I am writing you because I am working very hard to achieve some change in the way teachers are treated in the system I have been exposed to for several years.
Your sexual harassment charge was crucial to the people who fired me in the middle of the school year five years ago—without it, I was merely insubordinate and people who knew the truth about my conflicts could have defended me. Without your complaint, they could not have locked me out of the building, then told my students I refused to turn in my grades and sabotaged their college admissions. Without your complaint, they could not have made me worry and wait for six months, through a long winter and spring--until the school year was out--before I was able to prove your charges were false and malicious.
My mother was dying, Jennifer. I was also fired for missing a meeting while moving my mother to Oregon the previous summer—Mr. Colonna was given a long list of my offenses to sign by the same lawyers who helped you prepare to testify against me (At the same time they were guiding you in your smear attack, they were helping administrator-chums pass pedophiles around to other school districts, secretly:
Remember, you never ever said a word to me about any of those incidents. You allowed unethical people to talk you into something improper and immoral. My entire family was punished by your conduct. I was your colleague--I had set up your editing station a few months before—and you never said a word to me about any discomfort.
Ever. You signed a complaint behind my back. For what?
About three years after I was fired, I was still being played along by the union lawyer and harassed by Linda Borquist’s friends at the TSPC. I began to get up in the middle of the night and organize all of the testimony from my FDAB “hearing.” You remember that? A panel of volunteer teachers and principals became judges who listened to my former administrators lie about my work history. Linda Borquist, Holly Lekas, Gail Vangorder, Malcolm Dennis and Mike Chamberlain were allowed to give false testimony and use fraudulent documents. But you were the crucial ingredient—you provided them with a “sexual” charge. Ms. Lekas told me on the day she locked me out of my job that your complaint was a “red flag” and she, Ms. Vangorder and Mr. Dennis were justified in calling in many of my female students and ask them pointed questions about my conduct.
Always protecting those kids, Ms. Lekas, Ms. Vangorder and Mr. Dennis…and you.
I have felt a lot of anger and hatred since this happened. Mike Sanderson knows I actually asked Linda Borquist to help me quit three months before they fired me, three months before your sneak attack. But I have never been angry at you, really. It is easy to tell from reading the transcripts that you were used by your bosses…exploited by people using public money to conceal their activities.
The people who persuaded you to sign your complaint against me have behaved unethically and continue to be sheltered by a system that cheats teachers. All of those people who advised you were being paid with public money—some are still on the Beaverton payroll. I hope to have those people held accountable; we are in an era of heightened accountability in government.
1. Beaverton administrators have had the ability to spend up to a ½ million dollars at a time of the public’s money to hush something upwithout telling the school board that oversees them. This sort of policy is telling the public they can’t handle the truth.
2. Beaverton administrators have been able to work in collusion with union officials who are being paid with money taken from teachers’ salaries. These union officials cooperate unethically with school administrators and are not held accountable for their misrepresentation of teachers. You have contributed to illegal acts by the Oregon Education Association and the BSD lawyers by signing a false complaint.
3. Beaverton administrators have been able to violate state laws regarding teacher discipline and have been able to improperly influence the behavior of state employees. The TSPC investigator who helped Beaverton administrators drag out my case for years, Susan Nisbet, was ultimately fired for improper conduct.
4. On a positive note, members of the Beaverton board have created sexual harassment policies to prevent administrators from using false sexual charges by compliant staff members to smear their contractual employees. Administrators can't use people like you to falsely smear their employees now.
My goal is to create public interest in the secrecy agreement policy. I am hopeful that a lot of reform occurs—my ordeal has lasted as long as the second Iraq War and has created health issues for my wife and me, as well as contributing to my mother’s anguish at her death.
I think about how hard I worked for you--even after you sneuck inot my room that first year and took equipment out without telling me. You said you saw it after scxhool and it was too close to the door--so that empowered you to roll it up to the library and lock it away without telling me. That equipment was part of my lesson plans, but you and Vangorder were librarians without much respect for how hard it is to make classes work--even when all of your equipment is where it is supposed to be.
One day, I hope every human being who you care about knows that I learned about your three months of "discomfort" on the day they fired me. You helped unethical people violate my employment contract and damage my career with sneak attack built on contrived sexual harassment charges. I was the only one in this sordid conflict who was actually teaching children for my education money. I did not deserve what happened to me… and no one else does, either.
Please address a letter to the Beaverton School Board, explaining the circumstances around your decision to file a complaint against me about the three situations spanning two months in the fall of ’03 where you were “uncomfortable” (even though you did not share your discomfort with me). Board members should be informed of Ms. Lekas’ role in your decision, as well as Mr. Chamberlain’s and any other administrator who may still be employed by the district.
I am hopeful that I can teach again someday—although there are parts of the job that I sure don’t miss. Teaching is difficult even when people are working together.
I would be grateful if you would send me a copy of your letter. I am not seeking revenge or restitution, just truth. As a professional educator, you know how important that is.
Excerpts from J. Jordan FDAB testimony June 2004
Q. In the interest of time here, I'm probably going to move fairly fast. During year '02-03 Mr. Bellairs was an activities director for the building; correct?
Q. And as a consequence of being named activities director, did he interact with you or was he in the library space more often?
A. I would say yes, more often. He had more freedom within the building or he had more free time. I don't know which. But, yes, he was in the library more often.
Q. Did you have interaction with him when he was in the library?
Q. Of what sort?
A. In retrospect, it is because he wanted something from me or something that I had in the library. Just him being there -- I think he just got used to being there. It became uncomfortable.
Q. You said because he wanted something from you. What kinds of things did he want when he was there?
A. Either equipment or perhaps a better working computer. Oftentimes, many, many mornings, he'd come in first thing and want to know if the coffee was on, if I'd made coffee for him, if we had any treats. The treats came from volunteers usually that volunteer with us in the library. They were brought in, and he would simply help himself to those. But it's usually because he wanted something, so he'd schmooze up to me, warm up to me and try to win me over with that.
Q. Did he ever make a comment to you when there weren't any sweets around?
A. Yes, he did.
Q. What was that comment?
A. Something to the effect of, "Can you put a little sweetness in this for me?" or "Can you sweeten it up for me?"
Q. Did that comment cause you any note?
A. Well, I remembered it. It wasn't appropriate. It wasn't -- it was around other staff members, and I think there may have been students present. It wasn't a professional thing to say.
Q. Were there any times when you were uncomfortable with his physical presence around you?
A. Yes. Part of his initial charm I think with everyone was that he liked to get to know people. He was
a real touchy-feely person. That became cloying. It became -- well, I grew to hate it. It no longer endeared itself to me, and I know to other people in the building. But, yes, the longer he was around me in the library, it increased.
Q. Was there a time in the fall of 2003 when he came up to you while you were walking down the hall?
Q. What happened?
A. I was leaving or I was trying to leave. It was right as school was recessing, and students and teachers were in the hallway coming in the opposite correction. I was trying to leave to avoid getting caught in the buses, as I had a meeting outside the building. I don't know
where he came from, but he came up and put his arm around me. It was a hug much more intimate than he'd ever given before. It was very close and very -- it was very uncomfortable, very close.
Q. What did you do?
A. I immediately tried to shrink away. I'm short, so I thought I could kind of maybe weasel out of it or kind of shrink away from him. The harder I tried to get out from underneath his clutch, the harder he clutched me. It just became more intense. During the course of this
embrace, because that's what it more or less ended up as,
he wanted -- he asked me if I would like to start ascandal. Let's get tongues wagging. Could we have an affair. I said, "I don't think so." And at that point I wanted to slap him, but there was so many people
around, and I didn't want to get into any kind of embarrassing situation. I didn't want to get his anger going at me. I just finally just really jerked away, and I was able to leave, to get away from him.
Q. How did you -- what did you do after that when you were in the building in terms of Mr. Bellairs?
A. That same day?
A. I tried -- well, the very next day -- well, actually that evening I went and discussed the situation with my husband. He said I needed to at least speak to my administrator about it, that I probably didn't need to file some kind of complaint, but I needed to let
Somebody know that that had occurred. I was embarrassed. I didn't want anyone that may have seen us to misconstrue the facts, because I
didn't provoke it. So the next day, after discussing the incident with my husband, I talked with Gail VanGorder. She said -- she didn't write anything down, but she said that she no longer handled Don, that she would pass on the
information to Mike Chamberlain. She offered some suggestions on what I should do if it happened again. Then I briefly let the two girls that I work with up in the library know that I didn't want to be in the same room with Don, that I didn't want to be in a position that could be misconstrued. I tried not to give them too many facts, but I had to give them some foundation -- their names were Sherry and Nancy -- so
they knew that if Don were to come in to the library, I didn't
want to be alone, or if they saw him come in, that they agreed that they would come into that room where I was so that I wasn't going to be alone with him.
Q. Did you tell Gail VanGorder that you wanted to file a formal complaint and proceed with a complaint at that point in time?
A. No. I didn't.
Q. Were there times when Mr. Bellairs asked you out to dinner before or after this incident?
A. There was one before, yes.
Q. And was there a time after?
A. Actually, during the course of that incident in the hallway, yes, he did.
Q. What did you tell him?
A. I said, "No. I don't think so."
Q. What had been your response earlier when he
A. I'm not quite sure what the verbiage was, but I know I said no. He knew I was married. I knew he was married. I mean, it was just so far out of anything that I would have ever considered.
Q. Was there a time then later -- this incident in the hallway, can you place it somewhere in a time period?
A. It was on a Monday. I remember it was Monday because I was going to the district librarians meeting, and because we have them on Mondays. I believe it was in November, the second Monday in November.
Q. Was there a later time when there was another situation where you had physical contact with him or he had physical contact with you? And this one I think was in the library.
A. Yes. It was in December. I eat lunch up there with another couple of people in our back room. I was eating lunch. I sit on a chair with wheels. And he comes swooping in and puts his arm around me. And I didn't want anything to do with it. And the harder I tried to get away, scoot away on my chair, the more -- I ended up next to the wall just cowering, and I was continuing my conversation with my lunchmates, slinking away. I was flattened up against the wall. Finally, he took that as a hint and left.
Q. Was there any conversation that you remember?
A. I don't remember any. I think there was, but I can't remember what was said.
Q. Did you make any statements to your lunchmates or did you go on as though --
A. I said something to my lunchmates, yes.
Q. What did you say, if you remember?
A. I said, "You saw that?" And they said, "Yes, we did."
Q. Was that all that was said?
A. That was all that was said.
Q. After that was there another episode that involved a statement by Mr. Bellairs that made you uncomfortable?
A. Yes. That was in December also. Well, there was actually a couple. Which one are we on?
Q. Any of them.
A. There was one where he was in the library, and we were at the front desk. I don't know what he'd come in for, but Sherry saw that he had come in and she was standing right next to me. There was a thread on his shoulder. I said, "You need to take the thread off your shoulder." He said something, well, with a horrible sexual connotation to me. Sherry took it the same way. It was, "If you could pull it from my behind," or "if you
could pull the thread from behind me."
Q. What made you feel that it had sexual connotations?
A. Just the way he said it.
Q. Tone of voice?
A. Tone of voice. Sort of his body movements, yes.
Q. Do you remember how you responded to that?
A. I just walked away.
Q. Do you know whether -- you said there may have been other situations. Do you remember anything else?
A. There was another one. Again, we were at the counter. Sherry was standing there. There were also other students about. He came over to me, and he said, "Would you mind going over to the photocopy machine," which is housed in the library," and ask the young lady that's standing over there to cover up? She's not particularly good looking, and I'm not enjoying looking at her."
Q. Was the young lady a student?
A. A student, yes. So, yes, indeed I went over there and I did
ask her to cover up.
Q. He made that statement in front of other people and students?
Q. In your account I'm understanding that you never directly said to Mr. Bellairs, "Take your hands off me," or something to that effect. Is that correct?
A. That's correct.
Q. Can you explain why not?
A. Well, I felt my nonverbal communication was strong enough, the force of which I tried to pull away. It was all nonverbal. I just felt that I was doing everything I could nonverbally. I didn't want -- did
not want to get into any kind of verbal confrontation with him because I had seen his anger.
Q. Where had you seen his anger?