SAN ANTONIO – A former Saint Mary’s Hall student is seeking more than a million dollars in damages in a lawsuit filed Tuesday against the San Antonio college preparatory school.
The ex-student, who is not named in the court filing, accused St. Mary’s Hall and former Head of School Jonathan Eades of ignoring her claims of sexual harassment, bullying and sexual assault, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit is filed in Harris County, where Eades currently works at The Kinkaid Schools.
“Eades, on behalf of SMH, knew about the many incidents but did nothing to address them or implement any changes to prevent the next incident from occurring,” according to the court filing.
In a statement, Eades said he cannot comment on the legal matter, but said he cares deeply about all Saint Mary’s Hall students.
“During my time at Saint Mary’s Hall, we worked diligently to foster a culture of trust, respect and accountability,” Eades said. “Beyond that, because this is now a legal matter, it would not be appropriate to comment further.”
The student claims officials never investigated the incidents she alleged and, in fact, continued allowing the harassment.
”We were made aware of the situation this morning and we are working to gather the facts as we can,” said Elizabeth Thompson, the school’s Director of Marketing and Communications. “We’ll share information as soon as we’re able to do so.”
The lawsuit was filed after the creation of two Instagram pages that include several allegations of misconduct and racism at the school. One page, called “Women at SMH,” focuses on alleged abuse faced by girls who attended the school, while “Black at SMH” focuses on students who felt racially discriminated against during their time at Saint Mary’s Hall.
The lawsuit includes several screenshots from the Women at SMH Instagram page to show that the student “is not alone in being a victim” of the culture allowed by the school.
Due to her experience at the school, the student “suffered traumatic tolls on her mental health and had to and continues to seek professional help,” according to the lawsuit.
“Jane Doe files this lawsuit to send a very powerful message that now is the time for SMH to start actually making the school a place of ‘trust’ and ‘responsibility,‘” her lawyers wrote in the court document.
Saint Mary’s Hall issued this letter to parents and students after learning about the lawsuit.