In video apology, Kamehameha Schools outlines plans to address sex abuse scandal

Kamehameha Schools releases video apology to sex abuse victims, outlines plans to make school safer
Published: Jan. 3, 2018 at 3:21 AM HST|Updated: Jan. 3, 2018 at 10:03 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kamehameha Schools' leaders are apologizing again to past victims of sex abuse -- this time on video.

The 2:30 video message, emailed late Tuesday afternoon, features Kamehameha Schools CEO Jack Wong and Board of Trustees Chairman Micah Kane.

They say they're committed to doing what's right and they wanted people to hear it directly from them.

"We're here today to acknowledge our shortcomings, share our plans to do what is pono, and bring closure so that real healing can begin," said Kane.

Kane said the trustees are angry that students were harmed by Dr. Robert Browne, a prominent psychiatrist the school trusted.

He talked about meetings the trustees held with the victims and their families several months ago.

"We heard their heart wrenching stories. We cried with them. We prayed with them and offered our deepest apologizes for what happened," said Kane.

Gerald Carrell, one of Dr. Browne's victims, says he and other victims remembers their meetings differently.

"I don't remember being cried with. I don't remember being prayed with. That did not happen, and the fact that they are talking about it makes me angry," Carrell said.

The email accompanying the video details what's being done to make the school safer.

It says an independent advisory committee -- comprised of experts in sex abuse and trauma -- will help transform the organization.

And a series of ohana meetings with parents, alumni, and staff will be held beginning January 11th.

"We want to share with you actions we are taking to bring resolution and justice to the victims, to hold ourselves accountable for the past, present, and future," said Wong.

Mark Davis, an attorney who represents 32 of the victims,  said in a statement that the victims "are united in their commitment to achieve justice and accountability for the school's past inaction. The children are the lifeblood of Kamehameha School and we hope the trustee's words translates into action."

"All of these words just seem to be more of the same that we experienced for the last 40, 50 years," said Carrell.

While there is a lawsuit, the email also said the school is focused on resolution for the victims through private mediation.

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