HARRISBURG—Rep. Thomas Murt (R-Montgomery/Philadelphia) will introduce a resolution urging the House Children and Youth Committee to establish a subcommittee to investigate a former Lower Merion School District teacher who has been accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old student in 1985 at Bala Cynwyd Middle School.
“The resolution will give the committee the ability to examine the necessary testimony, documents and information to discern this matter correctly and truthfully to protect our children and to provide justice,” Murt said.
The student, Liz Goldman, now 46 and a psychiatrist, came forward publicly after treating a patient who had been sexually assaulted by USA Olympic team doctor Larry Nassar. She was also encouraged to act after watching the state Legislature debate whether to remove the statute of limitations in the cases of sexual abuse with the Catholic church.
In the 1980s, William McKendry, a social studies teacher in the Lower Merion School District, allegedly sexually abused Goldman. In addition to love letters, gifts, promises of marriage, sexually explicit discourse and sexually explicit correspondence, McKendry allegedly sexually assaulted and abused this young woman on numerous occasions in 1985 and 1986. Some of the assaults took place in the Bala Cynwyd Middle School in Montgomery County.
When made aware of the abuse, the Lower Merion School District settled this matter by directing McKendry and Goldman to avoid one another and to stay on their respective floors of the Bala Cynwyd Middle School. At the time, and at no time since, no contact was ever made with the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), nor were McKendry’s teaching credentials pulled.
“The children of the school district were not afforded proper protections,” Murt said.
In 1999, Goldman, then a medical student at Case Western Reserve University, met with two administrators from the Lower Merion School District and physically presented the correspondence she received from McKendry.
“She was met by the administrators with hostility and disdain and was threatened with not being permitted to leave the building with the physical evidence she had respectfully presented in good faith,” Murt said.
In 2005, Goldman, again, approached the Lower Merion School District, and was informed that the school district considered the matter closed. The Lower Merion School District refused further discussions with Goldman. Despite his actions and admissions, McKendry was still teaching in the Lower Merion School District at that time.
Murt has since filed an open records request to the Lower Merion School District, which was summarily denied.
“This is why we must authorize our Children and Youth Committee to establish a subcommittee to investigate this matter,” Murt said. “Our Commonwealth can no longer allow institutions to turn a blind eye to the sexual exploitation of children they should be protecting. This is a case which will not be resolved until the truth is known.”
Representative Thomas P. Murt, Ed.D.
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: David Foster