Lawsuit claims Valley Forge Military Academy enabled ‘culture of abuse’

Jim Melwert
April 22, 2019 - 1:33 pm
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WAYNE, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — A lawsuit has been filed against Valley Forge Military Academy alleging the prep school in Radnor Township “enabled a culture of abuse” among its students.

The lawsuit, filed in Philadelphia, claims Valley Forge Military Academy did not take steps to protect a student after numerous complaints of abuse, and it says the school never reported that abuse.

The suit seeks damages in excess in of $50,000, but attorney Stew Ryan says this is not about the money for his client.

“From his perspective, he wants to protect other students that are there now that have been there in the past or that may be there in the future should Valley Forge continue on in its existence from suffering the same fate that he has.”

The student’s name is not used in the complaint; instead, he is listed as John Doe.

But it lists many allegations of abuse at the hands of other students, including, the complaint says, boys beating him with a lacrosse stick, then forcing his mouth open and shoving the stick into his mouth, tying up his hands and feet and beating him with belts, then hanging him from a doorway by those restraints.

In March, 2017, juvenile charges were filed against three boys who conceded to the assaults and were dealt with through the juvenile justice system.

The suit says Valley Forge Military Academy did not have proper procedures in place to protect students. It also claims administrators knew, or should have known kids were being abused, but that abuse was allowed to continue by the culture and environment created and allowed by the staff.

Ryan says if any other former or current students suffered abuse at VFMA, they should contact his firm, Laffey Bucci and Kent.

Valley Forge Military Academy did not respond to multiple requests for comment.