So when’s the Leader going to cover Tresona’s misconduct complaint against BHS and its “acclaimed” vocal music teacher?

We won’t be holding our breath.

Someone just tipped us off today that a formal complaint about this matter has also been filed with the Department of Education. OCR complaints involve the district having to hire attorneys if there’s an investigation, and so the board members can’t hide away from the situation. These written complaints are also public information.

How in the world too can anyone defend this guy? The evidence against him is in writing. But people in Burbank are.  What a crowd we got now, eh?

That whole bloated vocal music program has gotta go. Its inherent sleaze and vulgarity has reached critical mass. This isn’t high school any more. It’s a perfect example of what happens when you allow commercialized interests and impulses to infiltrate our public schools.

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41 Comments

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41 responses to “So when’s the Leader going to cover Tresona’s misconduct complaint against BHS and its “acclaimed” vocal music teacher?

  1. John Qwire

    I am trying to see if I can locate a source for the civil rights complaint. If I can obtain it I will get you a link. I am redacting the copy I have to take out student names.

    • semichorus

      Great. Anyone can write for it as well under FOIA. OCR will send what they’ve gotten and maybe some notes.

      I suspect OCR will accept this complaint for investigation. Takes a month or so to decide. The guy is clearly making harassing and derogatory sex-based comments to other adults about protected classes and in a school environment.

      If they do and come to this same conclusion, the BUSD must take corrective action in a consent agreement. It won’t be pretty.

      I can’t believe anyone would talk about students like this, or sexually charge the curriculum in such a way. That creepy slickster program’s got to go. None of this is a surprise to me, really. I’ve always hated that whole showbiz VMA schtick. It’s been getting out of hand for years.

      • Anon

        “I can’t believe anyone would talk about students like this”

        You’re so full of made up indignation. You — yes you– have talked about how students would throw themselves at you and you’d get oral sex from them when you held your position at BUSD.

        You remain a piece of shit.

        • semichorus

          You’re a liar. And when did I talk about getting oral sex from students?

          I talked about 35 years ago at ADULT SCHOOL, in response to assholes like you trying to claim I was some kind of loser for working there in my 20s. Hardly. And at no time did I EVER talk about male or female adult students the way this guy does about high school kids — to ANYONE.

          Nice try, assholes. You’re the despicable ones.

  2. John Qwire

    Also, the link you have up has had the student names redacted.

  3. Mark

    I thought the same thing I see no student names in what you have linked here

  4. Jim

    I agree, there are some who have a self interest in what has been going on with this choir. Follow the money and identify who they are. When was the last full outside audit of this choir ? How do we get the state to come in and investigate the school, the district and the choir over all of this.

  5. Burbank6

    BURBANK LEADER = FAKE NEWS

  6. Robert Shaw

    My name is Robert Shaw IV, and I am a choir director and have been for almost 40 years. The Burbank High School Show Choirs, and their Director, Brett Carroll are very famous. I do not live in California, but as an educator, I certainly have followed their progress.

    I have read the complaint on this website and reviewed the text messages sent by Mr. Carroll to his arranger, Mr. Greene. I have not read them all, but I spent about four hours going through the material. I know from being a public school educator that the issue of teacher misconduct can get lost in the rhetoric of jealousies, axes to grind, and other distractions that do not serve the interest of the students, do not protect the students, and weakens the school and the teachers in the community. Disciplining the winning football coach, or a famous choir teacher of an award winning program requires level thinking about what is truly best for the community and the students who may be exposed to predatory risks. There is often no rational debating of these issues among supporters. The blaming of the messenger is almost axiomatic, but I think we know from the tragedy that occurred at Penn State, that no one person is bigger than the school that they serve.

    If character is what one does when no one is looking, then there is a deficiency to be found in the character of the sender of these messages. Mr. Carroll texts his arranger, Mr. Greene, and offers him drugs and prostitutes. Carroll texts Mr. Greene to promise him a trip to Mexico to see the defilement of girls by animals and the promise of more girls for Mr. Greene. I doubt that the girls engaged in those activities would be volunteers, and for an educator to think so little of young women, when he is supposed to be a leader of young men and women, is impossible to reconcile with the goals of being an educator.

    Carroll discusses students by name, joking about statutory rape, selecting students by sexually describing and objectifying their bodies, and this is inconsistent with any policies I am aware of in any public school system.

    Mr. Carroll used sick days to do consulting work at other schools and he was paid handsomely for it. He then asked Mr. Greene to not tell anyone that he was out of town consulting so that his “bosses” did not find out. This would constitute a fraud perpetrated on the Burbank School district, with two different school systems, one paying him as a consultant at $100/hour and Burbank USD paying his salary at the same time. I do not know if that is standard operating procedure in your district, but I would assume that not every teacher has that luxury and it would be a violation of the collective bargaining agreement that we work under here.

    The texts Mr. Carroll sent also describe teachers at John Burroughs in very unflattering terms, and refer to many of my fellow choir directors in a very poor light.

    It will be up to Burbank High School and your community to determine whether this conduct, where Carroll offers drugs, prostitutes, and foreign sex tours is to be tolerated. Carroll’s texts explain that Burbank High School students are objectified and selected on the basis of their looks, Carroll’s determination if they have a prepubescent appearance, their sexiness, and their race, instead of whether they are capable dancers and singers. Carroll’s texts explain that casual drug use by his choreographers is permissible, and hiring a professional back up band that shows up drunk to work with students is equally permissible. It will be for the community and school leadership to decide if this is an individual that they want to be working with and guiding their children.

    Carroll texts Greene and tells him that he and Greene are making more money off of show choir than most storefront business. It is possible that the job of educator is no longer important to Mr. Carroll. I do not envy the position your community finds themselves in.

    • semichorus

      I don’t think his personal life is any consideration, but I’m not sure about the legal school board or credentialing rules in this area. There is a possible moral turpitude issue here, as well as what they call “professional” deportment. School boards under the law are allowed to be more 19th century about this than other employers.

      But yes, the harassing and sexually charged language towards the students needs to be addressed. Thanks for the outside analysis.

    • Robert

      Mr. Shaw, forgive me but you sound an awful lot like Mr. Greenberg. What choir are you associated with? You don’t seem to come up in any search. It’s an interesting coincidence that this letter was written a week after Carroll successfully defended himself against a very punitive lawsuit brought by Mr. Greenberg. I don’t know the back story on this but there is obviously a serious axe to grind against Carroll here. I’m not condoning the emails if they are legit. Just saying there’s appears to be a lot more to the story….. especially Greenberg’s motivation.

      • semichorus

        Who cares about his motivation?

        • Robert

          I care. Greenberg comes off as a guy who wants to destroy Carroll in the most vengeful way possible. Why? Spurned lover? Bad business deal? It calls into question the authenticity of the emails. He comes across as a person who will do anything to destroy Carroll. If Greenberg was concerned about the students then the perception would be different.

          • semichorus

            Not too hard to destroy now, is he?

            He’s a lawyer who saw some bad and questionable things going on with this sleazy program. God bless activist lawyers, I say. It’s about time someone take on this inappropriate, overblown “show choir.”

            The screenshots prove the authenticity of the emails, btw. Is this the defense?

      • robert.shaw58IV@gmail.com

        Dear Robert;

        You are correct. A this stage in my career I am now a part-time teacher and I would prefer to not to identify what district I work in because I do not want the endless invective that will most assuredly come from my stating my opinion. I would assume that since Mr. Greenburg has sued Mr. Carroll, that Mr. Greenburg does not like Mr. Carroll. I would also assume that since Mr. Carroll sued Mr. Greene, his arranger, that Mr. Greene and Mr. Carroll are also not on friendly terms. However, and with respect, I believe this misses the point.

        The texts messages produced from the litigation are text messages sent by Carroll to Greene and by Greene to Carroll, and even taking into account that there is obvious animus between Greenburg and Carroll, Carroll wrote these texts. Greene wrote these texts. Carroll is the one who is offering the drugs, the foreign sex tour to the donkey shows with girls, the prostitutes, and selecting students for the program based upon sexual objectification (and there is much more in the texts than that). Greenburg may in fact be a horrible person, but this does not excuse Carroll’s behavior as an educator.

        My posting was not an attempt at upsetting you or anyone else, it was just a commentary about a situation that I have followed as a choral educator. I am not a member of your community, and if these texts and the content of the texts and the conduct of Mr. Carroll in sending the texts is approved by the community, then there is certainly nothing for me to say.

        • semichorus

          You don’t need to defend yourself.

          It’s these people who are trying to defend the indefensible by making everyone else the issue. Tell them to go to hell. They have much to answer for.

          They’re gonna lose on this one, too. The responding agencies are going to demand a compliance plan that involves more than just the admission of fault and some kind of mawkish “apology” ceremony for the kids — where the guy will end up getting a standing ovation.

  7. Robert

    And if Greenberg created a fictional Mr. Robert Shaw just to post here then he is clearly batshit crazy.

  8. chad

    Okay, what if he was just joking with a friend of his? You know, locker room talk?

    • semichorus

      Yeah, but these are minor charges of his. Who he’s then selecting for roles based upon their physical attributes.

      When I was an old BUSD employee not once did I ever ponder whether or not some female adult student I knew was able to lick her own clit. (If they could they usually let me know.) I was also never in a position of rewarding them with anything, either academically or otherwise.

  9. Robert

    I’m not defending Carroll or condoning the messages. However Greenberg is not some white hat lawyer trying to clean up a sleazy program. He is simply interested in squeezing as much money as possible for himself out of a community, not one school, that is hardly a group of nefarious evil doers. He also comes across as one of the most vindictive and petty individuals I have witnessed. In today’s world it would be easy to create “screenshots” of any conversation. Let’s assume it’s all real. Then Carroll is done, and rightfully so. But every senior at every school besides Burbank will not have any DVDs to watch. Small programs without the backing of a VMA can’t afford to do anything. In the end the kids get punished for doing nothing wrong thanks to one bully who wants to profit off the backs of a group of show choir programs. Are they perfect? No. Any program that depends on volunteers and underpaid adults with big egos will have issues. Aren’t there bigger fish to fry?

    • Legal Beagle

      Robert, do you think that this complaint would be filed with the evidence and the conversations if Greenberg made it all up? That would be defamation per se and if Greenberg is the vindictive and petty person that you believe he is, and he may very well be, I imagine he would have covered his bases before filing a complaint like this. The texts are stamped by Greene’s attorneys at the bottom, that is how litigation works. So it is either Greene made up all these documents and turned them over to the court and perjured himself in the process (and by the way, Greene looks pretty sick here in these texts also, so I have no idea why he would make up the texts and incriminate himself). And remember, Carroll and the parents are now suing Greene, saying this was all Greene’s fault, and you can see from the texts that Greene tried to solve the problem and even got Burbanks’ past licensing bill wiped clean, if only they would start obtaining the proper licensing. It is easy for the district to determine whether he called in sick on the days he asked Greene to lie for him and take his classes and not tell his bosses. His whereabouts as a consultant can easily be confirmed, as Carroll is a pretty famous guy and this is an easy thing for the district to determine and The California Department of Teacher Credentialing, who according to my review of the documents, also received the complaint.

      As far as the donkey sex show with girls or offering to obtain girls for Greene that cost $1.00 each, there are laws regarding traveling outside of the country for sexual exploitation of minors or to engage in criminal sexual acts. Section 2423(b) of Title 18, United States Code makes it a crime for a United States citizens or legal permanent residents to travel from the United States to a foreign country (Mexico as in the texts) with the intent to engage in illegal sexual conduct with a child such as rape, molestation, or prostitution. Carroll’s husband is a Mexican National, and there is no evidence in the texts that Greene took Carroll up on the offer, only that Carroll made the offer. But a reasonable inference would be that Carroll has been to these shows featuring Donkeys having sex with “girls” because he knew about the cost of the beverages at the venue and he texted to Greene that the beers were only $2.00 each. By inviting Greene to attend after his show choir season ended, he clearly condones the activity. His use of the word “girls” as opposed to “women” probably indicates that the show features under-aged performers. And even if the evidence points to adult female performers, is this the type of event that a school teacher of young students should be championing?

      I agree with one thing that Chad said, If Brett Carroll and Joshua Greene did not work with children, then Carroll and Greene’s texts to one another about their actions and their actions would be irrelevant. But, they do. So even at the end of the day you may be left with a petty and vindictive businessman who is in business to make money and a reprobate teacher whose writings about his own behavior disqualify him from teaching. Also, if you read these texts (which I am guessing no one is actually doing), Carroll texts on pages JG000687-688 “LOL what’s funny is that we probably make quite a bit more than a lot of people who own small storefront businesses, taught in Boston yesterday and today.” So perhaps both Carroll and Greenberg are in it for the money.

      The documents on pages JG000889-890 – Carroll admits that the district knows he is doing lots of unlicensed stuff, and on the following page he texts Greene about keeping the parents in the dark, texting to Greene: “But I also can’t just tell everyone what’s going on because, as an example: one of our pain in ur butt board members who I was keeping in the dark because he would cause trouble-saw the posts online and freaked out on me. I have to be careful here. 2/18/15 1:38 PM”. How parents can stand behind him when he has lied to them is really hard to understand.

      I think there are a lot of people who are making decisions here or forming opinions without even looking at Carroll’s texts.

      • semichorus

        I agree– they need to be read first. I ventured through them all before I posted this thing.

        Not sure about the shows– he could have been joshing– and I’m pretty liberal about this kind of stuff as applied to quick accusations. I’m one of the few people for instance who defended Trump on the grabbing pussy line because it’s not what he meant that he liked to do it anytime he wanted. And “girls” is a generic term for women.

        But, the smart ass cynicism towards the program and sexual labeling of these kids needs to be addressed. They also need to get songs that won’t lend themselves to bordello-ish treatment.

  10. DixieFlyer

    It is readily apparent that some employee’s at BUSD are NOT the adults in the room.

    Students at Burbank Schools are exposed to quite a bit on a daily basis’

    While some of the words come from song titles,others were authored by the communicants themselves.

    As this mess is sorted out, the District can communicate with Parents and Students within the Law.

    Hiding facts after the cat is out of the bag is stupid.

    This should be treated as a Learning experience by ALL.

  11. DixieFlyer

    As for the Burbank Leader, follower or Waste of Time—the Editors must take responsibility for their State of Waste.

    The $50,000 that has been questioned spent on mailing is left dangling.

    Meanwhile, Burbank Citizens are accused of wrongdoing by the Public Relations flacks who received the $50,000.

    As for the staff attempt to Tax Pot, Dr. Gordon made the Motion to Note and File with Bob Frutos seconding..

    There was no mention of either man in the Leader . ttttttttttttttttrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    Bobscccccccccooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn. ssssssss oooooooooooo rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrtooooooos hhhhhh boooob frutos oooooooteeeeeee

  12. Robert

    I read all the texts. To me it is a couple of childish adults making obscene comments that were never intended to be shared with anyone. However, if I had a son or daughter in that program then clearly I would want Carroll gone immediately. If I was an administrator in the district then I would feel compelled to take action. However, in the big picture he has never been accused doing anything inappropriate over many years. I’m sure every teacher has made a few comments in private that could be taken as inappropriate.

    I think there is a big difference between texting a comment to a “trusted” friend and actually saying or doing something in front of the kids. Greene is the one who wanted to push the sexuality. Carroll shut him down several times. It’s interesting that you defend Trumps comments but find Carroll’s offensive. I don’t see much of a difference in context. They are both obscene and both were intended to be private. As Trump would say, locker room talk. However, I would feel a greater sense of privacy texting than walking around with a microphone on. I get that Carroll is a teacher and Trump isn’t. But who should be held to the higher standard, a teacher or presidential candidate? I never assume that documents like this are genuine. They showed up on a blog post. I’m not saying they are fake, just that a dose of skepticism is warranted before destroying a persons reputation. Trying to interpret what was said as literal versus obscene humor is impossible. Only the authors really know the intent. Again, unfortunately it’s the kids who are paying the price for something that should have never gone this far. Carroll and Greene were both far more invested in making the program something special. Greenberg only cares about making money and bullying people. Carroll should have paid up front like Burroughs and this would all be for naught. If you think the shows are corrupting innocent children then you haven’t spent much time around high school kids.

    • Anonymous

      A teacher should be held to a higher standard, and remember the teacher is talking about minors who he teaches.

    • Ellen

      I disagree. The text messages are not about paying royalties they are about objectifying minors as sex objects for the sexual pleasure of adults. Only a pedophile would see nothing wrong with this.

      • semichorus

        I’m not sure about that, nor about the sexual pleasure for adults thing. I think the slick tackiness of it all goes to the need for making major changes in the program.

        You’re leaving out too that teens get sexual pleasure out of other teens, and so it’s not just “adult” desires either way. The kids need to be talked out of wanting to do this crap.

  13. Legal Beagle

    I’m just going to address a few points. There are parallels: Who would ever imagine, as Robert Shaw pointed out, that what happened at Penn State ever happened. Paterno clearly knew what was going on. If you ever have a moment to read the Freeh Report (Written by Judge Louis Freeh) on Penn State (it is available for download), it is amazing and very disturbing. Not only did Paterno know, they retired Sandusky and brought him back as a consultant to run their defense, making him the only PE Emeritus professor in the history of Penn State. I wonder why?

    When Carroll texts Green that Greene is worse than his mother for worrying about drunk adult musicians performing with the kids, what else may have happened with drunk adult musicians around students that Carroll says “are all sexy to him.” What if one of those drunk adult musicians assaulted a student. It is a fact that the incidence of rape goes through the roof when alcohol is involved.

    Robert, I do agree with what you said that if I had a kid at that school I would want Carroll gone. But the standard must be much higher than that. It must be that they err on the side of caution and protect the students. The point Robert made about these being private texts is exactly correct – Carroll never expected anyone to ever see these, but that does not excuse the impropriety. People who traffic in child pornography also never expect that to be made public, but that does not make it right, and Carroll writing texts about volunteering to check his male students sweet spot is beyond the pale. (Writing fiction stories about sex with underage children and publishing them has been found to be a criminal act in US Vs. McCoy.) This seems to be something that no normal educator would do. These texts are on Carroll’s phone and he must have thought he had some privacy right (although Greene is not a priest or lawyer or doctor) and these texts were not hacked. They were turned over by Greene at the request of Carroll’s attorney. This is the definition of irony.

    Carroll is not irreplaceable, and from his texts he mentions that he consults with 40 show choir directors per year, so he probably could care less about teaching. Greene and Carroll seem to push the sexuality pretty equally, and the passages about the student and Carrol suggesting that Greene checke her “belt” and the follow-up statutory rape jokes are also beyond the pale for an educator entrusted with kids..

    What we know to be from Carroll’s texts is that he is not a prudent risk for the kids. I am also stunned by how quickly he reveals personal family information about his students to Greene. I am guessing that texts that disclose personal student family information with a non district (is Greene a district employee?) employee could not possibly be permissible (I am just guessing I have to research this). There is a text that I ran across page JG000603 where Greene is texting Carroll back and forth about vocalizing a student. I do not know what “vocalizing” a student means. But Greene asks Carroll if he can do it. Carroll can’t do it because he is headed out of town on a Thursday (I presume for more consulting). Greene suggests that maybe the student should come by Greene’s house and do it there. Carroll agrees with this and tells Greene that he thinks the student should go to Greene’s house. Carroll sent a student to Greene’s home to work on vocals? Why did that happen? Doesn’t the school have any space where the students can sing? How are students sent to a music arranger’s home? Is that safe or a “best” practice?

    These texts seem to reflect a win at all cost attitude that benefits Carroll’s reputation so that he can keep consulting and charging other schools his $100/hourly rate. If you read through the texts, there is the series of texts about Carroll cutting a deal with a stage manager and stopping the clock at 24.59 in a Chicago area contest so that Burbank is not disqualified for going over the time limit. One should keep reading the next few pages because when Burbank comes in second place, Carroll comments that he feels the competition was rigged. If the irony of that is lost on anyone, please review those texts. To think that a program like Burbank’s may have achieved their results from rigging the competitions is unfortunate. I have seen the choirs and they are very accomplished, and there should be no need to rig any of the competitions.

    Lastly, I did not defend president-elect Trump at all or comment on him, so I have no idea where that came from. He is unqualified in my opinion (for among other things sexually assaulting women and then bragging about it, and that is not locker room talk to me) and he also seems to have NPD DSM-5, which could end up being ruinous for the country.

    Have a good weekend. I am off to Big Bear.

    • semichorus

      Excellent points.

      I’m the one that brought up the Trump thing. People had been misinterpreting his “grab” comments, and I’d made a point of saying that what he said– though stupid and derogatory– was not as malignant as some commentators had been asserting. He never said he liked to grab women there whenever he wanted to, he said that when you’re a rich celebrity they let you do such things. A completely debatable point of course, but he wasn’t saying he did it for sport.

      There’s plenty of other reasons to dislike Trump (his constant sexualizing of everything, for one thing). But people were putting words into his mouth, and like they needed to do that!

  14. Anonymous

    Leagle Beagle and Robert Shaw are obviously Mark Greenberg. Nobody other than him would interpret the texts about “donkey shows” as anything other than a joke based upon the stereotype/urban legend about Tijuana (and note that text, like 95% of these, has nothing to do with students, let alone any specific students). None of the texts suggest that anything inappropriate ever took place involving any student. So comparisons to Penn State cause those commenters to lose all credibility with me. The texts where Greene is writing about singers portraying strippers are in the context of talking about ideas for a show (did that show ever happen?). You can argue that directors/conductors shouldn’t even be talking about including stripper-characters in shows, but I want to know if that show was actually performed, or just discussed and nixed?

    • semichorus

      Some joke. Bigoted and stereotyped ethnic humor is just so funny, especially when it’s engaged in by high school teachers and their assistants!

      Only an asshole would try to soft peddle this BHS debacle. And BHS it is. As to the shows, they are indeed tacky and slick.

      Worse, they’re seriously un-academic.

      I could care less btw just WHO it is that’s commenting, whether you’re correct or not about the identity. I care about what’s being said.

    • Anonymous

      That show did happen. It was the show from 2015

  15. Anonymous

    I had some great moments in the program when I attended the school. However, hearing about this now, it really pisses me off that my parents spent their hard earned money to have me be in this program to be taught by such an “acclaimed” teacher when he’s actually a creep. It’s also really sad that he judges the students because of their looks and not their talent. So glad I graduated and don’t have to deal with this school the useless administrators.

    • semichorus

      He can get away with that in Vegas or Bransom. Not with Titles VI to IX.

      Yeah, I think the program’s gotten out of hand.

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