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Teen Shoots Self in Class
Aired October 11, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, yet another shooting at the hands of a child. This morning, a 14-year-old boy shot himself in the head at school while classmates and teacher watched in horror. This just days after another teen calmly confessed to murdering his mother and sister. Two towns in one week shaken by teen shootings. Do we need to do something to protect kids from themselves?
Then, Dottie Sandusky`s sudden defiance. Jerry Sandusky`s wife is lashing out about her husband`s sentence for sexual abuse, blaming the victims, the system, even her own son.
And later, the story of a teacher who was falsely accused of having sex with a student and the price she paid for a crime she didn`t commit.
Let`s get started.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: First up, teens and guns in schools.
Joining me is Dawn Boldrin, a teacher who witnessed the murder in her own classroom. And clinical psychologist, Dr. David Swanson.
First, though, I want to get an update on today`s shooting of a reporter Vanessa Peng of KVRR-TV in Fargo, North Dakota.
Vanessa, give us the latest.
VANESSA PENG, KVRR-TV REPORTER: Well, what we do know right now is that a freshman student walked up to the front of his classroom and shot himself in the head in front of seven students and a teacher. It`s a very traumatic situation. The community of Fairmont, North Dakota, is just under 400 people. And the freshman class really is only eight students including the shooter.
PINSKY: And the shooter`s condition, I heard he was alert and awake, responsive when he was carted away. Did he completely missed or was there a head injury?
PENG: No word on that yet. Authorities are keeping tight lipped about details on this case.
PINSKY: How about the other kids and the families and the community at large? How are people adjusting?
PENG: Everyone is shocked. They said it was a normal day. The shooter walked up to them, said hi. It was a completely normal day so this is completely out of the blue for them. Shocking and devastating.
PINSKY: All right, thanks. I want to talk to Dawn because you`ve been through this. Remind people in your classroom.
DAWN BOLDRIN, TEACHER, WITNESSED A MURDER IN CLASS: Normal day. We were in a computer lab doing an English project. Midway through, Brandon got up and shot Larry.
PINSKY: How old are the kids? Now, we`re talking about ninth graders in North Dakota?
BOLDRIN: We`re talking about eighth graders. About the same age in that they were 13, 14, 15 years old. So, it would be the same age group.
PINSKY: Dr. Swanson, is there anything about that developmental age that makes their think about suicide and murder sort of more primitive and less attached to reality and the consequences?
DAVID SWANSON, PH.D., CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: I think it`s shocking and terrifying for us because we don`t expect that kids this young are going to be depressed or deal with life stressors. But it does make sense, because a lot of times we have depression and other things behind this. And this is the age where kids go into middle school and it is a very stressful time negotiating classrooms, relationships, and all kinds of things that come with that.
PINSKY: The social pressures.
Dawn, I imagine the consequences on you are still with you. That was four years ago, right?
BOLDRIN: Completely. With me but also the way the event in itself was handled -- prior, during, and after. And watching the students that were in that room recover as well or try.
PINSKY: And you stopped -- you were unable to be a teacher for awhile, right?
BOLDRIN: I pulled out of the classroom because I wasn`t able to separate myself from the students and actually be a teacher at that point. But then when I decided to try and go back into the classroom, I wasn`t really given the support from the school system to do it.
PINSKY: Are the kids given enough support to handle this trauma?
BOLDRIN: Absolutely not. Not in any way either by the school system -- I mean, as a parent I wouldn`t have prepared my child to watch another one get shot in the head. Why would you ever think of that?
PINKSY: And, Dr. Swanson, what do you think they need? I would think an order of months and months of individual supportive therapies.
SWANSON: Well, this is the thing about therapy. There is no replacing time. It takes time to heal.
You`re still dealing with this now. You could imagine how some of these kids are doing. Usually what happens is we bring in grief counselors, crisis counselors and we go through protocol. After that it`s up to the parents and for each family to go out and get the help they need to recover.
PINSKY: So, I think the important takeaway here today is obviously the first rush is the kids and how they`re affected by this. But this affects the adults, the teachers, the parents, the entire community.
I want to take a call. Let`s go to Britt in Maine -- Britt.
BRITT, CALLER FROM MAINE: Hello, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Go ahead, Britt.
BRITT: I lost my severely depressed 19-year-old son Nick to suicide in 2007. And I feel betrayed by the mental health system because of how it was handled and what has been done. He had been hospitalized after a serious suicide attempt. And three days later, I thought I was going to a treatment team meeting at the hospital to discuss his care. And when it turned out to be a discharge meeting, I was completely terrified for my son`s safety.
PINSKY: That is an interesting point here. Maybe, David, you have a comment about this. The mental health system both in terms of accessing or in getting people into care such as maybe your student or this kid in North Dakota. But once they get to care, making sure they get sufficient care.
SWANSON: And oftentimes it`s hard to do. We both know as mental health professionals that when they`re over the age of 18, they can very oftentimes figure out a way to get out of the hospital.
PINSKY: Well, this was the story we did a couple nights ago. We had parents up here whose daughter disappeared after a hospitalization. She was in intensive day care. They went on a 10-week search, they found her hanging in a tree decaying. She was discharged prematurely.
And the parents couldn`t do anything because she was 19.
SWANSON: Well, and the fact of the matter is, when somebody is hell bent on killing themselves, this is something that you`re not going to stop them from doing. Usually the types of suicides we`re talking about here in the classroom setting, this is a cry for help.
Oftentimes you find people that do want to kill themselves. They will find a way out of the hospital and they will find a way to commit the act.
PINSKY: Boys and guns, though, that seems to be the theme in a lot of these stories right now. And I think the guns directed at themselves and done publicly. Are we seeing a new trend here in terms of what young males are getting into?
SWANSON: We were talking about this before the show. I think oftentimes kids are looking for an audience. They`re making a statement. You don`t just show up at a classroom like this boy did today and hand somebody a note and shoot yourself. You`re making a statement. Very oftentimes this might be an act of passion. Very oftentimes it could be to show people in the class that did him wrong, he`s making a statement it wasn`t OK.
PINSKY: And again, young teens have a magical way of thinking they`re going to be around to watch the consequences of what they`ve done and, of course, they don`t understand the finality of death. I want to get more from viewers. The number here is 855-373-7395. That`s DRDREW5.
Later on, Dottie and Jerry Sandusky`s neighbor speaks out on his experiences with that family and what he is thinking about the sentencing yesterday. Stay with us.
PINSKY: We`re talking about something that happened this morning. A ninth grader shot himself in front of classmates and a teacher. He has survived but a ton of questions remain. Why he did it, is he OK, what are the consequences going to be on the other kids.
I`ve got Dawn Boldrin here with me as well who herself had a seen a student or had a student do something actually quite dramatically worse. Actually succeed in killing another student.
And you were telling me during the break that the consequences to the other students were more stunning than I realized.
BOLDRIN: The consequences of the people who watch that myself included, the mental breakdown and nonsupport led me to even go through several suicide attempts and some of my personal students.
PINSKY: I did not know this about you.
BOLDRIN: Well, you don`t advertise these things, which is funny enough when people talk about this, you understand and you relate. And it`s very hard to clinicalize it or --
PINSKY: There`s nothing funny about it.
BOLDRIN: No, there isn`t.
PINSKY: So you contemplated suicide.
BOLDRIN: Several times.
PINSKY: And your students contemplated suicide.
BOLDRIN: Several of them have. And this is again to explain that these kids got no true support or counseling after watching what they did or had to go back to court and testify and all these people just, I believe, blew it off.
PINSKY: Did you get the right support and help?
BOLDRIN: I did. But it took a --
PINSKY: You knew enough as an adult.
BOLDRIN: It was over several -- I am today where I am because I had counseling and support and my husband loved me. I have kids.
PINSKY: And the kids that tried to commit suicide, how many tried to commit suicide?
BOLDRIN: Again, it`s a class. So it was a class of 28. I know of at least two within it that had tried. Weren`t successful.
But why? Why would they even have had to go there?
PINSKY: David, that`s the question. What did they need and why did they have to go to that place?
What you went through was not easy. And for nobody else to see that and what you would expect is a real classic case of a post-traumatic distress disorder where you can`t stop replaying it over and over in your head. It leads to stress, anxiety, depression. And very oftentimes, when it doesn`t go away some kids see it as an alternative.
PINSKY: How long after the event were you suicidally depressed?
BOLDRIN: The event happened in February. Obviously, the shooting happened in February. I believe it was right about the time I should have returned back to the classroom for the school year to begin.
PINSKY: So maybe the fall the next year?
BOLDRIN: September, that next year I went in and out several times.
PINSKY: Were the kids on the similar time?
BOLDRIN: The children who were involved in this, I`ve watched it happen now after the actual trial has been finished and they`ve -- it`s more been how they fit into life in addition to how they fit in with this part of their life being there. Because, again, suicide in itself if you commit it, it`s not something you can just -- trust me. A lot of people are going to be shocked. I called this like situations because nobody actually likes to address, oh, you tried to commit suicide. It`s not something you talk about.
PINSKY: I think it is something you talk about. It`s courageous for you to do so. But for us, it`s a matter of fact that people should talk about it and be clear about it so people don`t hide and feel ashamed of these things.
BOLDRIN: But again, same thing with the shooting. Those of us who were directly involved with it, we were treated very much as outcasts. Because as we appeared, what did we symbolize was depression.
PINSKY: It kills me, Dawn.
BOLDRIN: So go away. We don`t want to talk to you or remember it.
PINSKY: How primitive do we have to be as a system and society. If we`re treating people who need our help like that, you know what I mean? That`s primitive stuff.
I want to hear from our callers too to see if there`s other people that have similar stories.
Shawn in Florida -- Shawn.
SHAWN, CALLER FROM FLORIDA: Hello, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: What you got?
SHAWN: There`s a reason why that student chose that classroom today, and that teacher. And there were most likely subtle signs. There`s always subtle signs that people don`t --
PINSKY: Shawn, I think Dr. Swanson and I agree with this. But did you have a personal experience with this?
SHAWN: No. But I have a neighbor from whose son committed suicide. And from she tells me, it`s devastating. There is PTSD with everybody involved.
PINSKY: Of course. Plus, horrible grief and terrible -- but the fact is there are signs and they may not be subtle. It`s never the case unless there`s frankly a brain tumor. We had that 911 call, do we have that, control room? Can you tell me?
OK, I`m going to try to track down that 911 call after the break we`ll have it of that kid that called in dispassionately to a dispatcher and said I killed my mom and sister. That seemed to come out of nowhere. That`s exceedingly rare.
Usually there are hints that people are paying attention. And risk factors. You want to list some for people?
SWANSON: If you have a family history of suicide attempts or you have a family history of mental disorders or you see the child has depression or there`s drugs or alcohol involved, I mean, these are all risks.
PINSKY: Changes in sleep patterns, drops in grades.
PINSKY: Don`t ever say not my kid. Listen carefully. It`s painful when your kids get sick with anything.
SWANSON: You`re looking for those drastic changes, but this is one thing that I think is a common misconception. For those kids who make a decision to go ahead and try to commit an act of suicide, at the very end these kids look happy. It`s deceptive. They`ve given things away.
PINSKY: They made their decision.
SWANSON: Yes. And all of a sudden now, they look like everything`s fine and boom. That`s when it happens.
PINSKY: More of your calls guys. Call in, 855-373-7395.
Later on, Jerry Sandusky`s neighbor is speaking out about what he has seen. He`ll be with us in a few minutes.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DISPATCHER: Is there any reason that you were so angry at your mother and your sister?
JAKE EVANS, 17-YEAR-OLD: I don`t know. I wasn`t -- it`s weird. I wasn`t even really angry with them. It just kind of happened. I`ve been kind of planning on killing for awhile now.
DISPATCHER: The two of them or just anybody?
EVANS: Pretty much anybody.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
PINSKY: That was the chilling call 17-year-old Jake Evans made to a 911 operator after he had shot and killed his mother. This was just last week.
Dr. Swanson, is that the situation -- a similar situation we`re talking about here now in North Dakota? Just these intense feelings come up and kids act out violently all of a sudden?
SWANSON: You know, what I see -- we look at kids going through bullying -- 66 percent don`t say anything to their parents. So they hold this stuff inside. And when you go through something like this, it`s almost shameful to talk about it.
If you`re a parent at home and you`re watching this, I think more than anything what you want to do is be talking every night to your kids. Wait until that sun goes down. Wait until they`re vulnerable. Get rid of the text messaging and sit down and talk to them.
Because this is an epidemic. With the Internet at a lot of the things we have now, kids now feel they have more of an audience and you`re starting to see this play out more and more publicly. Talk to your kids.
PINSKY: Sitting down in their beds after 9:00 at night, bedtime, open-ended questions. How are things going?
Jennifer in Wisconsin -- Jennifer.
JENNIFER, CALLER FROM WISCONSIN: Yes. Hello.
PINSKY: Hi there.
JENNIFER: I am a survivor. I had a family member who committed suicide.
And I just think that there`s such a stigma and there needs to be awareness and there needs to be help. The mental health industry -- I mean, it`s not good. And I miss my brother. I miss him dearly.
PINSKY: Was he -- was he depressed for a long time?
JENNIFER: I`m sorry?
PINSKY: Was he depressed for a long time?
JENNIFER: On and off. You know, and he just -- that day was the day.
PINSKY: Yes. Jennifer, listen. If nothing else today, I hope what people take away is that depression and mental health issues kill. These are fatal conditions sometimes just like any other medical problem. And as with any other death, the repercussions and ripple effect throughout the community.
But when it happens publicly, now you`ve got post-traumatic stress disorder. You`ve been courageous today to talk about the aftermath. And then of course your family and your friends are worried about you and they have effects, the entire community, it ripples through. This is something people need to be aware of.
I think, David, that`s the way to go about tackling this, the first order of business is talking to kids. Talk to your kids.
SWANSON: Look, there`s a lot of callers saying that I lost faith in this mental health field. And there are a lot of effective treatments that are out there.
But I think you`re absolutely right. When you say that there`s a shame about coming forward -- a lot of people don`t access services or there`s a stigma about taking medication for depression. Get on it. Take advantage of what`s out there to help you treat this.
PINSKY: It`s a medical problem like any other and can be more dangerous than medical things people think about as problematic and scary.
Thank you to Dr. Swanson. Thank you to Dawn Boldrin. I appreciate you guys.
Next, the Sanduskys` next door neighbor details intimate conversations he had with them before Jerry`s arrest.
Stay with us.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JERRY SANDUSKY, CONVICTED PEDOPHILE: They can take away my life. They can make me out as a monster. They can treat me as a monster. But they can`t take away my heart. In my heart, I know I did not do these alleged disgusting acts.
My wife has been my only sex partner and that was after marriage. Our love continues.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
PINSKY: That was Jerry Sandusky in an audiotape released right before he was sentenced to decades in prison. I`m joined by attorney and Penn State alum Brian Claypool. Also, Paul Kletchka who lives across from the Sanduskys and knows Jerry and Dottie.
Paul, did you ever suspect what was going on with that Sandusky family? What were your thoughts?
PAUL KLETCHKA, SANDUSKY NEIGHBOR: No. You know, we knew them and just as neighbors. Never ever suspected anything like that.
PINSKY: Now that all of these stuff, Paul, has come out, do you believe all these allegations? Does it make sense to you? Does it somehow fit together based on suspicions you`ve had in the past?
KLETCHKA: I wouldn`t say that we ever really had suspicions. But certainly we do believe the victims. And the stories make sense. As far as understanding, I don`t think we`ll ever understand.
PINSKY: How about Matt? Did you have a relationship with him? Did you know him?
KLETCHKA: We know Matt. We would see Matt around the house. He would visit occasionally.
He was there quite a bit with his children. You know, probably about a year ago. Our daughter would play with his children when they were there.
PINSKY: Brian, what do you think about the switch from -- what do we know about Matt`s background?
BRIAN CLAYPOOL, ATTORNEY: Well, Matt was eight years old when he entered the Second Mile program. And I really don`t know why he entered that program, but he entered at 8 years old. Sandusky immediately began mentoring him, had him over to his house for stay-overs. Took him on trips and everything, and became an equipment manager for Penn State University. That was Matt`s background.
But what happened, though, in 1994 -- so Matt`s about 13, 14 -- his mom, his natural mom started challenging Matt being with Sandusky. In fact, she filed court documents objecting to Matt being around Jerry Sandusky.
PINSKY: Did she allege any concerns about misconduct?
CLAYPOOL: She didn`t state specific misconduct.. She had a sense something was wrong. Because when Matt was 11 years old, there was an instance when he ran out of Jerry Sandusky`s house at nighttime in bare feet, ran in the rain to his grandfather`s house. His grandfather hid him in a basement because he was so afraid of Jerry Sandusky. Sandusky comes over to the house and knocks on the door and pulls Matt back out of the house. That`s when he was 11.
PINSKY: Has he adopted him at that point?
CLAYPOOL: No. He hadn`t adopted him then.
Then what happened in December of 1994, Matt set fire to a barn. He got in trouble, went to a juvenile detention center. And then, Jerry Sandusky, the predator he is, he comes in and saves the day, says, hey, instead of you being in a juvenile home, I will adopt you. So in January 1995, Sandusky adopts him.
PINSKY: So, he`s like grooming this kid from the beginning.
PINSKY: ALL right. Let`s look at a video of Jerry Sandusky that Paul videotaped from his own yard. Now, Paul, while we watch this, why don`t you tell us, narrate what it is we`re seeing, OK? I guess, there`s a picture of Jerry. You see?
PAUL KLETCHKA, SANDUSKY NEIGHBOR: Yes, I can se it. And -- so that`s Jerry. He had come outside. This was this past January. It was quite warm here, unusually warm. Jerry was under house arrest at the time, but he spent a great deal of time out on that deck throwing treats to his dog Bo. And that`s what we`re seeing here.
PINSKY: Was he at any risk when he was outside? Would people, in any way, threaten him? Or was there media swirling around?
KLETCHKA: Well, so where you see him right now is on the deck on the back of his house. Their house is literally at the end of the street. So, when he was back there, media folks could not see him back there.
PINSKY: And Paul, tell me about Dottie. What do you make of the fact that she was so quiet and seemed to be strangely sort of strangely quiet through much of all the media frenzy and the trial? Then all of a sudden, she comes out fiercely, I guess, it was yesterday when she issued some statements and is now attacking Matt. What do you make of that?
KLETCHKA: Well, I`m honestly not surprised. She spoke to us prior to all of this about some of the troubles that Matt had. Of course, at this point, we have to question everything that Dottie ever said to us. But, you know, it doesn`t surprise me that she has come out like this against Matt. She has made it clear -- I`m sorry.
PINSKY: It`s one thing to say -- it`s one thing, Paul, to say I`m very concerned about his, you know, judgment -- but she seems full of rage when she`s sort of talking about him. Does that surprise you?
KLETCHKA: It does surprise me somewhat that she`s been so angry with Matt and the other victims as well. That does not seem characteristic of Dottie or the Dottie that we thought we knew.
PINSKY: How would you describe the Dottie you thought you knew?
KLETCHKA: Well, as I said, we had basically a very neighborly relationship with her. She is approximately the age of our parents. So, you know, she`s the age of our children`s grandparents.
And, you know, we saw her as a grandparent to her grandchildren, you know, someone that we could go to if we need to borrow a cup of sugar or a cup of milk or something like that. You know, we would wave to her whenever she drove by or we saw her out on the yard.
PINSKY: All right. We are going to keep this conversation going. Again, the number is 855-373-7395. Next, they have another victim who, himself, has been through experiences like this and been blamed by his perpetrators. Call us now with your stories. Don`t go away.
PINSKY: Joining us is Adam Rendon. He wrote a book about his having had experienced with sexual abuse. The book is called "The Valley." Adam, can you tell us what happened to you?
ADAM RENDON, SEXUALLY ABUSED BY TWO NEIGHBORS: Drew, when I was six years old, I was playing outside my house. And the next thing you know, my neighbor, his name is Julis (ph), he`s 12 years old at that time, he asked me, hey, my parents want you to play with us at home.
I go inside the house, and they had this trailer. They had this chair. And next thing you know, they`re saying we`re going to play spaceships. I was like all right. I sit on the chair. They --
PINSKY: You OK? It`s hard to talk about. I know.
RENDON: They duct taped my hands to this chair and they duct taped my ankles to the bottom of the stool. Next thing you know, they took off all my clothes, and actually, cut them up. And the two female neighbors, they were lesbians --
PINSKY: They were how old?
RENDON: They were probably in their 30s or 40s.
PINSKY: Thirty`s who adults and they used the 12-year-old to lure you in?
RENDON: They used him to lure me in and also part of the act. They used the end of a broom stick and they did some horrible things to me. I cried and screamed. They also had the little boy Julis (ph) --
PINSKY: The 12-year-old?
RENDON: The 12-year-old. Yes, and --
PINSKY: They must have been using him before. This must have been going on for awhile.
RENDON: Yes. And -- I mean, I cried and screamed and did what I could try to do. And, I was just exhausted. I was tired and I was just like, I gave up at that moment. When they were done with what they were doing, they just gave me that threat where if you tell anybody, I`m going to hurt your family.
We`re going to kill your parents. And it was one of those things where I`m like I won`t say nothing. Just let me go, please.
PINSKY: Breathtaking. It`s very similar to, Brian, what you have dealt with at the school with the coaches, with the --
CLAYPOOL: It reminds me of that where these kids were lured in by somebody else and then they were attacked.
PINSKY: And then the kids -- you feel guilty. It`s the strange thing children feel, but you try to survive and you eventually become a passive victim. It`s a normal reaction, but then, you start feeling all kinds of crazy things. How does it feel to you when you hear Dottie Sandusky blaming her son who is likely also a victim?
RENDON: After hearing -- reading the letter itself, it`s one of those things where as a victim you`re -- not only do you feel alone already, but you just lost your family. She blamed him and said that he made these things up.
And, as a victim, if I had told anybody what was going on and they realized that -- or they tried to deny me, yes, I wouldn`t have said anything at all. I probably just would have went into more depression.
PINSKY: So, is she re-victimizing victims out there by doing this?
RENDON: Of course. Of course. The victims are trying to watch this case and then I guess we got justice. But now as the mother is blaming her son saying that he`s making up these lies, as a victim, you don`t want to express yourself and be treated like that.
PINSKY: I`ve got the letter that Dottie wrote that you`re talking about. This is in regards -- it`s to the judge about her son Matt. You mind if I read it again? This is what Adam was talking about.
"Jerry was a wonderful father to our six children. As far as our son, Matt, goes, people need to know what kind of a person he is. We have forgiven him many times for all he`s done to our family, but he would go back to his stealing and lies. He`s been diagnosed with bipolar. He`s had many run ins with the law and stole our money and items from our family."
Wow! And that`s when -- you actually get a far away look in your eyes reading that. Is that anger?
RENDON: It`s ironic, I guess. She was there the entire time he was with --
PINSKY: You`re angry. It`s OK to be angry. It`s OK. I`m angry for you. Did these women, were they ever brought to justice?
PINSKY: It makes me sick. I`m so sorry. And I appreciate you sharing it. I, really, because it`s -- this is how we empower people is by -- right?
RENDON: By talking about it.
PINSKY: By talking about it, and they`re saying it`s not uncommon. It happens to a lot of people. You can survive. You can be strong. Brian, you had some comment.
CLAYPOOL: Well, I think you`re very brave. And the fact that you`re here talking about it, it will empower other victims out there to speak about it and not feel afraid to come forward.
PINSKY: Listen, I just talked to Justin Bieber`s mom for an hour yesterday. She has been through stuff like this. You know what I mean? You are not alone. Dennis in California. Dennis, you got something for us?
DENNIS, CALIFORNIA: Yes, sir. Good evening, doctor. I would like to start with that I respect Mrs. Sandusky`s decision, her own choice to choose whether or not she`s going to support her husband, which she chooses to support the husband. However, I do disagree with her decision because "A," I believe he is guilty.
And "B," I`m an ex-cop. And I have seen too many times in my past career where influential people get away way too many times with crimes like this and a whole variety of what kinds (ph), and it makes me sick.
PINSKY: It`s interesting. I hear the emotion in your voice. I mean, you sound like this really bothers you.
DENNIS: It does bother me because that was the career in which I almost was killed and gave my life and had people I cared about got killed and people who died in my arms three different times.
And I don`t -- the stress of knowing and the past of certain individuals always because of the influence of their family could get away with crimes. It just makes me sick. And this is a prime example of it.
PINSKY: I appreciate those comments. Brian, do you have something to say?
CLAYPOOL: I just want to say, people need to understand that Dottie and Jerry Sandusky lived in a world of their own. I spent four years at Penn State. I know that town very well. They were treated like royalty. They had everybody in their back pocket. OK? They had the district attorney in their back pocket.
PINSKY: Well, that`s another topic.
CLAYPOOL: No. My point is this, though.
CLAYPOOL: If you have everybody in your back pocket, you`re living in a different world than you and I live in.
PINSKY: Got it. I got that right. Nancy in Massachusetts -- Nancy. Nancy, are you there? Who`s my next caller?
PAT, PENNSYLVANIA: Hello?
PINSKY: Is that Nancy or Pat? Who`s talking to me?
PAT: This is Pat.
PINSKY: Hi, Pat. What`s going on?
PAT: I have a question for the attorney. If this was going on, these kids now adults, why did they continue to go to his home over and over again?
PINSKY: Well, that`s sort of a - Adam, you`re shaking your head. Go ahead. Why don`t you answer that?
RENDON: I mean, it`s really -- it`s just really hard to even just, I mean, talk about this whole scenario after trying to get over what I was just describing with my abuse.
PINSKY: But, listen. Kids that are abused, it`s called traumatic re- enactment. People go back into traumatic circumstances. It`s something about the human brain. It`s not -- it doesn`t fully make sense, but it`s something that humans do. They go back into circumstances that recreate the trauma of the past. Pat, do you have a personal experience with this?
PAT: Well, my son has attended Jerry Sandusky`s football camp year after year. And it`s just hard to believe that there`s so many that went year after year after year without saying anything. If this is happening, I mean, there`s so many of them, somebody should have said something.
CLAYPOOL: Yes. Pat, here`s why. These kids are all troubled. They don`t have much in their life. They don`t feel like they belong. When Jerry Sandusky comes around and says I`m going to take you to a football game. I`m going to buy you a new computer. I`m going to buy you a new car. That means the world to these kids. You think these kids want to give that up? That`s why.
PINSKY: Paul, you`re shaking your head in agreement. Do you have something to say here?
KLETCHKA: Well, you know, we moved here from the Midwest. We had no idea who Jerry Sandusky was when we moved here. But when people started finding out that we lived next door, all we heard about was how wonderful he was, how the football team was worse off without him.
I mean, he was so revered in this town. And, certainly, I can understand kids wanting to be around him because he was. He was put up on a pedestal.
PINSKY: Yes. If somebody is not to be assessed or people can`t believe that something is going on, I think that`s what went on in that assistant coach`s mind, like he can`t believe what he was seeing. They`d rather doubt themselves than believe that somebody`s who`s so revered is capable of something --
CLAYPOOL: Well, look at how these kids reacted. Every kid -- even Matt Sandusky said when he was laying in bed and Jerry Sandusky came up to him and started touching him, what did he do? He just kind curled up, he coward up into a fetal position. Why did he do that? Because he couldn`t believe that it was happening.
CLAYPOOL: That`s why he did it.
CLAYPOOL: That`s right.
PINSKY: Adam, you can relate to that disbelief.
RENDON: Yes. Yes.
PINSKY: It`s how people survive.
All right. Thank you Paul. Thank you, Brian, Adam, of course.
Next now, yesterday, I promised you the story of a teacher who was found not guilty of having had sex with her student, ran out of time yesterday, but I have her story now after the break.
PINSKY: Last night, we were scheduled to have Jodi Barrus, a teacher who was falsely accused of having had sex with a student. Now, I was consumed talking to Justin Bieber`s mom and I ran out of time, but Jody stayed on after the show. I want to air that interview for you right now.
PINSKY: We`re accustomed to hearing about some teachers behaving badly. We`ve certainly reported a number of those stories. My next guest was accused of having had sex with her student. She, however, was found not guilty but still lost her husband and more.
Joining me is Jodi Barrus and her attorney, Derek Johnson. Jodi, take me through this story. How close were you to actually losing your freedom, were you?
JODI BARRUS, FALSELY ACCUSED OF HAVING SEX WITH STUDENT: Yes. I was very close to losing my freedom. I knew all along I didn`t do it. But, you know, in the public eye, I did. And so, it was a scary thought that, you know, I could go to jail.
PINSKY: What exactly happened? Tell us where this started and walk us through it.
BARRUS: Well, there was a student who I had had as a junior. In his senior year, he accused me of having a sexual relationship with him and went to the school and told a teacher and an aide, and eventually, went to the superintendent and the superintendent had asked him what had happened.
And, he recanted his story and said no, nothing happened. Eventually, the superintendent called the sheriff`s department, and they were called to my classroom and I was read my rights. And, they questioned me in my classroom about this relationship that I supposedly had with the student. I was completely caught off guard, had no idea --
PINSKY: What did you think? What did you feel?
BARRUS: A combination of things. I was sick to my stomach. I wanted to throw up. I was angry. I was mad that someone would do something like this that I was completely caught off guard. No one from the school even asked me any questions about it. It was, you know, just thrown into the Wright County sheriff department`s lap, then they came to me.
PINSKY: I understand there were some texts that sort of were problematic, is that right?
BARRUS: Well, he -- you know, at the time my husband was the road superintendent, and so, a lot of kids had my number. You know, he would be the one that pretty much called school off, and so, a lot of kids had my number and would text me the night before or early in the morning and ask me, you know, are we having school today?
And, you know, he was one of those students that texted me about 29 times is what it came down to. And, they were all -- all my responses, there was nine responses total. All mine were, you know, direct responses to him. I never texted him first. There was one group of text messages where he asked me to go to the prom.
And you know, of course, I responded back to him, this is absolutely absurd. I`m your teacher. I would never go to the prom with you. And the very next day was the day that he went to the teacher and, you know, accused me of having sex with him.
PINSKY: Derek, unfortunately, these days, so often, we`re hearing stories about teachers that do misbehave. These texts play -- devil`s advocate, did these texts work against Jodi?
DEREK JOHNSON, JODI BARRUS ATTORNEY: They really didn`t have any text. They had a record that text occurred, but the state could never produce the actual content of the text messages.
So, the student would come in and say, oh, this message said, you know, that we were going to meet later. But they could never produce the actual body of the text. So, we never really saw them. We just saw that they occurred.
PINSKY: Jodi, I understand despite of being found not guilty, you still lost a ton. Tell us about that.
BARRUS: Well, I guess, what do you mean about lost a ton? Are you talking about my marriage or just --
PINSKY: Your marriage, and I wonder what happened to your career. I mean, this is something that was still devastating in spite of being exonerated.
BARRUS: In the end, it hurt my children. They will always live with this. And it hurt our community. And it put a black cloud over my high school which I graduated from. And you know, in the end, you just have to try to dig your way out and put a smile on your face.
PINSKY: Let`s talk to Betty in Ohio. Betty, you have a question for Jodi?
BETTY, OHIO: Yes, Dr. Drew. Jodi, I want to ask you. This sounds like juvenile revenge on his part. Have you forgiven him? Or are you able to bring a lawsuit against him for this devastation?
BARRUS: Well, you know, it was kind of -- I think he was upset I wouldn`t go to prom with him. You know, mind you that a year before that, he was in my classroom and was kicked out numerous times. They actually removed him from my classroom. You know, under oath, he said, I hated her. I didn`t respect her. I didn`t want to be with her in the classroom.
And so, this is a kid. I don`t know if he was getting back at me, but it is what it is now. Do I have to forgive him? Yes. I have forgave him. It`s been the hardest thing in my life I had to do. I had numerous opportunities to sue, you know, different parties, and I chose to tell my story to help other teachers.
And, I believe in the long run, it will help other teachers just to know that there`s kids out there that can do this. That there`s teachers that can make mistakes. And you don`t know you`re really even making a mistake. You`re just trying to be kind.
PINSKY: Jodi, what was the mistake that we need to alert people to that you made?
BARRUS: Well, I think the biggest mistake was I was trying to be too nice, you know? I would respond to -- I still, to this day, can respond to the girls on my softball team or the girls on my volleyball team. You know, I`ve never, since the trial, have had a male student text me.
If it`s someone I don`t know, I definitely don`t respond to it. I think that`s what I`ve learned from this. You`re going to have to draw yourself back today and today`s society. I think it`s changed a lot since I was in school. And you have to just --
PINSKY: You have to set boundaries.
BARRUS: You do.
PINSKY: You have to set boundaries. That`s the whole idea. (INAUDIBLE) position of authority, those boundaries have to be very, very clear, because people can misinterpret things or people can abuse your niceness as you found out.
BARRUS: Absolutely. Absolutely.
PINSKY: OK. Jodi, Derek, the movie -- the lifetime movie is called "My Life Is A Lifetime Movie." It premiers October 17th, Wednesday at 10:00 p.m.
It`s an interesting challenge having to balance the rights of teachers and people in authority to justify or to make sure that whatever allegations are brought against them are in fact factual, but we`ve got to empower these victims. I mean, that`s really the theme tonight, which is that when we blame the victim, we create more victims. Got more for you when we come back.
PINSKY: Want to thank all my guests. Thanks to Vanessa Payne (ph) from North Dakota reporting in, Dr. David Swanson (ph), Dawn Voldrem (ph) for being so courageous and honest tonight. Brian Claypool, Paul Kletchka, and Adam Rendon, and again, for being so, so courageous in sharing your story with us tonight.
Thank you to those of you who called tonight. And of course, thank you to those of you that are watching. And a reminder -- oh, of course, I`ll see you next time, but finally, a reminder, that Nancy Grace begins right now.