TEL AVIV – The Jewish director of an elite school in Moscow has resigned following accusations that a former history teacher at his school had sex with teenage female students before fleeing to Israel.
Sergey Mendelevich, the director of Metropolitan School 57, resigned Saturday when reports emerged that Boris Meerson, a teacher at the school for 25 years, had slept with 11th and 12th graders.
Meerson resigned last month and is reportedly now living in Israel, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported.
Although not a Jewish institution, the school has a large representation of both Jewish students and teachers. Every year the school receives hundreds of applicants for each spot and is one of the most sought-after high schools in the country.
The allegations emerged when journalist Ekaterina Kornhaus wrote on Facebook that Meerson had had sexual relations with a series of girls, prompting several victims to step forward.
“For over 16 years, we knew that a history teacher is having affairs with students,” wrote Kornhaus, who added that the teacher was “quite a handsome man, smart, sarcastic, charming.”
She added: “No wonder it was easy to fall in love with him.”
One graduate, Rivka Gershovich, voiced her relief that Meerson was no longer at the school, saying that the suffering she endured caused her panic attacks.
“I’m so pleased that it ended this way,” Gershovich, who is Jewish, wrote on Facebook after the director’s resignation. “I wish with all my heart that the nightmare that happened to me never happens to others.”
Gershovich added that she only remained silent because Meerson told her that the school would be shut down if she spoke up.
“It was a form of blackmail,” she said.
At least three other teachers also reportedly resigned as a result of the incident. According to other staff members, the school will be subjected to an investigation by the Russian Federation’s education ministry.
Mendelevich ignored calls from parents for him to remain as director.
Since the age of consent in Russia is 16, Meerson may not face criminal charges even if the charges against him are confirmed.