Prep Schools Are Taking A Look At Their Culture After Kavanaugh

The narrative surrounding Brett Kavanaugh has been full of tales of underage drinking, partying, and oversexualized behavior. And the prep schools are paying attention.

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 27: Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his nomination be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, focusing on allegations of sexual assault by Kavanaugh against Christine Blasey Ford in the early 1980s. (Photo By Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)
Tom Williams-Pool / Getty Images

The narrative surrounding Brett Kavanaugh has been full of tales of underage drinking, partying, and oversexualized behavior. And the prep schools are paying attention.

It’s common knowledge by now that Brett Kavanaugh attended Georgetown Prep as a youth, and it has become equally well-known that he and his school friends hosted wild parties, drank to excess, and possibly engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior.

Some prep schools have decided that they don’t really want that to be their image. Several elite prep schools are examining their own culture to determine whether or not they somehow fostered this atmosphere, NPR reports.

The current president of Georgetown Prep, James Van Dyke, did not respond to media requests to provide a direct comment. However, he recently sent a letter out to parents. In it, he vows along with the school to “continue our ongoing work with the guys on developing…a healthy understanding of masculinity.”

The letter further promises to “talk with [students] honestly and even bluntly about what respect for other, especially respect for women and other marginalized people, means in very practical terms — in actions and words.”

As for all the stories that swirl around Kavanaugh, the head of school at Phillips Academy, John Palfrey, said, “this has been a call to every educator to think through what kind of a community they want to be creating on campus.”

The argument can be made that prep schools have changed a lot since the 1980s — but have they? Just three years ago, St. Albans School was the center of controversy when the girls from its sister school, National Cathedral School, put together a Google document full of stories about inappropriate sexual behavior and comments from the boys at St. Albans.

The same year, the school’s yearbooks had to be recalled because seniors had added sexist slurs and suggestive language to the print.

Georgetown definitely isn’t like the high school that most people attended. It costs a cool $60,000 a year for a single student to go here. It has its own golf course, part of the 93-acre campus, according to Business Insider. It’s easy to imagine how students here may see themselves as untouchable, elite, and above the rest.

Kavanaugh has been accused of attempting to force sex on Christine Blasey Ford in the early 1980s, while he was a student at Georgetown Prep.

There have been lots of stories about various parties Kavanaugh attended as a Georgetown student, and multiple former students who have come forward with stories about his over-indulgent drinking habits. Then of course, there are multiple allegations of sexual misconduct from multiple women, including Christine Blasey Ford.

Brett Kavanaugh is likely to be confirmed as a lifelong justice of the Supreme Court this weekend, and that won’t change. But prep schools can possibly prevent more stories like this from being created.