News & Politics

A News Report from 1990 Warned of 'Sexual or Violent Behavior' Surrounding Drunken Parties at Brett Kavanaugh's High School

The report is particularly troubling in light of the allegations against the supreme court nominee.

Photo Credit: Georgetown Preparatory Yearbook via White House

As allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse continue to loom over Jude Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination, a decades-old report has resurfaced that may shed light into the culture surrounding Georgetown Preparatory School.

Kavanaugh attended the school in the early '80s. The report, published in 1990 by the Washington Post, describes the warnings issued by school administrators in the area — including Georgetown Prep — about unchaperoned students' parties where "excessive drinking and sexual license are common."

To alert parents to these issues, the administrators drafted a joint letter warning them about what the schools' concerns regarding the student behavior.

The letter said:

It would be hard to devise a better recipe for disaster than a social scene that includes the anonymity provided by an 'open party,' no adult supervision, considerable amounts of alcohol, and teenage hormones which encouragesexualor violent behavior.

It encouraged better communication between parents so they could be better aware of how the children were spending their time. It also added that no particular incident prompted the letter.

Kavanaugh attended the school years earlier. Christine Blasey Ford, the first accuser to come forward, has said that Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge trapped her in a room during a high school party. Kavanaugh climbed on top of her, she said, groped her, tried to take off her clothes, and put his hand over her mouth to keep her from screaming.

Julie Swetnick, an accuser represented by Michael Avenatti who came forward Wednesday, detailed in a sworn statement that she attended a series of parties with Kavanaugh and Judge. She characterizes Kavanaugh as disrespectful and aggressive with women, and she also describes a routine of "spiking" women's drinks so that they would become so drunk they could be gang-raped. She says Judge and Kavanaugh were involved in this activity — particularly the spiking — though it's not clear to what extent they participated in the alleged rapes.

The report about wild parties doesn't confirm these stories, of course. But it does provide a response to many who were aghast at the claims, particularly Swetnick's, about the party culture surrounding the schools. Many thought it was hard to believe that such an environment could have existed without it being widely known.

And yet as the report shows, allegations of a troubling party culture are hardly foreign to Georgetown Prep and the surrounding schools. In fact, within a decade of Kavanaugh's time at the school, no less than the headmaster was sounding the alarm about this pattern of behavior.

On Wednesday, Georgetown Prep released a statement decrying the media portrayals of the school with regard to the Kavanaugh nomination. While refusing to comment on Kavanaugh specifically, Father James Van Dyke, President of Georgetown Prep, said the school has been misrepresented.

“People are trying to caricature us as a very elite, and elitist, very wealthy, very insulated, very uncaring school, a school that they claim has tolerated all sorts of behavior,” Father Van Dyke said to Town Hall. “That is demonstrably untrue and unfair. I would venture to say that it’s an untrue and unfair statement about the school in 1983 and I would venture to say earlier, and it is a demonstrably untrue and unfair statement about the school since.”

But he mostly seemed concerned with the school itself being smeared, rather than the behavior of its students. As the 1990 article shows, the administrators in the area were concerned about the wellbeing of the students.

Don't let big tech control what news you see. Get more stories like this in your inbox, every day.

Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.