The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

National and world

May 13, 2014

Pedophile teacher abused dozens as clues missed

(Continued)

By 1992, Vahey and his wife moved to the prestigious Jakarta International School in Indonesia, where he again taught social studies, coached basketball and developed a reputation for leading fun overnight trips for students.

"All the kids seemed to really, really like him," said Will Julius, a 21-year-old alumnus and son of a former longtime International School teacher.

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After 10 years, the Vaheys moved to Escuela Campo Alegre in Venezuela, where Jean became superintendent and the man known to all as Bill took a teaching job at the sprawling hillside campus overlooking the capital, Caracas.

All new hires were required to provide a police record from either their home of record or their last country of assignment, if they had been there for more than five years. Vahey presented one from Indonesia with no history of problems.

Again in Venezuela, the popular teacher and family man took students on trips.

Authorities may have missed a warning sign when two students under Vahey's care were rushed to a hospital after falling unconscious in their hotel room during a trip to a basketball game, parents and staff said. A toxicity test came back negative, so the school sent security officials to investigate. They were unable to determine a cause and chalked the incident up to a possible failing air conditioning unit. Vahey was not investigated.

Vahey also privately organized outings like a week-long annual trip to Costa Rica for some 20 to 25 students, parents and staff said.

Superintendent Gregory Hedger said that when he arrived, he was surprised to learn such excursions were allowed. He put an immediate stop to trips not sponsored by the school and without parent chaperones.

Seven years later, the Vaheys went to work at the Westminster campus of London's Southbank International School, which has about 350 pupils from 70 countries. Vahey was subjected to two criminal background checks in the United Kingdom, where he hadn't lived before.

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