An elite New England boarding school discovers child sexual abuse and decides to keep the perpetrator employed while quietly removing the most vocal student... For seven years, the young student returned to urge the leaders to do the right thing - until she arrived at age 23 to expose the story - and finally got the child molester removed.
Years later in 2016, amidst media attention, the school publishes an open letter "Lawrence Academy Asks Sex Misconduct Victims to Come Forward". A demand was soon sent by an attorney for $2 million in settlement, a Restorative Justice Circle was held, and after all of this - the new leaders are offering just $75,000 - but only if she agrees to keep quiet about it.
This student, now an active sexuality educator, consultant and leader of a social enterprise is calling on the public to make a vote for justice and accountability. She will accept no settlement with a bind of secrecy. We need to stand together to be the voice of reason, right and repair for the sake of all children.
Sexual abuse and harassment are perpetuated by abusers, bystanders and enablers. When the enablers are school headmasters entrusted with the care of children, the concern is even greater. In this era, a lack of willingness to take responsibility for this kind of crime is alarming. We can't let big name institutions control their image while failing to acknowledge and amend for past mistakes. Covering up crimes against children is inexcusable - and it falls on all of us to insist on accountability.
The solution? We shine a light on the story and ask, loudly, that the former and current leaders publicly acknowledge the facts of their handling and reach a compromised settlement of $500,000. A peaceful and humane approach, to yield a new message that actually aligns words with action.
When an institution assumes they are the judge of what is fair compensation for abuse and concealment crimes, the common sense of the people must rise up. We must shine this light brightly and consistently until the fire of justice burns through self-protection and secrecy to bring a new day - for all children and adults.
Visit www.theamendsproject.com for more information