St. George’s board: School head will not extend contract

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — The head of St. George’s School, Eric Peterson, will not seek an extension of his contract, the Bost of Trustees announced Tuesday.

Peterson’s contract ends on June 30, 2017.

“The board has accepted his decision with appreciation for his many contributions to our school,” Leslie Heaney, chair of St. George’s Board of Trustees, said in a statement.

Peterson said he was “enormously grateful” to have been a part of the St. George’s community.

“It is a place our family loves dearly and in which we take great pride. I am hopeful that announcing this decision now will allow for a thorough, national search for a successor, a process that requires substantial lead time and significant effort. In the meantime, I remain committed to seeing St. George’s through its continued growth over the next thirteen months.”

Peterson’s announcement comes days after the Rhode Island state police and attorney general’s office announced no criminal charges will be sought in several claims of sexual abuse by former and current faculty at the school.

According to troopers, the investigation focused on allegations of sexual assault and sexual misconduct by faculty members at the elite Middletown boarding school. Police said claims against seven former faculty members, one current employee and three former students were investigated.

Police also looked into claims that school administrators did not report alleged abuse to the Rhode Island Department of Youth and Families.

During their investigation, police said they worked in cooperation with the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office, which participated in interviews with approximately 40 witnesses, included alleged assault victims.

The determination that no criminal charges can be sought at this time is based on existing RI General Laws, according to state police, and laws that “defined the alleged conduct at the time it occurred.”

At this time it is unclear if Peterson’s departure is related to the criminal investigation.

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