On the first day of this month, we brought you news that the Darlington School in Rome sent a letter to more than 10,000 former students and faculty members.
The letter said one -- just one -- former student was accusing a former faculty member of sexual abuse.
Now, we've learned that because of the letter, multiple people have come forward and are filing lawsuits.
At least 10 former students of the prep school are accusing the same former faculty member of sexual abuse. The allegations date back to the 1970s and 80s. They all say the former teacher abused them while they were students at Darlington.
On top of that, they all claim they told school officials, and nothing was ever done. We are not identifying the teacher, because he has not been charged with a crime.
He could not be reached for comment.
We did speak with the lawyer who filed the lawsuit over the telephone.
"It was definitely a systematic problem at the school," said attorney Darren Penn. "And it derives from the culture they had at the school. And that was the culture of having these dorms and having these faculty members act as dorm parents."
The Darlington School tells us they're heartbroken by these allegations and they are working with law enforcement to find the truth.
The head of the school sent us a statement Friday afternoon:
Speaking for the entire Darlington Community, I'm heartbroken by what these former students have shared and have been going through. I'm sorry they've had to endure this pain for so long. Inappropriate contact by anyone responsible for the care and well-being of our students is not tolerated.
The fact that several former students feel failed by Darlington is difficult but important to know. We're still in the process of learning and we're continuing to work closely with law enforcement. Ultimately, we want to know the truth.The guiding principles of wisdom, service and honor have been the fundamental cornerstones of the Darlington mission for more than a century. We're confident Darlington's current school policies, focused on respectful boundaries, training, communications and reporting procedures for both students and faculty, create a safe environment for our students to learn and grow. It's important to us that Darlington continues to be a positive place for students to excel. This focus will remain a priority.
The lawyer for the alleged victims says more people keep coming forward with similar stories about the same former teacher.