Dunham resigns from Berkshire School amid abuse allegations

C. Dary Dunham

SHEFFIELD — C. Dary Dunham, a faculty member at Berkshire School since 2009, has resigned amid allegations that he sexually abused a former student of his at another school in 1971.

The Record reported this week that on March 1, Michael Parker, a former student of Dunham’s, alleged via a written release to the media that Dunham had sexually abused him while he was attending the Fessenden School in West Newton, where Dunham was employed as a teacher and a coach. Parker was 14 at the time.

Berkshire Head of School Pieter Mulder announced Dunham’s resignation Thursday. In an email addressed to the Berkshire School Community, Mulder said that Dunham had immediately been placed on administrative leave once the school learned of these allegations.

“Subsequently, Mr. Dunham voluntarily resigned from his part-time position at Berkshire,” Mulder writes. “It is important to note that we have no reason to suspect any impropriety involving anyone in the Berkshire community.”

According to the email, the school plans to continue to gather information on the situation.

In his written statement sent to news media, Parker said Dunham was a teacher of his as well as the coach of the three sports — soccer, hockey, and lacrosse — that Parker played at Fessenden, an independent day and boarding school for boys.

Parker told the Record his reasons for coming forward are threefold: Parker believes that going public with the information is the next step in his personal healing process. He believes that some sort of justice should be served to Dunham as well.

Parker is being represented by attorney Mitchell Garabedian of Boston. Garabedian represented a number of victims in the cases involving sexual abuse by priests in the Catholic archdiocese of Boston, which were covered by the Boston Globe in a series of articles in 2002.

According to Garabedian, Parker recently settled on a claim “in the low six figures” regarding these sexual abuse allegations with Fessenden, where a series of sex abuse cases in the 1970s through the 80s and 90s, and even as recently as 2010, were acknowledged six years ago by school officials.

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