School of Secrets
For over a decade, Prince of Wales Secondary School in Vancouver ran a special Outdoor Education program called “Quest.” Three male teachers worked with a selected group of students for five months in the classroom followed by five months in the wilderness. Students in the Quest program were isolated from the rest of the student population and considered “special.” But all was not what it appeared to be; and despite rumours and suspicions, no one wanted to call into question what might be going on in the program.
Decades later, former students share stories of control, manipulation, exploitation, isolation, and abuse–a powerful illustration of the difficulty and length of time it can take for victims of abuse to come forward. One student reflects that it was only in their 30s they were able to analyze and fully appreciate the gravity of what had transpired and how it affected them. Now in their 40s, some of them are moving forward to heal. School of Secrets provides a sober lesson in the need for transparency and accountability in any public institution.