Officials at McCallie School are working to learn more about allegations of sexual abuse from two former students.

In a letter sent out to the McCallie community Wednesday, McCallie Headmaster A. Lee Burns III and Board of Trustees Chairman J. Hal Daughdrill explained the allegations were against former head basketball coach Steve Carpenter.

Carpenter was employed at the school from 1989-2000. He passed away in 2016.

The letter sent to the community reads as follows:

Dear McCallie Community,

We are writing today about an unsettling situation that we feel is important to share directly with you. McCallie’s administration has received allegations from two former students that, during their time here in the 1990s, a former faculty member, Steve Carpenter, sexually abused them. Mr. Carpenter was employed by McCallie from 1989 to 2000 and is now deceased.

Since becoming aware of these allegations, McCallie’s administration and Board of Trustees have engaged in an effort to understand the facts of the situation. We have engaged Fisher and Phillips, LLP, nationally recognized experts, to represent us in this matter and to conduct a full review of Mr. Carpenter’s time at McCallie.

We invite anyone who may have been sexually abused by Mr. Carpenter or by any McCallie faculty or staff – as well as anyone who has information regarding such abuse – to come forward. The investigation is being led by Suzanne Bogdan, who can be reached directly at 954-847-4729 or by e-mail at suzannebogdan@fisherphillips.com. If you prefer, you can reach out to Thomas Hayes, McCallie’s general counsel, at 423-493-5602 or thayes@mccallie.org.

The health, safety, and well-being of our students is our first priority as a school. Sexual abuse in any form is unacceptable. It is at odds with our values as a school and with the entire profession of education.

We remain committed to ensuring that our campus is a safe place for boys to live and learn, and we have developed policies and practices that we believe protect our students. To continue to ensure that McCallie is doing everything possible to keep our students safe, we are conducting a comprehensive review of our policies and practices, as well as our professional training for faculty and staff. This includes continuing to respect appropriate boundaries among faculty and staff and students, understanding the duty to report, and being aware of sexual abuse in all of its forms.

While we know that the weeks ahead will be challenging for our community, it is important to go through this process together for the benefit of our past, current, and future students. For more than a century, McCallie has placed a priority on living our values of honor, truth, and duty in a way that glorifies God. We are grateful for the support and trust shown to us by our thousands of alumni, parents, and friends of the school.

Sincerely,

A. Lee Burns III ‘87
Headmaster


J. Hal Daughdrill '73
Chairman, Board of Trustees

Jay Mayfield, a McCallie spokesperson, told Channel 3 that students learned of the allegations during chapel Wednesday.

This is a developing story. Channel 3 will keep you updated as we learn more.