When I was 16, Lawrence Academy in Groton put me in a horrible position. Even more than failing to protect me from the child molester I had just confronted; even more than removing my sense of place and derailing my education, I was given the burdensome choice between allowing their decisions or honoring my conscience.

This is what honoring my conscience looks like: www.theamendsproject.com.

In 1994, Lawrence Academy decided to keep a documented child molester on campus after two students gave matching testimonies. In 2016, the school asked sex misconduct victims to step forward. Now, officials choose to “disagree” about any wrongdoing and are directing attention to a new investigation.

The choice to not settle with a former student, but instead hire private investigators to create an internal report to mitigate risk, is a clear message about the school’s priorities.

Any funds offered, (3.75 percent of the attorney’s demand), come from the coffers of a public-interest institution and do not affect the personal finances of the decision makers. By contrast, everything the student puts into seeking repair is at direct, personal expense.

It is time to resolve the persistent conflict of interest between Lawrence Academy to preserve a reputation — and of students and families for safety and protection. This is why I propose, and have created a model for, a Justice CORPS — the Committee to Oversee the Rights & Protections of Students.

My goal is to create a system that relieves my burden of addressing the wrongs done by an institution where adults within continually choose to do nothing. At 16, I made it my job to see that no further students would be harmed here in the same way. I need to hand over my burden now. I am ready for resolution.

Vanessa Osage, ’96

www.theamendsproject.com