ESD Chairman Vows Policy Changes

When John Eagle took the stand in the punitive stage of a family’s civil suit against the Episcopal School of Dallas, he promised changes.

ESD’s lead counsel Chrysta Castaneda asked Eagle if he planned to amend the school’s expulsion policy.

“Yes, ma’am,” Eagle said. “It’s a continuing process.”

Eagle’s plans include setting up a committee to look at “best practices” from other private schools in regard to expulsion. He said that separation from a school “is always a tough decision.”

“Anytime someone gets expelled, someone is unhappy,” Eagle said, adding. “But we can come up with a process that’s a little more thoughtful and careful.”

Eagle would not say whether Father Stephen Swann, Rebecca Royall, or Erin Mayo would be fired as a result of their actions. He pledged to investigate all three employees’ involvement in Jane’s forced withdrawal. Swann, Royall, and Mayo (who are the headmaster, chief academic officer, and head of upper school, respectively) testified that they were the only three people who signed off on the decision.

“If there was some way I could’ve taken this back, I would’ve,” Eagle said.

23 thoughts on “ESD Chairman Vows Policy Changes

  • September 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm
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    sounds like too little too late.
    no committment to fire or to accept swann’s resignation? this school will be known as a ‘fringe’ institution, run by a despot. (e.g. Liberty University, Oral Roberts, etc.)only the rank and file parents can fix this now. there is no accountability and our children’s degrees will be devalued accordingly.

    shameful.

  • September 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm
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    Claire,

    Did the headmaster from St. Phillips testify? Why him?
    The had to drive past 25 private schools on the road to St. Phillips. No support from the other private schools in town? That should tell the ESD parents volumes.

    Where are Swann and Colonetta? What are the plaintiffs asking the jury to do on punitives?

    By the way…terrific work on your coverage of the trial. This is unprecedented and has been a real community service, especially to the younger parents considering a safe environment for their preschoolers.

  • September 21, 2011 at 2:39 pm
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    Please post the verdict form(s) online when you have time.

  • September 21, 2011 at 2:51 pm
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    After a year and a half of litigation, now he’s going to investigate? What is he smoking? He’s a day late, and millions of dollars short.

  • September 21, 2011 at 2:55 pm
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    Well John, it’s a start. My prayer is that the board comes to terms with updated best practices that address sexual crimes in academic environments as well. And Swann, Royal and Mayo need to go.

  • September 21, 2011 at 3:01 pm
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    Wake up, ESD parents. None of your “elite” peers were willing to support you, just like the parents at those schools speak out on this blog. It’s a bush-league school because of the leadership. This could’ve happened to any student for any reason…

  • September 21, 2011 at 3:11 pm
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    wow. eagle admits there is a problem. finally a little honesty from esd.

  • September 21, 2011 at 3:20 pm
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    ESD has had a close relationship with St. Phillips for years, as have many other Private Schools in the area. Many St. Phillips Alums go on to ESD, St.Marks, Hockaday, ect., ect. It’s an inner city school supplying and education for underpriviledged youth and theres much community outreach between all dallas private highschools and it. It’s not 25th on the list it’s a partner in the betterment of young people.

  • September 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm
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    Thanks for the Kool-aid, Jon!

  • September 21, 2011 at 4:15 pm
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    I believe ESD for the most part does an outstanding job at providing an education on par with the best prep schools in the country. However, I also believe Steve Swann, at some point, crossed over the line and became more concerned with the tarnish on the school’s reputation and less with seeing to the needs of the student.

    Mayo’s e-mail stating “I don’t want the girl haunting the hallways with her sad story for the rest of the week” needs little explanation. If Eagle is true to his word, Swann, Royall and Mayo will be terminated and they can set about the process of rebuilding the ESD community. The city is watching Mr. Eagle.

  • September 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm
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    What does Eagle’s statement mean for the inevitable appeal? Admission of guilt and mistakes usually doesn’t bode well for an appeal.

  • September 21, 2011 at 4:59 pm
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    As a parent of ESD I just received an email from John eagle funny it doesn’t sound like anything he said on the stand..let’s keep the fantasy land atmosphere in the ESD community..

  • September 21, 2011 at 5:37 pm
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    Claire- can you publish LeMasters recent press release? And the letter from John to parents?

    • September 21, 2011 at 5:47 pm
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      @Lisa, Good call. But I didn’t get a letter “from John to parents”?

  • September 21, 2011 at 6:44 pm
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    St. Philips! My god, did they try to round up every black person in Dallas except John Wiley Price? He must have been busy. Seriously, didn’t the defense team think the black judge and jurors would catch on eventually? How insulting. Royce West was the biggest joke of all. I never attended the trial, but I figured out the purpose behind hiring him as soon as I heard he was representing ESD. As if they’d hire him any other time. Puhleeeze.

  • September 21, 2011 at 7:12 pm
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    Well, the verdict is in; now it is time for the work to begin!

    “TOP 10 TO-DO LIST”

    1)Offer Stephen Swann the opportunity to become Headmaster Emeritus and “retire” or, fire him (just like he did to JDII)

    2) Replace ESD Board of Trustee members who drink Swann’s Kool-Aid and happily would wipe his a$$ if asked to do so. That includes John Eagle – Be proactive and get started or, maybe we just boycott your car dealerships

    3) Contact Bill Lively and entice him with the $1,000,000 Swann salary. He can fundraise better than Swann and not have any baggage.

    4) Consider replacing Rebecca Royall and Erin Mayo – they are sheepul (people acting like sheep following their shepherd blindly)

    5) Re-write the Code of Conduct to never expel a student because of the illegal actions of a rogue teacher. Public schools would have to deal with the aftermath and, so should private schools. If the child WANTS to leave, let the family decide.

    6) Institute immediate annual sexual misconduct in-service training for all teachers and staff. Have teachers sign as a part of their annual contract a release that allows ESD to provide any info in a teacher’s personnel file to another school they may be interviewing with after leaving ESD.

    7) Increase their charitable outreach to low-income/minority students in the Dallas area. Look to Jesuit as an example of reaching out to those in need.

    8) Implement new audit polices for expenses incurred by teachers and staff. Campbell received his cell phone bills for school issued phone. Not good policy. Review actual detailed receipts attached to expense reports.

    9) Why have Psychologist’s from Children’s Medical Center on site if you are not going to use them for their professional experience and advice?!

    10) Bring in outside resources to assist in crafting new policies and procedures. These resources may be from other private schools administration, parents and/or students.

  • September 21, 2011 at 7:53 pm
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    @ Claire – what is a good email address for you? I will send you the letters, you will enjoy the nonsense.

  • September 21, 2011 at 7:57 pm
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    I believe that the headmaster at St. Phillip’s is an African American and that the judge in this case was, as well. Could that be an explanation?

  • September 21, 2011 at 9:01 pm
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    THIS VERDICT SIMPLY SHOWS WHY CHARLA ALDOUS IS ONE OF THE NATION’S TOP ATTORNEYS. CHARLA, YOU DID A GREAT JOB! CONGRATULATIONS!

    NOW THE GREAT THING WILL BE TO WATCH ESD AND SEE IF EAGLE DOES ANYTHING. I BET NOTHING CHANGES AND THE SAME PLAYERS REMAIN.

    “UNCHARTERED WATERS”?! BULL. ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF LIES. WE ALL HEARD ABOUT THE CHARTERED WATERS AT ESD FOR YEARS. THANK YOU FORMER STUDENT AND THE DAD THAT CAME FORTH!

    EVERYONE HAS REALLY HELP THE DOES HELP FUTURE STUDENTS!

  • September 21, 2011 at 10:10 pm
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    Now wait a darn minute, @ Interested Observer. Every comment you’ve made was thru rose colored glasses. Just yesterday, you told us that the jury was deadlocked.

    How does that crow taste?

  • September 22, 2011 at 1:02 am
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    @stupid much?? Great alias, describes you perfectly! You might add a$$ in there as it definitely fits based on your pompous opinions. You must be a very sore loser as you are definitely not a gracious winner. Of course, as many stated, there are no ‘real winners’ and this is definitely not the end of a very, very sad situation.

  • September 22, 2011 at 8:28 am
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    I’d be insulted if the ESD crowd wasn’t so, well, stupid much?

Comments are closed.