LAWSUIT AGAINST CALDWELL ISD OFFICIALS DISMISSED

A lawsuit charging three Caldwell ISD officials with failing to report a victim of child abuse has been dropped.

The original suit was filed by the Texas Center for the Defense of Life, alleged that Caldwell High School Principal Dr Bradley Vestal, former Assistant Principal Vance Skidmore and high school teacher  Bliss Bednar all ignored signs that a 15-year old girl exhibited behavior indicating she was child abuse victim.  The suit said the girl went so far as writing a school essay about her abuse.  Retired District Court Judge Terry Flenniken was one of the defendants in this case but charges were dropped against him in December.

The group is appealing the decision from District Court Judge Carson Campbell.

The defendant’s attorneys argue that the claims were barred under the Tort Claims Act because they were acting within the official course and scope of their employment. 

There are still misdemeanor charges of failure to report child abuse pending in the Burleson County Court.

A status hearing on the criminal charges will be held on March 24th.

The original suit claimed that Judge Flenniken ruled that the girl should continue living with her grandmother whose live in boyfriend was a convicted child sex offender. 

The suit further claimed that the boyfriend, Edward Clinton Lee also made advances to the girl and forced her to have an abortion. 

Lee was later convicted of capital murder after killing the girlfriend, Jean Slovacek in a stand off incident in Caldwell in June of 2012.   He was also convicted of the aggravated sexual assault of the girl.

The girl wrote about her abuse in a class with the names changed.  The essays were assignments in Bliss Bednar’s class.