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Will the Key School investigation dig deep enough? Some think not.

| January 23, 2019, 06:32 PM

Rams Head

NOTE: The Tupelo and Cypress website has been updated since we initially verified the information, and again since we have published this article. We have been contacted by another survivor who has said that there are some inaccuracies in the website.

Just about a year ago, the Key School in Annapolis was rocked with allegations of sexual misconduct that had occurred at the school over a period of decades.  In the midst of the #MeToo movement, another was born–the #KeyToo movement.

To the credit of the current administration, they initiated an investigation which we understand is wrapping up. The school has provided a dedicated space on their website for the investigation, with the latest update in October 2018. Once complete, this investigation by the Baltimore law firm Kramon & Graham, which was hired by the school, will be presented  to the Board of Trustees and presumably, eventually made public.

The allegations by several former students at the school were detailed in a Washington Post article in August of last year.

But some of the survivors are unsure about the school investigating itself; and they question if the school will go far enough.

Enter Tupelo and Cypress

This site exists to explain the depth and breadth of the abuse in order to give comfort to survivors and their families, to protect children here and elsewhere, and to chastise the community that allowed this abuse to occur. Click To Tweet

With that question in mind, the administrators behind Tupelo and Cypress have gone to extreme lengths to lay out the complex web of sexual allegations and the alleged coverup by the faculty, staff and administration which have spanned decades. The website has a key, with every named person assigned a unique number. It’s a puzzle. And quite informative for those who have the key.

The site identifies the suspects, their tenure, the allegations against them, the dates of the incidents, and type of abuse. It identifies people who were aware or potentially aware of the alleged abuses including former parents, political leaders, former school employees, board members, current faculty and administrators, and many prominent local residents. The list spans the range from a maintenance man, to two former Mayors, to a prominent Cabinet member under Presidents Nixon and Ford.

The site also identifies schools where the suspects worked prior to or after leaving Key School–from the local public schools to prestigious private boarding schools, to many colleges and universities scattered across the country.

Tupelo and Cypress identifies the specific locations where the alleged abuses occurred including local restaurants, parks, apartments, shopping centers, businesses, field trips, and of course the campus itself.

Slightly more than 1 out of every four adults working at Key at this time are known or suspected to have sexually abused students, physically abused students, or both, at some point during their total years working at the school. Click To Tweet

To complement Tupelo and Cypress another website has been created with a yearbook from 1971 which offers insights via comments in the yearbook and includes a spreadsheet detailing the abuse allegations during that period.  One of the most startling comments was….

Slightly more than 1 out of every four adults working at Key at this time are known or suspected to have sexually abused students, physically abused students, or both, at some point during their total years working at the school.

All told, Tupelo and Cypress represents 41 people suspected of some form of sexual or physical abuse and a peephole, 67 people who likely were aware of the alleged abuse to some degree, 44 educational institutions where the alleged abusers worked before or after their tenure at Key School, and 28 locations outside of the campus where alleged abuses occurred.

When asked what the website administrators were seeking as an outcome from the data dump, the response was, “to not have more people die.” They believe that close to 20 deaths over the years are a direct or indirect result of this abuse. Many of the victims, including those that went public in the Washington Post, continue to live with the emotional scars of their time at the Key School. A secondary concern is that the school will not properly investigate itself;  and they want all of the information they have amassed to be made public. Thirdly, they want to prevent any abuses happening at other institutions, by preventing current employees from quietly being dismissed with a good recommendation from Key School.

The site administrators  are asking others to mirror the website in case something were to happen to the Tupelo and Cypress site.

In addition to Tupelo and Cypress, a public Facebook page called Key School–We Stand Together has been created and there is also a companion Facebook group called Key School–We Stand Together (this is a public group, but membership is moderator approved).

While the investigation is still open, anyone that has an interest in speaking with the investigators,  Andrew Jay Graham or Jean E. Lewis, can contact them at [email protected] or [email protected] or by calling 410-752-6030.

The administrators of the website along with other victims have agreed to sit down with The Maryland Crabs Podcast to discuss their time at Key School. Details are still being worked out. Stay tuned.

UPDATED 1/25/19: Adjusted the number of alleged perpetrators to 41 and added a peephole (origin unknown), and further clarified that some it is likely that certain people knew of abuses, but unconfirmed.

Rams Head

 

 

Category: Local News, NEWS, Post To FB

About the Author - John Frenaye

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for nearly 25 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news–and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009.

John’s background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.

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