A history of silence.

Among the core stories in Coached into Silence is another case that hits close to home (five minutes from home, to be more precise.) Rather than my version of this decades long struggle, I encourage you to visit the website set up by the survivors of these abuses at Poly Prep and their supporters at www.whitetowerhealing.org

When the reputation that is being protected dates back to 1854, an institution can dig in so deeply on their denial that they may see it as reality. When headmaster after headmaster has clung to lies so tightly, for a generation, those lies can become their New Truth. 

Yet no commitment to denial or dishonesty will ever manage to replace reality. The facts are the facts. Deny gravity all you want, daily, as a matter of policy…but one misstep and you still fall. The fall feels farther; more jarring, because your worldview did not even include the possibility. “Damage control” should not be spinning truth into lies that better serve a bottom line while countless other children are left at risk. True damage control is minimizing the moments between crime & admission of said crime. Otherwise you are building your empire on unexploded ordinance, guaranteeing more collateral damage. The first reports against this serial sexual predator at Poly Prep were made in 1966. He lived free among our children until his death thirty years later. It is 2010 and Poly Prep has still not taken responsibility for it’s action and inaction. The time to wake up and acknowledge the past is always now; still they fight. 

“Philip Foglietta worked as a coach and Physical Education Teacher at Poly Prep from 1966 to 1991. He died in 1998, without being held accountable in a single criminal or civil forum for his numerous, prolonged and heinous crimes against children.”

“John Joseph Paggioli filed a Civil Suit against Poly Prep, Harman, and past Administrators and Coaches alleging that the school was indeed aware of the problem as far back as Foglietta’s first years of employ up to his “Retirement” in 1991, 26 years after his arrival. This lawsuit was dismissed in January 2006, not on the merits, but rather on the basis that the statute of limitations had expired.”

There will be much more to follow as this story, over forty years old, continues to develop. Until then, please read on. Not in my words, but in their words.

There are the stories that we write...

…and there are the stories that write us

A chance meeting with a hockey coach over twenty years ago uniquely qualified screenwriter Christopher Gavagan to tell this nonfiction tale. 

In producing & directing Coached into Silence, Gavagan tells the stories of a diverse group of boys from every corner of this country whom the system failed to protect. Far more sinister than those failures of prevention, this documentary will shed light on the organizational, institutional and legal systems which have conspired in attempting to silence the victims for life while protecting profits, reputations and in some cases, the predators themselves.

These courageous survivors refuse to be silenced. 

Coached into Silence will show a way to take back authorship of the rest of our lives, while writing a safer and more just future for the next generation. 

When prevention fails, the children pay the price.