, Newburyport, MA

Local News

September 28, 2013

Lawyer: Brooks School withholds information about ex-administrator

Lawsuit says alumnus raped by woman when he was student, 15


Brooks officials noted in their email that the lawsuit “is a direct outgrowth of our outreach to the Brooks community in January, when we shared with you our concerns about the conduct of Lawrence W. Becker during his tenure as headmaster of Brooks School.”

“As you will recall, in that letter we informed you about troubling information that had come to our attention about Mr. Becker,’’ the email said. “At the same time, we asked you to share with us any personal knowledge you might have had that would call into question Mr. Becker’s conduct and/or oversight during his time at Brooks.

“Soon after this letter went out, we received a claim for compensation from the alumnus who is now suing Brooks,’’ the email said. “We immediately entered into discussions with him to address any harm he felt he had suffered, and we reported his allegation to the Essex County District Attorney’s Office. Although we have not been able to agree on a settlement, we remain interested in resolving this matter and hope that we can continue to engage in conversations that will achieve that goal.”

A spokeswoman for Brooks School said officials won’t comment on the press release issued by Durso. The school also declined to elaborate on information it released about Poirot, including when she left the school and whether any other complaints had been received about her.

“They can’t plead the privacy of Lois Perot because that’s already gone,” Durso said.

“That (Brooks School email) gives the false impression that they’re trying to do the right thing,’’ Durso said. “The question is how long have they known this and failed to do anything about it? I’d like to see them more forthcoming on what happened. But they don’t want other victims to realize they can come forward. One of the biggest problems that survivors of abuse have is coming to realize that they’re not the only ones who were abused.’’

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