To protect those involved I am going to be using fake names. If you want to read the full version from our court filing, click here. So, getting that out of the way, here's how this all started. I will call my harasser Chris throughout this narrative. I reached out to him because he was in my history and choir classes. He always looked alone and I felt he needed a friend so I spoke to him while in class. We became, what I thought, were friends. He had other ideas in mind.
I should mention that Chris suffers from partial blindness. I say partial because he can see the whiteboard from the front row in school, he likes to watch TV and play video games, and obviously has no trouble finding his way around school and finding me. This blindness will later be thrown back in my face by AISD trying to defend him.
After an after school choir function I left to go to my car alone. I was walking in the hallway when I hear him approaching. I can tell from his posture that he is nervous, and he proceeds to ask me if I would like to get pizza with him sometime. I agreed. The night out was fine. I never felt anything odd or potentially dangerous that entire evening. The next day I received a text from him asking if I wanted to go on another "date". i politely declined, saying I was new at the school and was only interested in being friends. The next day he agreed and said he was happy to have me as a friend. I never thought about him romantically and made that clear. He told me he he was OK with that, but acted quite differently over the next few months when he had violent outbursts and appeared to be unable to let go of his desire to be more then friends. I later found out that he was, what his counselor would later admit, "obsessed" with me, and I didn't know for certain until he attempted to kill himself in front of me months later. In the time between, we continued to be what I thought were friends for weeks, but we never hung out outside of school again. He became possessive of me at school, finding me during my off periods and during lunch. He would attempt to separate me from my friends and corner me in the hallways. At several school events he hugged me without my express permission after I said not to do so. He even got into my car without my consent. It became clear to me that he had an unhealthy attachment to me. He confronted me on numerous occasions about my aloofness. I told him in plain language that I did not want to see him or contact him ever again. He continued to harass me, and I made my position clear every time. I hid from him during my off period and cut off all contact with him because I feared his volatile behavior. We had not spoken for months when he sent me a single text a few days before his suicide attempt, "Emma?" I did not reply.
There was a lot more crazy than I can write here, and more incidences if you read the full court filing, but I'm trying to be brief here. In fairness, he has a lot going on in his life, and was unable to cope with his unrequited feelings for me, and I hope he can recover from his issues. That said, he had no right to terrify me.
This isn't a day I like to relive so I intend to make this short. Before my history class I was speaking with a group of my friends. To my shock, Chris starts to barrel towards me. I panic and seek refuge in my group, huddling further into their circle. Chris huffed and made a big show of his emotions. Class finally begins and some friends and I went back and were studying in the hallway. Chris placed his foot on the ledge over to the first floor of the building (we were currently on the second floor). It was just me, my friends, and a small group of boys who were also studying. Suddenly, my friends hear a janitor cry out and I turn to see Chris' hands let go of the ledge and fall.
We were whisked back into class. My teacher made a comment to the class about how hard being a teenager can be. That was the only time the suicide attempt was discussed with the class. The bell rings and I just go to my next class, because nobody told me any different. In my next class, I was called out by Chris' counselor. She alerts me that Chris' suicide attempt was because he couldn't deal with not being my boyfriend. She told me I should be flattered that he "loved" me. She denies me a call to my parents, I plead with her three times to let me call my parents. She says no. She tells me she will call them. She never calls them.
I later find out from other teachers (and Chris' parents) that Chris had been obsessed with me for months, falsely claiming that I was his "ex-girlfriend". Chris' parents had even reported their concerns about his suicide risk and obsession with me, yet no one ever told me any of this or reported it to anyone else.
I continue about my day, assuming that my parents will call me and take me home. Obviously they never do because they were never alerted by the school. I continued my day feeling crazy because no one felt this was a big deal. I didn't get a chance to tell my parents what happened until 9 pm that day. I still deal with the repercussions of that day, and have been diagnosed with moderate to severve PTSD by my therapist.
Naively, we reported his harassment to the school thinking they would help us. They did just the opposite. From the very beginning, they started to insist that Chris had rights they had to protect. But what about my rights as his victim?
AISD Police met with us and informed us that they did get a report of Chris attempting to kill himself, but they were not told that any students saw the incident, nor were they told that he did so in front of me because I wouldn't date him. Their full report is still withheld by the school to protect my harasser's rights. Again, the victim has no rights with AISD, they put their power behind protecting the harasser. if doing so protects their staff from their own mistakes.
Then, my principal suggested I sign a document where I agree to stay away from Chris for my own protection. Fortunately, my Dad looked at this first and realized that the document, which the principal claimed was standard procedure for me to sign in order for them to keep him away from me, actually stated that I was the problem. Yes, we refused to sign that.
Then, I was made to sign a harassment complaint form that my vice principal filled out which stated that he never threatened me. When I resisted signing this because he committed threatening acts of violence including cutting himself, etc, she said that this only meant that he had never threatened "physical harm to you". And was very specific on the physical harm. I then signed the form as she had written it, and they now claim this means that i was never harmed or felt threatened by Chris. Fortunately, my Dad recorded the entire exchange and their deceiving words - they will try to trick victims in this way so be careful.
Eventually, they told us that I was not harassed. Chris was only trying to hurt himself, and never posed a threat to me. In other words, a man can follow you around, get into your car and demand a date repeatedly, hug you when you tell him not to, cut himself and have violent outbursts when you're around, and then try to kill himself in front of you, all of which is intertwined with his unrequited obsession with you and, in the eyes of AISD, none of this constitutes abuse.
My family exhausted the grievance process with the district to no avail. Despite Chris' parents meeting with my parents and the district, and acknowledging his obsession with me, his attempts to harm himself over this obsession and his poor mental health, the district still didn't budge. Chris' mom even stated, in front of Craig Shapiro -AISD assistant superintendent, that she told her son he was not the victim, he was hurting me and that he was scaring me. Despite all of this, AISD pretended that none of this happened. In fact, they kept putting him in rooms with me, and failing to provide me or Chris an escort between classes to help me feel safe, despite promising to do so repeatedly. They did so despite my parents continued protests, and my worsening PTSD due to their actions.
We appealed to the district title IX coordinator, who not-so-promptly hired the districts own defense attorney team to conduct an "independent" investigation. I may only be a kid, but I know that it is a violation of any attorney ethical standards to claim your independence in an investigation when your firm represents the defendant in a case. I was being railroaded and silenced by AISD.
From my experience, I've learned that AISD will do whatever it takes to cover up their mistakes and protect abusers.
My dad even sent a narrative with evidence to the full school board's trustees, thinking this would get a final review by the folks we vote into power to oversee our schools. Instead, our attorney got an email response from yet another district administrator who intercepts these messages, stating that my appeal would not be provided to the trustees because doing so would unfairly bias them. Once again, the corrupt district would sanitize the story and control information to anyone who could hold them accountable so that their false story was told, their mistakes and unlawful actions are covered up, and the truth is not heard.
They are quite good at silencing their victims, and apparently well practiced.