Instead of Avoiding Lawsuits, ESD Should Work On, You Know, Not Sleeping With Students

Categories: Get Off My Lawn

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In the wake of a multimillion-dollar civil jury award to the family of a girl who testified she was seduced at age 16 by a 34-year-old male teacher, we learn that the Episcopal School of Dallas has already instituted a number of important reforms. According to a pay-walled piece in The Dallas Morning News today, the school has taken the following precautions:

1) Expanded email storage capacity for staff.
2) Eliminated cell phones for staff.
3) Installed GPS tracking on school-owned vehicles.
4) Put in place new rules for use of school credit cards.

All of these important measures could be summarized as falling under a heading, "In case we get sued again."

No one will be able to accuse the school of erasing important email evidence, which is a good thing. If a 34-year-old male teacher ever does seduce another 16-year-old girl, it won't involve use of a school-owned cell phone -- another exposure to liability.
The school will tell everybody about the tracking devices, so presumably an errant faculty member who does want to seduce a 16-year-old in the future will use his or her own vehicle -- another door to the vault slammed. And that faculty member will not be able to make motel reservations with a school credit card, as happened in this case, according to testimony.

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Via.
ESD's founding rector and headmaster Reverend Stephen B. Swann and the kids
This is the story of the girl who got kicked out of ESD, supposedly for talking about the fact that her teacher had seduced her. According to testimony and evidence in the trial that just ended, the principal of ESD's high school said in an email prior to kicking her out that the school didn't want her "haunting the halls with her sad story."

In the trial, the school's lawyers pointed out to the jury that, even though the original sexual intercourse had taken place before the girl reached the legal age of consent, a lot of it happened later. They also showed that she texted and emailed her teacher as much or more than he texted and emailed her.

John Eagle, president of the board of ESD, has expressed the opinion that the recent trial was unfair. In particular he was disappointed the judge disallowed titillating testimony from a fellow student who would have told the jury that the girl asked her to look at the hand of the teacher's wife's to see if she was still wearing her wedding ring.
The student has not been named in any news account so far. Her teacher, Nathan Campbell, still faces a criminal trial.

The school's defense was built on two arguments: 1) the girl talked about it too much and thereby threatened to disrupt the school, and 2) the girl was better off going away and forgetting about it.

There is an excellent story about the case in the current D by Claire St. Amant, putting the question of the girl's alleged bad behavior in a quite different light. The complaints about her deportment came mainly from faculty members, after a teacher had approached the girl and said, "Are you the reason Campbell had to leave ESD?"

Anyway, I think the lawsuit precautions that the school has taken are understandable and will serve the school well in the unfortunate event of another lawsuit. I guess I still worry a little, however, about the underlying culture.

Would it be a bad idea -- I am only asking here -- to add to these precautions some measures to make sure everybody on the faculty understands that it is always wrong to have sexual intercourse with the students? Especially in a place where people obviously have great difficulty talking about the obvious, it might be a good idea to make this as obvious as possible.

I was even thinking in terms of warning signs in the faculty lounge and bathrooms saying, "No Coitus with Students." Something along that line. "Sexual Intercourse with Students Strictly Forbidden. This Means You."

That's the part I worry about, especially when the chairman of the board is pissed off because he wasn't able to get that good Gossip Girl stuff onto the stand. Look, I see his point: He's defending the home team, which in his view is the faculty and the school treasury.

But what about the children? In the authoritarian environment of a secondary school, where teachers have both institutional and personal means of domination over children, it's very important for the teachers to know they cannot use their authority to get the children into the sack.

And maybe the members of the board of directors need some reminders, too. Perhaps Mr. Eagle could prepare a memo warning board members that when teachers do have sexual intercourse with the children and the families of those children sue, it's very difficult for the school to get a fair trial.

The school cannot count on families of seduced children to be reasonable. In this case they offered the family an apartment in another city and even a free car for the girl, but the family shot them down. And the fact is that parents do have a tendency to get very angry -- in a way they just don't ever seem to get over -- about adults who have intercourse with their children.

I go back to my point. In a world where people go crazy on you and you can't count on the courts to be fair, maybe the better part of valor is just not to have sexual intercourse with the kids in the first place.

The school needs wall signs. If words are too subjective, maybe a cartoon -- a naked student in bed with the sheets pulled up to her chin looking confused with a big red X over her.

I am actually trying to be helpful, because I think somebody really ... really ... really needs the help. Now.


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262 comments
Calgalme
Calgalme

I know I'm a little late to this discussion...  Forgive me, but I'm riled up.  And, very thankful that America gives me the right to speak out. Some are angry about the amount of the money awarded to the Does from the jury.  I get that it is a lot of cash.  Lots more than I thought they would be awarded.  But I feel that it has to be a large amount so that ESD coffers actually feel the loss.  A $1million award would have been nothing.  It would be akin to my getting a parking ticket.   The reason that it is necessary that this money be of such a significant amount is so that ESD will make the appropriate changes. And hopefully, although there was testimony and arrogant public statements made that they would handle this situation the exact same way if it happened again, no other student who is the victim of a crime at the hands of an ESD employee will fear expulsion (due to his/her "sad story", indeed).   I agree that it sounds like the parents do not need the award money. (Nor does it sound like Father Swann needs the job.)  If they have paid crazy tuition for 3 kids for at least 12 years (minus 1 for Jane Doe's senior year, sorry JD2!), then they are not hurting, most likely.  Yes, those who sail and shop are usually not the same ones seen in the soup kitchen line.  I think it would be to their benefit as well to use the money to support a related and deserving charity.  Oh, yeah, though... how can they do that if they won't, according to some, ever see a dime of the award?  But I digress... As far as suing Nathan Campbell goes... I think in MOST cases of sexual assault, as in this one, criminal charges are filed.  As they should be.  The creep deserves some strict parameters/probation, if not jail time.  I can't think of a situation where the criminal rapist was sued personally.  (So, that is why I used the word "most"and not "all".)  This doesn't absolve ESD of the absolute inexcusable action of threatening expulsion of the victim of the crime.  For not being silent about it, for goodness sakes! I think that some ESD supporters are living in a strange alternate reality from the rest of us, if they think the appeal process is going to help their reputation in the general public, or help their school in any way whatsoever.  Even if the judge was wrong in the admission or non-admission of testimony as claimed by some...  I could be flat out mistaken, but I cannot imagine that continuing to bring this situaiton to light again and again, defending themselves for admittedly indefensible behavior, trying to get ANOTHER trial set and presented to a jury... well, I am just out of words here.   And for those ESD supporters who make the proud claims that the Does will never see a dime of that money... I still think there has been great financial punishment to the ESD school because of their actions and due to the outcome of this trial.  Really, if I was in the market for a private school for my 3 toddler-aged children, I would cross ESD off my list of possibilities, if they are keeping the same administration.  And, even if they fire Mayo, Royall, and Swann, do I really want my children to socialize with the likes of the 3 defenders of ESD posting here?  This case should have been settled for more than a car/apartment, (bizarre offer, if you ask me), etc.  ESD's settlement offer was rejected by the Does.  Now, ESD if given another opportunity to cut and run for a lot more money this time.  I think continuing this legal process, while completely in their right, is an extremely poor financial decision.  And I wouldn't want to contribute tution money to cover for their arrogant and poor financial decisions. I don't claim to work for a PR firm... but would love to hear from someone who does regarding this case.  Wouldn't it be in ESDs best interest to go all "Hugh Grant" and publically apologize for the irresponsible behavior of their highest level employees.  Then, make a plea to all of the community to please support JD2 ("Elizabeth Hurley"), that she has done nothing to deserve any of the negative publicity brought on by their actions?  All of this, of course, after those responsible for this mess (yes, including Father Swann), are relieved of their duties?  Would that not garner public sympathy?  Would that not make the community feel that the ESD family would be a warm and supportive school environment for their children? 

According to my Christian (admittedly non-Episcopalian) values, I was taught that sin lives in darkness.  If you want to eliminate sin, shine a light on it.  Expose it.  Don't hide it.  Talk about it.  Don't hold it inside.   The most enlightening quote of ESD in these comments:  "You should know that my daughter and virtually every other ESD student we know who actually knew the "victim" laugh out loud at the characterization of what happened as "rape" - while technically she was, that's just so far from reality."  Really, @Former ESD Parent, that statement is a true window into your soul.  I bet if ESD knew who you were, they would find a way to remove you from being their blogosphere "ESD Family Spokesperson."  Good Lord!

JimS
JimS

Why didn't I see this before?!!! This whole blog item is a pitch for the next hot reality show. Episcopalians Gone Wild. Talk about counter-intuitive. Somebody's going to make a zillion bucks here and make ESD one of the world's best known schools in the process. 

NONE
NONE

uh....I am thinking about NEW school uniforms....maybe Chastity Belts for the Girls....and saltpeter in the cafeteria sandwiches for the male teach.....gotta be some PRACTICAL foolproof stuff to make up for idiot teachers and lamebrained parents dealing with hottie teenage girlies too stuck up for the lustful teenage boys in class.....what ever happened to dorky men teachers and ugly old maid women teachers?

Really
Really

A lot of these comments come from people that are envious of people with more money. It's all about sticking it to people with the money and means to send their kids to private school. I hope ESD appeals and has the verdict overturned. Many of you including the author don't care about the facts.

heart and soul
heart and soul

It did come up that one of those persons, and I don't remember which one, called the parents ten times to talk about their daughter before they expelled her. My guess is they didn't want to talk about her not following the dress code, but I am know mind reader.

Marsh
Marsh

Did Swann, Royal and/or Mayo testify that parents called to complain about JD2 discussing details?  If so, please cite date of testimony. Thanks

primi timpano
primi timpano

Jimmy Cliff sang it best:The harder they comeThe harder they fallOne and all

engmofo
engmofo

Parents did wrong ,School did wrong.I tell you one thing I know for sure,if I were the kids Dad I would have rented a wood chipper & gotten all "Fargo " on the teachers ass

CR
CR

Jim Schutze: "If words are too subjective, maybe a cartoon -- a naked student in bed with the sheets pulled up to her chin looking confused with a big red X over her.

I am actually trying to be helpful....."

I thought you were trying to be a Dallas Observer version of Jon Stewart.

JimS
JimS

And believe me, if somebody wants to dig you out of your anonymized url bad enough, they'll do it.

JimS
JimS

You know folks, a word of caution here: the girl in this case is identifiable. I don't think her lawsuit makes her a "public person" for purposes of the libel laws. We know that her family is willing to go to court to protect her. In some of the more expansively lurid characterizations below, commenters may be painting big fat bull's eyes on themselves.

Nose2Much
Nose2Much

So the student was essentially Hester Prynne in this case?  Did the school forget the literary lessons?

SPC_Sub2_800
SPC_Sub2_800

Uh, I'm an ESD alum, from the late 80's, and my brother's kids are there now. We both got great educations, though there are things that leave bitter tastes in my mouth now & then. I think y'all need to look beyond the Teacher vs. Lolita themes, and Jim, I thought you might be a better journalist than this, but whatever.

And no, there's no 'astroturf' posters on here, just passionate people and parents on both sides of the argument.

So here goes... The school did what it could when the discovery was made, and certainly therapy and counseling were offered. The problem was that with this individual student, already traumatized by the events at hand, basically drove all the other students in her class, friends and acquaintences alike, crazy, with her talk about the salacious details of her affair. It made the rest of the class, including their parents, truly nervous and upset. JD2 was asked to cease. She did not. Now, call it what you want, but it was obvious for all parties that JD2 still needed a crapload of treatment and counseling, and honestly, her condition, as well as her shared dialogue of a trauma not officially public, with ~30-50 classmates, led the school to decide that it was best that she be removed from the school.

HOW they executed that decision is, in my opinion, reprehensible, and is the same reason that my memories, good and bad, tend to leave me feeling like I've licked a 9-volt at times.

But is THAT what you want to use to hold the school accountable for $9.8 million? REALLY?

I know the girl had a history, hell, every student has a history, and administrators are really good at keeping files and records. But JD2 was most likely sick before this happened, which is what led to her being a more likely candidate for Campbell's overtures and assault. That her psychological state was not adequately mended in the 60 days she remained at the school, despite their efforts (for better or for worse), really is the crux of the issue. Now, I personally believe that a third method would have been best for all parties... feel free to snipe after I'm done:

1) Bring in JD2 and her family, and express that her continued discussion of the trauma has put her, her classmates, and the school, in an impossible situation.

2) Ask JD2 and her parents, for her sake, the class's sake, and the faculty/administrators' sake, to voluntarily withdraw from school for the remainder of the year, and offer to pay for tutoring, home schooling, and LOTS, and LOTS, and LOTS of therapy - DAILY therapy.

3) Ask JD2 and her parents, that IF they are willing to follow this route, and MULTIPLE professionals can vouch for her recovery on paper and in person, that she be allowed to return to the class the following year.

4) One more mishap, in which the girl discussed or promoted vulgar or intimate details (this is what was alleged by the classmate's parents, multiple times, and which is what made them so upset in the first place) however, would yield immediate dismissal.

Call it a fourth strike. The girl was DEFINITELY a victim of a rape and suffered long-term mental anguish. But her continued discussion of the grisly details of each encounter, despite her friends' and their parents' insistence on not wanting to hear such stuff, led the school down the path that we've now seen.

Jim, you KNOW you could find parents who would provide balance for this story. Clair St. Amant basically spoon-fed the vitriol against the school, and the result is the 90/10 split you see in the comments. Let's see some journalism of the type you used for the Trinity, and for the JWP mess, to figure out more about what happened in those 60 days, what the classmates and their parents were thinking, and just why the act of removal for JD2 was probably the best thing for all parties involved.

JimS
JimS

Suddenly the world makes sense. The great lightbulb has ignited. This country is where it is today because somehow, while the rest of us weren't watching, the trailer trash got rich.

MattL1
MattL1

A lot of you are really really stupid.  When a teacher sleeps with a student, it's the teacher's fault.  Period.  There's no sense in arguing, either.  I'm always right.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Even DISD wouldn't be stupid enough to kick the kid out of school.

And it's not bc DISD is compassionate (this is the district that withheld a diploma from the parents of a student who died on a school field trip before graduation--until the parents took their heart-wrenching plea public).

DISD simply gets it that when an adult commits a crime against a child, the child is off-limits.ESD doesn't seem to get that.  

ESD didn't get popped bc of their employee's actions; ESD got popped bc they punished the student for speech/behavior/etc. related to the crime against her.  

Char
Char

What I wonder is why Campbell's now ex-wife didn't say anything to ESD? Surely the woman had to know what was going on:+not only did she live with him, but she worked with him too +she clearly was suspicious, that's why Campbell insisted on using the school credit card at the hotel because he knew his wife would check the bill+she had to have noticed all the signs: her husband being gone all the time, the constant texting, emailing, and chatting with Jane I know this situation would be humiliating and awkward for her, but doesn't she have a legal and ethical obligation to tell someone. So if you wacked out ESD parents want to hold the parents responsible, then surely you should be holding Campbell's wife partially responsible as well. The plain and simple fact is that ESD should've known sooner and that they handled the situation incredibly poor. This "Lolita" you speak of was the victim of a predator plain and simple. Even if she was being "suggestive," this guy should have had the balls to resist temptation and ESD should have done it's best to make her feel safe and cared for, since they so neglected to do so in the first place. Last time I checked "families" didn't kick their loved one to the curb, after they were raped by a creep. ESD being like a "family" is a complete joke.

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

There are no hypocrites like Dallas Republican Elite hypocrites, who will throw any adult, teen, or child into the fire to maintain their standing of elitism, and protect their investments in their elitist institutions. Is it really surprising to anyone that ESD parents would drag this family through the mud?  Do you think it would be any different at St Marks, Jesuit, Hockaday or Ursuline? Hell no! Christian Republican values are the best, because they are completely scale-able, malleable, and can be selectively applied to any situation. Here is my advice for you ESD parents out there blaming the kid and her family. YOUR kids are watching you, and observing your hypocritical actions.  They are much more savvy that you were at their age, and they understand completely what you are doing. And someday they will judge your harshly for it.

OBSERVER observer
OBSERVER observer

Right. it couldn't be all the insensitive and assinine comments, it has to be envy about the money. It's not the self references as "A-list" people, it's not the dismissal of the LAW, it's not the bashing of the victim, certainly not all the lies told on the stand by ESD officials and not the racist comments by "ESD supporters".  Nope, not that. It's the envy of the almighty dollar.

JimS
JimS

So, Really: let's use a tennis metaphor, because something tells me you learned to play recently. When somebody beats you on the court, do you tell them: "You're just envious of people with more money?"

JimS
JimS

Yeah, I never saw a word of that. You'd think the school would have used it. I didn't cover the trial, but it does seem like something that woudl have been mentioned in the coverage if it had come up at trial. I get a little icked out anyway by too much attention to teenage sex talk. Who cares what they say? They're all idiots anyway.

JimS
JimS

please. Jon Stewart is the Comedy Central version of moi. 

heart and soul
heart and soul

Oh wow, scary, Jim. I guess people should not be talking.  Of course it is probably pretty safe for those of us that don't have any money don't you think?

FYI, I don't see anything new here. The jury didn't hear it all but what I see here is all pretty much part of the court record and PHP had a blow by blow. ( I'll give them that) Just saying.

JimS
JimS

I'm not flaming you or even disagreeing by 180 degrees. But I do wonder about this part: why was it causing people to go crazy and suffer trauma to hear this girl talking about what happened to her? She was talking about sex, I assume, which would not have amounted to secret knowledge or even a forbidden subject. Her stories about sex may have been unpleasant, but that's because her experience was unpleasant. You mean people couldnt just hear her out for a while and then say, "Oh, now that we know what happened, we feel terrible for you?" The underlying legal and moral principle here is in loco parentis. While she was at school, her teacher was her father, in terms of the legal and moral relationship. Her father-at-school had intercourse with her. So why would it have been wrong or a bad thing for her to want to sort of talk this situation out with the rest of the family and hear what they had to say about it? That seems normal. Her behavior actually seems normal. The rest of the family being driven crazy by her presence and banishing her -- that seems wierd and dark. The girl's role in this does not seem crazy to me at all. She seems normal and healthy. I also really admire her for soldiering through the very tough experience of the lawsuit. She has done a hell of a lot more to protect other ESD students from sexual oppression by faculty than anybody on the faculty has done. I hope she goes into adulthood feeling damned proud of what she did at ESD. And if anybody in this story needed mental health counseling, man, I think it was the rest of the school. Send in the van and the guys in the white coats with the butterfly nets for that place.

primi timpano
primi timpano

LOL.  Reminds me of one of Tom Arnold's exhortations at his wedding to Rosanne Barr:Tom bellowed, ''We're America's worst nightmare: white trash with money!''

pbluett
pbluett

Does this mean that there will be Steinways instead of banjos playing in Booger Hollow?

Beastexas
Beastexas

Selling cars and diplomas......

heart and soul
heart and soul

You are right here! The teacher is at fault. So why blame the school? Because they didn't give this girl enough love, protection and support? Isn't that the parents job? I think they helped her by getting her out of there. One of the teachers in court said they saw this girl rub her breasts up against another teacher ( not the creep). Now before anyone gets crazy and claims I am blaming the victim, I am not. It doesn't matter what kind of Lolita this was it is still the teachers fault but clearly this girl had problems. Sure would make it hard to show this girl support and love when she is making advances towards people that were trying to help her. Dang. I think some are being a little hard on the school, What should they have done different?

Former ESD parent
Former ESD parent

The Doe family had a 20 year relationship with ESD with JD2 being the last of several sisters.  It was precisely because ESD takes "family" so seriously that she was even still enrolled there - which make all of this doubly ironic.  The family and the child had pretty much exhausted the well by the time she was expelled, but that's a long story that few here really care to hear about or even really care about.  Too caught up in their spite and jealousy, IMHO.  This whole case is like a Rorschach test that says more about the viewer than about the case itself.

stunned
stunned

I've been thinking along the same lines.  People are so quick to blame JDII's parents for not being attentive, but what about Campbell's wife?  He was a teacher, for heaven's sake.  How often does your average world history teacher need to spend the night out?  And they worked together.  Did she really not notice the amount of time JDII was in her husband's office?  (and didn't any of the half-wits and bitchy sorority girls that pass for teachers at that place think to mention it to her? or report it to the school admins like they should have?) Did she really not see how often her husband was emailing and texting in the evenings (when he was home) and likely should have been grading papers or playing with his child? I know spouses deceive each other all the time, but come on...in this situation it's kind of hard to believe that anyone could be that oblivious. 

JimS
JimS

My only problem with blaming Campbell's wife -- and I think this comes out better in the D story than any of the other coverage -- is that Campbell, according to testimony, was very relentless and strategic in his pursuit. These guys are good at their work. If wives knew everything, if they had X-ray vision, if they had genetic GPS on their huisbands at every moment  ... well, wait ... maybe you do have a point. 

Char
Char

Sorry my enter lines didn't come through.

Former ESD parent
Former ESD parent

If it makes you feel any better to think that OUR kids are judging us as hypocrites, then I wish you the joy of it.  However, I can assure you that even now JD2 is busily going through her Facebook "friends" and deleting them by the hundreds as she is getting totally flamed by her peers.  Yes, the kids are much more savvy than some adults and do "understand completely" what is really going on.

Matthew Gunter
Matthew Gunter

Being an alum of Jesuit, I actually do believe this would be handled very, very differently over there. I won't speak for those other institutions, but if there is one parochial school in this city that practices what it preaches, it would be Jesuit. Men for others isn't just a slogan, it's a real practice there.

Really
Really

People like you don't care to know about the facts. I have no dog in the fight. Lots of envy here. Like I said it is all about class envy.

Really
Really

People like you don't care about the true facts. It is all about selling newspapers and magazines. You don't care who is ruined.

SPC_Sub2_800
SPC_Sub2_800

Sadly, when the girl is sitting there blurting out details akin to Monica Lewinsky's chapter about Bill's Thing in her biography, that's when the rest of the parents and students began to flip out. Girth, length, musk, heat, and other graphic details don't belong in any discussion between 8 and 4 in the day in a parochial school, or any school, for that matter. Remember the lunchroom discussion Phoebe Cates had in "Fast Times"? These kids were at that liminal age where they're figuring things out for themselves, half are probably already active, but there are kids who are still attempting to be 'good' and innocent or they're not ready for this stuff. Re-Read your David Elkind.

The girl needed and still needs a LOT of therapy. I'm glad that her sport has become an outlet for her frustration, and that she's been accepted at a blue ribbon U. But in 2009-10, she was a scared yet also sadly empowered (probably the first in her peer group to experience sex, albeit sick sex), and she worked it out the best way she knew how to.

I don't think the parents were completely blind, but I do think that MUCH more regular communication with the school would have been appropriate and necessary. That they chose a lawsuit over comments made by Rebecca Royal and the other admins, is, well, unfortunate.

heart and soul
heart and soul

I don't know if what she was doing was normal. Who knows what that is but she was not acting like a victim ( not saying she wasn't one). She was stalking the creep's wife. She was watching her and asking others to watch her to look if she was wearing her wedding ring. She was telling people she and the creep were together. That the creep was leaving his wife for her. I read in DMN that she texted the creep 10,000 times. She still wanted to be with this jerk. I think the school did the best thing by getting her out of there. JMO

BTW, this guy Campbell was working with the Doe Family in the lawsuit against the school. Just think that is kind of odd.

JimS
JimS

Yeah, but not well.

stunned
stunned

I agree the girl had issues as well.  However, it's amazing to me that none of the alleged breast-rubbing incidents were ever reported to ESD admins BEFORE all of this happened.  Odd that no one remembered the "Lolita" incidents until the school was being sued...

JimS
JimS

1) Call cops2) Call parents. Ask them what they want done.2) Assemble staff, tell them what happened.3) Have D.A. come explain criminal law to staff.3) With parents permission, call school assembly.4) Tell everybody what happened, what's being done.4) Make it plain to students that victim has no fault.5) Expel students who persecute victim.6) Have victim speak to student body about her experience.6) Bring in outside help to analyze what school did wrong.7) Devise process of reform.8) If school actually has any meaningful religious mission, devise process to examine all of these events in context of Episcopal Church and Christian faith.9) Don't turn off the lights until a useful coherent easily understandable policy is in place to guard against reoccurrences.

Char
Char

Agreed, I think she was either covering for him out of love, humilitation, fear that her child would grow up without a father, or she just tried to turn a blind eye to what was going on. This guy clearly wasn't very bright. She probably found out about the affair, and that's probably what was causing the turmoil in the marriage.

Char
Char

Yeah Mr.Schutze, we women have a six sense about these things. Plus if this guy was stupid enough to use a "monitered" ESD email account, a school iphone, school credit cards, his office, parking lots, and the school's car for his creeper stuff, then I'm sure he wasn't smart enough to cover all of his tracks with his wife.

JCP Alum
JCP Alum

Matthew - I agree.

Jon - Like you I believe that ESD made a big mistake when it came to taking care of the victim. And your blanket statement about St. Mark's, Jesuit, Ursuline or even Christian Republicans is unfair.  I am an old Jesuit Alum, Catholic and Republican. I do not believe that ESD made the right decisions when forcing the victim out. We're not all made the same or think the same. I am sure you would hate to be lumped in with all white, males your age (50+) as being entitled and racist. No more true then your blanket statements.

It's not the religions that fail but the people under the guise of religion. History (the past) has shown the Jesuit order exploited many indigenous people throughout the world, they are not perfect either. But Jesuit Dallas, their Administration, their Alums, their student all try hard to live up to  "Men for Others". Try, because we are human we do make mistakes.

I for one was afforded the opportunity to work at Jesuit to earn my tuition. Privileged? Maybe for  the opportunity but I worked hard and fought for the privilege as many young men throughout Jesuit's long and proud history here in Dallas.

I truly understand all ESD proponents wanting to protect their institution and community. There must be a lot of good things that happen there to bring such a community together. But, right now not owning up to the mistakes, blaming the victim and protecting the administration at all costs is not the way to go about it. The Catholic church has had it's share of bad priests and I like many other Catholics believe the church circling the wagons was the WRONG thing to do.

There are lessons to be learned for everyone but the first step is admitting there is something fundamentally wrong with the inner workings of ESD. Once that is done the healing can begin.

Anonymous
Anonymous

That may have been true when you were there but is no longer the case. It's not in the same league as this ESD mess but the morality plays on a sliding scale just like every other place where big $$$ flows around.

MattL1
MattL1

As a Jesuit alum, I agree with you.  Ursuline actually had a very similar situation a few years back.  I forgot how that was handled, but it was big news.

JimS
JimS

Matthew, I did  a freelance story years ago for some goofball parents magazine that no longer exists. They wanted me to write about "Raising Children with good values." Little did I know what they really wanted was "How to have kids that are a good value." Anyway, one of the people I interviewed was a monk faculty member at Jesuit. He was very smart, very frank, obviously had witnessed every kind of family situation, good, bad and ugly. He said it does not matter much what you tell your kids about values. What you teach them is not what you say to them. They will learn their values by modeling them on the values you display in your own behavior. The example he gave was the father who tells his daughters they had better not have intercourse until they are grown up and married. But he and mom are separated, not yet divorced, and he has his girls on the weekend. He has a new love interest whom he can't stand to be apart from, so she's in the house when the girls are, in his bedroom while he's still married to the girls' mom. So the value he has taught his daughters is: rules don't mean anything, I don't mean what I say, screw if you feel like it. Anyway, I wrote the story with him as my lede. The magazine editors were horrified and said I had interviewed a bunch of crazy old-fashioned prudes, and they killed the story. I had the feeling they were all screwing walk-ins in front of the kids. That was the only explanation I could think of. I did come away with a sense that Jesuit is a serious school with a truly religious base, but also a classical teaching of virtue, so even if you're an Episcopalian or Jewish kid and you're not up for the Catholic stuff you'll still get serious guidance about morals. Now, class, compare. 

primi timpano
primi timpano

What are the differences between facts and true facts? 

Beastexas
Beastexas

Stockholm Syndrome. she still believed her captor's promises. It's not rocket science, it's human nature.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

ESD got in trouble for expelling the student.This isn't about the creep or the student; it's about what ESD did after the fact.

I think it's prairie justice.  If in fact the student had been a disruptive bully for years, ESD apparently looked the other way, cashed the check from her parents, and let the other students suffer and endure the kid.

Why didn't ESD expel this child a couple of years ago?  Bc then only other students were suffering?

stunned
stunned

I have inadvertently

rubbed my breasts against many strangers in airplane aisles, crowded trains, elevators, etc.  What can I say... they have minds of their own - I can't control them.  Imagine what people must have thought.

stunned
stunned

If only the creeps wore t-shirts to identify themselves.  Sadly, many of them are attractive, charming and well-liked.  If they looked like pervy weirdos, they'd have a hard time preying on troubled kids.

heart and soul
heart and soul

No teacher should ever sleep with a student, ever. It is always wrong but what should schools do to protect themselves and children from creeps. It is a problem for all school and no answer is perfect.  The creeps finds a way.

I think castration may be in order. Hey, let's try it.

JimS
JimS

Do we know if there were any documented incidents during athletic activities, assemblies or crowded hallway situations where there was buttock to buttock touching or even buttock against knee encountering, because the teachers should have a right to sleep with those kids, too.

heart and soul
heart and soul

Call the cops? The cops called them. The Does and the Cops knew about his before the school.

Call the parents, ask them what they want done?They did that. Parents wanted this to be the schools problem not theirs.

With parents permission? This is the love and support this girl needed? Tell the world? Really? Gee, if I was that girl I would not want that. Doesn't that make her a victim again?

Expel students that persecute the victim? Oh yeah, let's make more victims. According to the student friend it was Doe the was persecuting other students and teachers. The jury didn't get to hear it but the friend said she was afraid of Doe.

Have the victim speak to student body about her experiences? If you say so , Jim.FYI, she had pretty much done that. over and over and over again.

I think the school did or is doing those other things you mentioned but I don't know all the workings there. I just know a few good people there.

I think you should not believe just everything you read in PHP, Jim. It is rotting your brain.

I am going to swear that stuff off myself. LOL

OBSERVER observer
OBSERVER observer

When did you go to Jesuit? Where did you serve your community service? What year did your kids graduate?

Former ESD dad
Former ESD dad

Yes, drama teacher at Ursuline a few years back in similar situation.  The family felt it was in their daughter's best interest to keep things quiet and daughter actually agreed.  Few people talked about it then, few even knew about it.  If only..... (heavy sigh)

JimS
JimS

This is all good to hear, confirming what I suspected about Jesuit.

Matthew Gunter
Matthew Gunter

Jim,

I appreciate the response, and am an avid reader and respect your work.

I'm not a Catholic, and don't want to speak for their church. Likewise I didn't go to Ursuline (obviously) and as such don't want to speak for them.

I did, however, graduate from Jesuit, and did so in 2000....close to the peak of the Church molestation scandals. The Priests on site, as well as theology teachers, and teachers in general may have distanced from it, but they admitted it happened. And they were never above talking about it. As far as Jesuit was concerned, the scandals occurred, and while they are Catholic, they never denied it. Thats what made this ESD article so fascinating for me.

I don't believe a coverup would ever cross the mind at that campus. Am I being naive? Very possible. Especially considering the current state of the catholic church in America.

But I will say this;

I was accepted at ESD. Turned it down. Never had any interest in St. Marks or Cistercian, but probably would've been accepted there. Well maybe not, they disregard East Dallas money, but I digress.

I have never in my life seen a more inclusive and accepting experience than the one I had at Jesuit. There were a boatload of "scholarship" students there simply because they were great kids (at least for the most part) that came from bad families or bad situations, Jesuit happily took them in, just as they did my brother and I.....two white kids from East Dallas. When I was a senior I did community service ( an obligation, that never felt like one) with Mark Cubans next-door neighbor. A man whose family has a wing of the new facility named after them was my partner, and I never felt unequal.

I understand people giving parochial school a bad rap, it's not for everyone. And as they say, shit happens. And be it Priest or teacher, if it crosses that line, they can go to hell. But as i said previously, Jesuit is one of few schools that walks the walk. Even back in 1996 when I was looking at high schools, I knew that wasn't the case with ESD. It's not a bad school, but it will never be Jesuit.

Men For Others.

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