Standing in front of the sign for the Episcopal School of Dallas, David Clohessy asked the school to reconsider its decision to appeal a $9.2 million verdict handed down last week.
“All that will do is drag these families through more pain and suffering,” said Clohessy, the director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “[ESD] will be saying that its reputation and assets are more important than your child’s safety.”
Clohessy, who flew in from St. Louis to take part in the protest, held a sign urging victims to come forward. Clohessy was abused by a Catholic priest as a child, but didn’t tell anyone until he was in his 30’s.
SNAP member Sarah Box held a sign that said “Protect Kids Not Predators,” and Lisa Kendzior’s sign displayed the photos of a dozen victims of sexual abuse alongside a hotline number, 1-877-SNAP HEALS.
Kendzior, Dallas director of SNAP, called for a “full course law enforcement investigation in the form of a grand jury” to address allegations of abuse and cover-up at ESD.
“If police with experience and subpoena power really delve into the situation here, we suspect these two families who’ve reported abuse and cover-up will not be the only ones,” she said, referring to the Doe and Black families, who testified about inappropriate sexual conduct of ESD teachers in the civil trial.
The protest, or “news conference” as Clohessy called it, was sparsely attended and lasted 30 minutes. About midway through, an ESD security officer and spokesperson Julie Clardy approached the small gathering of protestors and media and asked them to leave the school’s property. ESD issued a statement condemning the protest.
ESD officials call SNAP demonstration disgraceful and offensive
(DALLAS, September 29, 2011) – ESD officials today said a short demonstration by SNAP today outside the school is a disgraceful and offensive action staged as a way to exploit the results from a recent trial for their own publicity purposes.
“Clearly their actions and their news release demonstrate a complete lack of knowledge about the court proceedings,” said ESD Board Chairman John Eagle. “To invite the news media to an artificial protest outside a school that is in session is a shameful act and an obvious attempt to manipulate the news media.”
(Editors note: The SNAP protesters were on private school property and were approached and told they could not be on ESD property. During that discussion, with the pool camera rolling, David Clohessy (from SNAP) delivered rapid-fire questions to the ESD representative asking her, “Who told her to remove them from the property?” It’s gotcha journalism with no journalists on hand.)