I received the letter from Mr. Baad about the child pornography at ESD and I have a problem with how ESD handled it. They said in the letter that if any child feels uncomfortable at any time, the parents should advise the child to report it to an administrator. First, I would think some children will not feel comfortable telling an administrator this and ESD should know that. What should they do if the child is embarrassed? ESD is silent on this. Second, sometimes the administrator causes the actual problem - like with Meredyth Cole. What do you do then? There needs to be an independent ombudsman who reports to the board for parents to call, not the child. But I am glad that they at least admitted that they have a problem. This is a first for ESD.
The problem is that school administrators are normally not the best and brightest (there are exceptions), but can make great administrators for their caring hearts and mission focus. The problem comes in when an administrator does not have a caring heart and is in the job for power, self-aggrandizement or money (or worse yet for sexual gratification.) Meredyth Cole was in the job for money and power and this was her first chance to make money and be powerful in her 26 years of toiling away. And she blew it. It is now over. She has been fired. Lets all let this episode go.
I think the problem rests partly with the search committee headed by Cullum Clark and Nancy Perot. They couldn't have found a less worthy person. Meredyth Cole had no experience in administration. Her only experience was in fundraising at an all-girl school. I guess the search committee decided that money was the main goal and if she raised enough money, it didn't matter what happened to our kids.
Even though ESD tried to spin it, it is clear to all that Meredyth Cole was fired and that Donna Hull was demoted for their misbehavior. At least ESD did the right thing on that.
Ron Breaux was the lawyer the school hired to help Meredyth Cole avoid lawsuits - and the only one with the power to stop her abuses. He had a troubled child at ESD who was absent and tardy a lot. The TEC requires students with ten or more absences to be reported. Because Ronald Breaux's son had exceeded this number, Meredyth Cole expunged his absence records. In return, Ron Breaux protected Meredyth Cole and her personal vendetta against boys who disagreed with or teased her son. Meredyth Cole and Ron Breaux had a cozy club and they along with Donna Hull ran the upper school - until the Board figured it out and fired Cole and demoted Hull.
I worked in the office at ESD and saw what Meredyth Cole did to kids and I didn’t like it at all. But I couldn’t stop it. Neither could Jeffrey Laba who actually liked the kids (which Cole and Donna Hull did not). One time during the John Doe case, Cole came to my co-worker and asked her to get her son to write a letter saying John Doe tried to get him to smoke pot - which absolutely never happened. Cole was afraid for her job over the case - and with good reason. She was disliked by nearly everyone.
ESD says that Meredyth Cole found another job but the truth is that she was terminated. The couldn't fire Cole and Donna Hull right out because they would have testified against ESD at trial. So they told her to start looking instead - and they demoted Donna Hull. When the court ruled that there wouldn't be a trial, she was gone in a hurry. It serves Cole's, Hull's and ESD's purposes to make up this untrue story since it deflects attention from the mistreatment and litigation.