- A simple story illustrating a moral lesson.
Once upon a time, back in the 1990s, before the internet and in a time when dark things where more easily hidden… a man named Steve Hahn decided to keep a documented child molester employed at Lawrence Academy, of Groton, Massachusetts.
Peter Regis, a groundskeeper, remained employed for a full seven years, even after a former student insisted that something be done.
One day, unknown employees and Board members made a decision behind closed doors, which Steve Hahn delivered to the student. Instead of removing the man with criminal behavior, they told the student there was suddenly “no financial aid available for her return,” and she was sent away in 1994.
But she didn’t stay away. There was a speech in 2001 — go ahead and listen here — and a reckoning, preceded by the abrupt “letting an employee go on permanent, long-term disability” (excused with health benefits), and followed by the sudden resignation of Steve Hahn, as headmaster.
Lawrence Academy Auditorium, December 10, 2001
Years later, a man Dan Scheibe made a public statement as headmaster. Soon, the former student heard the call and requested an overdue moment of truth and repair. But Dan Scheibe cancelled the Restorative Justice Circle after the former student had flown all the way across the country on his word (…he had his own something to hide).
There was a lawsuit in 2018, with the chance for a $2,000,000 settlement, that was cancelled by the former student because the full truth was not represented. Then a two-year dance of one continually inviting the truth, while many attempted to dodge the truth — causing more harm along the way.
The New England Press picked up the story, and then a wave of buried emotion swelled, rolling powerfully across the oak tree shaded hillside. Former students, current students, parents, Greater Boston area residents all joined in. With this, there was another reckoning, and the surfacing of many more previously-buried truths.
Until, after decades of a consistent pattern playing out again and again and again…