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Wed Dec 1, 2021, 10:52 AM

They trusted a coach with their girls and Ivy League ambitions. Now he's accused of sex abuse.

The rowing season had already ended by the time the seven girls began drafting a letter that they hoped would get their coach fired.

They’d spent years competing for the crew team affiliated with Walt Whitman High, one of the Washington region’s highest-achieving public schools. In an affluent Maryland suburb fixated on success, their team was a juggernaut, regularly winning medals at Philadelphia’s prestigious Stotesbury Cup Regatta — the world’s largest high school racing competition — and sending its rowers on to Brown, MIT, Yale and other top colleges.

Many credited the team’s accomplishments to its longtime head coach: a Whitman High social studies teacher named Kirk Shipley. At 47, he was a three-time All-Met Coach of the Year who’d led the parent-funded club program for nearly two decades. He’d cultivated a loyal following, becoming drinking buddies with rival coaches and accepting invitations from rowers’ parents to dine at their Bethesda, Md., homes. They trusted him with their daughters — and their Ivy League ambitions.

Now, three days after their graduation from Whitman, the seven rowers decided to send a missive to the parent board, a group of mothers and fathers who volunteered to oversee the program. In just a few weeks, one girl was headed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; at least three others had earned scholarships to row in college. None of them wanted other students to have the same experiences they’d had with Shipley.

The coach, the seven warned in the letter they sent June 15, “has taken advantage of his role on the team and used his position to create a toxic, competitive atmosphere that fosters negativity and tension among the athletes. ... He very clearly plays favorites, and when athletes spoke up or criticized his actions, their boat placement was often affected. This could be seen all three years we were on the varsity team.”

https://wapo.st/3G4Yl4F

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Reply They trusted a coach with their girls and Ivy League ambitions. Now he's accused of sex abuse. (Original post)
Jilly_in_VA Dec 2021 OP
jimfields33 Dec 2021 #1
shrike3 Dec 2021 #2
Jilly_in_VA Dec 2021 #3

Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Wed Dec 1, 2021, 10:56 AM

1. I think country wide, they need to pass a federal law that coaches cannot be in a room

By themselves with students ever. They can add that to any educator as well. At least two adults should be in a room with kids at all times.

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Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Wed Dec 1, 2021, 11:43 AM

2. I have had five -- so far -- male acquaintances who turned out to be predators.


All were married. Five were fathers. The one thing they all had in common: they all spent a lot of time around kids. Public school teachers. Youth ministers (at Protestant churches.) Predators go where there are kids, sad to say.

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Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Wed Dec 1, 2021, 11:55 AM

3. My cousin's husband

was a predator. He was a high school teacher and seduced a girl in one of his classes. I don't know if that was the one he eventually married or not. My cousin never married again. I think he soured her on men, or on commitment anyway.

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