Kathleen Baty speaks about family leaving New Canaan
Published 1:01 am, Thursday, March 4, 2010
It's as much about her new job in Menlo Park, California, as it is about Turner Baty wanting to enjoy the remainder of his senior year in a place he feels comfortable and wanted.
That's the story according to Kathleen Baty, the mother of the quarterback that helped lead the New Canaan football team to a fourth straight state title.
Though her children have already left, Baty is in the final process of moving out of New Canaan, and she spoke with the New Canaan News about what she claimed were inaccuracies in last week's News story.
She wanted to make it clear: the move is only financial in the regard that she has a new job opportunity -- a reality show that could be picked up by TLC -- that requires her time, presence and attention in the greater San Francisco area.
The pilot episode shot in December, and the family knew the writing was on the wall a few weeks ago.
Players from the Rams football team spoke last week about their understanding -- from Turner -- that the move was predicated on tight family finances.
"All financial? I'm so embarrassed," Baty said.
Baty's job is what led her family to New Canaan in the first place. She is divorced, and her former husband lives in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where Turner moved back to.
Baty, a former stalking and kidnapping victim who helped write and pass the nation's first anti-stalking laws, is known as "The Safety Chick." She is an author and a one-woman brand that markets to women and companies in need of tutoring when it comes to stalking and sexual harassment prevention.
That career path led her from Menlo Park to Fort Lauderdale last summer, where she was ADT's national spokesperson, and then to ESPN, which recruited her to come to come to Connecticut late last summer.
"It behooves me to be in the same [area] as any company in order to get the project going," Baty said.
Baty's did originally believe her family would be here throughout the entire school year, minimally. Although she's still a consultant with ESPN, the five-month introduction process to stalking prevention no longer requires her to be in Connecticut on a daily basis; her obligations to ESPN will continue through the spring, but she's no longer needed in the area. So her job opportunity, partnered with her son's growing discontent in the area led to the exit that got a lot of people in town talking about why the family had come here in the first place.
"Turner became increasingly unhappy," Baty said. "And, frankly, bored -- because he was sitting at home every night. ... I watched Turner call and text friends every single weekend, and I watched him sit at home. He was a great babysitter. He just was not included, ever, and not for a lack of trying."
Baty said she had a few long talks with her children about going through another big move, one that would be in the middle of a school year.
"But, ultimately, life is short and you only get one senior year," Baty said. "You can only take so much negative."
Baty also wanted to address the skepticism over their arrival in New Canaan to begin with. Not only did the family know the Hanrattys prior to coming here, but also Turner's namesake -- Turner Baur -- was a longtime resident of the town.
"What people [don't know] is Turner Baty is named after Turner Baur, who lived in New Canaan forever," Baty said.
Baur played tight end at Stanford after Greg Baty, Turner's father, played there in the 1980s. The two have remained close friends.
"And I think any parent that should understand that when your kid is a senior in high school and they play football or lacrosse or baseball or any sport, you're going to look at schools with the good programs," Baty said.
"Turner was nervous," Baty said of his arrival at NCHS. "But Lou [Marinelli] and Johnny, Lou's son, were just phenomenal to him. The overall experience of New Canaan with most of other kids has been great. ... New Canaan is wonderful in the sense that it does have that community backing and feel."
She also commented on the players' remarks about Turner's character and words, claiming they were just as mean-spirited to him, yet they did not acknowledge that in the article.
"What people don't realize is, they get this false sense of anonymity by using Facebook or text-messaging, but in fact, it's the complete opposite," Baty said. "Once you write something, it is out there, for God and everyone, forever. So, unfortunately, for most of the boys that were quoted in the article ... I get Turner's phone bill every month and all the text messages printed out. ... They're all going off to college in a few months, where they're going to go to a new town, where they know no one and have no support group. I really hope they take that in and understand how hard it was for Turner."
Turner Baty is now enrolled back at St. Thomas Aquinas and is training and in search of an offer to play football at the Division-I level.
"That was also a big factor as well," Baty said. "He can run and train on the beach. The weather is much more conducive to him training in Florida as opposed to in Connecticut. ... I know he wishes he could've finished out his senior year here in New Canaan, but he had to do what was best for him. Like I said, life's too short."