliver flowers and gifts and parents were asked if their sons and daughters could contribute towards a leaving gift. The school did refer the teacher to the local authority and he was arrested following an admission of guilt.
  • On secrecy, ‘A common accusation from correspondents is that the movement is not transparent – not only about the influence of anthroposophy and its in principle opposition to SATs, but also about what takes place in the classroom. Officials are in receipt of Steiner teacher training materials that imply a highly secretive approach to what takes place in class, stating teachers should “…never allow anyone access to lesson notes or records” and “anything indicating what the class may have learnt, or covered in Morning Lesson should be ‘lost’ before you leave the school.”
Meanwhile, Steiner's racism and bullying has become apparent to parents in New Zealand

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

NZ Waldorf School Racism Feedback

Thank you for having the courage to run the article on Te Ra School and the belief system on which it is founded. As a former Te Ra parent and staff member, I came to see first-hand how anthroposophy affects and warps what is taught at the school.
It is unquestionably a religious philosophy, and many of the staff members are indoctrinated true believers, quoting Rudolf Steiner like revered scripture, their personal and professional lives disturbingly dominated by his teachings. There are many dedicated Steiner teachers with good intentions, but what good they accomplish is in spite of anthroposophy, not because of it.
Racism has no place in modern New Zealand society and certainly not in a publicly funded institution. If people want to attend such a school, that is their choice – as long as they are properly informed of the true nature of the school’s omnipresent philosophy – but my tax dollars should not pay them to do it.
Rachel Tandy (Paraparaumu)
Sounds reasonable.  Below is the full letter from the "Executive spokesperson, Federation of Rudolf Steiner Waldorf Schools in NZ."  I'm going to jump in with a few facts where they apply.  
There is much to debunk in the article “Fairy-tale fallout” (August 2), the most serious being accusations of racism and cultish behaviour in Steiner schools. These are ridiculous and inaccurate notions. The Steiner School movement in New Zealand is no more an elitist cult of racists than any other well-regarded special character school in New Zealand.
Although the article highlights a small number of writings by Rudolf Steiner from a century ago, it does not in any way inform what Steiner education is essentially about. Why has it survived the passage of time – in fact flourished? I would assert that this is because the philosophy that inspires it is the opposite of racist in that it upholds the universality of the human being and the integrity of the individual human spirit.
Hold on... lots of racist philosophies have survived - even flourished over the past 100 years.  Survival of the passage of time is not an indicator of a non-racist philosophy.  The philosophy is there for everyone to read.  It does, indeed, uphold the "integrity of the individual human spirit" - but through a series of incarnations into various human racial forms which are in varying degrees of decline - until that spirit finds its purest human form in the white race. 
There are over 1000 Steiner/Waldorf Schools and over 2000 early childhood initiatives in 60 countries around the world. The greatest growth of schools is in Asia, particularly in China. How would this be possible if this were a fundamentally racist doctrine?
Dishonesty?  Do you explain to people in non-white countries that their goal (according to Anthroposophy) is to become white in future incarnations?  Of course not.  How would it be possible for you to establish initiatives in these countries if you told them that?  It is the same way Waldorf schools were able to establish themselves in non-white areas of New Zealand - they simply lie to parents (for the good of the children whose souls really want to become white someday).  
The indications of Steiner inspire our education but do not prescribe it. Although some of his writings discuss “race” and skin colour in a way that has no place in modern times, let alone modern schools, the essence is enduring.
Sounds basically OK... Let's see if we're going to see this viewpoint supported or weakened in the rest of the paragraph... 
Steiner is not the first thinker of his age to have ideas that today we shake our heads at.
OK... that didn't take long...
There would be a collective cringe if we held up some of our New Zealand school textbooks from the first half of last century and proclaimed them to represent the current state of our education system – they are loaded with imperial, colonial, sexist and, yes, racist thought that reflected the thinking of the time.
Yes, perhaps... (I wouldn't know) but those have been abandoned in New Zealand schools today.  The issue here is that Steiner's racist ideas are present in the Te Ra Waldorf school TODAY! 
Educational practice and theory evolves. We are not afraid of critical self-examination. There is much positive work going on in our schools to review our beliefs and practices and to weed out any inherited dogma that has no currency.
This comes as a shock to the people who have been demanding that Waldorf self-examine their racist practices.  Waldorf schools don't self-examine... but even if they did, they are starting from the viewpoint that Steiner's racist ideas (despite being taught to Waldorf teachers as part of their training) cannot possibly enter Waldorf schools.  
Thankfully the Ministry of Education has been rigorous in its oversight; we are grateful for its scrutiny, affirmation and support. Each year we celebrate thousands of happy Kiwi students who are kind, curious and confident achievers, who know who they are and where they come from.Rosie SimpsonExecutive spokesperson, Federation of Rudolf Steiner Waldorf Schools in NZ

Monday, July 28, 2014

Highland Hall Waldorf School - Remodeling over the skeletons in their closet

Highland Hall claims it has raised $1.7 million for a new performance theater. So there is plenty of money here to launch an investigation similar to Green Meadows Waldorf School investigation (I've checked pricing with the people who investigated Green Meadow).

Highland Hall has had many issues and incidents in the past with pedophiles and sexual predators among their teachers. Like Green Meadow, they have found teachers with child pornography on their computers (and the Green Meadow child pornographer was a regular guest at Highland Hall). There have been many well-known incidents of groping, sexual contact and even teachers sleeping with students that have been brushed under the rug over the years and decades - just like with Green Meadow. The link above lists the families who would rather see Highland Hall raise new buildings than raise old issues that have harmed so many children in their own community. If you have skeletons in your closet... it must be time to remodel! 

From their website:Highland Hall is committed to campus-wide renovation and expansion. Over the past few years considerable progress has been made toward achieving our goals.In 2007 a master plan was developed for the future of the Highland Hall campus which detailed plans for the renovation of existing buildings and the addition of new facilities.In 2009, Lower school classrooms were enlarged by 50% and two modular classrooms were added for our middle school. In 2010 construction of our new gymnasium was completed. In April 2013, our Science Lab was entirely renovated. Meanwhile our capital campaign has raised over $1.7 million for a new performance theater....Future Theater PlansIn the spring of 2011 plans to break ground were temporarily put on hold due to the economic downturn. As soon as the school's Board of Trustees determines that the financial situation has stabilized, the school will continue our capital campaign and move forward with construction of the new theater. 
In recognition of the outstanding leadership and generosity of the Keefer-Stark family to our capital campaign, Highland Hall is pleased to name the new theater in their honor.
Well, we could always name the investigation in their honor.

Reference articles:
(signed by people who later contributed to the building campaign)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Harlan Gilbert - Waldorf's Artful Dodger

Where do all those anonymous 5-Star reviews of Waldorf schools come from?  They come from people like Harlan Gilbert - whose job it is to LIE to parents about Waldorf education!  Pretending to be a parent and not mentioning that he and his wife are both Waldorf teachers at Green Meadow Waldorf School, Harlan Gilbert - creates a profile here for the sole purpose of making one dishonest comment. 

Re: “Control • Halt • Delete”

"We've been very, very happy with the education our children (now 6th and 8th grades) are receiving at the Waldorf school near us. We did get much, much more than we bargained for -- in the best sense possible! This is, at least, the school of the future."

It isn't the first time I've caught him doing this.  He did it again here:

"We are also at a Waldorf school. I don't know what it would have been like being media-free when the children were in the early years of school if there hadn't been a supportive community of this kind around us.
This is coming to an end, however. Our school is located in the greater NYC area. For each of our children, by 4th or 5th grade an increasing number of classmates were having an increasing amount of media time, to the point that both my children in 7th grade complained/are complaining that "everyone else" (read some children in the class) gets to see R-rated movies (ratings primarily for violence, such as Django Unchained) and they don't.
With a high school and middle school child, we are now far from media-free, and I now feel that I am fighting a rear-guard action. Though I did feel that some exposure was appropriate from middle school on, I often regret just how far we've entered the media world as a family. (My DW now feels differently than me about this, so there's a limit to what I can say or do without causing marital stress!) In any case, I deeply appreciated those early years! Seeing how much of the children's conversation now centers on media, I am very, very glad they had at least their first 11 years without this influence."

He joins for the sole purpose of doing damage control to a thread that has started posting Steiner quotes:

As the controlling editor of Wikipedia's Waldorf / Steiner / Anthroposophy articles, he's used as an example of a Point Of View editor in this workshop document:

We will now see how this rule affects the discourse among the parties in a way
that makes it distinct from the discourse in edit wars. The example I will use is the
Waldorf case, which followed a set of endless discussions and edit wars. In this case, the war revolved around articles related to Waldorf education (commonly referred to in Israel as Anthroposophy). The main opposing parties - who later became parties to the Arbitration Committee case - were users who were either proponents of Waldorf schools, or avid opponents. Here is, for example, one of the article edits that is an example of the nature of the dispute before it reached the Committee. Before the edit, the article was very critical of the connection between Waldorf schools and Anthroposophy:
"Waldorf schools have been criticized for downplaying their spiritual
nature, which many interpret to be religious. Some critics feel that the teachers influence the children with Anthroposophy, Rudolf Steiner’s
spiritual science, which most Waldorf teachers study. Some even go as
far as to say that the schools are front organizations for
indoctrinations into Anthroposophy. Supporters respond that in a
genuine Waldorf school Anthroposophy is never taught". 
After the user Hgilbert, an active Waldorf supporter and a teacher in a Waldorf school, edited the article, the critical tone in the article was entirely changed: 
"Waldorf schools appreciated the spiritual origin of the human being,
which many interpret to be religious. Virtually all world religions are
included in the curriculum as mythologies or in the study of historical
cultures. No particular religion is universally emphasized, but the
schools often attempt to bring the local religious beliefs and practices
alive inside of the school, as well; in Israel, this occurs through Jewish
festivals, in Europe generally through Christian festivals, in Egypt,
through Muslim festivals, and so on. The increasingly multi-cultural
nature of many societies is transforming the ways these festivals can
take place; this is perhaps especially true of the schools in the United States. In a genuine Waldorf school Anthroposophy is never taught,
and the schools are becoming increasingly professional in this

He removed ANYTHING that suggests Waldorf schools have been criticized about ANYTHING.  This is the type of dishonesty that punctuates Mr. Gilbert's control of ALL Wikipedia articles concerned with Waldorf, Waldorf schools, Steiner or Anthroposophy - or anything Anthroposophical (like the temperaments). Just like he disguises his conflict of interest when he posts as a parent, he edits Wikipedia as if he doesn't have a HUGE conflict of interest. Why would Wikipedia allow a Waldorf teacher to control all the Waldorf articles? A Waldorf teacher from the very school that has been caught hiding sexual predators and multiple cases of rape and sexual assault within its community for decades! Are we so sure, millions of readers can trust him to produce the Wikipedia articles fairly?  

The Green Meadow Waldorf school scandals broke right after HGilbert posted this on the Wikipedia Waldorf Education Talk page: 
OK -- I haven't been treating media coverage as very significant, but that makes sense. In line with the guidelines you set out, I've added the NY Times piece that was picked up and reported on in a host of other newspapers and on television news programs. HGilbert (talk) 23:40, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
So, are we going to see some of the recent critical articles about Green Meadow Waldorf School referenced on Wikipedia?  At least on the Green Meadow page?

Gilbert is textbook Waldorf dishonesty in action - and he is in a position to lie to millions of readers expecting something resembling the truth from Wikipedia. He's been at it for ten years there!  Wikipedia is claiming it wants to change.  Here's a good place to start (their textbook example).  Enough is enough!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Waldorf School - Fallout from Steiner's Racism

If you visit in the morning, you’ll smell fresh bread being baked. The school bell really is a bell – not an alarm tone piped through speakers. You won’t see kids scoffing chippies or plugged into iPods, or wearing branded clothing. No: Te Ra is a place of greenery, of airy wooden buildings, a place for kids to be kids.
But two years ago, parents at this Steiner school discovered a darker side to the writings of Rudolf Steiner. They found what Perkins now considers to be “evil, evil white racism”.
Over an extraordinary few months, parents and staff left the school in droves. The school has no clear record of numbers. But those we talked to say the racism – and the way the school “vilified” those who spoke out against it – drove out six of Te Ra’s 35 staff members and more than 29 families. It was a huge hit for the roll, which is now 140.
Perkins spent more than five years working at Te Ra and sent her children there. “We’ve managed to get ourselves out of something,” she says. “It’s like being woken up – I felt like Snow White, I really did – I felt like the poisoned apple came out of my mouth and I woke up.”
Last month an official investigation commissioned by the Ministry of Education confirmed that aspects of Steiner’s writings are not compatible with the Treaty of Waitangi or New Zealand’s education system. In supporting documents, the investigator also notes “more specific evidence of racism”.
Some who left Te Ra now insist Steiner schools and kindergartens, attended by more than 3000 children across the country, have no place in New Zealand. They have serious misgivings about the fact that eight such secondary and primary schools are endorsed and funded by the Ministry of Education.
And after two years of turmoil, they are ready to tell their story.
It’s important to understand from the outset, these parents and staff say, that what happened at Te Ra could have happened at any New Zealand school that embraces Rudolf Steiner’s writings and philosophy – and that similar sagas are playing out in such schools all over the world.


For a long time, parents at Te Ra had wondered why this school with the Maori name was so Eurocentric. German was taught – unusual for a primary school. Parents say staff complained that kapa haka made children too energetic and resisted the suggestion that children might like to use poi. Sorger says they do make and use poi now.
Parents also found it odd that in the kindergarten and junior school, children were initially discouraged from using black or brown crayons. “It drove them crazy,” says one mother, who wanted to be known as Anna. “They were like, ‘But I need to draw the trunk of a tree!’.”
The crayon issue was also detailed by the Australian in 2007. Ray Pereira, a parent who pulled his child out of Melbourne’s Footscray City Primary School, told the newspaper “his children were not allowed to use black or brown crayons because they were ‘not pure’.”
Maori legends are a natural and core part of teaching in state primary schools, and are now told throughout Te Ra. But parents say they were initially told the legends were “inappropriate” or “too gory”. Instead it was all Nordic legends, Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm. “We would sort of joke about it,” recalls Anna, “how in all of the fairy tales, the princesses were always really blonde.” Parents complained about the content of some of these stories – including incest and the decapitation of babies.
The word “tribal” was bandied about. There were vague references to children evolving from “childlike” or “tribal” states to “individual states”.
Halfway through 2012, it all started to make a horrible sort of sense. Parents browsing the school’s “parent library” stumbled across writings by Rudolf Steiner that shocked them. “Racist was the word they used,” says Perkins.
In hindsight, it’s surprising this row hasn’t arisen in New Zealand earlier. As the official investigation into Te Ra would later note, “accusations of racism have long dogged the Steiner movement. These are based on the assertion that Steiner believed different races were at different levels of a spiritual hierarchy, with ‘Aryans’ being the highest incarnation.”
His theory, in brief, is that our souls constantly reincarnate: if a person behaves a certain way, his or her soul will advance from the black-skinned or “primitive” races on through the emotionally governed “youth-like” Asian races. All going well, each soul eventually winds up in the bodily pinnacle of humanity: white skin with blonde hair and blue eyes.


The ministry moved fast. Helena Barwick, who is often sent in to troubled schools as a limited statutory manager, was instructed to return with the results of a preliminary investigation by Christmas. She found that the complainants raised “a genuine and valid concern”. Although the school’s initial response was inadequate, she found, during 2013 it took meaningful steps to address the concerns. The Dominion Post ran a small story. It all could have been left there.
But Perkins and Dussler campaigned for further investigation, insisting that the problem of racism in Steiner’s writings is profound and systemic – and that it will not be easily fixed. They urged officials to delve into anthroposophy itself.
Barwick continued her investigation at Te Ra. In March she met a group of parents and staff who had left the school and her report of that meeting is extraordinary.
“The racism is seen as both overt and covert. The covert racism is a paternalistic, condescending racism based on Steiner’s belief that everyone is on a journey to becoming white. It is a very ingrained, racist theology. Once parents became concerned about the racism, they tried to find out more about what the teachers actually believe. It was difficult to find out, but what did become clear was that if you are in any way different – left-handed, Maori, differently shaped head – it marks you out.”
Principal Andrea Sorger notes in a statement that Perkins and Dussler did not identify any instances of racist practice, and nor did the final report of the investigation. Perkins explains they were reluctant to give Barwick examples of how the racist aspects of anthroposophy filter into classrooms as they feared those, rather than the doctrine underpinning them, would get all the attention.
So how does the doctrine affect children? It is clear children are not explicitly taught anthroposophy. In her statement, Sorger also says, “We do not tolerate racism or any other form of discrimination” and “the racist statements that can be found in some of Steiner’s lectures have no place at our school”. A statement from the ministry says: “Rudolf Steiner schools would not be part of our education system if racist views underpinned their curriculum.”
But in Perkins’ view it is not just about the curriculum. She believes the racism in the writings manifests itself more subtly, affecting “how the teacher sees the child in front of them. And that must affect how they treat that child – and I know that it has.”
In her final report, Barwick notes that this was the complainants’ prime concern: “That those responsible for teaching and nurturing children at Te Ra and in other Steiner institutions in New Zealand are, by their training and background, imbued with a world view underpinned with a hierarchy of races that sees indigenous races as having lesser value. While this may be so for some or all of those teaching at Te Ra, there is currently no requirement or mechanism to audit the beliefs held by teachers in New Zealand schools.”
Although the federation’s Simpson says that in her experience Steiner teachers are “deep, independent and critical thinkers”, Dussler believes those who have trained in anthroposophy are convinced they have a privileged understanding of children and education. “There is a very strong belief of ‘Rudolf knows best’ that is very pervasive. I thought that as well … You feel that you are obviously wiser than the parents who come with their higgledy-piggledy ideas.”
As Barwick put it: “The school promotes the idea that they have a special and secret knowledge of child development, and that if you take your child anywhere else you will be exposing them to risk. This is powerful for many parents and plays on parents’ insecurities." Dussler says the reaction of some parents to this treatment was “thank God, I’m giving my child into the most loving and wise hands they could possibly be in. I can stop worrying.” The problem with that is “you’re giving your power away, you’re handing it over. You become very vulnerable without really ever consciously making that clear to yourself.”

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's_Happening_Now/Green_Meadow_Community_Letter_-_July_2014.pdf

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's_Happening_Now/Green_Meadow_Community_Letter_-_July_2014.pdf

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, 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.

Parents should be advised that Mr. Schwartz is a Waldorf school consultant and a regular visitor to MANY Waldorf schools.  Also, see this: 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).'s_Happening_Now/Green_Meadow_Community_Letter_-_July_2014.pdf

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 -  relentless editor of the Wikipedia articles and author of Waldorf books - and his wife 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:

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.
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:
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.

Then there's this:

 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.\ation-charges/
"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.