Shattuck-St. Mary’s former teachers claim Seibel’s alleged sexual abuse of students known, not reported
From reporter Madeleine Baran:
It was the sound of teenage boys screaming that jolted teacher Seth Hedderick out of his apartment one night in a dormitory at Shattuck-St. Mary’s. What he uncovered would remain a secret for years until it surfaced in criminal charges against one of the Faribault boarding school’s most beloved teachers.
On that night in the fall of 2000, Hedderick said, he went downstairs to investigate. He passed several boys on the stairs.
“What’s going on down there?” he asked.
“N-D-P,” one boy said.
The term meant nothing to Hedderick, who had worked at the school for just a few weeks. More students passed. They were naked.
“Where are your clothes?” Hedderick asked.
“It’s naked dance party,” one boy said. “You can’t have clothes on.”
“This is over,” Hedderick told the boys. “This is not happening.”
No, they said, you don’t understand. It’s fine. “Mr. Seibel’s down there.”
Lynn Seibel, then 59, was the head of the boys’ dormitory and chair of the drama department. The story didn’t seem plausible, Hedderick said, but when he entered the basement, there was Seibel, standing in the entrance to the showers, surrounded by naked boys.
“At that point, I was like, OK, this place is screwed up,” Hedderick said, “and I walked back upstairs.”
Hedderick said he reported the incident the next day to the head of the school, Gregory Kieffer, but nothing was done.
Allegations about Seibel’s sexual behavior, including the naked dance parties, remained secret until last year when a former student confided in a probation officer who then called police.
Seibel was arrested in California in August and charged with 14 felony counts of criminal sexual conduct for the alleged sexual abuse of six male Shattuck-St. Mary’s students from 1999 to 2003 and three related counts
— Hans Finanger graduated from high school at Shattuck-St. Mary’s in 2002 and remembers Lynn Seibel, the former teacher that had criminal sexual conduct charges filed against him this week.
Finanger was one of Seibel’s drama students, and was one of a group of kids who took a field trip with Seibel to Hollywoood. He remembered the teacher and school fondly, calling Shattuck-St. Mary’s a “marvelous” place, and said he wouldn’t hestitate to send his own kids there.
Finanger isn’t one of the alleged victims in the case, and said he doesn’t have any first-hand knowlege of the incidents. But he said he thinks someone at Shattuck-St. Mary’s did. Finanger said rumors of Seibel’s sexual proclivities and interaction with students were widespread before Seibel left the school in 2003.
Read more from reporter Elizabeth Baier.