Joelle Ogletree and the Coded Notes- Recap with Video from GRISD Grievance Hearing in October 2009


Joelle Ogletree and the Coded Notes- Recap with Video from GRISD Grievance Hearing in October 2009

28 October 2009 at 6:23:14 PM

Part 1 about coded notes. I've been posting video from this grievance hearing ,concerning Ogletree being turned down for substitute teacher, for the last day and will be today. In this section, Joelle Ogletree was asked by Kelley Snodgrass, during the part of the hearing, which was Q&A, about the coded notes. I'm guessing that since this repeatedly comes up, many people, even though having access to the information about it, haven't read it.  Frankly, I'm a little astounded that this was even brought up AGAIN during this hearing. Not only had the information been provided before during the last 6-7 years, but, again, Ogletree is cleared. That, to me, is the real issue. Why, since Ogletree is a certified teacher with nothing on her record in the state of Texas, no criminal record, passed criminal background check, is GRISD preventing her from teaching? I have more to say on whether any entity ought to make decisions based on allegations, will do so on a later post.

Here's video clip from the hearing with Snodgrass asking Ogletree about the coded notes. It looks to me that she was surprised by the question, as I might be too, since it's not as if the board didn't have all this information before them, and mulitple hearings about it for the last 6-7 years. .

Part 1

Part 2

So, I'm going to re-type the transcript parts about the notes, from the Administrative Law Judge hearing. After you read this, come back to this post about the findings of fact in the ALJ (Administrative Law Judge) hearing about Joelle Ogletree re: her teaching license. The judge ruled in her favor and some of his points were:

50. Ms. Ogletree wrote Matt three notes with coded meanings.

51. Ms. Ogletree never wrote Matt a note containing a message with sexual meaning or innuendo.

52. Ms. Ogletree never explained the coded meanings to Matt.

53. Each of the three coded notes was written by Ms. Ogletree in the open; she did not try to hide anything from the class.

Now on to the transcript

p 25

Q. Now let's talk about the notes, which have been marked and entered into evidence as R-4. I believe the judge has a copy. Matt alleges in some of his statements that you gave these notes---three different notes to him. And that he reached an interpretation that it was of a sexual nature based on a conversation with you that no one else heard---

A. Right

Q.... even though it was said in the middle of the hall with other people present

A. Right.

Q. Now, the first question is it true thta this note was intended to be of a sexual nature?

A. Absolutely not.

Q. Could you tell us how these notes came about from the beginning unti the end chronologically?

A. Okay.

Q. And, if you could, it might be helpful with this.. And we'll mark this as R-4-A.. because I want you to indicate with a highlighter what is your handwriting and I want you to pretty much divide the notes as they would have looked, you know, note one, note two, note three. Here is R-4-A. And if you could mark with this pen--you might want to lean over here and divide the notes and tell me one, two and three.

A. Like, a box around it?

Q. A box would be.. Obviously, it's not to actual scale. But just divide the notes in chronological order and call them one, two, three.

A. I don't know if this part was actually written on the note or not (indicating) because I don't know. He says he wrote it on the copy. But I don't remember. So it may have been in all of this. I don't know when he wrote that or what he did with that.

Q. Okay. Now, could you indicate with the yellow- go ahead and number them first in chronological order of when those notes were given to him.

A. (complies)

Q. Could you highlight in yellow- you already have one.

A. Highlight in yellow?

Q. Whis is-that you recall in your handwriting?

MR CONNERS: Okay. And I would move for admission of R-4-A.

MR JONES. Okay, I have not objection.

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE: Exhibit R-4-A is admitted.

(Exhibit No R-4-A is admitted.)

Q. Why don't you allow the judge to have this and I'll give you another copy. And you can remember which is one, two, three and four?

A. Yes.

Q. All right. Let's start with the first note. And tell us ... tell us the circumstances that led to the first note and continue from there, please.

A. Okay. And if we have a schedule because it's going to be important to me later of the football schedule to get the exact date.

Q. I will go ahead and check that for you.

A. Okay.

Q. Would you identify what I've marked as R-8 and R-9?

A. Okay. One is the school calendar that on the back has the football schedule. And this is the inside of the school calendar that has the same thing.

Q. Yes.

A. Okay. It was folded like this. Okay. Yes.

Q. That appears to the a true and accurate copy of the original?

A. Yes.

MR CONNORS. I move for admission of R-8 and R-9

MR JONES. No objections.

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE: Exhibits R-8 and R-9 are admitted.

(EXHIBITS Nos R-8 and R-9 Admitted.

Q. Okay. Back to the qustion

A Okay.

Q. ... if youcould, tell us how the notes cam about.

A. Yes. So it was the Monday after the China Springs football game, which was on the 6th.

Q The 6th of what month?

A. The 6th of September, 2002. So the 9th woulc have been Monday. So it woudl have been September 9th. The kids were coming into class. In that class also they sort of straggled in because band was first period and a large number of those students were in band, which often got out sort of late. A lot of times there would be an announcement, pelase excuse the band students. You know, we got in late, or whatever.

Anyway, the kids were still coming in. I was getting stuff ready. I was up at my desk. Matt and Sam walked in and they were talking about a note- a letter of some sort that had been done in codes that somebody was doing in another class-talking about that.

And I said, yeah, we used to that when I was in school. We would write the alphabet backwards or try to do, you know, silly ways of writing notes. They were talking about that. And then there (sic) were talling a story about something that happened- they were coming back from a football game- at a Sonic. I can't remember exactly what the story was now. But it was funny. And I know they were in two separate cars. I can't tell you specifically what the story was now. But it was funny. They were laughing about that. They had just been talking about the note.

You know, we used to do that in high school because they didn't know what they were talking about---what the other kids were doing. And so I just had on my desk the pad of paper. And I wrote just a first letter for every word. Sometimes I wish you were just funnier, Matt, and handed it to him and said, there, that's like an example of what you would do. And that was it. We didn't talk about it anymore at that point.

MR CONNERS: Let me see R-4-A?



Q. Could you go ahead and write what your intention was when you...

A Okay

Q. did that on that interpretation?

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE: ARe you having her write on an exhibit?

MR CONNERS: I'm sorry. Let's go ahead and go with R-4-B. Let me talk to counsel and see if they object. Can I have her write on 4-A and then re-urge admission?

MR JONES. I have no problem with this technique. Mr Conners, I have no problem.

ADMIINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE: How about writing in a different color?


A. So just write

Q. Write the interpretation

A. I'll just write it down here below it. Had I given it to Sam, that last letter would have been an "S" instead of an "M". But that's what it meant.

Q. Okay. So you gave the note to him. Tell us what happened afterwards

A. That was it. He kept the note. The kids finished coming in. I took attendance. That was it. In the hallway as I was heading down lunch and he was coming towards his class that period, he had the note out and he was looking at. So I stopped and I said, hey, did you figure it out. And he said, no, he didn't know what it meant yet. And I told him that the first word was sometimes and that the last word was Matt. And that's the only discussion we ever had about it.

Q. Did you intend it to be sexual?

A. Absolutely not.

Q. Did you foresee that it would be sexual?

A. Doing this was the most foolish, naive thing that I think I probably ever did. Of course, i in no way, it o way crossed myh mind that he would have tkaen those letters and done with he did with them or I would not have written them. I mean, I in no way intended for that.. it was just a cute little fun thing. No, No way did I intend that.

Q. Okay. Could you go on? Anything else you want to add about note one?

A. Not about that note, no.

Q. Let's go on to note two.

A. Okay. The very next day was Stepember 8th maybe.

Q. It's the next day.

A. The 10th, okay, Tuesday, again, getting ready for class. The kids were coming in. The kids were... Some of the kids were giving me a hard time because they would always make fun of me for saying the same things over and over. I would say d...accord a lot, which means okay in French like as in a pause between sentences or whatever. I would say "crudiduh" if I cropped something like golly bum. Anyway, it's not even funny, oh please. And they're just writing these things on the board.

Okay. And I was at my desk still getting ready.  And I was looking for my pencil to do attendance. And I was looking... I guess I didn't realize.... I thought i had a pen or something. Anyway, and I couldn't find my specific pencil with the little design on it that I always use and it was right in my hand the whole time. And Matt said I wish to God our teacher wasn't such a scatterbrain or weren't so scatterbrained. And I wrote down ... I had just given him the other note the day before. I wrote down. I wish to God you had some brains and then put from off the board its not even funny. And I gave that to him there at the beginning of the class in the open in front of everyone. I didn't intend it to be mean or hateful. We were... After two years with a class, you know, you can be a little bit.. I'm trying to think of the right word... you're more at ease with people. I didn't mean for him to take it and be offended by it. Of course, he had some brains. He had called me scatterbrained. We were just giving each other a hard time.

Q. Could you write out in blue ink what your interpretation was of that?

A. Yes (witness complied)

Q. Okay. And did you have any intention

A. No

Q... that this would be a sexual nature?

A. No.

Q. Did you foresee that it would have any sexual nature?

A. Absolutely not.

Q. And did Matt or anybody talk to you about these notes before the allegations came out?

A. No.

Q. Then what happened next as far as the third note?

A. Okay. It was the end of that same class period twoards the end of class. The kdis were gone. They were putting their stuff away. I had gone over to my computer, checked to see whatever e-mail had come in. And I was reading an e-mail and I must have had a look on my face. I don't know. One of the students said what's wrong, Ms Ogetree? I said, nothign. I was just reading an e-mail and I must have had a funny look. And I said, no nothing is wrong.

And Matt said, oh, nothing big. I just ruined her day.

And I said, Matt you don't have the power to ruin my day to which the whole class replied ohhhhhh. Anyway, I just jotted down.. And then hd just sat down and didn't do anything. So I jotted down the I am so sorry. I guess he couldn't come up with something sexual out of that because there's not as many letters.. Anyway, I wrote I am so sorry and handed it to him and said, I'm sorry if I upset you.

At that time I was.. i am a nice person. I don't want to upset people. I don't want to hurt people's feelings. At that time I didn't want to hurt Matt's feelings or, you know, I cared. So I didn't want him to be upset or hurt. So that's why I wrote the last one.

Q. So what is I'm not sure yet but I think what you're reading.

A. Well, see if I had upset him by the fist note which I don't think I did. But if I had. And then the ohhh, you don't have the power to run my day.

Q. And could you write out what IASS means?

A. Yes. (Witness complies). And again, all of these were done out in the open. They weren't .. You know, I wasn't trying to hide anything.

MR CONNERS. And I would move for re-admission of the R-4-A as modified or amended by the blue ink by Ms Ogletree on direct.

MR JONES. I have no objections.

ADMINSTRATIVE LAW JUDGE: Exhibit R-4A is admitted as amended.

(EXHIBIT No R-4-A admitted as amended)

A. Also, may I say one more thing on that?

Q. Sure.

A. Now, in hindsight knowing what Tami heard Matt say that he had enough on me to sue me, that's the only thing I can think of. And that's what I... that's my suspicion. Tht's what I think he probably did. He got those notes. He figured out something he could do with them and turned it into something to sue me with.

Q. But on these notes you did not have an intent to be of a sexual..

A. Absolutely not. Now, I mean, my goodness, I would never ever ever do somthing like this. I should have.. You think I would have foreseen it. But I didn't. I didn't. It never crossed my mind.

Also, yeah, let me point that out. This is not my language. If I'm going to talk about engaging in that sexual activity, that is not the word I use. That is Mat's language, not mine. He used it up here onthe stand when he lied about whta he went and told Doug. If this is true, I'm getting out of there. That' sthe word Matt uses. That's not my language.

Also over here, if I'm talking to performing

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE- Now, when you say over here, you're pointing to the top of the

THE WITNESS: I'm sorry. To number 2, yes.

A. If I had actually written a note about wanting to engage in oral sex with anyone, it would have said,.. I wouldn't have used the word "oral sex". I probably would have used the term "blow job". I would not have use dthe term "giving head". That's not in my vocabulary.

And it stood out to me when I was reviewing the CPS video the other day. Those are Matt's words. When you watch that video, he says it over and over and over. Those are the words that come naturally to him. This is his terminology, not mine.

And I'm just thinking of one more thing. He also changed the dates that I gave him the notes. That's why this was important to me. When he was first interviewed, he said when you look at his sworn statement... his October 2nd sworn statement, that she stated giving me the notes a couple of weeks ago, which would have been around that week. And then on the CPS audio tape the reason I marked- I think it's the first one that's counted- is because he said he took them home. He would have to have that piece of paper. But it was, like, he threw them away. And a couple of weeks later, they came and got them out of his trash. So he implied it had beenh several weeks since.. since the time that they went to question him and got the stuff.

Then when he decided to create the allegation of the hand job in the car, he didn't know when it was. Nobody could ever remember when that camp out was. It was September 20th. When he decided to create that allegation, he changed the dates of the notes and said, oh, all of teh notes were after the camp out. And if that were true, that all of the notes were after that camp out, that would mean that ehy had to have all been given the week before he was first questioned. And if that were the case, he would have said, she gave them all to me last week. He would have to know they were all last week. But he didn't. He said, they were several weeks ago.

He's lied about the dates. I mean, he shoudn't have to lie about any of it. He changes the dates when he made up more allegations to try to make it look I guess more believable that I was still coming after him even more after the camp out. And he clearly lied about the dates that I gave it to him to try to make it fit whatever story better. It's his terminology, not mine.

I did them out in the open. I acknowledge it was a ridiculously foolish thing for me to do. Knowing what I know now, of course, about him, but even jsut about what seemingly good kids can do. I would never- I mean, of coruse, I would never do that again.

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1 - anonomous   28 Oct 2009 @ 9:18:26 PM 

Ms Ogletree is to be complimented.  The so called Justice system is not there to always help the ordinary citizen.  Criminal especially.

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