Oh the glory of it all! The front page of today's Boston Globe blares Assault case shocks elite St. Paul’s School. Bless, it's been too long since we've had one of these tales of unpleasantness.
The details are fairly straightforward, though galling nonetheless: An 18-year-old 6th former is alleged to have sexually assaulted a 15-year-old 4th former during "the spring dating rite known as the Senior Salute."
There's nothing funny about an alleged assault. There's also sadly nothing about this story that should surprise anyone who attended St. Paul's or one of its brethren.
So then, we put aside the grim details and enjoy the inevitable tropes that are trotted out whenever one of these scandals surfaces. The "we're shocked this could happen in our community" denials. The community's state of shock stands to reason, of course, at a school that boasts of a spring dating rite.
We also have the inevitable noting of boldface named alumni, in this case John Kerry and Garry Trudeau immediately followed by the equally inevitable note on tuition costs ($50,000 in this case). The school will, naturally, do some "soul-searching."
But wait! Is Harvard name-checked? Ah yes, there it is: The alleged perpetrator has been accepted to Harvard. And then there is this:
Labrie's attorney, James Moir, said his client was a scholarship student at St. Paul's who was well loved and well respected on campus. "He does not come from a moneyed background at all," said Moir. "He's been invited to the school based upon his character and ability."
Oh well then! Nothing to see here guys. This is just a salt of the earth scholarship kid and not one of those privileged white boarding school types, so don't go jumping to conclusions about the St. Paul's community or anything.