A former Horace Mann professor admitted to having sex with students while he worked for the school, saying, hey, it was a different time and attitudes were more relaxed. Speaking to the New York Times' Jenny Anderson, former Horace Mann professor Tek Young Lin admitted to having sex with students while he worked there:
Last week, in an interview, Mr. Lin, now 88, acknowledged that there was something to those whispers. He said he had had sex with students, “maybe three, I don’t know,” crossing boundaries he said were not so clear years ago.
“In those days, it was very spontaneous and casual, and it did not seem really wrong,” he said.
A New York Times Magazine cover story printed last week exposed a long history of sexual abuse at the school, but all of the professors talked about in the article are dead. After the story came out, the school faced major backlash from alumni and prosecutors.
Lin was, by all accounts, a very popular teacher during his time at Horace Mann, and he admitted he didn't understand what the fuss was over. He told Anderson he was surprised the students remembered, saying "It was all so casual and warm." He also told her "everything I did was in warmth and affection and not a power play,” before admitting he "may have crossed societal boundaries. If I did, I am sorry."
One student Anderson spoke to had trouble dealing with Lin's nonchalance. The student was invited for a sleepover at Lin's house, and his parents let him go. "Delusional might not be the right word," he told her. "But to not have the awareness that there’s a built-in power dynamic with a teacher and student?" Another student had much more positive memories of his relationship with Lin. "Did Tek behave in a way that was inappropriate? Absolutely," he said. "Was he warm, was it a wonderful relationship? He opened up areas of philosophy to me. Yes."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.