Saturday, October 28, 2006



Well, I didn't plan on writing about the Quest program at Prince of Wales School, teacher Tom Ellison or the many girls he took advantage of, but surprisingly this evening, a close friend of mine shared something personal. She was in the Quest program. Naturally, we spoke about Mr. Ellison and the strong, brave women who now in their mid ages, have stepped out from the shadows and began their healing process, by speaking their truths.

Mr. Ellison was a predator. He preyed on young vulnerable girls, who during their adolescent years, had many conflicting issues to deal with. Part of the growing process is gaining confidence in our abilities so we can adapt to adult life in a functional way. For many young girls at Quest, in the midst of this learning process, in stepped an older male who throwing ethics aside, sought out his adult sexual pleasures at the expense of young teens, with little concern or remorse of how his behavior may affect them. He treated the young teens in his care as commodities, as his own personal playthings to fulfill his own carnal needs. This is the most troubling aspect of this whole case, now before the courts.

Whether what Mr. Ellison engaged in during that period of time can now be considered legally criminal will be left up to the judge hearing the case. Currently, in cases of this nature, moral issues and community standards are factored in. However, the judge may well decide that Mr. Ellison's behavior wasn't criminal as the law was then written.

Surely though, the judge must examine whether these engagements between adult and teen should be considered consensual. I hope they are not especially since Mr. Ellison took many adult liberties with what were essentially young developing teens. He had power over them. He must have recognized that as a teacher, he is entrusted to ensure students in his care are protected and not harmed.

Whether, Mr. Ellison believes his actions never harmed or hurt his former students will ultimately be left for him to decide.

The judge though must weigh carefully whether the witnesses were in fact harmed. These students looked up to their teacher and didn't want to disappoint, never realizing fully or having the adult maturity to understand that they had been used, taken advantage of and then discarded. And that in itself is heinous.

To the former students of Quest, thank you for being truth tellers. Many of you now begin your journey of healing. Always remember that you were the ones taken advantage of. Your brave and unselfish acts will pave the way for many others who now suffer in silence. Your truth telling ways protects and makes sure goodness always stands up to and trumps evil.

Thank You!

Jamie Lee Hamilton