Gordon School faces sexual assault allegations from 1970s

EAST PROVIDENCE R.I. (WPRI) — The Gordon School is investigating allegations of sexual assault that involved multiple students and a single faculty member in the 1970s, according to Head of School Ralph Wales.

Wales said the school has informed law enforcement officials of the allegations and that the school is willing to provide additional assistance if needed.

“We treat this matter very seriously and have taken a proactive approach to ensure the safety of all past, present and future Gordon students,” Wales wrote in a statement. “Providing our students with a safe learning environment is our top priority.”

According to Wales, no current administrator, faculty or staff were employed at Gordon School when the alleged sexual assaults took place.

Eyewitness News spoke to Dorothy and Salvatore Ruggieri, who have lived across the street from the Gordon School for 45 years. The couple said they have never had a problem with the school and are shocked to hear the news.

“Everybody who works there is friendly,” Salvatore said. “So, when something like this comes up, you wonder what is happening.”

“This has been such a great school,” Dorothy said. “There’s a lot of parents that come here. I see them walk by with their children. It’s kinda hard to believe it [the allegations] with everything that’s going on.”