ESD Trial, Day 11 UPDATED

We’re slated for another full day of testimony in the Doe family’s civil lawsuit against the Episcopal School of Dallas. Jane Doe II, the victim, gave an emotional account yesterday of the entire affair from start to expulsion.

Notable witnesses yet to be called for the plaintiffs include: Erin Mayo, head of the Upper School, John and Jane Doe, the victim’s parents, and Chris Burrow, ESD’s former CFO.

This will be the last day of trial this week, and it will resume a four-day-a-week schedule on Aug. 22.

UPDATE 1:45 p.m.

You likely know the drill by now, but I just finished writing the print story for this week’s edition of Preston Hollow People, hence the delay on posting updates. I’m running late to get back to the proceedings but I’ll give you a snippet.

10 a.m.

Q: How many lawyers does it take to turn on a projector?

A: Judging by the size of ESD’s counsel, more than a dozen.

10:10 a.m.

They finally get everything in order to show clips from Jane Doe II’s video deposition. Chrysta Castaneda asked her on the video, “Why didn’t you tell the truth to Mayo and Royall when they asked you the first time?”

Doe II said she was afraid that even though they said she would be able to stay at ESD that she would still be expelled if they found out.

“Because I was a victim. I was confused, and I was scared. I was betrayed by a teacher,” she said through tears and sobs.

10:15 a.m.

Castaneda asks Doe II what she said after her parents told her she couldn’t go to ESD anymore.

“I said ‘I’m tired of being stomped on. I want a lawyer. This isn’t right,” she said. “I felt like my whole life was being taken from me … The school I went to since kindergarten was blaming me for what their employee did to me. It was horrifying.”

10:30 a.m.

John Doe, Jane Doe II’s father, takes the stand. Cyndy Goosen, attorney for the family, asks him why he chose ESD to educate his four children.

“I thought it was a terrific school when I enrolled the first one there,” he says. “I was a lifelong Episcopalian and it was an Episcopal school. Those were all the requirements I had for a school.”

10:45 a.m.

Doe says he felt supported by Rebecca Royall and Erin Mayo “at first” and even considered them his allies.

The first time he learned his daughter had been involved sexually with her teacher was around Dec. 10, in the office of Jane Doe II’s therapist.

Doe says they had not yet filed criminal charges but Jane Doe II had met with CPS because ESD called them.

11 a.m.

Doe says he got a call from Father Stephen Swann, founder and headmaster of ESD, in December of 2009. Swann told him he couldn’t imagine what the family was going through and gave Doe his cell phone number with instructions to call him “24/7” if he could help in anyway.

“I remember telling him thank you,” Doe says.

This conversation apparently slipped Swann’s mind, who testified earlier that he never reached out to family prior to Jane Doe II’s expulsion because he thought it would be “inappropriate.”

Doe says although he wrote the number down, he never called Swann.

11:05 a.m.

Aldous asks Doe about his mindset in the days following the Nov. 29 incident with Farmers Branch police officers.

“In the process of 10 days, I discovered my daughter was found in a parking lot and had had a sexual relationship with a teacher. I was devastated. In some ways I didn’t know what to do.”

11:10 a.m.

Aldous brings up the Jan. 27 meeting with Royall, Mayo, and Doe when Jane Doe II was withdrawn from ESD.

Doe says he was offered the choice of withdrawing his daughter, getting his spring tuition money back, allowing her to have college recommendations, and not having anything on her transcript to indicate expulsion, or having the process to expel his daughter started.

“What was your immediate reaction to this news?” Aldous asks.

“Numbness,” Doe says.

11:20 a.m.

Doe estimates, at Aldous’ request, that the total amount he paid of tuition for his four children at ESD is between $650-700,000. Just for Jane Doe II, he estimates $250,000.

Plaintiffs pass the witness.

11:25 a.m.

State Sen. Royce West cross-examines Doe, asking him if he had ever considered withdrawing his daughter before Jan. 27.

“I’d entertained that possibility, yes,” Doe says.

West reads a quote from Doe’s deposition, “I can tell you for everyday since they were discovered I have evaluated what was in [Jane Doe II’s] best interest.”

11:45 a.m.

Doe says he doesn’t remember if keeping the relationship “hush-hush” ever came up in meetings with ESD administrators.


West asks Doe what his expectations were for his daughter’s education at ESD.

“My expectations were she would get a terrific education,” he says.

“Did she?” West asks.

“I believe she did,” Doe says.

Lunch recess to 1:30 p.m.

2 p.m.

I walked in a bit late to find Castaneda nodding off in the back row and West arguing a motion before Judge D’Metria Benson.

“You’re just a squirrel trying to get a nut, is that what you’re saying Mr. West?” Benson says.

“I already have … I’m not going to say that,” West said with a laugh.

Gee, glad I rushed back from lunch/writing/blogging for that one.

2:15 p.m.

Doe takes the stand again for the continuation of West’s cross-examination. Doe says he can’t remember whether or not he ever signed a contract with ESD for his daughters — or any of his children’s — education.

2:45 p.m.

“Do you believe expelling your daughter was done to cover up the sexual abuse by Nathan Campbell?” West asks.

“No,” Doe says.

West asks if Doe’s other three children were “nurtured and got a great education” at ESD?

Doe says that they were.

“Does it seem odd to you that ESD would be nurturing to three of your kids and then kick out the last one for no reason?” West asks.

“Yes,” Doe says.

Pass witness.

3 p.m.

Goosen takes the witness on rebuttal and asks Doe is he feels he was deceived by the information presented to him in the withdrawal letter.

He says yes.

3:10 p.m.

Plaintiffs call Jane Doe II’s coach to the stand. She says she’s not a full-time employee at ESD.

Aldous says it’s been inferred that the reason the coach has maintained a close relationship with Jane Doe II was because ESD told her to do so.

“Is that a misrepresentation?” Aldous asks.

“Yes,” she says, adding “No one ever told me I needed to continue to work with her. They told me I was allowed to.”

3:15 p.m.

Aldous asks the coach if Rebecca Royall ever told her that Jane Doe II was “a little bit crazy.”

“That was inferred,” the coach says, explaining that before she contacted Jane Doe II after she learned she had been expelled, the coach called Royall and others at the school to make sure it was appropriate for her to continue to communicate with Jane Doe II.

“[Royall] told me I could continue to work with her but inferred hat she was a little bit crazy,” the coach says.

“Were you shocked that Royall said that?” Aldous asks.

“Yes, because it was contrary to what I knew of the student,” the coach says.

3:20 p.m.

“Did you ever find Jane Doe II to be sexually suggestive?” Aldous asks.

“Never,” the coach says.

“Did you ever find Jane Doe II to be overly friendly with any member of the teaching staff?” Aldous asks.

“No,” the coach says.

3:25 p.m.

The coach says Jane Doe II called her on Jan. 31, 2009 (after she had been withdrawn from ESD) and was hysterical. She asked her coach to come over to the house. After confirming that Doe II’s parents were home, and calling the ESD athletic director, the coach agreed to come over to Doe II’s house.

“Was this the first time you knew she had a sexual relationship with Nathan Campbell?” Aldous asks.

“Yes,” the coach says, adding that the news hurt and shocked her.

3:30 p.m.

“Did you see a change in Jane Doe II after she left ESD?” Aldous asks.

The coach says she noticed she seemed insecure, anxious, upset, angry, and frustrated.

“Do you consider Jane Doe II to be a good kid?” Aldous asks.

“Yes,” the coach says.

Pass witness.

4 p.m.

West asks the coach if she was concerned about having Jane Doe II around her family.

“Initially, I had apprehension and I wanted to evaluate the whole thing,” she says.

West goes to ask more questions on this theme and Aldous objects on relevance. Counsels approach the bench, and when West returns he doesn’t ask anymore questions about that.

4:15 p.m.

“It was my choice, given to me by ESD, whether or not to help her,” the coach says.

Pass witness and the plaintiffs have no further questions.

Court is in recess until Monday.

4:25 p.m.

Aldous announces that she has two matters that need to be heard by the court “on the record.”

Those matters will be the subject of a separate blog post tomorrow.

Stay tuned.

56 thoughts on “ESD Trial, Day 11 UPDATED

  • August 16, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Last night I was reading the updates on this blog and my son, who is in his mid 20’s and went to ESD, asked what I was reading. I told him Jane II had taken the stand. He does not know her or much about the case other than a high level synopsis. I began to tell him how she said it started and what happened. Part way into the story he stopped me and said “Mom that is called grooming”. I had never heard of grooming before this case. I was surprised he knew what it was. He said he had studied it in college and also had been trained at his place of employment. Wow! He’s been trained to recognize grooming by his employer.
    What was most interesting to me is that I was unsure how he might respond to the story. Given his age I thought he might take the stance that most of the ESD students seem to have taken – it’s her fault/she knew what she was doing etc. But he didn’t. Goes to show that those years between high school and mid 20’s make a huge difference in your maturity. Teenagers, while they may know what they are doing, have no idea the long term consequences of their actions. That is why there are laws to protect them. She was a victim, plain and simple.

  • August 16, 2011 at 10:10 am

    @Former ESD Mother: Your son’s response underscores the great concern I have about this case – why didn’t the school train its faculty, administration, parents and students about grooming and sexual predators? It has been standard annual training in both public school districts in which I have taught (and I have only taught at the secondary level.) That is my issue with the school’s culpability – prevention.

  • August 16, 2011 at 10:25 am

    @Former ESD Mother –

    I think it’s also the difference between a man’s response to the victim vs. a woman’s response. Women are tougher on each other.

    Also, I’m not sure that anyone is arguing whether or not she was a victim. The main issue is whether or not ESD retaliated by forcing her to withdraw from the school.

  • August 16, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Zoe: I am with you. I don’t understand it either. And my son does not work at a school. He does however work in an environment where children are present. He was frankly surprised I had not heard of grooming and thought that type of training was standard at all work places. Clearly, it is not.

  • August 16, 2011 at 11:26 am

    I completely agree with the above comments…we all need to know what “grooming” looks/feels/seems like.

    Please try to find the “Seventeen” article I mentioned in an earlier thread…and article in the 09/2011 issued called Flirting with Danger. It’s a way to understand from a victim’s perspective what they were “processing” while an abusive relationship was forming…it’s not the “New Yorker,” I realize, but for parents wanting to talk about this, I thought it was very well done.

    I wanted to ask something earlier…but didn’t. I do think it’s fair, so I will. For those who say, “where were the parents???” (Seemingly to blame the victim’s parents…) Lemme ask this: Do you feel the same way about Campbell’s wife? “Where was Mrs. Campbell?”

    If you (the anonymous “you”) are saying that her parents should have been aware…how do you feel about his wife? Given the positions taken on this blog…under that logic, shouldn’t she have also been aware of what was going on? (This is NOT my opinion…I’m just asking a question given the spirited discussion that has unfolded on previous threads…)

  • August 16, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Are you kidding me? She was groomed to send 10,000 text messages, open her door naked with a towel on, and call him as recently as May 2010? Does no one take personal responsibility for anything in this Country any more? I guess any behavior can be explained away with one or more psychological theories. Great!!

  • August 16, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    I don’t think a wife is responsible for a husband in the same way a parent is responsible for a child. That said, while in hindsight I’m sure the parents wish they had been more diligent, I don’t think we as a society are yet at the place where parents should assume their daughter’s history teacher is a sexual predator. I don’t how much blame the school should have. Maybe the did do all they could, but it is the case that they were the ones who hired him and had responsiblity to oversee his relationships with their students. The school was in a better position than the parents to observe how this man interacted with the female students. What kind oversight and accountability was there?

  • August 16, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    I never heard of grooming but I have heard of parenting. Seems like if these parents had been a bit more engaged in their daughters life this would not have happened. How can they pay for 10,000 text messages and not notice?

  • August 16, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    I’ve read some of the commentary regarding this trial, including the most recent comments (above). A few of you seem to be under the impression that former students or people who support ESD’s position even slightly in this trial are choosing to “blame the victim.” My comment is only my opinion and I’m not in this for a debate. I feel very sorry for the young lady involved. I think what this “teacher” did is despicable. Thankfully, there are laws in place and this schmuck will be criminally charged and held accountable for his actions in a court of law. But that is not the subject of this trial. I personally feel the entire school fell victim to this predator. It happens all across the country; these sick individuals manipulate others. Nathan Campbell did just that and he was clearly good at it. However, from everything I have read, it seems that this girl was causing a disturbance at school. I do not think her family should have returned her to school (her parents did not protected her by doing this) and I think ESD did the right thing for the entire student body by asking her to leave. I think some people really need to sit down and think back to their high school years and how they thought, felt, and acted. Especially some of the women who are slinging insults on this blog. The trial will bring about the facts, hopefully, and it will be determined if ESD appropriately handled her departure. Because let’s be honest, the schools policies and procedures are the real issue here. I was part of a class at ESD that was offered a lecture and Q&A session for parents and students following an inappropriate incident that occurred between students. After students gossiped about the incident, and faculty become aware of it, ESD responded immediately. Again, I think ESD is going to need to change some policies and procedures, but I do not think it is fair for people to state that they simply do not have training in place and do not offer programs to faculty and students. We have not even heard the defense’s case yet in this trial. And I’m sorry, but for all of those parents who are insisting that ESD did not do enough to protect this young girl, you really need to swallow your pride and admit that her parents did not do enough to protect her either. I’m not a parent yet, but I can imagine I would not even want to consider the possibility of this happening to my child, nor would I want to admit if I made a mistake in my parenting. However, parents make mistakes too. I just cannot wrap my mind around the fact that 1) the parents did not know where their daughter was when she was doing these things; 2) they did not see a red flag from the cell phone bill; and 3) worst of all they did not notice or address her sudden change in behavior (refer to yesterday’s blog of her testimony regarding her own behavior- she “returned home on edge”).In a direct response to a decent question posted: No, I do not think people should be asking where Mrs. Campbell was in all of this. Parents are responsible for their underage children. A wife should not have the responsibility of “checking up on her husband, his cell phone bills or whereabouts.” He is an adult.

    My main point: I think instead of making this yet another topic of the North Dallas private school gossip ring, teachers and parents should take this opportunity to educate others. These things can happen to anyone even children from the best of homes and in the best of schools. To turn this discussion into a mudslinging match is not constructive, it’s disgraceful.

  • August 16, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    It might be called “unlimited text messages”. They probably looked into the number of text messages to a specific cellphone number after the relationship was exposed.

  • August 16, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    So, two ESD supporters have weighed in…we really want to hold a minor to a higher level of accountability to a child?

    Is it possible that this girl’s parents were charmed and fooled by an adult, too? (Campbell) Like the comment before, they had also never heard of “grooming?”

    Everyone thinks these kind of things happen to someone else. They do, until they happen to you or someone you know.

    So, where was Campbell’s wife again?

  • August 16, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Female former student I completely agree with you. It is more the parents fault than the schools that they didn’t catch what Jane doe 2 was doing. I think the parents feel guilty about not catching their daughter so that is why they filed a lawsuit against ESD. They think it might make things better for their daughter.

    Other than that ESD did the best thing in my mind. Imagine if she stayed at the school. She would not be getting the same type of education of another student. She would not be able to focus on her studies because she would be caught up in what happened between her and Nathan Campbell. She wouldn’t be able to move on and start a new. And that’s what she needed a new start. No one has the right to bash ESD when they have never even gone there. I attended ESD and I always felt safe and the administration always acted in the best interest of all the students.

  • August 16, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Without knowing JDII, my inclination is that she deemed herself in love with Campbell (a result of the grooming), which led to many of her actions that commenters are questioning.

    A dear friend’s daughter was in a similar situation in another local private school. I do know that situation and know that the daughter was in a place of very low self-esteem that made her susceptible to the grooming. Sexual predators tend to pick their choices wisely (from their perspective). Perhaps JDII was susceptible as well? At the point that she answered the door in her towel, she was definitely “flirting with danger”. It was a stupid thing to do (which she no doubt knows), but at the end of the day, Campbell was legally responsible. Most likely, JDII is working on her own moral responsibility as she goes through therapy.

    Regarding texts, if you have teens, you know that most have unlimited texting on their phones and many are constantly texting, which equates to thousands of texts a month. You can go to the bill to see the phone numbers they are texting with. AT&T lets you download them into a spreadsheet so you can sort them and see which numbers are higher use, etc. Most parents don’t go to that effort, but the information is available.

  • August 16, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    “How can they pay for 10,000 text messages and not notice?”

    Is there even a cell phone plan around these days that does not have unlimited texting?

  • August 16, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Perhaps the parents should have done more. They probably wish they did. But that doesn’t mean the school shouldn’t also have done more. It was the school who hired this man and had the day to day contact with him. They, much more than the parents, were in the position to discover they were being bamboozled.

    And I would like to see a show of hands. How many parents scrutinize their 16 year old’s text messaging? Do you read their diaries, too? Check the email and internet history? The parents were in the really awkward stage of having a daughter who was old enough to start being independent, but who was apparently too immature to handle it. The cost for being immature shouldn’t be to become the victim of a predator.

    I will be really interested to see what the school has to say. Because it seems this entire case could have been avoided if they had simply acknowledged that the girl was a victim and invite her parent’s into a discussion of how best to mitigate the harm. The parent’s might have agreed that a different school was best. But they weren’t even given a chance. If I had sent four kids and umpteen hundreds of thousands of dollars to a school and was treated like that, I would be mightly pissed off, too.

  • August 16, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    ESD did not consult their own school counselor when handing over an ultimatum to the father stating that he can either pull her out of school or they will expell her. Fail.

  • August 16, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Parenting is hard work. And not a responsibility you can pass off on to others. You can hire someone to watch your child and you can pay for someone to educate her but you can’t buy a parent. It seems that these parents think they did buy a parent.

  • August 16, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Hand raised. Two teenagers. We look monthly at the numbers they are texting and volume, the numbers they’re calling (and getting called from), and the time spent on calls to particular numbers. It takes 5 minutes.

  • August 16, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    So, Nancy, you speak for these parents, and all parents? And you and your children are PERFECT, right?

    Godspeed. Karma is a b***ch.

  • August 16, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    To all of the bloggers who think JDII was better off leaving ESD:
    Do you really think that a school should unilaterally make this decision without consulting with BOTH of the student’s parents, her therapist and their own counselor?
    Should a parent be forced to sign the withdrawal on the spot?

  • August 16, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    ESD Alums had heard the gossip about Jane Doe II and knew who she was, which teacher, etc. while she was still enrolled at ESD. It could not have possibly been a good environment for her at ESD when students, parents, teachers, and yes, recent graduates knew the gossip. However, it is clear that the actual removal from the school was not handled well. Mayo and Royal should have given the family more time to think about it… and honestly the parents should have removed their child from that toxic environment as soon as they had confirmation of the relationship. I can’t believe that any parents who know how the gossipy North Dallas private school scene works would believe that the school could continue to be a healthy environment. And it’s disheartening that the parents would make her relive all of it now, when she should be excited for college and a fresh start, in a trial. It really does seem to be all about money.

  • August 16, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    I am sincerely interested to hear from those who think this is an obvious failure of parenting; that effective parenting WOULD have prevented this. What, specifically, are you doing so that you’re not taken in by your sixteen year old who has been conned by a sexual predator into deceiving you?

  • August 16, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Grooming has been around for a lot longer than there has been a psycho-babble name for it. Also, I know how the parental gossip thing goes at schools like ESD and it’s entirely plausable that gossipy parents and the victim/Jane Doe herself created a situation at the school where the story just wasn’t going to fade away. Everyone seems to assume this was a punishment for the victim rather than an effort to get her in a better environment and also normalize the environment for the other 119 students in her class.

  • August 16, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    As a matter of fact Amanda, no one is perfect and I only speak for myself. Never claimed I spoke for anyone else.

  • August 16, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    It is plausible that the story just wasn’t going to go away.
    It is plausible that ESD caused a bigger ruckus by kicking her out.
    It is plausible that had ESD asked for input from their school counselor they might have gone about this more tactfully and avoided this lawsuit all-together.
    It is plausible that if ESD had asked for a meeting with the Does to discuss “how things were going”, they all might have come to the same conclusion that leaving ESD would be the right decision.

  • August 16, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    blahblah blah!
    wait for it to play out in court.

    man! i am sooo glad that any of you aren’t on the jury!

  • August 16, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    I am a senior at a Dallas spc school and I don’t know how any person student or parent could know about these proceedings and still attend/ send their child to ESD. The headmaster wears a clerical colar and lies on the stand. He is paid a ton of money which is a travesty. He has set a disgusting example for his studens and He needs to step down immediately.

  • August 16, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    @ Amanda- how can you hold the school liable but not the parents? Bakc in the day, if i was dating my parents knew and asked questions- why didn’t hers? There SHOULD be so much more parent to child interation than school administrator to child interation. This whole trial is ridiculous because the Doe’s are trying to claim 10mill in damages that they could have prevented by seeing (the summer it started)that their daughter was in some sort of relationship and asking her about it.

    And you are right karma is a b*tch- no need to threaten people in a blog.

  • August 16, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    There were 96 students in her class. She lied to the administration and to her parents about the relationship being sexual. I do believe that she was groomed, victimized, but she was not a kind person to her peers. She really needed a fresh start and I still cannot believe that her patents did not pull her out of the school immediately.

  • August 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Perhaps hobbies for all of you would solve these disagreements. Nothing better to do than trash each other, the victim, and the school?

  • August 16, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    @HMills… I do look at texts, patterns, etc. But, I also monitor Facebook. When my daughter asked for a FB account (3-4 years ago)…I made it clear that she was using my computer, my internet, my phone, etc., and I ASSIGN all passwords. She did step out of line once, and I grounded her in “Digital Siberia,” changing access and re-directing everything.

    BTW, she has THOUSANDS of texts a month…A LOT, but always has. Divide that between school friends, church friends, YL, other private school friends, public school buds, blah, blah, blah…they add up. I don’t get a paper statement anymore, I just log onto the online list. And, literally, I don’t spend more than 15 minutes a month doing this. Combine the texts with FB, and you can easily see pretty much who everyone is. The only adults that text her are a femal Young Life leader (the private school parents all know her, I’m sure.)

    The “I assign passwords” thing really does work. But if you didn’t do it to begin with, you really can’t go back, I guess.

    And, to just say this…what I took from the girl’s testimony yesterday was that she didn’t really grasp the situation until it got “too big” for her. Even well into older teens, kids will avoid telling the truth to avoid punishment and disappointing parents. I’m sure she lived under a dark cloud of not knowing WHAT to do. My heart breaks, too for the parents of the victim and Mrs. Campbell. Hindsight is always 20/20. Looking back, they probably all can see things that now seem “not right.”

    I’m asking the group in this discussion to weigh in on how you feel about Campbell using school vehicles, credit cards, and resources to abuse this student. That really got to me. So brazen. I’m not stupid…I know this stuff happens all the time, at churches, at camps…but that it was going on around the corner? Makes me SICK.

    This is really a gut-check moment for parents, schools, and really this entire community. I appreciate everyone who is participating on the blog with their opinions. Thanks to Ms. St. Amant, and PHP, too. I know I had a productive set of discussions with my daughter b/c of this. I want the victim and her parents know that she does have a voice, and at least in my family, we LEARNED some tough lessons from this. The truth is, this horrible situation may end up protecting future victims. Not only will Campbell be (hopefully) jailed, but the next group of kids/parents will be better informed.

  • August 16, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    I’m just so disgusted by the sanctimonious comments from hateful people on this and other threads. As I said before, you think you know yourself and how you would react UNTIL “it” happens to someone you know, love, or yourself.

    I, too, question what the parent’s role is in this. Because I’m not on the jury, I can’t hear ALL the facts. They will surely have a huge task in dividing out the culpability. My sister-in-law was abused almost 40 years ago, and to this day, my mother-in-law blames herself for what happened. A sick predator is going to try his/her hardest to find a victim. To me, it’s as if Campbell had carte blanche at ESD. Trying to stand in the parent’s shoes, I’m sure they would do many things differently…but c’mon. After 3 other kids? They probably felt completely “safe” at ESD, and that it was a “safe” place for this child as well.

    I’ll say this, too. I knew the boy from All Saints that eventually committed suicide as a result of abuse from Rudy Kos. I realize that’s slightly different, but I saw the pain his family went through. That was almost 25 years ago, and even then…this was before the Catholic scandals exploded in the media, people were saying that Jay “wanted it.” It was sickening then, and I’m sick just thinking about it. And, that his parents “should have known.” I reject that. Abuse is abuse, and there shouldn’t be any room for a predator to get away with harming a minor.

  • August 16, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Many people have mentioned that the parents should have checked her texts, phone etc.

    But why in the world did ESD not check Mr Campbell’s credit card records? It is inconceivable to me that teachers are given carte blanche with the school’s funds and no one seems to verify the expenses for accuracy. Recipe for disaster right there.

  • August 16, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Hand raised.

    I have two teenage boys. Reflecting on my own experiences in high school, I’m thrilled to spend a few minutes using the tools from (in my case) AT&T. I look at who they text & talk to, AND I use the Family Map feature where I can see where at least the phone is at any time I want. (It even lets you schedule an expectation of when they should be at a location and will text you if they aren’t there on time. You can also prevent their phone from texting or talking to any number you want.)

    It’s not being nosey, it’s called caring. I care about my boys enough to invest the time to build soft boundaries to protect them when I can.

    “Trust, but Verify” still applies.

    Duh !

  • August 16, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Wasn’t ESD required to report the crime to the police? Isn’t this a huge issue? To me it looks like a coverup by all involved. What am I missing?

  • August 16, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    @ Duh!…Can you elaborate on the Family Map feature? How it works, etc. I don’t have this, but would seriously consider it. Does it work on all phones, or only certain ones?

  • August 16, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    Amanda and HMills: Effective parents would have looked at the phone bills and asked her about them. Effective parents would have called the number that showed up so frequently to find out who it was. Effective parents monitor Facebook and text messages. Effective parents would have known who she was going out with and who she was spending the night with. Effective parents would have called the house where she said she was staying to see if she was really there. Effective parents talk to their kids and spend time with them and know what is going on in their world. It doesn’t take much and can be done without invading their sense of privacy and independence. Effective parents would have taught the difference between right and wrong, and a sense of personal responsibility.

    Our number one JOB as parents is to keep our kids safe, whether they like it or not.

    I have raised three teenagers, and no, they are not perfect, but they sure as hell know it is wrong to sleep with a teacher and to answer the door in a towel!

  • August 16, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    SPC parent, according to prior posts, ESD called CPS as soon as the truth came out. There was no cover up in that regard. I believe that’s how her parents found out.

  • August 16, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Please remember that ESD has yet to present its case-in-chief. You have only heard one side of the story. I’m sure many of your questions will be answered when ESD gets its day in court.

    Beware also of getting your facts from Claire St. Amant. She is “reporting” this story in an extremely biased way and converses frequently with the plaintiffs’ lawyers. Whose payroll is she on – Charla Aldous or PHP?

  • August 16, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    @marie anderson, If you’ve been at the proceedings, you’ve seen that I converse frequently with most people in the courtroom, as I’m planted there for about 10 hours each day.

    I’m chatty, it’s true, but to cast aspersions on me for small talk is laughable.

  • August 16, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Another ESD Parent: Effective schools would look at the credit card bills of their teachers and ask them about them. Effective schools would have offered training to their students, teachers and parents on grooming and sexual predators. Effective schools would have been more aware of the whereabouts of their teachers in school vehicles and on school property. Effective schools would have caught unusual comments on student’s report cards. Effective schools would take more care in dealing with families in crisis. Effective schools would counsel troubled kids. Effective schools would offer parents viable and realistic options. Effective schools are not arrogant. It doesn’t take much and can be done without invading privacy and while allowing dignity to all.
    The school’s number one JOB is to keep their kids safe, whether they like it or not.

  • August 16, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    Another ESD parent

    An effective parent would switch schools. That school is a joke. Think this crap would happen at Highland Park HS? This school is for kids that can’t compete on an even level.

  • August 16, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    marie anderson @ August 3, 2011 at 8:23 pm
    As a former insurance defense attorney, I assure you that ESD would have settled this long ago if not for the insurance companies. Once the insurance company gets involved, they take over the bulk of the settlement decisions and ESD doesn’t have much say in that decision. The insurance company is likely taking the position that they will win, and if not, they will deal with an appeal, however long it takes. ESD doesn’t need the distraction of this any more than the family does, but once the lawsuit gets filed and the parties are so far apart on what they think is a reasonable settlement, it drags on forever. It is too bad that the family is holding out for millions. In my experience with cases like this, the insurance probably offered the family a couple million and they turned it down.


    Maybe the insurance company’s are paying Claire off to skew this story toward the plaintiff’s. 😀

  • August 16, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    claire- you are doing a great job. don’t let the upset of some biased unsympathetic bitter esd supporter get to you. her comment is hardly worth addressing. you have been and are doing an excellent job reporting the trial.
    i continue to be shocked at the comments left by those who continue to lay blame with the parents or the victim. it is a bit ironic that those who espouse themselves as christians are capable of such harsh judgment. as a parent of three grown children, i shudder to think of this group with their discerning eye on parenting delving into my parenting skills (or lack thereof according to this group). do these women have jobs during the day or is that unacceptable as well? and if so, should we be putting GPS micro chips in our kids so we know of there whereabouts at ALL times? that is ridiculous.
    i am impressed with jane doe 2’s strength and courage in speaking out in this environment, and i am certain that she will inevitably be helping other young girls by doing such.

  • August 16, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    Duh! raised the issue of the Family Map feature on AT & T. I vaguely remember something about this, but had forgotten, or maybe we had some kind of older phones that didn’t work…I don’t really remember. But, in the context of this situation, plus Duh!’s helpful comment, it seems like it could be a great feature. I called AT & T. FM tracks up to 3 family members online or on your phone for $10/month, 5 for $15. Check-in and verification is made to you via a text or email.

    It seems like everyone is taking for granted the benefit of HINDSIGHT in this situation. The law is very clear in Texas. Under 17 cannot consent to sexual activity with an adult. We can speculate to what degree the parents “coulda, shoulda, and woulda” done a lot of things. I’m curious why those critical of the parents are applying the same standard to the school. Did ESD have any responsibility or an existing policy about teachers texting students? I have several friends who are teachers, and Facebook and texting is not allowed between students/teachers. Did ESD have a responsiblity to audit their own credit card bills? Did ESD administration have a responsibility to keep tabs on which students were meeting with a teacher in his office?

    You want a teenager to know right from wrong, but one the other side, there are myriad adults who seemed not to be able to discern right from wrong, either.

    And seriously? Criticizing the reporter? Really? That’s what journalists do. “Chatting up” a witness or source is pretty common. I’m sure when ESD’s case is presented there will be those who feel they are getting favor. Of course, if you don’t like what you are reading, you can choose not to log on.

  • August 16, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    I appreciate those who have taken the time to answer seriously about what the parents might have done to better protect their daughter. Here’s what troubles me, though. Bad parenting doesn’t exonerate the school. The school had a separate and independent duty to protect the student, even if the parents were the worst parents in the world. She deserved ALL of the adults in her life to look out for her best interests. Because she was only sixteen. Yes, ONLY sixteen. Sixteen year olds do stupid things. Because they’re sixteen. And susceptible to bad influence from people in positions of trust. That’s why there are laws that make what the teacher did criminal. And maybe the school should have done more to make sure they didn’t hire a criminal and to help the victim when they found out they had hired a criminal. I guess as the trial goes on we’ll see.

  • August 16, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    @marie anderson – ESD has had the opportunity to cross examine every witness and they have had very little succes at turning the tide in their favor. Your expectations are a little misplaced because a good time to present your case is during cross examination which has not gone particularly well for them so far. As well, the Dallas Morning News is covering the case and their coverage is very consistent with the coverage given by Preston Hollow People.

  • August 16, 2011 at 10:39 pm


    If you consider yourself a journalist, why is your “reporting” of the events each day in court so biased? For example, you commented that it took ESD’s large counsel a long time to get the video monitor set up. If that was the case, then just post the time and what happened once the projector was set up. And making fun of Mr. West’s and Judge Benson’s squirrel/nut comment is again, editorial. Report the facts – that’s your job. Leave the bias for the blog.

  • August 16, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    There is some bias stuff going on and it isn’t all that laughable Claire. I think “parent of two teens” may have it right. Your insults and attacks on those that have commented about it doesn’t change the fact that your reporting does indeed look bias to one side.

  • August 17, 2011 at 12:22 am

    I think Claire is very fair. Nancy and others are biased to the school. They obviously want to put it all on the victim and parents. They feel the school who let’s a teacher charge hotel rooms and other suspicious stuff should be let off. These people also seem mad when the negative truth about the school comes out; and only attack the victims truth. You are hypocrites.

  • August 17, 2011 at 12:42 am

    By the way I work in the financial office of a school and check all the credit card statements. I would have been suspicious. Plus we check the phone records for texting. A teacher texting one number over 8,000 times; and a number that is a students would gave raised red flags. Nancy and others are intent on the parents looking at the texts. Well, the school, knowing as most people do, that predators gravitate to work at places where children are. A school with children is a great place for them to find a victim. … I guess all this is the victims fault. It is funny how most people did not blame the parents when Catholic priests molested children but blamed the church. The school is mainly at fault just like the church. Let’s see what the former student says about her conversation of sex with her teacher even if it was before the law it was wrong.

  • August 17, 2011 at 5:31 am

    As it is becoming more and more obvious, most of the anti-ESD sentiment is coming from people that did not attend the school or even send their children there. The majority of the negative blogs appear to be posted by the plaintiff’s attorney. If you have not experienced the ESD community, you simply do not understand the positive environment or culture of the school. As a parent and an alum, I feel strongly that one bad apple will NOT change the school or the way that the majority of the people who are involved with the school feel about their experience. ESD will not miss a beat!

  • August 17, 2011 at 6:13 am

    Thanks, Duh! Good information that I had forgotten…

    @ HMills…good insights on parenting vs. the obligations of a school.

    @ Claire…don’t let what is being said keep you from doing your job. As was said in another comment, your report is essentially the same as the “Dallas Morning News,” but written in a different style. For such an ugly topic, you’ve managed to communicate what is going on in the courtroom in the asides and various chats. Maybe the defense counsel will chat you up?

    I’m not sure how the ESD supporters square the comments on this blog against a victim and her family with the person of Christ. You do realize that this stays on the Internet FOREVER? And when people google the school, these comments will pop up? How do you think you are representing ESD? Do you think new families are attracted or repulsed by this? (Especially given the fact that the administration of the school and board remain intact?)

    A teacher friend of mine after reading this last night said to me, “Wow, at first I thought $10M was ridiculous, but after dealing with those people and how vicious they are, $20M seems fair.”

  • August 17, 2011 at 8:25 am

    @EDS Friend

    I don’t see an anti-EDS sentiment. Perhaps you mistake that for an “anti how EDS treated this girl and her family” sentiment.

    If EDS was a wonderful experience for all of their students except for this girl, well, they still failed this girl. And she’s the one we’re talking about.

    And in 2011 the idea that the community at large doesn’t have an interest in the wellbeing of all it’s children is just wrong. The isolationism of “we know how to handle this best so don’t ask questions” is exactly sentiment that harmed so many Catholic school children, and I say that as an observant Catholic.

    And I will say I am struggling to see the Christ-like in the school’s response to this girl. The principal/pastor didn’t remember he even spoke to the family? Perhaps a different story will emerge when they present their side. I hope so.

  • August 17, 2011 at 9:33 am

    @parents of 2 teens,
    As a current insurance dork, if ESD has even a decent insurance agent they would have had the policy written to allow ESD to overrule the Carrier in settlement scenarios without penalty (google Hammer Clause, always negotiate that out).

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