NORTH ANDOVER — A former headmaster of Brooks School allegedly had an inappropriate relationship with a student, and the school is asking alumni and parents to come forward with any new information about his conduct and behavior. Lawrence W. Becker, headmaster at Brooks from 1986 to 2008, had a relationship with a student during his tenure that the school judged to be “objectionable, manipulative, and an abuse of his position,” according to a letter sent out today to Brooks alumni and parents.
January 3, 2013
Dear Brooks Alumni, Parents and Friends,
We write to you today about a troubling matter. It involves Lawrence W. Becker, who served as headmaster of Brooks School from 1986 to 2008. After long deliberations, the school’s Board of Trustees has authorized this outreach because we have genuine concerns that cause us to carefully review Mr. Becker’s tenure at the school.
Last July and continuing throughout the summer, the school received a number of disturbing e-mails about Mr. Becker from an anonymous writer. After denying any knowledge regarding the emails, Mr. Becker eventually acknowledged in early September that he was being threatened by someone who, we later learned, was an escort whom Mr. Becker had hired in the fall of 2011.
Although these events took place after Mr. Becker retired as headmaster, his lack of candor with the school during this episode compelled us to look back at his tenure at the school. In so doing, we reviewed an incident in 2004, when several school employees received calls claiming that Mr. Becker had engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior while traveling alone on school business. Mr. Becker denied the allegations at the time and provided an account of his activities which, we now know, was untrue.
Unfortunately, we must also report one additional, disturbing situation. We have grave concerns about Mr. Becker’s relationship with a student while serving as headmaster. In our judgment, his conduct in this relationship was objectionable, manipulative, and an abuse of his position.
Each of these situations is completely inconsistent with the values of the school and, taken together, cause us to be profoundly concerned. In an effort to assess how best to handle this information, we consulted with a highly regarded psychologist with experience in relevant matters. He concurs that this letter is an advisable and prudent step. Thus, we are writing to ask if you have personal knowledge that calls into question Mr. Becker’s conduct and/or oversight during his tenure. A small group of trustees will join the two of us in considering anything you would like to share.
We do not take this step lightly. Brooks School grew and prospered during Mr. Becker’s tenure, and our alumni from that era have gone on to achieve great personal and professional success. We act now in the belief that this inquiry is compelled by our highest priority, which is the well-being of the students who have been entrusted to our care.
I don’t have too much to say about this one. I just feel like there are probably a bunch of Stoolies at Brooks who would love to see their name in lights so I threw them a bone. Also just kind of reinforces why I don’t trust anybody who thinks they have the moral high ground and tell people how they should live their lives. Doesn’t matter whether it’s politicians, educators, religious leaders etc. Everybody is full of shit. I’m sure this guy was always on his high horse lecturing kids on how to act and shit. Punishing them for drinking and other useless shit. Meanwhile he’s banging gay hookers on the side. (Obviously gay right?) Bottomline is never trust anybody who tells you how to live besides your parents and me.