Hassan Hubby’s ‘Insufficient’ Response to Sexual Misconduct With Students

Then-Principal Hassan failed to cut ties with teacher who admitted to having sex with students

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan / AP
March 31, 2016

New Hampshire Senate hopeful Maggie Hassan’s educator husband failed to cut ties with a teacher who admitted to having sexual relations with a student.

Phillips Exeter Academy, a posh New Hampshire boarding school, announced that it had officially severed ties with history teacher Rick Schubart in 2015 after being contacted by the Boston Globe. In 2011 and 2015, two female alumni from the 1970s and the 1980s told school authorities that they had sex with the "beloved" teacher.

Thomas Hassan served as principal of the school—which costs between $37,875 and $48,550 per year—from 2009 to 2015. He was named one the nation’s "private school power players" in 2011 and earned a salary of nearly $225,000, according to the New York Observer.

After Schubart admitted to the first relationship in 2011, the school forced him to retire and move out of the dorm. However, the Hassan administration allowed him to hold an emeritus position with the school. No notice appears to have been sent out to parents or students. When the second accuser came forward in 2015, the school "permanently barred" him from campus, according to a letter obtained by the Boston Globe.

The school acknowledged that it did not go public with the allegations because of "concern for the privacy of the victims." Principal Lisa MacFarlane told the Boston Globe that Hassan’s response to the first allegation was "insufficient." She issued a public apology for the school’s handling of sexual misconduct.

"Looking back, our focus should have better balanced transparency and accountability with the interest of the broader community. Had we done so, we would have arrived at a better outcome for both the victim and the entire Exeter community," she said in a statement to the newspaper. "We take full responsibility for that, and we sincerely apologize."

Thomas Hassan, who now works for a study abroad program, did not return request for comment. Phillips Exeter Academy also did not return requests for comment by press time.

MacFarlane told alumni in the letter that school officials immediately contacted the authorities when the allegations surfaced. New Hampshire’s age of consent is 16 years old and the statute of limitations for sexual misconduct involving minors is 22 years after the victim’s 18th birthday. Both accusers said their relations with Schubart took place in the 1970s and 1980s, though details about their ages at the time of their relationship with the teacher are not known.

"This information grieves us," the letter says. "Sexual misconduct by a trusted adult is particularly harmful. … These offenses, though decades old, are the antithesis of what we stand for as a school."

The Washington Free Beacon called Schubart several times for comment. The calls went straight to voicemail, which was full. A message left at a second phone number associated with the teacher was not returned.
Hassan is married to Gov. Maggie Hassan, who is challenging freshman Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte. Hassan has made women’s rights a central theme of her campaign and attacked Ayotte for Donald Trump’s "reprehensible attacks against women." The Hassan campaign did not respond to inquiries into her husband’s handling of sexual misconduct involving girls.