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An administrator at The Oakridge School in Arlington who called high-profile attorney Michael Avenatti “a f------ douche bag” is suspended indefinitely, according to the private campus’ head administrator.
Butch Groves, who is listed online as Oakridge’s Head of Upper School, called Avenatti a “f------ douche bag” and a “lying piece of s---” in a direct message on Twitter before dawn on Monday. Avenatti represents porn actress Stormy Daniels and recently said he had a client who can back sexual assault claims against U.S. Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh.
Shortly before 6 p.m. Monday, the school’s head administrator posted an update on social media:
“It was brought to my attention that Butch Groves, Head of Upper School, sent an inappropriate private message to attorney Michael Avenatti from his personal social media account,” stated Jon Kellam, Head of School. “I have been in contact with Mr. Groves who has admitted to the communication. He deeply regrets his comments and the negative attention brought to the school.”
The message states that the school has clear policies about online and face-to-face communications.
“Oakridge employees are expected to maintain the respect, dignity and professionalism that is consistent with our mission,” Kellam added. “Mr. Groves’ conduct was inconsistent with these policies and with standards. I have therefore suspended Mr. Groves indefinitely as we conclude our investigation.”
Earlier Monday, a Twitter clash ensued when Avenatti responded to Groves’ message with a tweet that included a screen shot of Groves’ private direct message: “Meet @butchgroves, The Head of Upper School at The Oakridge School in Arlington. I have never met him before or communicated with him but here is his message to me earlier tonight. The parents of Oakridge must be so proud to have this man teaching their sons and daughters.”
Avenatti told the Star-Telegram he received the unsolicited direct message as news was flowing about his new client in regards to Kavanaugh.
“It’s completely inappropriate to send an unsolicited message like that to anyone,” Avenatti said, adding that he checked Groves’ social media profile and became more angry.
“He held a leadership position at a school in Arlington,” Avenatti said. “I was even more outraged. This is a man who is supposed to be leading and teaching kids.”
Avenatti said Groves has no business leading and teaching children.
A telephone message to The Oakridge School was not returned on Monday.
“The school has received negative attention on social media due to an employee’s personal comment during non-work hours,” stated a Facebook post to parents and guardians Kellam posted earlier. “Our team is looking into it, and I will communicate with you again when I have more information.”
The Twitter page listed to Bruce Groves was not available on Twitter Monday morning. A private message to Groves on Facebook was not immediately returned.
People were weighing in on the school’s Facebook page.
“This is incredibly disappointing,” Huma Yasin wrote on the school’s Facebook page. “As a new parent of four children who attend Oakridge, I find this disturbing to say the least. Just because the conduct occurred outside of school hours does not serve to mitigate it. His twitter handle identifies him as the head of upper school at Oakridge, which means even though he’s acting outside of his direct agency, he continues to represent the school.”
Another person stated: “Mr. Groves didn’t do anything wrong. This is a hack job.”
Avenatti’s Twitter post was also drawing opinions. Many were critical of the Oakridge administrator while some questioned why there was an effort to actively destroy Groves career.