It began as a memory of a memory: our guest today, author Amos Kamil’s recollection of a terrible story of sexual abuse and victimization told him by a school mate on a camping trip years after they had both graduated from the famous New York prep school Horace Mann.
The memory became a mission, Kamil says, when he was confronted by news coverage of the sex abuse scandal at Pennsylvania State University in 2011. Jerry Sandusky, a long-time assistant football coach was accused and later convicted of dozens of sexual predations on young boys he mentored through a charity he ran. The case was remarkable is several ways. One the abuse went on for years, despite several accusations made against Sandusky, accusations simply blown off or ignored by the University’s Administration and Sandusky’s boss, the legendary head football coach Joe Paterno.
Could there have been a similar situation at Horace Mann? Were there many more victims that his friend? Were there years of abuses were they enabled by the school’s leaders? Answering those questions became Amos Kamil’s mission…and after the answers proved to be yes, yes and yes, his mission extended to another question – would the present Administration at Horace Mann show remorse and offer remediation as had the people in charge at Penn State?
The answer to that is an emphatic No, to the deep dissatisfaction of as many as 64 victims or their living relatives, and to Kamil, who in his recently published book, Great is the Truth, tells the story of his hunt for, and grief over all those answers – the yeses to sexual predation, and Horace Mann’s No to taking responsibility for the crimes committed and permitted by its employees over 34 years.