Local Connection: Kamehameha Schools Apology

Local Connection: Kamehameha Schools Apology
Updated: Dec. 23, 2017 at 12:28 PM HST
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A lot has happened since the airing of a series of stories we called "Hidden Betrayal" about the sexual abuse of Kamehameha boys over more than 20 years by a prominent St. Francis psychiatrist.

Kamehameha Schools CEO Jack Wong has issued an apology to the victims. In a letter to the Kamehameha Ohana, he pointed out that while the Schools have 130 years of history and accomplishment to celebrate, no one was prepared for what he called the "horrible revelation" of the abuse.

Meanwhile, the legal case has been delayed because after we reported the judge's husband did legal work for Kamehameha, the judge removed herself from the case.

During this pause, it's time for Kamehameha to show true remorse by adopting a more humane approach to the survivors' lawsuit. Kamehameha and St. Francis attorneys are still demanding that the civil trial be delayed for two years while the men and their families are put under oath for hours of questioning.

Experts say there are gentler ways to resolve sex abuse cases without further traumatizing the survivors and families. The individual cases can be examined by independent experts without hostile questioning and extended delay.

While the institutions have the right to defend themselves and protect their assets from unjustified claims, they should also evaluate the cost of the legal hardball in money and in the goodwill of their Ohana and the larger community.

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