ESD Trial, Day 2 UPDATED

Yesterday’s revelation that live-blogging the courtroom proceedings was no bueno means your daily updates will be a lot less frequent than hoped. I’m considering still taking notes in live-blog fashion, but posting them en masse at the close of the trial each evening. That way you get the timeline of events and major developments as they unfolded, but I don’t break any rules and get myself thrown out of court.

After the 3 p.m. recess yesterday, the attorneys met with the judge in chambers to discuss the remainder of objections to items of evidence. I’m about to head to the courthouse for today’s activities, which include jury selection. Follow the jump for a few more nuggets from Monday that I didn’t have a chance to post.

The defense wanted to  exclude use of Father Stephen Swann’s employment contract, which included his salary. ESD said “there was no question who the headmaster of the school was” and therefore showing the contract was unnecessary. The family’s attorneys countered that, as the head of a stated charity or 501 (c) 3 organization, the salary of the top employee was relevant. Judge D’Metria Benson ruled the contract would be allowed as evidence, but only in part. While Swann’s job description and responsibility would be made known to the jury, his salary will be omitted.

Another contentious item of evidence was the ESD credit card statement for J. Nathan Campbell. The plaintiffs argued that as the school had issued the card, its purchases should have been scrutinized more heavily. Brent Walker referenced beer and hotel room charges that he said were improper, and, in the case of the latter, were used to perpetrate sexual assault of Jane Doe II.

“It goes to show ESD doesn’t monitor its teachers and ignores red flags,” Walker said.

Benson ruled the credit card statement would be allowed as evidence.

I don’t have any of the plaintiff’s objections to ESD’s evidence, as those discussions took place behind closed doors.

UPDATE 4:30 p.m.

As I had to file a story for our print edition, I took a three-hour absence from court today while they were selecting the jury. When I returned to catch the end of the day’s proceedings, I found the courtroom empty save for interns and Benson, who told me the trial would resume tomorrow.

Side notes: I still have to cover the rest of the goings-on in Preston Hollow, so there will be gaps from time to time in my courtroom coverage. I left a message about blogging during recesses with the court clerk, so we’ll see where that goes. I’m totally with everyone who says I have a right to report what happens in open court. The thing is, a judge has a lot of leeway on what she allows in her own court, and I’m trying to stay out of jail so I’m a tad on the cautious side after being threatened with imprisonment this a.m.

At any rate, here are my notes from the (very brief) open session of court today. We’re offering all this reportage to subscribers and non-subscribers alike, just promise you’ll chip in for bail money. Deal?

8:55 a.m. There are four bailiffs outside Benson’s court. One is collecting cell phones, and another tells me if I “do anything I’m not supposed to do” she’ll personally take me to jail. I spent the next five minutes attempting to memorize Dan’s cell phone number before scrawling it on my hand.

9:35 a.m.  Sen. Royce West and Chrysta Castañeda for ESD and Charla Aldous and Brent Walker for the Does are all MIA, as is Judge Benson. Word in the peanut gallery is they are in chambers, but no one knows for sure.

10 a.m. Benson is holding other civil cases in her chambers, no reference made to ESD lawsuit at all by clerk announcing cases.

10:30 a.m. Court goes into open session but microphones appear to be turned off or down. It’s nearly impossible to hear what is being said. Compounding this auditory difficulty, all spectators are required to sit in the last two rows of the courtroom in preparation for jury selection. I can barely hear Castañeda ask for a motion of continuance, which Walker objects to on the grounds of timeliness. Benson denies the motion.

10:40 a.m. The possibility of  Sarah Campbell (ex-wife of the alleged assaulter J. Nathan Campbell) being deposed is brought up, presumably by Castañeda (again, auditory difficulties made attribution of this part murky). Walker objects, saying when they wanted to depose her, ESD blocked it under “spousal exclusion,” which prevents married people from testifying against each other.

“I get the sense there’s a game going on here,” Walker said.

Castañeda disagrees, saying that, “ESD did not block of the deposition of Sarah Campbell in the fall. ESD sought the deposition of Sarah Campbell.”

Either way, a “Quash” is granted. Sarah Campbell will not be deposed.

10:55 a.m. ESD files its motion for continuance as Exhibit No. 1, and the quash of Sarah Campbell’s deposition as Exhibit No. 2. Walker does not object.

11:10 a.m. Benson pulls the microphone close to make an announcement about jury forms, proving she is aware of the use, range, and properties of a microphone.

11:12 a.m. Mysterious drilling sound rings out multiple times in court. Benson goes to investigate. Karma, anyone?

11:30 a.m. The jury pool enters the court, 50 people in all with 28 men and 22 women. Benson announces that the trial is expected to run four to six weeks, which eliminates about half of the pool.

96 thoughts on “ESD Trial, Day 2 UPDATED

  • July 26, 2011 at 8:19 am

    Could you keep us up to date during the recesses?

  • July 26, 2011 at 8:23 am

    How much do you think Swann is making? He does love the coin.

  • July 26, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Talk is $1M+. I know families that have gotten in that way.

  • July 26, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Wow. How can a priest make that much money and still call himself a priest? I thought non-profits had to disclose their salaries, but I don’t see any filings on Guidestar for the school — though there’s a “foundation” that had ~$4M in revenue in 2009. Are they not filing the proper disclosures for the school itself?

  • July 26, 2011 at 10:18 am

    How does the judge issue a “gag” order in a case of such interest? Pretending I’m a lawyer, a gag order issued by a court is presumptively unconstitutional (Davenport v Garcia; Grigsby v Coker). The court cannot restrict press from reporting on a case beyond protecting the victim’s identity (Star Telegram v Walker). There is a current Dallas Court of Appeals case on this issue(either In re DMN or DMN v Doe) that I read not to long ago which had to do with DMN right to report. Come on Judge, let the news be told, there are a lot of families at ESD and those of us thinking of going that want to know what’s going on over there?

  • July 26, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Wow! As an ESD parent, I hope the $1M+ is not true! Please keep us posted!

  • July 26, 2011 at 11:06 am

    I don’t know much about gag orders, but this appears to indicate that they should be pretty rare unless there’s a serious risk of tainting the jury pool (has the jury already been selected?) or prejudicing the proceedings. I can’t believe either of those is the case, so stopping the press from reporting on the case, even in a live blog, seems to be unconstitutional.

  • July 26, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    I don’t think it is a legal gag so much as not having electronic devices going on in the courtroom…I’m hoping during lunch recess we get a detailed update.

  • July 26, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Any updates?

  • July 26, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    I’m waiting until the end of today’s proceedings to post. I’ll try to get clarification on posting during recesses for future reference.

  • July 26, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Where’s your first amendment lawyer and your editor? You are covering this trial as a member of the credentialed media. Is there any outstanding order of the court? It would be beneficial to have the court reporter type the portion of the transcript where the court is instructing you not to do your job.

  • July 26, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    I think the problem for the defense is the history with Mr Campbell. Most students are not surprised that the school just stood by. The gag order is no info in means no info out to the public. Thank goodness for the bloggers who keep us up to date. The money ESD is spending makes me wonder who are they protecting? $1 million dollar a year job for Father Swann and how much to the lawyers.

  • July 26, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Where is the Episcopalian Dioceses of Dallas? I have not heard a single thing from Bishop Stanton. Is he not responsibile for ESD? Why does Father Swann live so high on the hog? It seems like no one is in charge of this dioceses school.

  • July 26, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    @Steve Smith, there was one motion relating to the Dioceses. In fact, by my account it was No. 43 of 129 objections raised by the defense.

    A. Shonn Brown, an attorney for ESD, said the school is not under the Dioceses of Texas and therefore wanted the statement governing the behavior of priests in the dioceses to be excluded from evidence in the case. Brent Walker said several members of ESD staff are “canonically present” in the Dioceses of Texas and are subject to it. Benson ruled to admit the item, thus making the dioceses and its affiliation relevant in this case. How big of a role it will play remains to be seen.

  • July 26, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Episcopal schools are not overseen by the Episcopal church. I think they are totally separate. If they don’t have anything to hide, they should not be worried about making the trial public.

  • July 26, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    @Leigh — I’m not so sure about that. I think (though am not certain) that The Parish Episcopal School is formally owned by the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration. I think ESD and Saint Michael and All Angels once had a formal relationship. ESD may now be separate school with no formal relationship to the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas or SMAA — that is, it probably just a school that plugs the “Episcopal” name on itself, while there’s nothing church-related about it.

  • July 26, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Leigh – While I can’t confirm Swann’s $1M salary, I would not be surprised.

    He lives in an $800K house and drives a new high-end sports car. I understand his wife is quite wealthy too.

    I guess that whole “camel and rich man through the eye of the needle” stuff doesn’t apply to ESD. 🙂

    He does need to answer for forcing the victim out of the school. That to me is the one thing that was surely preventable by ESD and in direct opposition to the loving, nurturing stuff they sell to parents.

    In the documents I’ve seen, he states something like the Head of Upper School and another top admin made the decision to force out the girl and he merely accepted it… which, if you know the man and the school, reeks of bologna.

    Two crimes were committed here, and one was perpetrated by ESD against the victim.

  • July 26, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    I go to ESD. Our school is not under control of the Episcopal Church. We have daily Episcopal Chapel, our chaplain (and Fr. Swann) are Episcopalian, and our founding tenets have “Episcopal/Christian values” but there is no control by the Diocese or the larger EC.
    We are members of the National Assoc. of Episcopal Schools, but that is also not under EC control.

  • July 26, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    @Frank – ESD didn’t just idly stand by while Campbell (allegedly) raped the student after grooming her for months….

    They later forced the student/victim out of the school, walking her to the door, refusing even to give her her belongings and further traumatizing her.. (this, after having allowed Campbell to finish the day.)

    That was the action ESD took. (according to the documents and deposition snippets available online.) Rebecca Royal, Erin Mayo and Father Swann all participated in and agreed to that decision. And before you delete my comment, I will be glad to post the relevent portion of the deposition here in support of my comment. Sheesh.

  • July 26, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    If ESD is not under the jurisdiction of the Episcopal church, they cannot be considered a charitable institution. Making them open to pay a huge chunk of cash to the “Doe” family. The former senator must have the judge in his pocket if she doesn’t want the press to get any information…The school must be loaded and afraid if they have to pay out….could there be more going on???

  • July 26, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    @Frank – you can read all the documents here:
    with case number: CC1003251A

    The filing relevent to ESD claiming to be a charitable organization is actually very funny. The plaintiff’s attorney talks about it being the most expensive private school in Dallas, about the dishes served in the student cafeteria, about the new Swann Athletic center, etc.

    The documents do contain partial deposition summaries, and after having read them, my entire view on this case and on ESD changed completely. What is being reported in the DMN and here and on The Observer only scratches the surface of the truth.

  • July 26, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    what a sad day this is for the school. You all are in my prayers.

  • July 26, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Here is a quote from the school’s Upper School Handbook that I found online.

    “Expulsion is separation from the School at the discretion of the Rector/Headmaster.”

    Only Fr. Swann can expel students. Period.

  • July 26, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    I hear lots of blame on the schools part.. what about the teenagers fault. It takes two last time I checked and its my understanding that the relationship went on for several months…the teenager should hold some sort of responsibility.

  • July 26, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Thanks for the information. I will look up the case and read it. Is the DMN even following the trial?

  • July 26, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    @Leigh – The DMN is following the case, but I’m not sure they see anything newsworthy in what’s happened so far. Those of us who might be more interested in the case than the average DMN reader will find the documents of great interest.

    You do have to wade through a lot of noise (one page motions, procedural issues), but the more recent postings (including one called “DEEM”) I think you’ll find very enlightening…

  • July 27, 2011 at 12:22 am

    @Lady Blue,
    This is called text book grooming. Any parent who sends their child to ESD should seriously consider switching to a more reputable school who cares for their children and makes/enforces policies to safeguard them. ESD does not and that is what this case will prove!

  • July 27, 2011 at 8:42 am

    @ Lady Blue, the victim was underage of majority, the perp was a dean and her teacher. That’s statutory rape and a sexual relationship between a teacher and student. Two crimes in Texas. I’m so tired of hearing adults draw a line like the perp was an upper classman, he was a 35 year old man, her teacher and dean. This is not consensual as ESD’s lawyer has said in the paper.

  • July 27, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Sadly the opinion expressed by @LadyBlue is common around ESD. And I believe that was ESD’s intention, through their actions, to villify the victim – they walked her to the door, forced her out of the school… what other conclusion would uninformed parents and students make? That the victim was to blame.

    In fact, one ESD teacher received a note in her file for asking the victim if she was the reason this teacher had to leave the school.

    The documents show a months-long process of grooming, starting with compliments, then text messages and emails – forced touching – etc – leading up to violence.

    It is sickening how ESD has behaved in this situation and doubly sickening that a large number of parents and students would blame the victim. I would point you to a website where one student (who has recently graduated) posted hateful comments about the victim – but he actually posts her name and photo. A lovely posterboy for the school and their handling of this crime.

  • July 27, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Quite frankly, the whole situation could have been avoided if ESD had simply required the victim to embroider a scarlett letter on her uniform blouse, while allowing her to remain at the school.

  • July 27, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Oh Leigh, how many kids do you have at ESD? Areyou hating that annual fund drive now?

  • July 27, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Are we going to have a Day 3 Blog?

  • July 27, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Take a look at plaintiffs proposed jury questions on the county web site
    The 501c3
    Question is the blockbuster

  • July 27, 2011 at 10:58 am

    @Steve – Come on, now. The school does need to fundraise. They could use the cash to purchase more bronze busts of Father Swann, more full-length oil paintings of Father Swann, more chrome letters spelling out “Father Swann” for use on buildings not currently named “Father Swann”.

    And the 2012 Porsches will be coming out soon…. 🙂

    But seriously, regarding the victim being forced out of the school – the school’s own psychologist said that he wouldn’t have done this – only he wasn’t asked for his opinion.

    The perceived image of the school was more important than the emotional and psychological well-being of a student who attended since K or Pre-K.. and whose sib(s) also attended.

    Everything you could want to know about this case and about ESD is contained in those online documents…

  • July 27, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Father Swann has built a great school, no doubt, BUT as tuition-paying parents and donors, we are like shareholders and should know his salary. Aren’t the salaries of Hockaday and St. Mark’s headmasters disclosed???

  • July 27, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    @Leigh – I don’t know that ESD is a “great” school, at least not academically. If you look at the sorts of colleges that ESD students eventually attend, the number of “free ride” scholarships they receive, the SAT/AP scores – then it’s not in the same league as Hockaday or St. Marks.

    It is probably the most well-equipped, most expensive, most luxurious (two team hot tubs in the football medical area!) – but academically it’s well below DISD’s Gifted and Talented and Hockaday/St.Marks/Greenhill…

    This isn’t meant to say there aren’t wonderfully gifted kids at ESD, but generally and academically speaking, the school is nothing special.

  • July 27, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    @formerly censored – Ouch!

  • July 27, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    @Leigh – sorry, nothing personal. Just my view after having researched the local privates and having been behind the walls at at least one of ’em.

    As I said, there are some very bright kids at ESD and also some wonderful teachers there too…

  • July 27, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    To Formerly Censored:

    ESD is an impressive school. The facilities there are equal to any grade/high school anywhere in Dallas- and on the athletic side in particular-far surpass anything at Townview and Dallas ISD. By the way I am a Townview graduate (’99 business magnet) and have a finance degree from Sam Houston State University, 2003.

    Many of these students could rival of these students academically now. That may not have been true in the 1990’s when I was at Townview. But today, the TAG kids even would have their hands full. Going to an ESD graduation is almost like going to a university commencement now. I say that in that degree’s aren’t being handed but they sure land some top speakers.

    I’m sure a number of students are what we consider upper middle-class. I took a tour and they openly said to me because of the economy- fewer attempts are made by families to get into the elite schools for that reason.

  • July 27, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    This is a corrected version of my comments above.

    ESD is an impressive school. The facilities there are equal to any grade/high school anywhere in Dallas- and on the athletic side in particular-far surpass anything at Townview and Dallas ISD. By the way I am a Townview graduate (‘99 business magnet) and have a finance degree from Sam Houston State University, 2003.

    Many of ESD’s students could rival students at Townview academically now. That may not have been true in the 1990’s when I was at Townview. But today, the TAG kids even would have their hands full. Going to an ESD graduation is almost like going to a university commencement now. I say that in that degree’s aren’t being handed but they sure land some top speakers.

    I’m sure a number of students in ESD are what we consider upper middle-class in addition to the multimillionares and billionares- like Perot’s and Jones’ grandkids among their student body. Obviously, unless you had a scholarship- its impossible for a family of modest means to get into ESD. I took a tour and they openly said to me because of the economy- fewer attempts are made by many families to get into the elite colleges for that reason.

  • July 27, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    @Leigh: The headmaster salaries for Hockaday, St. Mark’s, and Greenhill are all available on Guidestar – check the back few pages of the most recent Form 990s. All are around half million, with Hockaday and St. Mark’s being slightly above and Greenhill being slightly below. While I think that the St. Mark’s headmaster has been at the school the longest of the three, it goes to show that these folks are definitely well paid, as are most chief executives of nonprofits that have an annual budget in the $20-30 million range. These are charities that are expected to be run like businesses, and you have to compensate their chief executives accordingly. Look up the 990s of the DMA and the Dallas Symphony – those CEOs are receiving compensation packages in the half million dollar range as well. So it’s not outside the realm of possibility that Father Swann is receiving a compensation package that is now close to $1m considering how long he’s been at the school.

    I’m not sure why you can’t find the ESD 990 info on Guidestar – they may operate under a different corporate name or be incorporated as part of a church.

  • July 27, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    This seems like yet another frivolous lawsuit where the attorneys get rich. How much are the plaintiffs attorneys making on this one?

  • July 27, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    @Why – Interesting that you would call the lawsuit ‘frivolous’ without benefit of the facts. I’m guessing youre an ESD parent who has invested $250K per child, who attends all of the social and fundraising events and your life revolves around the school. Why else would someone call this lawsuit ‘frivolous’??? On what basis do you make this claim???

    I would turn your question around. Why would ESD do nothing to protect a student who was being groomed for months by a teacher? Where there were countless emails, texts, bills charged to ESD from hotels, where the alleged abuser confessed an illicit relationship to the school and where the victim was labeled, branded and expelled?? Seeking justice is “frivolous”??

    Why don’t you ask about the Christian principles guiding the decision to expel the victim? A decision that the school’s own psychologist said he wouldn’t have made.

    It could have been YOUR kid, “why”. Keep that in mind.

  • July 27, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    @check guidestar – Thanks for the information. So, non-profits and charities? Who’s not profiting with a $1M+ salary? Who’s receiving charity?

    – Moms of daughters do not want their daughters to be infected by teenage, female sexuality. They think it is contagious. Thus, the expulsion. 35-year-old man – “that’s just a man being a man” That’s the bottom line in this case. Like it or not, agree or not, the family just said “enough is enough!”

  • July 27, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    @Formerly Censored – Sounds to me like a girl had an affair with her teacher, it didn’t work out, and caused a huge distraction at the school and the students and she needed to be removed from the insitution because it was affecting the entire environment. And now mommy and daddy (with the help of greedy trial lawyers)are mad at the school for the removal of the daughter and want to sue the school for something that their daughter was a willing participant (at least for a while). Not condoning this and not condoning the teacher – that is statutory rape. But suing the school for $10M seems to me like a typical trial lawyer type of manuever. Ridiculous lawsuit. School is not liable. Press charges against the teacher if they want, but suing the school is absurd.

  • July 27, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    With all the crap you guys are saying above and half of which are lies, I decided to go to the courthouse today to do my own snooping. Word in the hall is that Lisa Blue Baron is now signed up as Plaintiffs counsel. I guess Charla Aldous was scared or overwhelmed that she just couldn’t handle such a case, as its obvious to me that her legal assistant Brent is not worth a damn.

    I have no doubt what supposedly happened is wrong. This student had sex with a teacher, not just one time, but several times. If this teacher was such a predator, why did she continue to have sex with this guy… Seems like to me she had a major crush on this teacher. While I’m not saying what the teacher did is right, as I still think he broke the law by having sex with this kid, but hell, she kept on sleeping with this guy for months. I guess you guys above are going to say that she was brainwashed or some crap like that.

    The reality of this situation is this teacher broke the law, this student enjoyed the attention and obvously the sex. I would have asked her to leave the school too with such a scandal. If the parents could afford this school, being the most expensive private school in Texas then they could have put her into another private school.

    When did the parents find out about this sex with a teacher issue? Was it the first time it happend or after they had a number of rolls in the sheets? Seems like these parents didn’t chat much with the kid. Sounds like a disfunctionaly family to me… and then lets go and blame someone else for the lack of parental control that should have been implemented.

    My last thoughts are this: The judge in this case is a idiot. I’m saddened to think that the judge in this case was even elected. This case should have been thrown out of court months ago. Its a complete waste of tax payers dollars. Doe family go back to preston hollow and put your daughter through college and get some parenting counseling. ESD, get your crap together and get a better knowledge of who you guys are hiring.

  • July 27, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    @Why- I totally agree.

  • July 27, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    @Why and @LadyBlue –

    I suspected the venom would come out when I suggested that the self-worth of many parents would be challenged when the truth about ESD is told.. and apparently I was right.

    Just as ESD did, the two of you, without benefit of any of the facts contained in the court documents (links are available above) blame the victim for her own psychological and sexual abuse. The hate you express toward the family – who have certainly gone through hell in dealing with this – is really difficult to read. I wonder which of the lovely parents I’ve met in past you are.. and how different you likely are in person. “Doe family go back to Preston Hollow…get some counseling..?”

    – Did you discover this love and understanding through one of Father Swann’s sermons? It’s beyond me how someone can send their child to a religious school and spew this hatred toward this family.. It truly is sickening to read your words, Lady Blue.

    You write, “the reality of this situation…the student enjoyed the attention and the sex”. Jaw droppingly stupid, cruel and ignorant. I suggest you learn more about grooming and rape before you embarass yourself further:

    And @Why – this is NOT an ‘affair’. Read the documents. The student refused the teachers advances, as is typical in grooming, and was completely manipulated, including and up until the time the police found them in a car. Campbell instructed her on what to say, which she did – but she finally opened up and told the truth.

    Shame on the two of you.

  • July 27, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Everyone has their own opinion and views. Lady Blue and I saw a much different court room today. What I saw in the court room today is that the plaintiffs pulverized the defendants. However, I would agree with Lady Blue on her very last point. ESD needs to do a better job of vetting teachers.

  • July 27, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    @Outraged – I dont know that Campbell had any prior incidents that would have led ESD to think he was capable of what he (allegedly) did.

    However, they did fail to oversee his ESD credit cards, his laptop, phone.. and gossip (amongst teachers) around the school. I think this could have been discovered much earlier than it had.

    Glad to know that the plaintiffs started out strong. If the documents filed thus far are a good indication of what’s ahead, as I assume they will be, then it should be a slam-dunk for the plaintiffs and a few ESD administrators will learn a valuable lesson on compassion, kindness and caring trumping PR. (They got the PR wrong anyway.)

  • July 27, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Formerly Censored – and I’ve suspected the stupidity would come out once I posted my thoughts. You claim the “truth about ESD” would come out…. they just sat the jury today… you already have convicted ESD before knowing the real truth.. You are obviously talking to the family or the plaintiff’s attorneys in this case.

    As for the court documents, how lame you are to think that everything filed in court is 100% fact, are you really this naive? Did you read in the court document that the “family have gone through hell” I say, What the HEll EVER!! what about what the school is going through? Ever thought about that?

    Your comment about rape and grooming is laughable. Rape is a one time encounter, are you saying that everytime the teacher and the student had sex, that he raped her? Go back to the courthouse or look at your links above and see what the teacher is charged with… Not several counts of rape.

    Formerly Censored, do you know the facts about this case? was there only one sexual encounter? or was there several encounters? I base my opinions on what I’ve read as well. I have no doubt that the evidence will show that the kid played an equal part in this situation.

    Its sad that the parents continue to pursue this matter. They need to accept the fact that this kid made her own decisions, despite those decisions being good or bad. Accept the fact that this kid is no angel and move on.

  • July 27, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    @Formerly Censored – Agreed! I’m not sure that ESD would have found prior issues in a background check, but they should have caught the red flags much sooner.

  • July 27, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    @Lady Blue and @Outraged Citizen, Stop me and say hi tomorrow if you’re in court. I could use a couple of correspondents to point out Preston Hollow-like items, such as Lisa Blue Baron.

  • July 27, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Outrage are you serious…. that “the plaintiffs pulverized the defendants” They only went over jury selection. There was no testimony…. You must have been napping. There was no excitment, no testimony, no nothing. Yet another example of not knowing what the hell your listening too or understanding what your watching.

  • July 27, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    I think “pulverized” is still the proper word to use for the jury selection day. But again, I will agree with you that jury selection is boring compared to what the actual trial will bring tomorrow. What happens when the jurors come in will be the reveal we’ve all been waiting for. Let’s see what happens and discuss tomorrow!

  • July 27, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    @”Lady”Blue –

    Yes, I know what I’m talking about. I’ve read every single page of every document filed on both sides. I know what ESD claims and what the plaintiffs claim and most importantly I know what they agree on and what was said in the deposition excerpts from almost everyone involved.

    I find it shocking that in this day and age, someone who considers herself a religious person, who sends her kid(s) to an Episcopal school – can express such hatred for a victim of sexual abuse and assault. The bile you have for the family and for the victim really says quite a lot about you and how wrapped up you are in the school’s culture.

    You may want to take a giant deep breath and ask yourself why you are so angry and hate-filled toward this girl and her family. The answer may reveal quite a lot about yourself. You may also want to look up the word “compassion” on your iPhone’s dictionary.

    You also might want to refrain from saying things like the act of sexual predators “grooming” victims is ‘laughable’. I suspect that even in your circle, you’d be ridiculed for your stupidity.

    Claire – if you’d like to contact me through my email address I would be glad to share some very interesting information that doesn’t appear in the court documents.

  • July 27, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Censored – I have no doubt that we will continue to disagree until the family walks with no money and then you will say how the family was railroaded or that the jury was paid off or the judge was partial… I can hardly wait. As for my hatred, I think you have the wrong, I hate no one, I pity the parties in this situation. If you claim to know your stuff and read all the documents, have you noticed that Campbell has not been convicted of anything at this time? Or have you failed to read that while being brainwashed by the “victims” family or while “reading” the court documents

    You are very good at being evasive about the facts of this case and have already determined in your little mind that ESD is to blame… If you claim to know the facts about this case, I have no doubt you will be shocked when the Real evidence is presented. I have no doubt that you will see that the “victim” was not so innocent at all. that the family was not so functional as you think they are. You also might have an issue with perception and reality. Your perception is soooo off on this entire matter. I feel reality might slap you in the face in the very near future.

    As for my “circle” that run in, its a circle that is based on facts not fiction and not fed with lies and misunderstandings of the facts. While I would love to invite you into my circle but I have no doubt that you would be asked to leave due to the level of “stupidity” that you seem to carry with you.

    Bottom line is that there has been no testimony, stop trying to lay blame on ESD when you dont have the facts. Its people like you who are eaten up with bitterness and jealousy that have made a decision based on “what you have read” to lay blame against an institution before they have had the chance to show what really happened…

    The evidence will prove you wrong..

  • July 27, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Lacy blue

    I hope you attend and see the right rev. Swann singlehandedly ruin the school , embarrass those associated with it and ultimately forfeit its bogus tax exempt status.

    His depo excerpts in the file are only a snippet of his arrogant incompetence.

    Isn’t Aldous the lawyer who put 150million on presby a couple of years ago ?

  • July 27, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    Where to even begin with this. I assume that I have, but I hope I never cross paths with you again. You truly are a bitter and hate-filled person and have no compassion for anyone but yourself, your circle of friends and the school you’ve invested so much of your money, time and self-worth in.

    1. Campbell: Facts: He was caught by police with the victim late at night in a parking lot. He quickly resigned from ESD, after telling them what he had done. His wife divorced him and his attorneys have said that if called at this trial, he would take the fifth. There is no dispute that he sent numerous emails and text messages, including explicit words and photos to the victim. There is no dispute that he booked hotel rooms using his ESD credit card. So, pull your head out of wherever it currently is and get some facts.

    2. The victim – had been pursued by Campbell for quite a long time. There are documents that indicate the he was her ‘first’. That you call allegations of grooming (as supported by the emails, txts, etc.) ‘laughable’ is truly sad.. and sickening.

    3. Assuming that the victim’s family was dysfunctional, and even assuming that the victim was some sort of wild child – where is your understanding and compassion? It’s OK in your bizarro world for a married 36 y/o teacher to pursue and have sex with a child from a dysfunctional family? Are you freaking insane? Listen to yourself!!

    If some troubled teen from a dysfunctional family made sexual overtures to some teacher (which was not the case here), then the appropriate response by a loving, nurturing Christian school is for the child to be counseled and treated with kindness.

    Yet, in your mind, it’s her fault for what happened.

    Where are your “facts”? I haven’t seen anything from you apart from name calling – this lawyer is a ‘joke’ – etc.

    Honestly, if people you know are reading this, they will not find you informed or interesting or acting in the best interest of ESD. They’ll think you’re a racist, victim-blaming nutjob, which really is all one can conclude from your words.

    I’m sorry if I touched a nerve with you – as I obviously have done. It’s too bad that you feel so threatened and attacked when ESD is challenged in any way. ESD is not you and you are not ESD. (In spite of the fact that your life apparently revolves around the school and that you’ve spent $250K/child there to achieve an academic result that is no better than the local public schools.)

    The evidence will prove me wrong, huh? Well if ESD’s attorneys argue on behalf of their client as well as you do, they’re doomed.

  • July 27, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    Come on folks, the personal attacks need to stop. Let the system play out.

    I did look at Guidestar at comparable schools and ask why ESD has so many 501 entities as compared to StM, H, G, U and J?

    ESD seems to claim to be a 501 like U and J, but is not affiliated with the Dallas Dioceses, and according to their own records aren’t a church. They do appear to be a charitable entity as a school, but not a religious entity.

    Dallas Dioceses says that ESD is an independent school like StM, so it would seem they should be filing 990s, Why are ESD finances so hard to figure out and where is there Board of Directors listed in all of this? That’s a really interesting part of this.

  • July 28, 2011 at 12:25 am

    Censored a/k/a onesided punk.

    I awaited your response but to my dismay, just more crap from a paid family rep/plaintiffs personnel.

    again, campbell has not been convicted of anything, did you research that? Obviously not.

    did the child in this situation have only 1 sexual encounter with Campbell? I think not, did your research show you that? Or did you overlook such facts on purpose.

    Compassion or the lack of, whatever you want to call it, its hard to have compassion when we don’t have the entire story. according to you, you have the entire story, have you personally chatted with the district attys office and found Campbell guilty? No… you havnt. Have you personally talked to the kid in this case and the family…. I think i already know your answer, but for you to save face you will say crap like “you read the court documents” What I think I’ve discovered is an eager individual who is probably working with the Plaintiffs to start “stating facts” or leaking information to the press.

    I really don’t care what you think of me. You can sit all night and talk crap.. the bottom line is that you dont’ have all the facts.. the case hasn’t been heard yet. You have chosen to take a side and act all high and mighty claiming you have read certain documents, which in fact these documents were more than likely leaked to you by the family or the Plaintiffs attys.

    How do you know what the school did or didn’t do to the student after campbells resignation? Were you present? Or did the family let you know personally of what happened? You speculate as to the worse situation where in fact you dont’ really know what actions were taken.

    I act alone when i type this… I do not represent ESD nor am I acting in the interest of anyone. What I am doing is having an open mind and listening to everything.. I’ve not made a decision, obviously you have a tainted thought process of what the real facts are. I’m glad your not on the jury….

    what I do with my money is really none of your business. I’ve determined that you and your family were probably turned down by ESD… that is why your so one-sided.

    as for what people think of me… I could care less. I think what people will gain from reading this blog is that your an extremely one-sided individual or your part of the plaintiffs team or a plaintiff in the case yourself….

    you claim to have touched a nerve with me…. not really. I deal with little people like you all the time in my line of business… your one of those little punks who claim they have all the answers and in reality don’t know a damn thing.

    I look forward to hearing what kind of crap you will gather tomorrow and falsely blog about. I also look forward to more comments to me and about the school. I truly enjoy your comments, no matter how incorrect and one–sided they may be. I just might show up to the court tomorrow and get the fact for myself and let the real truth be told. good night you little looser.

  • July 28, 2011 at 12:30 am

    Smith – I agree about the personal attacks…. but if that punk brings it, I will certainly give it right back.

    ESD is a 501 c 3, nonprofit and doesnt file any taxes including the 990. As for the board of directors… thats public knowledge.. I guess your not looking in the right place… if you need some help, let me know… or if you want to know who they are, let me know.

  • July 28, 2011 at 12:36 am

    and for you “concerned Parent” If your a concerned parent with kids at ESD, take your kids and leave… Father swann founded this school when there was no other place for kids when they left St. Michaels. Its been up and running for 30 plus years, Father Swann obviously knows what he is doing and has put people in place to carry on its mission. While you might not like Father Swann I don’t think you or any other family will bring this place down.

    As for the nonprofit issues and not paying tax issue, all the other spiritual schools in dallas county and in texas all file under the same 501 c 3 filing, are you anti those schools too?

  • July 28, 2011 at 12:44 am

    “Punk” – lol! You are charming.

    You continue to smear the victim, this time with the number of interactions she had with Campbell. Yet ESD’s own psychologist said in his deposition:

    Q: Do you believe that {Jane Doe III}, as a 16-year old, could consent to a sexual relationship with John Nathan Campbell?

    A: No

    Father Swann testified:

    Q: Father Swann, do you agree that [Jane Doe II], when she was a student at ESD, lacked the legal capacity to consent to a sexual relationship with an adult?

    A: Yes

    So, your argument that multiple encounters somehow places blame on the victim isn’t supported by Father Swann nor the psychologist (who wasn’t consulted in the discussion to dismiss Jane Doe).

    Clearly, you dont have the slightest idea of what youre talking about.

    I will leave you with this, and I hope you find it helpful:

    Your = Your is the second person possessive adjective, used to describe something as belonging to you. Your is nearly always followed by a noun.

    You’re = You’re is the contraction of “you are” and is often followed by the present participle (verb form ending in -ing).

    Looser = to make something more loose. I think you meant to call me a “loser”.

    Hope that helps!

  • July 28, 2011 at 8:27 am

    @ Lady Blue, only religious institutions are not required to file 990s. J and U are private schools that are contolled by the Catholic Dioceses and don’t file 990s, but have seperate endowment entities it appears that do file. StM, H and G operate entirely under a single 501 entity and file 990s disclosing compensation, all assets, etc. ESD has many 501s. The ESD endowment trust appears to operate like the similar entities for J and U, but ESD is not contolled or affiliated with the Episcopal Dioceses. ESD has a 501 entity, ESD, Inc., that claims a religious exemption, but does not seem to qualify. Could ESD have been not properly reporting income for all these years? Not that all would be taxable, but is this how Swann has hidden his salaries and accumulated wealth? A $1,000,000 per year goes a log way.

    Found the board of directors for ESD’s endowment trust, but not for ESD, Inc. (the religious entity), can you help?

    Looked at appraisal district, motor vehicle records, etc. and it’s not hard to guess with the SBS Wellness Center that ESD has to have assets among all these entities exceeding $65,000,000, may be $75,000,000.

    Where’s the IRS expert on this one? Anyone? According to ESD’s records they built the chapel back in 2003 but that’s not when they claimed the exemption. So, how are they a church? Does anyone else find thin interesting? Makes me wonder if this is why ESD has so many law firms working on this.

  • July 28, 2011 at 8:30 am

    All I can say is WOW after having read the latest comments. I am a former ESD Mom. My kids are grown now (supposedly). I watched ESD become what it is today. My kids went to St Michael’s and then on to ESD, and I go to SMAA.
    Lady Blue – get a grip. Your comments are so hateful and one-sided it is a joke. You negate anyone taking you seriously when you speak the way you do.
    I have tons of friends with children still at ESD and have heard a lot about this situation.
    The bottom line for me is that Jane Doe was a minor and Campbell was her teacher. It doesn’t really matter what she did. He was wrong. Not saying she was right, but she was a minor. The teacher is the authority figure here. The school did not handle the situation well, and if I were her parents I might have sued too.
    Father Swann has his own set of issues, and anyone that has been there knows that.
    I will watch with great interest how this trial goes and will enjoy all of the comments.
    I have grandchildren now. Where to send them? Hmmmm…

  • July 28, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Aldous, Blue, and team are typical trial lawyers – only out to pocket their cash so that they can run off with their lawyer jet setting friends like John Edwards. This is a frivolous case brought on by a girl who had CONSENSUAL relations with a teacher and then, for whatever reason, decided that it was over (could she have been the one who was dumped and this is a way to get back?). School had no choice but to get her out of the classroom – it was becoming a distraction. Some of you all don’t know the facts and want to knock ESD when in fact there is so much more to the story. But the money grubbing plaintiffs attorneys will make this out to be very different than what the facts actually were. In the process they will bring down a fine school only to line their pockets. They should be ashamed.

  • July 28, 2011 at 9:50 am

    I guess since no one responded to my post, everyone agrees with my point that ESD is not only among the most expensive, but among the best schools academically anywhere.

    Formerly Censored, why do you say ESD is not a great school academically? I’d like to here your answer.

  • July 28, 2011 at 10:17 am

    For what it’s worth, plaintiff’s attorneys standard contingency for taking on these types of actions is 40% of total award. If ESD is held to $500,000 state cap for not-for-profits (which it is, there is no legal basis to argue otherwise), there is no way on earth any plaintiff attorney takes this on. What a mess.

  • July 28, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Matthew – ESD is not a ‘bad’ school – but for the 25K/student/year and all the hype – there are better options. One department boasts advanced degrees in many of the teachers, yet upon closer inspection, the advanced degrees are in things like theology and English, not in the subject that’s being taught.

    When you look at the colleges that ESD kids attend, apart from the dozen or so that get into ‘good’ schools, the majority get into the same middle-of-the-road schools that any other private or local public school would have.

    Also, when you compare full-scholarships – I’m nearly certain that St. Marks and Hockaday, for instance, have a far greater number of students that receive full rides…

    Anyway, ESD is not a ‘bad’ school academically, but it’s by no means a Hockaday or St. Marks. I dont think I’m surprising anyone by saying that!

    As for you, “Why” – Both the school psychologist and Father Swann agree that the victim could not consent to what happened. Since she could not consent, a crime was committed, a crime which was perpetrated over months.

    The victim’s attorneys arent bringing down the school, its the arrogance of Father Swann, the blind eye which was turned to all the signs that this was going on, Campbell’s sickness – and the subsequent SICK behavior of blaming the victim.

    I truly feel sorry for people like you who would stoop to trashing the teenage victim of sexual and psychological assault to protect your ESD-centric self-esteem issues.

    Have you learned nothing from your bible?

  • July 28, 2011 at 10:33 am

    @Why — can’t tell if troll or just ignorant. Your speculation about breakup and revenge is just wrong — their illegal relationship ended when they were caught by the police.

    And I don’t think you know what “frivolous” means in this context — if the suit were “frivolous,” then it would be thrown out and the attorneys sanctioned. Assuming this a contingency case, then the Doe’s attorneys will get paid only if they can prove that ESD did something wrong (or if ESD essentially admits it and settles before getting a jury verdict. If they can’t prove it, they won’t get paid, and will certainly be in the hole for many thousands of dollars.

    Contrast with ESD’s attorneys, who actually have been told by a federal court that they have made essentially baseless filings in this matter, and who I’m certain are getting a big paycheck from ESD every single month for those sort of games. I wonder how other ESD parents feel about having their tuition dollars lining the pockets of Royce West and Crystal whats-her-name? I think ESD has made poor decisions and gotten awful advice from the beginning.

  • July 28, 2011 at 10:58 am

    @Mathew – ESD IS one of the best academically, BUT it is not as hardcore as some of the other schools. In other words, it is academically rigorous, but there is room for kids who struggle a LITTLE. I think the other top private schools do not provide an opportunity for kids with SLIGHT learning differences. I could be wrong. Some kids go to another school for a while (like Shelton) until they get ready, academically, to come back to ESD. Furthermore, there is a culture of wealth and prestige and “keeping up with the Joneses” (ha! Literally) at the school. It’s very annoying, especially if you are a family with no elite country club memberships, private jets, or second homes, but, hey! All the top private schools are that way. It takes money to hire good teachers and provide good facilities. The teachers (not necessarily the parents), are very good about not granting preferential treatment to the super-wealthy!! The LS chapel is the sweetest religious ceremony you could ever attend. On that note, ESD is a great school for people looking for a spiritual environment free of fundamentalism. As for Father Swann, he doesn’t always use the best judgment (at the heart of this case), AND, as you can read, most people either really love him or really hate him. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed, he hasn’t done anything illegal. He is not a bad man. Was the situation handled poorly? Yes. Do I hate to see a young girl treated like a hussy? Yes. Absolutely. ….regardless of the role she played. She was only sixteen.
    @former ESD mom – thank you for your post. It is the sanest of them all.

  • July 28, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Agree with Leigh. The numbers of kids on extended time would probably shock most parents. (or not)

  • July 28, 2011 at 11:19 am

    FC – Hockaday has been in continuous existence since 1913. St. Marks has existed in some form since 1906. ESD began in the 1970s, and continues to be operated under it’s founding headmaster. Hockaday, St. Marks, and Greenhill are all fine college prep schools. To suggest one is superior over another is a matter of perspective. As you likely know, Hockaday and St. Marks focus on single sex education. Perhaps a more appropriate marker would be Greenhill, in that both ESD and Greenhill focus on coeducational education. In any event, all 4 of these schools are private schools of choice for parents in this community. If you have chosen to send your child to one of these schools, that is wonderful. If you have chosen not to send your children to ESD, that, too is your perogative. If you believe there are “better options”, and ESD is not worth the “hype”, that is also your choice. It is not necessary to value your choice over others.

    If you look at the college admissions data each school provides:

    (can’t find St. Marks easily)

    I gently suggest the overall quality of admissions is, in fact, quite similar. For point of reference, “the dozen or so” ESD graduates that get into “good” (your emphasis, not mine, feel free to explain your definition of what constitutes a “good” school) schools represent 10-15% of ESD annual graduates. In my experience, each child graduating from all of these schools is different, with unique talents and skills. Choosing the appropriate college is tricky, and frankly, schools many children choose to attend may not be what you might call a “good” school. If the child is happy and thrives, isn’t that the appropriate place for that child to be, regardless of what you might consider a better name over another?

    I would further gently suggest that asserting that Hockaday and St. Marks have a greater number of graduates that receive full rides does not make it so. And, as you may well know, each of these school’s annual cost is about the same.

    Finally, this situation is tragic. The young lady involved did not deserve this. Neither does she deserve all of us discussing it when the people who know what happened are not you and me. I am reasonably aware of what transpired in the months after the teacher and the young lady were caught together. This legal action likely will not sort that out in a way that is satisfactory to anyone. The teacher has been criminally charged, not yet prosecuted. I understand the family’s desire for this action, and believe they wish to hold something responsible for the criminal actions perpetrated against their child. What I do not, and will never understand, is what possible benefit will be derived by this action and the necessary testimony in open court by this young lady of what she experienced over an extended period of time. It is my job as a parent to protect and nurture my children, not perpetuate the trama.

  • July 28, 2011 at 11:52 am

    @Matt – Not a troll. A parent of ESD students who knows what really happened. And if you think the lawyers involved are “angels”, I got some news for you – check out who Lisa Blue Baron’s ex husband was….the same Fred Baron who illegally paid off all of John Edwards “women” friends….If anyone should know about sex cases…..yes, the lawyers are in it simply for altruristic purposes….yeah, right….

  • July 28, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    @formerly censored – I did not mean “extended time.” My point was that ESD is more forgiving of SLIGHT learning differneces, which is a good thing. It is easy to extrapolate that you have a bone to pick with ESD.

    About the tuition – it’s all a matter of supply and demand.

  • July 28, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Leigh – There are kids there with more than ‘slight’ differences. Not many, but there are some.

    Do I have a bone to pick with ESD? I suppose you could put it that way. I think it would be more accurate to say that after seeing the way some/many parents and students (and even a teacher) responded to this crime and attacked the victim – that the story meant something to me.

    As someone who has a relative that went through something like this, I find it unbelievable that so many parents and students would not just attack -but attempt to harm – the victim. (See the disgusting comments posted by an ESD student on, for a vomit inducing example. I assume that student signed the honor code, by the way.)

    Anyway, the extended time issue is another story and also says a lot about the school and its culture.

  • July 28, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    “Extended time issue” says what? That the school makes allowances for learning differences? And what in the world could that say about the school’s culture? If one considers extended time is only granted through independent 3rd party recommendation, one might, generously, consider the school is cognizant about getting it’s students the academic resources needed to thrive.

    On the one hand, your professed issue is with the way “some/many” parents and students responded to the situation. On the other, it is about what the school costs. On a third, it is about how other private schools in the area are superior.

    Your posts are written in a way that you have personal experience with ESD, in that you state there are some children there with more than slight learning differences. Unless you are in the school administration, how can you possibly know that? If ESD is not, in your opinion, equal to St. Marks or Hockaday, then for goodness sake, don’t associate with the school. If you are affiliated with the Doe’s, I am very sorry for what this young lady experienced. The blame largely rests with Mr. Campbell. You have no idea what transpired after that unless you were in the room. Court pleadings do not a court case make.

  • July 28, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    You can read the depositions and pleadings and read exactly what ESD administration replied to direct questions. I didn’t have to be in the room to know, for instance, that the decision to remove the victim from the school was taken without consulting the psychologist. I base my opinions not solely on the complaint, but on ESD’s responses. And so the things that I state as fact, come from ESD’s own lips.

    As far as extended time, any student attending ESD will know just how many kids in his/her classes are permitted to spend 50% or 100% longer (or more) taking exams. Its not a secret – and the % of students on extended time is, by all accounts, very, very large. Is it parents gaming the system? Or can there possibly be that many kids with ‘issues’ at one school?

    The rest of your gripes with what I’ve written are peripheral to this topic and were my responses to others. I do feel it’s poor value for the money considering the other options out there – Ursuline, Hockaday, St. Marks, Cistercian – etc. And I base my information on having been behind the walls of some of these schools. If you disagree – that’s fine.

  • July 28, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Setting the record straight…

    Formerly Censored-
    1. Yes, Campbell is legally responsible. Yes, she could not legally consent to his “grooming” as you call it. But the point is that she did not refuse his come-ons. Instead, she repeatedly engaged in them for about 6 months! The fact that she could not legally consent does not matter, as I’ll explain in a second.
    2. One thing that has not been mentioned here is how the girl talked to peers in Fall 2009 about how “hot and sexy” Mr. Campbell was. Also, after Campbell’s departure she spread rumors that it was another girl who had a relationship with him. You’ve heard I’m sure about the Sara Campbell incident-“Go see if she still has her wedding ring”!
    3. All of these incidents were reason enough for the school to expel her. Additionally, the results of her actions caused disruption on the campus and the environment was not healthy for her anymore. She needed to start fresh and be forced to start fresh.
    4. I don’t care what psychologist Andy McGarrahan thought. Despite the fact that she is legally a victim of “assault,” she knew that having an affair with a teacher was a no-no. Campbell suffered consequences for breaking school rules; so did she, and rightly so. This was an administrative decision – there was no need for Dr. Andy to have input.
    5. The school can expel anybody whenever they want to. It’s in the contract. Let me ask you this, Formerly Censored: If someone at ESD was expelled for shooting a gun, would you be on blogs saying that they should have asked the counselor if this would impact his “emotional state”? Probably not. It’s no different for the girl; she broke school rules, spread lies, and acted poorly. The school shouldn’t try to support the emotional well-being of every Preston Hollow resident over having a good school. The girl permanently disrupted the school environment, for herself, teachers, and students: She needed to go.
    6. About the credit cards. This just shows how little you know about ESD. Campbell was the Director of the Center for Global Citizenship and its programs. Because of that, he frequently used school suburbans to conduct legit ESD business. He also represented ESD on trips, and stayed in hotels. He coordinated and went on trips to China and India, and used various school vehicles and credit card to transport and buy things for the Indian visitors ESD had in October 2009.
    So no red flags would have been raised even if the school had looked at his credit card.
    7. I and (many) other ESD community members are not “wrapped up in the school’s culture.” I frequently criticize ESD for misdeed when necessary about other things, but this is not one of those things. I view ESD as a great school- great teachers,parents,and administration and most of all a sense of community found nowhere else. As Another Parent said, academically they’re really about the same, and the extended-time things is not as widespread as you make it sound– it’s certainly nowhere near 50% and I Know about these things!
    8. I have nothing against the victim. I also know her parents, and they are nice people and probably well meaning. Still, the only thing you can say about the school is that they erred in trying to hide the scandal, since it came out anyway, but other than that, their decisions were sound.

    Lady blue- Try to tone down the attacks a little. Thanks for bringing a pro-ESD view to the table though.

    To everyone- this case, by the way, will not bring the school down. ESD’s board loves Fr. Swann, and everyone at ESD is hoping it goes well for ESD. Admissions is still overflowing with tons of wannabe Eagles.
    Sorry to burst your bubbles.

  • July 28, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    To ESD Insider:

    1. I don’t see how where you explain that since she could not legally consent it doesn’t matter.
    2. Agreed. Her behavior was not appropriate at all.
    3. No doubt there was disruption. She may well have needed a fresh start. ESD should have worked with the parents to make that transition as non disruptive to everyone as possible.
    4. Despite the fact that she is legally a victim of “assault” – I don’t need to say anything further. She was a VICTIM.
    5. Yep. The school can expel anyone they want. Your gun analogy is really poor… The school certainly shouldn’t try and support the emotional well being of every Preston Hollow resident, but it certainly should try and support the well being of every one of its students.
    6. I work for a corporation and travel quite a bit. I can promise you if I submitted a hotel bill for a personal evening it would be caught, and I would be fired. No questions asked. That’s the job of your employer, to examine your expenses. Otherwise who knows what might be submitted.
    7. ESD is a fine school. Not as rigorous academically as some but a fine school none the less.
    8. The decision for Jane Doe to leave may have been the right one, but how the school handled it speaks volumes. They erred in many ways.
    9. This will not bring down ESD regardless of how the court case goes. We can only hope that the school will have learned something from this and change their ways going forward.

  • July 28, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    Former ESD Mother:

    I completely agree that ESD should try and support the well-being of every one of its students. But there comes a point when disruption to the community and the gravity of the misconduct make separation from the school in the best interest of the school and the expelled student.
    Jane Doe reached this point for reasons I stated earlier. ESD initially did its best to support her but once she got out of control, they had no choice other than to expel her.
    When you think about it, every expelled student probably has emotional problems that need working through. But once again, their disruptions make their staying unwise for all involved.
    I agree that the handling of the situation by ESD was poor. They should have been more open and upfront. But ultimately their decision to expel her was right. In other words, I don’t think they should have done anything differently, except for being honest to the community about what happened and using it as a learning experience. News spreads no matter what.
    About the credit cards, again — I am not attempting to excuse the school; they should have monitored his usage, but his situation does not really parallel with your corporate travels. His charges were not exorbitant enough to dent his departmental budget, and if he had gotten really wild in his expenditures, he would have had to answer for needing more funding. Obviously, having Campbell pay for his own bills with school money with no double-checking was ineffective at stopping him, but his budget situation was not the free money avalanche some commenters are portraying it as being.

    My main point in these comments is to dispel the labeling of ESD teachers, students, and parents as villainous. There were missteps, but most everything was done as it should have been. And there is certainly no need for a lawsuit.

  • July 28, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    ESD Insider –

    You are drawing conclusions that I believe are either factually incorrect or demonstrate a lack of understanding on the predator/victim situation:

    1. The victim reported that Campbell began by complimenting and flirting with her. He pursued her via email and TXT messages, had her come to his office.. At one point he grabbed her vaginal area and she refused, pushed him away and left. He continued, attending her sporting events, coming to her house, and eventually his pursuit worked. This is what grooming is. What the victim described was classic grooming. The girl was (allegedly) a victim of his pursuit.

    If you refuse to believe that a 26 year old teacher, a dean of students, has no ability to pursuade a 16 year old girl (who may have been quite vulnerable due to her own issues) – then we can agree to disagree. If you truly believe that, then there’s no point in discussing. I suggest you read up on abuse/grooming and how the victim is manipulated. You would then understand why she might brag to friends, or say things that might – in her mind -elevate her self-esteem.

    2. The school can expel anyone they want, true. But that’s not exactly what happened here. By all accounts the victim was seeing a therapist with good results, and not floundering in school. The catalyst for the forced withdrawal (not expulsion, though it effectively was an expulsion) – was the gossip that the victim asked another student if Mrs. Campbell was wearing a wedding ring.

    I would submit to you that there are better ways of handling this, there are better ways of reaching out to a troubled student – then having her father given the choice of withdrawal or expulsion after the trauma she had just endured.

    When Dr. Andy was asked if he would have done that to the victim, he said ‘no’.

    And in today’s trial, Father Swann was confronted with Erin Mayo’s letter which suggests to me that her concern was gossip and image, rather than the well-being of the child, rather than handling a fixable issue:

    “I dont want her sad story around these halls” – or something like that…

    3. Regarding the oversight of Campbell’s expenses –

    ““Don’t you agree that Nathan Campbell had no fear that ESD was monitoring his credit card when he used it to check into a hotel and have sex with a student?” she asks.

    “Yes,” Swann says.”

    So, I think even Father Swann would disagree with you. Campbell’s accounts should have been monitored.

    4. You just dont know what youre talking about re: extended time.

    5. We’ll see in three weeks time whether or not anyone’s bubble has been burst.

  • July 28, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Also, ESD Insider, you wrote,

    “Formerly Censored: If someone at ESD was expelled for shooting a gun, would you be on blogs saying that they should have asked the counselor if this would impact his “emotional state”? Probably not.”

    While this is a poor analogy as someone above said, here’s a different one:

    What if a student, a classmate of the victim, posted horrible, horrible things about her after she was forced to leave the school? After Father Swann had written a note asking everyone at ESD to refrain from discussing the case… This student slandered her, posted her name and photo online, called her the worst possible curses you can imagine, and blamed her completely for her victimization. Would ESD expel the student?

    Ask around and see if the boy posting as “mailbread” on was expelled.

    And yes, he could be identified.

  • July 28, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    Former ESD Mother – I agree with everything you’ve written. Couldnt have said it better.

  • July 28, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    ESD Insider I could not agree more with you.

    I was in court today and learned so much. I learned that after Campbell resigned from ESD that the student continue to contact him via cell and also driving to his house several times. Do “victims” usually do that? I have no doubt that Censored above will find something in the court records/client’s file, that ESD failed to control this student after hours, OH WAIT.. maybe the teacher brainwashed the victim. I also learned that ESD attempted to suggest ways for the student to move on, suggesting to the family to change her phone number, that never happened and she continued to call, this is one hell of a victim isn’t it.

    Censored, would love to meet you at the court house, would love to have a face-to-face chat with you.

  • July 29, 2011 at 12:00 am

    “Lady” Blue – I have no interest in meeting you, nor anyone like you.

    You should read what Father Swann said today. You obviously didn’t learn what you needed:

    Aldous asks, “Do you believe Jane Doe II is in any way to be blamed for Nathan Campbell’s abuse of her?”

    Swann replies, “She was a child…She was assaulted.”

    Aldous again asks, “Is she to blame?”

    “She is not,” Swann says.

    SHE IS NOT TO BLAME. Get it?

  • July 29, 2011 at 12:01 am

    Lady blue

    As I step back and look at your comments about this victim….are you really a misogynistic man using this psedonym?
    Your ad hominem attacks do nothing but hurt esd’s already tarnished image.

  • July 29, 2011 at 12:05 am

    I was just thinking the same thing, Concerned. I would not be surprised if this was a male posting as a female parent. The grammar, confusion between “your” and “you’re”, spelling errors, using the word “punk” and lamely suggesting that he/she wants to meet me in person – tells me that this is probably a teenage boy.

  • July 29, 2011 at 12:15 am

    Concerned Parent and Censored –
    First of all I’m all woman and proud of it. I don’t feel that ESD has a tarnished image at all. The school continues to thrive despite this bump in the road.

    As for you Concerned, send me your mailing address and I’ll send you an invitation to ESD’s victory party.

  • July 29, 2011 at 8:10 am

    @lady blue – you are sick. There are no victories to be had. There are lots of victims but not victories. I don’t care what side you are on there should not be talk of victory parties. You are not helping ESD a bit with your craziness. The girl is a victim. She shouldn’t have told other kids but that is what kids do. Given that she wouldnt have such a juicy story to tell but for the misdeeds of her teacher, the school had a duty to get her through her last few months of school and minimize the damage to her and her classmates. Not an easy job but it could have been done. If that had been done, we wouldn’t be engaging in a discussion about a lawsuit.

  • July 29, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Wow! just read the DMN – haven’t received my PHP yet. So, could this be the end of Erin Mayo? That was an awfully insensitive thing to say in an email. If it is her end, and I know nothing about her, I hope ESD does not hire an expensive search firm to find a replacement. See, the problem at ESD is growing pains. They are losing the first generation of administrators and they haven’t a clue how to replace them. After the wonderful head of pre-el left, the LS has been feeling its way in the dark. ESD went from a small, mediocre school to a top-tier, elite school in a very short period of time and they just haven’t been able to get their act together quick enough in some areas….like the HR nightmares brought up in court. Saying they can expel anyone at any time is like saying you can fire anyone in Texas for whatever reason because it’s an “at-will” employment state. If you fire someone, you better cross every t and dot every i or you will end up with a wrongful termination lawsuit and this is sort of what has happened to ESD,

    Lady Blue -when I first read your comments, I thought you were a pompous air-kisser in a tennis skirt (PAKTS), but not even a PAKTS would spew such venom. Yes, probably teenage boy or girl.

  • July 29, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Lady Blue:

    I certainly hope ESD has no plans of throwing a victory party. That would be in incredibly poor taste. And I would be surprised if Father Swann wouldn’t agree with me on that.

    There are no victors here.

  • July 29, 2011 at 9:25 am

    @”lady” – I’m stunned again. Even if ESD weren’t found to be responsible for damages to the Does, what possible “victory” in this situation could they celebrate? If you represent the culture over there, then that’s just a poisonous place for anybody to be.

  • July 29, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Lady just can’t be an ESD parent! There’s no way, Matt.

    Former Mother is right. There are no victors here. A wake up call with a cup of decaf is one thing, but a Super-size Red Bull is another!!

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