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Hyde Schools / Podcast interview of a Hyde School Woodstock Survivor
« on: January 01, 2022, 11:49:08 PM »
Listen to this podcast where Hyde Woodstock survivor Rachel talks about her time at the school with the host of On the Emmis podcast.

Apple Podcasts:


On the Emmis Podcast Linktree:

Podcast interview of a Hyde School Woodstock Survivor #breakingcodesilence #weareunsilenced #unsilenced #troubledteenindustry #hydeschoolcomplaints #hydeschoolreviews #hydeschoolabuse #hydebath #hydeboardingschool #hydewoodstock

Hyde Schools / Re: Hyde Survivor Testimonies
« on: December 23, 2021, 09:09:06 PM »
Hyde is a place where manipulative abusers will traumatized your children, founded by a pretentious narcissist. They may talk a good game, but their methods are oppressive and harmful. They don't care about your child's individuality, illnesses or disabilities, or neurodivergence, instead dismissing and invalidating them, and openly mock them, as well as sexuality and gender variance. They are reckless, depraved, arrogant, presumptuous, and should all be brought up on charges. I was there '92-94, I survived, barely, but others haven't. Listen to those who survived, not the parents. There are support groups for those of us who survived.

I never read Lord of the Flies before last night. It was never assigned at Schechter or Beth Tfiloh when I was there, and my sense is that Hyde would have been idiotic to come within fifty miles of the book, lest it give their students any ideas. I'm sorry I've waited this long to read it, because beneath the simplicity - perhaps simple-mindedness - of its grim philosophical questions is a story about the torments we all face - regardless of age.

The parts of the book that will always remain with me are not the faux-cinematic spectacles of fire and blood, but the small moments of cruelty when the powerful subsume the powerless - it's a cliche that power corrupts, but power also infantilizes. It makes powerful people the least qualified to know what the best course of action is, both for themselves and the people over whom they rule. Civilization was and remains a hard-won achievement that's constantly corroded and rebuilt. If it functions properly, more and more of the powerless will gradually gain something resembling an equal footing with the powerful, and will add their natural gifts to the gifts which civilization bestows.

In other words, civilization (in this case perhaps, 'civilisation') was built for Piggy to flourish. He deserved better, and yet for every Piggy who has to endure being the victim of the work of fiction, there are billions of Piggys through human history, brought down by the brutality of the world before they had a chance to show what natural gifts they could offer to make our lives better.

I have no doubt that at that age, I'd have been a Piggy too, though perhaps without his common sense. Like all nerds from time immemorial, I had all those Ralph-like friends who turned their backs on friendship the moment it was expedient, and the sadistic Rogers who got a brief a taste of blood and became obsessed with drawing more, and oh boy did I ever know Jack Merridews - one of them even became a rabbi.

There is a cruelty about late childhood that is particular to itself, no other age can ever imitate it. You're old enough to grasp the basic conceits about right and wrong, but not old enough yet to internalize their importance. You're old enough to understand that your person and individuality can have power over others, but nowhere near old enough to internalize that power's limitations. It is an age when the terror of not understanding what you see can be all too real. I recall vividly the horrible dread I felt I was when my mother told me that in 4 billion years, the Sun would turn into a Red Giant and burn up the Earth. I still remember how terrified I was of the five foot stuffed bear that would sit right across from my bed, staring at me every night with its immobile smile - but I was too proud to tell my parents how horrifying it was. But it's also an age when you can become another kid's terror all too easily - I'm sure I was that too. There is no child too rough to never be a Piggy or a Simon, and no child too timid to never be a Jack or a Roger.

The problem is that while it gets better for us all as adults, or at least more domesticated, it doesn't get all that much better. One of the most striking details about Lord of the Flies, which I suppose you have to squint a bit to notice, is that the book portrays a dystopia within a dystopia. It takes place in some unspecified future date in which the world is already at nuclear war. The kids were not simply on a plane, they were on a rescue plane that was supposed to take them out of harm's way. For all we know, these kids were already traumatized like millions of children during the World War that occurred ten years before the book's composition in the early 50's. What happens on the island could be considered a microcosm of a world at war, and what happens to some of the characters in the book is downright merciful compared to the deaths that could await billions in a nuclear war.

Lots, far too much, is made of the symbolism and fable-like nature of these various characters: Simon seems saintly and prophetic, so perhaps he's Christ or Peter. Piggy, even with his low-class dialect, seems like a 10-year-old intellectual, so maybe he's Socrates or Galileo. Perhaps Jack is a stand-in for Hitler or a pint-sized Colonel Kurtz or even Satan himself (there's far more evidence for the latter than any other alleged symbol in the book...), and perhaps Roger is a Nazi torturer like Mengele or Dirlewanger or perhaps even a pre-teen complement to O'Brien from 1984. And perhaps the Beast can be anything from the human Id, to the primeval instinct toward fear and superstition, to our awareness of our limitations and mortality, to the burdens of history and consciousness. But to attach any particularly specific meaning to any of these characters is to completely miss the point - the point is to elicit comparisons and metaphors which are personal to each reader. If a metaphor occurs in this fable between a character and a larger figure in history or literature, that's certainly valid - and it probably will, but the point is not in what this fable means, but in wrestling with what this fable means.

Hyde Schools / Re: Hyde Survivor Testimonies
« on: December 22, 2021, 06:51:47 PM »
More testimonies:

Hyde serves a purpose, as in a lot of kids who went wouldn't have been allowed in anywhere else, yet i am pretty dismayed that it costs as much as it does. There aren't mental health professionals on staff (along with the general attitude toward mental health), and many teachers/administrators wouldn't be qualified for public or "normal" private schools both in regards to qualifications and temperament, among other things. It was the right place for me at the time by virtue of taking me when other places wouldn't and by placing me with other kids with whom i could empathize with, but that doesn't really speak to the organization of the school itself, and it does feel exploitative that there is so much that hyde doesn't have to do, while charging parents the same prices as exeter would (and being rather misleading in recruiting of "normal" international students and certain athletes, esp when the latter are low income) just because no other options exist. The attitude toward behavior modification, along with the sheer unprofessional behavior of a considerable amount of staff, was particularly hard for me, as someone whose struggling didn't really manifest in defiance or rebellion. I was a former "gifted" child, who was misdiagnosed mental health wise at the time, and had missed the previous year of public school due to difficulties getting out of bed and the shame that came with seeing my mental health and former academic performance crumble. I think in regards to the staff, hyde sort of brought out the worst in me, and i did greatly resent them, such as michael sheehan, for berating of me for missing some class/work one week. i was always "on" before that week happened, which is classically bipolar, even if i didn't know it at the time, and i was basically the only one to always raise my hand to answer his questions in class and turn in well done assignments on time, while all the boys were basically unconscious the whole time. I know that they all had their own struggles, many of which were even greater than mine, so this is not commentary on them, but on the teacher, who was comparatively light on their general inactivity/noncommittedness, yet would not recognize that his "good" student was struggling that week. Not to mention peter bugoni, who confronted me alone, red faced, as i was working in some far off corner of the dining area, to berate me for expressing interest to the administration in switching from his regular environmental sci class to the ap version. Regardless of how i was in his classes, i was just baffled by how he would have taken that stuff so personally (both were his classes anyway) and then displaced his rage over his own inadequacies onto me for what i thought was a rather innocent request lol. As someone who had been (and still is) super respectful of teachers, to the point of sometimes misguidedly avoiding them for fear of disappointing them, hyde teachers/admin were quite the experience for me...

It sucks that they quoted my parents $36k (and not even half of the ~$54k) when i showed up for just half of a school year. But i didn't even have as horrible of an experience with staff as the people who were literally hit on/pursued by teachers (often ones who had just been hyde students themselves not that long ago and seemed to have no other employment prospects), which happened an alarming amount for the size of the woodstock location and the relatively short time that i was there.

Like, [60,000/year] is what universities and more traditional boarding schools charge, which does present a lot of accessibility issues in comparison to school rates abroad, but at least, you can expect access to various advisors and mediators on behalf of students, disability services, overwhelming course selections and campus facilities, alumni networks/recruiting, and instructors who all have advanced degrees and research/teaching experience. That only leaves the option of arguing that we were all so difficult and therefore they needed the extra tuition, but it's not like they did anything spectacular related to those things either. How much does it really cost to have some older, former hyde students acting as glorified babysitters (including mr headmaster w no adv degree felt himself)? The conservative, up by your bootstraps types who argue overwhelmingly for hyde as a school should at least find this be a terrible deal financially.


Full disclosure, even though I made it out on the other side, and grew into a strong woman; as a 15-year-old, insecure child with low self-esteem... being paraded around on 2-4 (with a scarlet letter for "sex ethics") being directed to scrub floors by upperclassman really fucked me up well into my early 20's... I was a little girl who needed therapy and compassion. I'm glad I was able to push through.... still fucked up... not okay!

I was there for 3 years and remember being shamed constantly. I remember my friends crying because their mom called them a slut on speaker phone in front of their teachers because she had sex with her boyfriend. I remember be judged up and down by two faculty IN FRONT OF BOYS every day in the bottom of Warren hall (boys lived on 1st floor wing) and being told to go back up and change because my butt stuck out or my shoulders showed or some other bs. I remember the whole school knowing the boy I was seeing had slept with someone else while I was suspended and we all went out to work together. I remember the phone calls to my parents where I had to awkwardly explain I will be missing class and doing manual labor for the next 5 days because of a perfectly healthy consensual relationship. That place was legit a failure.

I remember getting drilled into by a senior my first year at the school because he was convinced I had banged some chick at the school. I had not. Then turned out after graduating with a diploma that he was dirty as hell. Feel like this is a common occurrence.

Hyde Schools / Re: Hyde Survivor Testimonies
« on: December 22, 2021, 05:51:26 PM »
Nothing quite like being put out to work as a punishment in response to being a victim of sexual battery. Brother's keeper was easily transformed into muzzle for so many victims who were too scared to ask for help.

I am deeply concerned about Joe's comments and the systemic sexual predation and assault that has occurred at Hyde.


Upperclassmen who would happily interrogate students they suspected of being dirty for hours and hours was a great way of telling who would have "gone with the flow" in Germany, 1933. Brothers Keeper was The Stanford Prison experiment for high schoolers and it blows minds when I tell folk about it.

On a more upbeat note, I was thinking of the onion-style paper a few friends and myself started out of our dorm- The Bath Street Chronicle. Good times. We were shut down 3 times, by my memory. Got in some good jabs. Probably was more problematic than I remember it, but is one of the few bright spots in the extremely traumatic experience of my year there. Wish I still had a copy or two.


One of many experiences I've done my best to forget after my time at Hyde has to be when it was time to sign up for sports in the Winter of 2015.  After previously doing wrestling in the Winter of 2014, and finishing the season, I decided I didn't want to do it for a second season, and signed up for drama, something I've never done before, but was offered for a Winter sport at Hyde.

The day for sports to start came, I went to the spot where drama was supposed to meet, my name wasn't on the list. The teacher running the drama program had me in another one of her classes, and knew I wouldn't purposefully be in the wrong place, so she assumed nothing of it. It wasn't until someone came looking for me asking why I wasn't at wrestling practice. I didn't sign up for that, was my response. I am then brought back into the athletics department office, and this is a loose representation as to what follows.

Why are you down in the theatre with THEM?

I'm sorry, I don't understand

You aren't supposed to be in the theatre, you should be wrestling, you know, like the other men upstairs(where practice was)

Oh, well I did it last year and didn't like it, so I figured I'd try something new this year

Are you sure? You did well last year and we want you on the team.

Yes I'm sure, I've never done theatre or drama or anything like that, so I'd like to try it

No, you're not supposed to be on the wrestling team like every other man in this school. The only other guys aren't on the wrestling team are on the basketball team, drama/theatre is just full of girls and weird guys.

Joseph W Gauld if you tell people to own their shit. Have your staff own theirs

(It was Sean Sacuier)


I came to Hyde having done musical theatre my whole life and that was my plan for my college major. My freshman year I was forced to do basketball to "try something different," but the reality is, it was a punishment. I had gotten in trouble a few times my first semester, and they wanted to push me into something they knew I didn't like so I would be miserable and would "learn my lesson." They also later took away my guitar for the same reason, but without telling me. I came back to my room and it was gone. No explanation. This school was supposed to help "push us out of our comfort zone" when in reality, that was just the excuse they used to punish us when we didn't conform. I try not to complain too much about Hyde as I'd rather put it behind me and not think about it too much...but this one struck a chord with me.


I was forced to play basketball when I had signed up for winter dance because I was "good at soccer" and therefore should contribute something to the bball team. I had never played before and felt humiliated and stressed every time I subbed in to play. The one time my dad drove up from Massachusetts to watch me play in a game, the coach benched me for the entire game. I literally subbed in to EVERY game except for that one.


I remember being told I was going to be on the ice hockey team as punishment for my misbehavior. I was pleased as this was something I had always wanted to try, as soon as I said something to that effect, they put me on the wrestling team. Shoulda kept my mouth shut.


It reminds me of the experiment in Stanford university where they put some people in charge and others not, and the kids in charge naturally became tyrants, what do people expect from Kids right out of college! Most of our teachers were younger than we are now


the ONLY reason they let me do [drama] my sophomore year was because my freshman year, my lung collapsed shortly after a basketball game and Hyde, being Hyde, didn't believe me when I said it hurt to breathe. They made me walk around on it for three days before letting me get treatment. On day three a doctor said I had bronchitis and tried to give me steroids for it. My mom had some crazy mom sense from CA and forced them to take me to the hospital for a proper evaluation on the morning of day 4. By the time I got a chest X-ray my *entire* right lung was collapsed and I had to have surgery. For reference, when a lung collapse is taken care of in a timely manner, its usually just a chamber that collapses. After that they listened to me a little more when it came to sports, but I think it was only because they feared a lawsuit.

Another student replies:  I remember you literally punctured your LUNG. They were like LOL go to practice.
Dude pre-season soccer Folan made us run around the track so many times people were throwing up left and right...


Anthony Callahan told me not that long ago that he once stuck a pencil up an underclassman's anus. He told me that while laughing, and I was completely appalled! I'm guessing he didn't tell me the name of the victim because he didn't expect my reaction to be disgust. He was known for being violent. Which undoubtedly he took it home and into [his relationships].
I can?t even imagine the things he did that he hasn't told me about.


I remember my [outside] clinical therapist [while I was at] Woodstock telling me at 16 how wrong ?sex ethics? were for a young teen. I didn't realize until years later that she was right. And it deeply impacted my views of a healthy relationship. It also opened the opportunity for rape and abuse. I know if more then one friend who opened up to me about experiences that I would definitely today know were not consenting experiences. But then I'd never heard of consent. I just knew we couldn't talk about it, or I was as guilty as the people doing it. It may have come from a place of wanting us to hold high ethics and respect for ourselves. However it left us grossly unprepared for life after Hyde.

Hyde was not a place that fostered healthy romantic relationships. God forbid you had mutual feelings for someone... Seems like the faculty and upper classmen actively worked against you and the relationship

when it came to 2-4 it was one of the worst experiences I had ever had. I was sent out to work very often the 2 years I attended. I guess I always felt like I was an outcast at the school. So out of the tons of times I was sent out to work, I only broke the rules twice. I was not athletic and the 5:30 workouts were very hard for me. I also had a spinal fusion. So when it came to those workouts I could never do them well. Always making others have to redo them and making them longer. Making people hate me more then they already did.

With that being said the two times I broke the rules. One was for lying, the other for breaking the sex ethic. I did something very inappropriate with two guys. I was so disliked that I felt that I needed their attention. Then it went around the school soon after. Being "slut shamed."

There were plenty of times I was falsely accused for breaking the sex ethic. Just to find any reason to send me out to work.
The last time I was sent out to work was the best. I at that pony had decided not to go back for another year. Being held back for what was thought not being prepared. I was sent out to work for what my peers thought was a bad attitude. I was told I was checked out. Obviously I was checked out. After 2 years of abuse I needed to check out.

I carried this with me for many of years. Never feeling worthy. Always needing love/attention and validation. It is only until recently that I learned to love myself.

Hyde needed to close in Woodstock and I am glad it did.


On the topic of questionable "sex ethics" my recollection (someone else who was at Woodstock in 2001 feel free to correct) was we had a "bust" my senior year where it came out that a teacher was sleeping with a student (young woman teacher, senior male student) and the teacher was for sure fired and sent on her way but the student got put on 2/4. WHAT!?


I was at Hyde in 2009-2010 and there was a teacher who had a full blown relationship with a sophomore. He was well into his early 30s. So she wasn't even 18 year


I was at Hyde during the 2004-2005 term, and there were at least two instances of teachers sleeping with students.

Yeah that didn't stop, my senior year the same thing happened but it was a Junior girl [sleeping with a teacher], and she was put on 2-4 I believe if not given a 5:30, which is just like.... wtf. But she was low key manipulated and thought she was in love with this man in his mid thirties like... wtf


The blatant sexism I experienced at Hyde, being "slut-shamed" for the clothes I wore by Ms. Gauld, on top of male teachers having full-on sexual relationships with students in a deeply disturbing power imbalance was the literal definition of experiencing rape culture. And we weren't just forced to experience it, but also to internalize it because of how Hyde operated. To be sexualized by staff and at the same time shamed for your female body is a sexist mental gymnastic that never ceases to amaze me.
Currently going into sex crimes prosecution and my DA's Office prosecutes cases with fact patterns exactly like what happens at Hyde. Food for thought.


do you remember when someone at Hyde made a certain student "dress feminine" for a few days?! I remember thinking wtf!? Poor girl just liked dressing more in line with the male dress code. She had to be paraded around and lots of people asked her why she was wearing skirts... I cannot imagine the humiliation. So inappropriate and damaging to force gender stereotypes on someone. I wish i had the ability to question more when i was at Hyde

I am certain that there was sexual assault and rape not being reported because of fear that the victim would be punished.

oh my god - my coming out at Hyde was such a nightmare. I don't know if you recall but I was forced to come out at an all-school meeting- I was told if I didn't, I was breaking the honesty ethic and would go on 2-4. What a mess!

I think about this a lot. I also think about how there was zero sex Ed taught to students. I think about how we were encouraged to slut shame each other. As high schoolers. I had to unlearn so much inner hatred and bias I learned from my time at Hyde.

 I think that we honestly had a lot of the same 'issues' as people in public school yet we were like you said punished for it and told we were 'dirty' when we really were just kids trying to find ourselves. Whereas I know that there were many kids there with serious drug issues, etc... those of us that didn't have those issues were grouped all together and I really think it didn't help to just group us all together as 'bad' kids. I had an eating disorder and other issues, but it was very confusing to be put in a school with kids with such extreme issues and then to all live together and be punished with 'group accountability' for things that not all of us did was just weird. I try not to comment on Hyde anymore but I also don't think a lot of us wanted to have the issues we faced in life. We just weren't able to let it all go like everyone else in public schools doing the same if not worse things 😕 I believe a lot of kids needed the help as did I. It was just very hard to be in a school where everyone's issues were so extreme. But the older I get the more I realize that so was the outside I don't feel so bad about myself.

 I remember a few friends with unaddressed eating disorders. I always felt it was so awful that those with ED?s weren't supported. I even remember a few girls getting on 2/4 or 5:30?s for having "diet" pills! Therapy should've been a part of hyde.


It's crazy I forgot about kids being called 'dirty' for a wide range of 'ethical' infractions.... What a damaging and inappropriate use of language from a community that claims to always search for deeper meaning....

I had a guy give me hickeys during the summer x program after my freshman year.
I was clearly embarrassed and had covered them up with a scarf.
I walked by Rich Truluck, who had a bunch of his male friends visiting, and he called me over and made me remove the scarf to show his friends "that's something guys, huh!?" And I stood there as they laughed at me.
I was 14, maybe 15 at the time.
The issues around sex and student humiliation unfortunately go beyond just their declared ?ethics?.

Student responds: he's one of the worst people I've ever known. He has blood on his hands. watching him crush a dream of my now dead friend... I'll never forgive him for his belly laugh in the face of hope. Fuck that guy forever

Rich Truluck was and is a POS.

I will relate. I was part of the summer challenge from Woodstock in summer of 97. We went to the Black Wilderness preserve for a week of canoeing and camping. Truluck and some young, new faculty were trying to teach us to canoe, and doing it wrong. I was doing the stroke the correct way and I was noticed, called out for it, then busted for attitude when I explained why they were wrong, and how I knew so. It went downhill from there. He told me " a little of me goes a long way," which was insulting AF.

Granted, I am an arrogant SOB. However, at that time in my life, as a 17-year-old kid, I had logged about 300 miles in the back of a canoe, held the rank of Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts, and not only had earned the canoeing merit badge some 10 years prior, but I had taught that same canoeing merit badge class to groups of boy scouts totaling about a thousand the previous summer. So, when I tell your fresh-out-of-college faculty member who had had a crash course in canoeing the week before that their "half-moon stroke" is bullshit, because you are cancelling what you got with the front half of the stroke with the unnecessary back half (thus making it just a wasteful forward paddle) and that the proper stroke is a quarter sweep, you had best listen because I had literally been there, done that, and might have even been wearing the camp staff t-shirt at that moment.

Of course, this didn't go over well then, nor a year later when he mentioned it to me in front of faculty, so I drew it out on a piece of paper and made Sandy Hertz, I think, laugh at him.


not fully a Hyde experience, but I have multiple Allagash Wilderness Waterway trips under my belt in a canoe, as well as a lot of white water canoe experience. I expressed an interest in getting an outdoor ed major in college, and just about everyone on the outdoor program at Hyde laughed at me and said they would never hire someone with an outdoor ed degree for their program. I laughed right back and said I would never work for a school like Hyde and their program, as for the most part their outdoor ed was a joke. I remember at summer ex Mr. Kiddman (I think that was his name, he and his wife both taught there) tried to correct me with paddle strokes, esp the J and cross draw... I taught canoeing at a summer camp and knew what I was talking about...

I definitely went through things my first year, that equates to essentially "slut shaming" in the way it was dealt with. I went on 2/4 for multiple sex ethic breaks, and the whole school was made well aware of it, which was horrifying, and definitely not appropriately handled! I went into Hyde as someone who used sex and drugs to qualify my self-worth, and, left after 3 years, significantly better prepared for adulthood. Very possibly this occurred due to the fact that after 2 years of nightmarish "accountability", I spent my last year truly finding myself, and working through shit...because I was so sick of getting in trouble, I found it easier to just "go with it".

I look back and know I was on such a dark path, pre Hyde... however I also see clearly how unequipped the school was for the vast array of needs, and that the whole set up was, and could be very traumatic.

I remember one particular instance where a guy created and performed a very lewd rap about me, and when I became upset about it, the dean of students at the time said, "what do you want me to do about it?? Boys will be boys." And that has stuck with me ever since.


A family run business. They lined their pockets while they humiliated and traumatized us.


 I vividly remember having to call my parents (at age 15 or 16) in a male faculty member's office to tell them that not only had I lost my virginity, but I also "performed fellatio" on my boyfriend. I first called my mom and she did not pick up. I looked at the faculty member and he told me I had to call my dad. I DID NOT WANT TO DO THIS, for obvious reasons, and told him I'd rather wait and try my mom again. But he nodded at me, urging me to call my dad. When my dad picked up I explained I had broken the sex ethic and was out to work. I glanced at the faculty member but this was not enough for him. He made me tell my dad I had sucked my boyfriend's dick. This was extremely uncomfortable for both me and (i'm assuming) my father who awkwardly replied "okay"... lol. He did not need that image or detail!! Fortunately, my parents did not shame me for my decision to break the sex ethic but this conversation was certainly uncomfortable and unnecessary.

Second, when I was having sex with my boyfriend at Hyde during my junior year, we of course had to be SILENT so as not to get caught. This really stunted not only my enjoyment of sex but also the development of my sexuality. I did not realize this until years and years later. Following Hyde, I remained SILENT during sex, stifling any sort of auditory release etc. I found myself totally self conscious and tense during sex with more "free" partners until I eventually realized what was going on and broke out of the strange tension/silencing. It took effort to release those patterns and internalized messages. Sex is so much better now. 😮 I did not feel super outwardly shamed at Hyde, perhaps because I did not break the sex ethic often and only broke it with my long term boyfriend, but the subtle impact of the systemic shaming definitely had an impact on me.

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