Story from the past….

My original law partner, Joe Hairston, once came up with a brilliant idea to address an issue that is coming up with some regularity these days.  A woman in her late 20s contacted her former high school to report that she had had a sexual relationship with a teacher who was still working at the school.   The young woman acknowledged that the relationship was consensual, even though she was underage. At the time, she was very happy about it. But as she got older, married, had children….she began to reflect back on her high school days and saw things a bit differently.  She believed that the school district ought to know.  She suspected that the teacher’s involvement with her was not a one time thing.

What to do?  The school needed to look into it. It would be negligence bordering on “deliberate indifference” to ignore a report like that, just because the events happened over ten years ago. But how do you investigate?

The superintendent confronted the teacher. The teacher denied the allegations and lawyered up.  That’s when Joe came up with a good idea.

Joe asked the woman if she would be willing to provide a sworn statement in the presence of a court reporter and the teacher’s lawyer.  Joe knew the teacher’s lawyer to be an experienced and reasonable person.  He was confident that if the woman provided credible testimony, the lawyer would persuade his client to offer a resignation.

That’s exactly what happened.

You have to have the right set of circumstances and the right cast of characters to make a situation like that work.  But if you have a similar situation, this might be worth exploring.


Tomorrow: Don’t forget to warn the teacher about an SBEC report…