"STEPHEN MYERS, FORMER P.S.1 CHARTER SCHOOL PRINCIPAL: DID HE MOLEST BOYS, INCLUDING HIS SON?"
WestWord Denver - By Melanie Asmar - August 2012
In 2002, we reported that former P.S.1 charter school principal Stephen Myers resigned his principal job in Massachusetts after he was accused of making inappropriate comments to a male student -- an allegation that didn't surprise his old P.S.1 colleagues. Now, Boston Magazine has written an in-depth story that quotes other boys -- now men -- who say they were abused by Myers.
The story, "The Loved One," explains Myers adopted a seven-year-old from a Ukranian orphanage in 2000 and brought him home to Denver. He named him Sajan, which means "loved one" in Hindi. That same year, Myers served as principal at P.S.1, Denver's first charter school, which has since been shuttered for poor performance. Myers was running the school when Westword published a story, "The First Step," about several long-term P.S.1 employees who were questioning the school's direction in light of a new youth mentoring program that made some uncomfortable.
Myers's behavior made some people uncomfortable, too. Here's an excerpt from our 2002 follow-up story on Myers, after he resigned from Amherst Regional High School in Massachusetts, where he'd taken a job after leaving P.S.1:
About two years ago, in Denver, two male students at P.S.1 claimed to (former teacher Annie) Huggins that Myers had asked one of them to take his shirt off, she says. According to what Huggins says the boys told her, "One boy said to Steve that he was feeling kind of scrawny and that Steve asked him to take his shirt off and let him see.... They were just freaking out."
The mother of one of those boys says her son "did have a few interactions that made him feel uncomfortable," including the one Huggins described. "He said it made him uncomfortable, and he mentioned it to some of his teachers."
But Huggins and another former school staff member told Westword that when they reported Myers's actions to P.S.1's executive director, they weren't taken seriously.
Perhaps they should have been. The Boston Magazine story details several allegations of abuse against Myers, including one by a man named Dan Thiel. Thiel met Myers, a Colorado native, when Myers was principal of the school he attended in Carbondale in the late '70s. When Thiel was thirteen, he says Myers molested him on a camping trip. He reported it to police in 1995, when he heard Myers was trying to adopt a young boy.
That adoption was thwarted, but Myers was successful in adopting Sage five years later. Sage was removed from Myers's care in 2002, however, after the allegations surfaced in Amherst. Boston Magazine reports that Sage, now nineteen, eventually ended up in a residential program. He's now been charged with murder for allegedly killing a man in a fight.
Boston Magazine wonders whether one has something to do with the other. So do we.