The principal in this article is not the current administrator in this position. She was the former principal.
Isaac Ellison Farris was 15 when he and his mother, Rachel Ries, went to the school staff, principal and vice principal of La Vernia High School on several occasions to seek help about the bullying he was experiencing on and off campus.
“The incident happened January of 2014 and I started school there on January of 2013 and I’ve was hassled and bullied during that time frame,” Isaac, now 18, told NEWS LEGIT. According to Isaac and his mother, they were basically ignored or brushed off when they attempted to get help from the bullying from certain football players and told “the staff there about the abuse going on at the school to both to myself and peers.”
“I had been to the school to have Isaac’s schedule changed and file formal complaints about bullying from specific students and the football ‘jocks’ in general three separate times” before the big incident occurred, Ms. Ries explained.
The bullying and threats escalated. Isaac was terrified and frightened that he had no place to go to because previous attempts to seek help were disregarded by school officials. One particular football player was especially dangerous because he “threatened me and tried to physically harm me” repeatedly. The situation was so bad and the threats were so real a classmate came to Isaac one day at the end of school in the cross country locker room and handed him a knife for protection. Isaac was desperate and feared for his life.
“I ran away because he was a football player and I was just an average scrawny kid.”
Isaac immediately left to walk home and was relieved to find “some more of my friends. I started to talk to them and then (name of “prized football player” withheld) showed up.”
“He wanted to know what we were talking about and started to press on one of my friends,” Isaac said. “I told him to leave her alone. Afterwards he told me to tell him what was going on or he would beat me. I ran away because he was a football player and I was just an average scrawny kid. As he was chasing I remembered the knife in my pocket and pulled it out telling him to back off because I knew about the stand your ground law that Texas has. He proceeded to charge at me and I went to block myself in turn ending up scratching his wrist. He got even madder and I ran away because he kept talking about killing me and I ran into the street full of cars just to get him away.”
“Afterwards I started to walk home scared and on edge that he was looking for me,” Isaac continued. “I found someone I knew in one of the tennis courts and asked him for a ride home. He said he would ask his mom and his mom said yes. On the way home my mom called me and asked me to go back to that school because the principal called her. I apologized to my friend and asked them to take me back.”
As they approached the high school, the mother of his friend noticed police cars and officers at the front. This frightened Isaac even more so he asked her if she wouldn’t mind taking him to the back of the school. He walked straight in the building and passed three police officers before entering the principal’s office. He couldn’t find her so he walked back to ask the officers “if they knew where the principal was.”
“Instead they asked me my name and I told them,” Isaac said. “After that they pinned me to the wall, handcuffed me and put in the principal’s office without reading or saying my rights and left me there by myself. After a few minutes of pure confusion and fear, the principal walked in by herself and questioned me about the situation by herself.”
It was at this point Isaac’s fears intensified, realizing he was up against a system that was clearing going to protect a football team player over “an average scrawny kid.” Later, Isaac and his mother, would find out from his attorney and others that behind the scenes the married principal was engaged in an affair with a La Vernia police officer. The romance came to a head when the officer’s wife actually addressed it publicly during a school board meeting. She revealed the email correspondence between the two lovers that had been circulating around the local rumor mill for weeks prior to the meeting.
“…a judge came into the room and told me my Miranda rights there…”
The principal asked Isaac why he did it “and that if I didn’t tell her I would go away to jail for a really long time,” Isaac said. “I told her I didn’t know what was going on and that I wasn’t lying to her about what I was saying. After the very quick interrogation the principal gave me I was immediately” driven to a police station and placed “into the interrogation room.”
According to Isaac, the police officer in the room “kept telling me that I was going away for a long and kept saying how much of a delinquent I was. After some time the cop left and a judge came into the room and told me my Miranda rights there. I signed a paper keeping my rights and the judge left. Another cop came in and told me what I was being charged with. My mom then came into the room in full uniform and the cop forced her out trying to hit her with his belly.”
“I heard a lot of arguing and then heard a ‘snap,’ thinking the cops slapped her but later found out it was one of the cops unsnapping his gun towards her,” Isaac recounted. “My mom came in after the arguing was done and told me to keep quiet and look at her. She handed me her phone to where I spoke with the lawyer (Anthony B. Cantrell). The lawyer said for me to say nothing, do what I was told, and to keep my head down. I did as he said.”
Isaac said he was sent to a juvenile center for two days and “was in nothing less of pure fear and depression for that time. From there I was sent to a court room were the lawyer and my mom were waiting. No one showed up for a time except a probation officer and all she said was that I was to complete six months of probation and I believe 40 hours of community service and the whole thing would be turned into one misdemeanor. I completed what was asked of me. After I was done it was as if it never happened.”
“I refused to let him return to LVHS,” his mother said. “I was scared for him being a target and having his whole life ruined…Thing is, Isaac has never been in trouble before or after. I think he’s got maybe one speeding ticket once ever. And he’s been driving since he was 15 but they painted and like he was this criminal when the kid (football player name withheld) was the aggressor and when my lawyer brought that up along with the other things kind of dropped it in this weird way. But he still ended up with the deferred adjudication record even though we never saw a judge.”
Now 18, Isaac said he wants to serve his country in the military. Prompted by the news reports about the bullying and sex scandals, he is “not seeking sympathy,” but wants people to know what really has been occurring in La Vernia.
Contact Jack Dennis at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: Texasjackson. For free email notification when a new article is posted, go to SUBSCRIBE on the right sidebar.