Sunday, February 2, 2014

"A Precipitating Event"

A black mother addresses racial issues with all-white panel of Amherst town officials


If you're Irish you can crack jokes about alcohol; if you're a young supposedly hip black youth you can use the N-word among other young supposedly hip black youth.  Sort of.

But over the past few years -- because of the pervasiveness of hip hop music -- a kind of cultural homogenization has occurred where white youth (or in Madonna's case, older white women) have adopted a variation of the N-word (5 letters rather than 6, ending in "a" rather than "er") as a term of endearment.

However, when you transmit either N-word over social media where anybody can see it, you're asking for trouble.  BIG trouble.

This sad story starts ironically enough over Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, after a white youth (I'm going to call him "Justin" but that is not his name) posted a note of congratulations to his close friend, who is black, using the shorter (supposedly hip) version of the N-word.

Other black youth took offense and aggressively let Justin know it.

The original "threat" on the Facebook confessions page was actually submitted that weekend (January 18) but did not see the light of bandwidth until Saturday, January 25 a week later (the confessions page is moderated and a bevy of saved up "confessions" are published simultaneously) and was quickly spotted by School Superintendent Maria Geryk Sunday evening, January 26.

Obviously Justin was trying to send up a warning flare about being bullied.  And the events of the previous week, days after he first tried to post his "confession," demonstrate why:

On Tuesday, January 21 Justin had an altercation with a black youth upset about his Facebook congratulatory post to his friend (who is black).  It was heated enough for Justin's father, who works in the schools, to stop in the next day (Wednesday January 22) and consult with Dean of Students, Mary Custard.

She of course had problems with either version of the N-word.  The father agreed to tell Justin to stop using it (and had in fact done so in the past), even as a term of endearment.  At the meeting Ms. Custard informed the father she had been in contact with the parents of the black youth (his father also works for the schools) involved in the Tuesday confrontation.

Now Justin's father  became "dismayed" that he was not initially consulted for this official attempt at fact finding.  Even though they live in a surrounding city, the schools would certainly have his contact information and he does, after all, work in the building.

And he let Ms. Custard know, "The situation needs to be quelled before it gets out of hand."  On the morning of Friday, January 24th it did get out of hand, as one of the black youths escalated from verbal abuse to getting physical with Justin. 

The father again paid a call on Ms. Custard, but then tried to go over her head to Principal Mark Jackson, who was not in his office.  So he consulted with Vice Principal Michael Thompson, who promised to set up a meeting on Monday between the warring students, Ms. Custard and Principal Jackson.

In the meantime Vice Principal Thompson told Justin to go to lunch and if any problems with the other combative kids should arise, to seek out the nearest adult to act as referee/cop.

After lunch the problem happened yet again.  Justin, angry and hurt, called his father to tell him of the altercation and reported he was signing himself out of school.  The meeting scheduled for Monday never happened because the school suddenly closed due to Justin's Facebook "threat" discovered on Sunday night.

Through the snooping skills of Information Technology guru Kris Pacunas town officials and police discovered Justin was the perpetrator of the Facebook "threat" somewhere between 3:00 and 3:30 early Monday morning.

A few hours later Justin's father received a call from Amherst Police to come in for an interview, where he described how well his guns were stored.  As an ex-marine the father is well versed on the proper handling and respect shown for firearms, starting-and-ending with security.

Around 9:00 a.m. Monday morning local city police showed up and the father willingly turned over all the guns, even though they were legally owned and legally stored.  Police have determined Justin never actually carried a firearm into the schools.

The Mass State PD  bomb squad screamed through Amherst town center around 11:30 a.m. Monday morning heading to the High School to do a complete sweep for guns and bombs, although bombs were never mentioned in the Facebook "threat."

At the "community meeting" on Monday night (Justin and his family did not attend) school officials focused on the Facebook post as the "precipitating event".  A concerned audience member begged to differ, although she portrayed Justin as pretty much a KKK member.






School officials first informed parents and guardians only an hour or so before school normally starts  Monday morning (January 27) that ARHS was closed due to "unforeseen circumstances."

Perhaps if administrators opened their eyes a week earlier, those circumstances would be far from unforeseen.  After all, the first step is to recognize you have a problem.

The Republican reports (front page no less)

90 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think that Justin has a valid civil rights suit against Team Maria.

I don't care if he was clad in full Klan regalia, what part of "not hitting other people" doesn't apply within that high school?

And if the school won't enforce that basic concept, then I really wouldn't have much problem with Justin using deadly force, as in actually shooting someone in self defense.

Reality is that he did a lot less than that - and if Larry's facts are correct, I consider what he did to have been justified.

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you one other thing -- I bet that friendship's done. I'll bet that Justin won't have another Black friend in this or any other lifetime - this is how racists are created, and I'd be really surprised if one hasn't been created here.

Anonymous said...

You know Larry, if a female student had been sexually assaulted, would we even be asking what she was wearing, or would we say that this is not something we will tolerate for any reason?

So she's wearing a skirt shorter than she ought to and some schmuck thinks it's cute to yank it & let it fall down to her ankles, are we going to discuss how short her skirt was, or the rather absolute rule we have against pulling girl's clothes off them?

And after she's duly reported this to the school authorities, who send her back into harm's way and it happens to her again, do any of us honestly believe that things would even have a chance to progress beyond this?

Much like we have an absolute rule that you don't yank girl's clothes off them, we also have an absolute rule that you don't hit people. In both cases, it doesn't matter "why" -- you don't do it.

So why is the situation that happened different from the one that actually happened? And why is the Principal not looking at loosing his job -- as almost certainally would happen in the hypothetical situation.

Oh, and why are we surprised that home schooling is catching on as it is....

Anonymous said...

oh please. non black kids use the shortened n word all the time there. the problem is that he went to custard. keep digging.

Anonymous said...

When you focus too much on political correctness and have silly WAVE propaganda, words that didn't have as much impact before suddenly becomes all people can focus on. Team Maria is an idiot. How's that for political correctness. Get rid of this women. She's a disaster. How much is enough.

Anonymous said...

"Get rid of this women."

Yes, someone that doesn't know the difference between the words women and woman. We'll really take advice from you.

Anonymous said...

Gee Larry
This is sorta different take on the matter, than how it was being reported last week.
Like someone else said, keep digging.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:47, so what you are saying, is that you would not take the advice of a mechanic who told you that you needed new brakes because they used the wrong context of a word ?

Anonymous said...

I want to know why more wasn't done to keep"Justin" safe. He feared enough for his safety that he left the school. Why did they send him back to the cafeteria with the words let us know if anything else happens. Why didn't they get the accosting student in the office right away.

Anonymous said...

Hey Larry, I may be making a wild intuitive leap here, but what's the chance that the Rob Detwiler departure is somehow related to this?

At least two of the children involved have parents who work for the school department -- school employees tend to know each other. Jason's father is a Marine, as are a lot of cops -- and we know that the APD (and MSP) were involved in this.

The MSP's Bomb Squad in particular are likely to be folks who were doing that in Iraq -- and they're going to go "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" when they find no bombs but start hearing what is really going on.

What's the chance that someone went to Detwiler, or that he somehow found out about it, and he then went to Maria on either a "this is wrong" or "we will get into trouble" basis and asked her to intervene?

Likewise, shutting down just one school for a day is inherently going to create a lot of logistical issues (e.g how to pay the people who didn't work without getting those who did upset). Detwiler would be involved in these conversations and/or at these meetings, and he might have said something there.

It's even possible that he didn't try to intervene but somehow knew the backstory and in a minute of frustration said to Custard or Jackson something along the lines of "well if you had done your job, we wouldn't have this mess."

Like I said, a wild intuitive leap, but it makes more sense than anything else...

Larry Kelley said...

No connection. Well, except for the Schools trying to keep both hush hush.

At least as far as the "real story" goes.

Anonymous said...

My experience with the Amherst School system is that they prefer to go "blind" when it comes to physical confrontations between kids in the schools. I have had school administrators tell me directly to my face "If we didn't see it, we can't do anything about it". Oh really? Since when does everything have to be seen by an adult in order to be investigated?
And for what it is worth, it isn't o.k. for *anyone* to use the N word, either variation. It doesn't matter what color your skin is; the word is offensive.

Anonymous said...

Another Amherst tragedy / 'morality play' in the making.

Thank you for providing the fact salary and keep ''em coming. The newspaper accounts are so far empty of key information and instead filled with innuendo.

Two questions:
1. Isn't Justin a victim of bullying, and due protection by the school?
2. Didn't the Superintendent announce elimination of all disciplinary suspensions, due to the disproportionate % of people of color who were being suspended from school - above the quota as it were ? And if we aren't suspending students any more, then why was this white student- after being victimized and assaulted - suspended?

Larry Kelley said...

Twelve day suspension, no less.

Dr. Ed said...

"I want to know why more wasn't done to keep"Justin" safe. He feared enough for his safety that he left the school."

That's "neglect" as in grounds to
file a 51-A with DCF.

Or call them at 800-792-5200 -- this is a 24-hour "hotline" and anyone can call it.

Here is how DCF defines "neglect":

Neglect: Failure by a caretaker, either deliberately or through negligence or inability to take those actions necessary to provide a child with minimally adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, supervision, emotional stability and growth, or other essential care;

And anyone who is a mandated reporter and who has actual knowledge of this is legally required to file a 51A.

As long as what you say is truthful to the best of your knowledge, you're legally protected.

They do investigate this sort of stuff -- particularly if enough people make enough of a fuss about it -- remember the Chinese Language Charter School and the kid locked in the closet?

For more info, see:

http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dcf/child-abuse-neglect/

Anonymous said...

"When you focus too much on political correctness and have silly WAVE propaganda'

WHAT IS WAVE? Seems like it's an acronym.

Anonymous said...

12 day suspension? For what? A FB post that was not true? And what did the kid who physically accosted him (a true suspendable offense) get? How long was he suspended for?
Sure does seem to be something rotten in Denmark here.

Anonymous said...

Ed,

You have on many occasions made statements like the one at 10:00. You comment that if the right authorities get of hold of some information and if just one person makes a call the *&$# is going to hit the fan. You don't seem shy about anything so why don't you make the call for the rest of the cowards like me?

Many of us have to much on the line and have been burnt very bad on multiple occasions to get involved. We see the problems and are frustrated by the lack of action. Give us a hand if you think it could actually help.

Tom McBride said...

There's something strangely ironic that the town officials shown are all white.

Anonymous said...

I love that Mark Jackson's opening remark is the the speaker does not have all the facts correct.

This attitude is so typical of the Amherst Schools on many levels. If you voice any concern about any issue, the good old stand by is that the complainer does not have all the information. If they knew what the schools knew they would better understand. This is followed up by lets have a meeting, and another, and another. Finally the complaining person is either to confused or to frustrated to continue. Then the problem will magically go away.

No one is saying that the schools jobs are easy. We are however one of the best educated communities in the state if not the country. Give us a little credit.

Dr. Ed said...

"it isn't o.k. for *anyone* to use the N word, either variation. It doesn't matter what color your skin is; the word is offensive."

Three important points that Bill Newman of the ACLU ought to be making -- and I will because he isn't (Oh, Bill....)

1: The word is offensive, hateful and downright disgusting -- but it's also protected speech. The case is _Cohen v. California_ and while that was the F word, the US Supreme Court declared that it is speech protected by the First Amendment and which the government may not prohibit.

Well intended higher education administrators have tried to write hate speech codes which Federal Courts have been tossing out since the early '90s. And for a really good example of offensive, there is the Westboro Baptist Church....

Excepting #3 below, the power of the government can not be used to ban the "N" word.

2: Above and beyond the issues of child neglect and DCF (aka DSS), there are some serious criminal issues -- Federal ones -- raised if they knowingly sent that child back into harm's way.

Remember, this is what the Klan used to do in the South -- it wasn't the cops who murdered the African-Americans, they'd only hold them in jail until the non-cop members of the Klan could get assembled, at which point the police would release them knowing that the Klan would then harm them.

Federal law --- including 42 USC 1983 -- was written to address this very sort of thing. There also is a *criminal* version of this law - it used to be 42 USC 1982 and got moved somewhere else -- and if Custard & Co deliberately sent that child back into harm's way, they violated his civil rights.

Oh, Bill....

3: K-12 students do not have the full First Amendment rights of adults -- that's what the _Bong Hits for Jesus_ case was all about, along with the various _CoEd Naked_ T=shirt cases out of South Hadley a while back.

I think that the school could ban the N word -- both spellings of it -- but this ban would have to apply to absolutely everyone. The school would be legally required to punish each student equally for using it, regardless of the color of the student's skin.

That's the Civil Rights Act of 1964 folks -- and what Dr. King died for...

It also needs to be asked if this is a good idea -- or is it going to increase the use of the word? And then when one of your more intelligent children starts using the word "niggardly", which while sounding the same, is a completely different word with a completely different meaning, you're going to have some real problems.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how many incidents go on like this at the schools but my kid had an issue of intimidation on the bus. That was on a Friday. I got my child to tell me about the incident in detail. I wrote it all down. I called the school ASAP. I emailed the details to them. That child never talked to or looked at my kid again, ever. I have no idea what the schools did or how they fixed it by Monday morning, but it was 100% effective. So while this incident seems to have gone off the rails they do get some problems fixed quickly and completely.

For what it is worth I am anything but a cheerleader for the administration. I do however believe they deserve credit for the good and the bad.

Tom McBride said...

I've heard that many times, a pretty classic way to divert criticism, that the person they're talking to isn't fully informed. I've heard that all the way to the top level of government. If there's more information, inform us. Don't talk down to us.

Anonymous said...

There's something strangely ironic that the town officials shown are all white.

I actually know quite a few Black educators -- they are running charter schools, and while both polite and professional, they are also strong minded people who wouldn't last long with Maria G.

Throw in a school committee election system which is so much in violation of the Voting Rights Act that one complaint from just one Black Amherst voter -- just one letter to the Department of Justice -- would get a Federal intervention and it is interesting.

Particularly in Amherst....

Anonymous said...

Why the hell does the school have a "confessions" page in the first place? That sounds like something out of North Korea.

I'm curious: do any of the school's minority students ever "confess" to beating up white kids? Or is that the wrong kind of confession?

Anonymous said...

The kid broke the unofficial code of conduct enforced by the black kids, about the use of the N word. He talked back to "the authorities", who are the black kids, and did not accept the punishment that they meted out.

Now there's really no way that the kid can continue to go to school there.

It is a public service that this version of events is now out there.

Anonymous said...

Let's give her some credit:

It's through her vigilance that this threat came to light. It's through her determination that precautions were taken. She does a better job of talking to parents than the principal does, with his know-it-all air of condescension.

She cannot do anything about conflicts that get buried in lower levels of bureaucracy.

I'm hard-pressed to criticize a Superintendent who puts the safety of students first. I wish she would stop letting people refer to her as "Maria". She deserves the respect of "Ms. Geryk" or "Superintendent Geryk".

Anonymous said...

The school does not have a confessions page - this page was started and is maintained by a student. Lets try to pay attention folks.

Anonymous said...

If one is looking for insight as to why Amherst school administrators are walking away from good paying jobs, check out the parents on the video of the meeting.

Dr. Ed said...

You comment that if the right authorities get of hold of some information and if just one person makes a call the *&$# is going to hit the fan.

If the right person does, I need to say that -- it's an issue of both how credible the caller's information is and how much they fear that doing nothing could blow up in their face.

You don't seem shy about anything so why don't you make the call for the rest of the cowards like me?

Make a call and say what?

What tangible thing(s) do I have other than rumors and anonymous blog postings? I don't and it is the same type of frustrating situation as when you have a woman whom you know is a victim of ongoing domestic violence but she won't report it and you can't prove it. It's the big issue of what you know to be true versus what you have some scintilla of ability to credibly assert.

I don't even know the child's name.

I've put the correct URL for the DCF 51A form below -- I think their address is 600 Washington Street, 7th Floor
Boston, MA 02111

Yes, you are supposed to sign it == and you are also supposed to call them first -- but anyone who actually knows something could always fill out what they know and drop it in the mail.

http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dcf/can-reporting-form.pdf

Anonymous said...

The kids of color get power from the use of the word, vis-a-vis the adults, who tell them not to use it, and vis-a-vis the white kids, who they are empowered to confront and chastise about how the word harms them.

All the talking, urging, and pleading in the world by adults will not change that.

Dr. Ed (who DOES have one) said...


It's through her vigilance that this threat came to light. It's through her determination that precautions were taken.

Threat?!?!? Precautions?!?!?

Are you serious? That kid is a victim -- a scared kid trying to protect himself when the grownups wouldn't -- and this should never have been allowed to get this far.

She cannot do anything about conflicts that get buried in lower levels of bureaucracy.

The captain is responsible for her ship. She is responsible for knowing what is going on in the lower levels of her bureaucracy. She supervises them, which means that she's supposed to know what they are doing and what's going on.

That's what she's paid to do! She's the superintendent after all, the word comes from "supervise" and such....

I'm hard-pressed to criticize a Superintendent who puts the safety of students first.

It would appear that her people (for whom she is responsible) didn't put the safety of Jason "first" (or even consider it).

I wish she would stop letting people refer to her as "Maria".

Pray tell, how is she going to force people to do this? What lawful authority entitles her to do so?

She deserves the respect of "Ms. Geryk" or "Superintendent Geryk".

1: Respect is earned, not "deserved." Were that true, the President of the United States would be entitled to that too -- and between our current President and the two who proceeded him, almost everyone has failed to show respect for at least one of them.

2: I'd call her "Dr. Maria" if she had one....

Dr. Ed said...

The kids of color get power from the use of the word, vis-a-vis the adults, who tell them not to use it, and vis-a-vis the white kids, who they are empowered to confront and chastise about how the word harms them.

A while back at a conference, I met a professor/author -- a Black woman from the South -- who had just written a book about Huck Finn. She very clearly made the point that Black kids shouldn't use that word -- that no one should today, and she very clearly explained why.

She particularly explained, from the Black perspective, why no Black kid should use it.

Maybe the ARSD needs to hire her to come up and speak to these young people. Heck, Bill Cosby would probably do it for free and and a lot of young people (of all races) would benefit from hearing what I suspect he'd say.

There are a lot of older African-Americans who were in the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s and now are quietly (and sometimes not so quietly) saying "I didn't put up with what I did for *this."

They are viscerally disgusted with the current generation of Black teenagers -- Allen West is the same way -- and this is a message that these young people need to hear.

The kid broke the unofficial code of conduct enforced by the black kids, about the use of the N word. He talked back to "the authorities", who are the black kids, and did not accept the punishment that they meted out.

Am I the only one who finds this disquietingly similar (if not identical) to what the Klan used to do in the Jim Crow South?

And it's being tolerated because?

Anonymous said...

Funny now that those pesky ACE people are long gone how the drama in the schools is still alive and well. People up in arms about nut bans, changes in math curriculum, mysterious staffing departures, school shuts downs for threats, uncivil School Committee meetings between School Committee members, and now clearly racial problems in a school that prides itself on racial harmony and bringing people together.

I guess those irritating parents a few years ago that wanted better educational standards were really a distraction from the ongoing problems that have been and still do exist in the ARPS system.

Good luck to any teacher, administrator, and parent trying to herd that group of cats.

Tom McBride said...

"If one is looking for insight as to why Amherst school administrators are walking away from good paying jobs, check out the parents on the video of the meeting."

Those administrators want the jobs because of the really good money that is payed. Amherst pays these hefty salaries, but we three or four branches of government rather than just a mayor and city council. It's confusion and dysfunction, and money that is spent in vain, although for some reason, somebody thought it was a good idea. Too large a town for that style of government.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what the WAVE acronym stands for???

Anonymous said...

These administrators walk away from these jobs despite the really good money that would be paid in the future.

Larry Kelley said...

Since this is Amherst I'm guessing it doesn't have anything to do with an American flag.

Anonymous said...

All folks need to learn that there are consequences from their actions. I understand from this blog that "Justin" has a suspension. What about the boys that beat him up? what are their consequences?
And what about Mr. Thompson who sent "Justin" into harms way (after he had reached out for help) back to the cafeteria, unescorted????

Dr. Ed said...

I believe it stands for "Wellness, Alcohol & Violence Education" -- I know it means that in Higher Ed -- but this is only a guess.

Larry, there is always the inquiry to Maria G's folk....

Anonymous said...

You can confusion and dysfunction in any form of government.

Dr. Ed said...

The school's failure to uphold the "rule of law" and instead implicitly (if not explicitly) licensing mob violence from which they refused to protect "Jason" has been mentioned and is troubling.

But even more troubling is something that hasn't been mentioned yet -- their peremptory declaration of him to be a threat to public safety so as to both discredit him and to preclude him (and his father) from being able to hold them accountable for their misdeeds.

I don't believe that they honestly considered him a threat of any kind, I think they may have thought his father was going to say something stupid before he did, but I think the plan from the beginning was to push this until either father or son said something stupid enough to justify a "Chicken Little" response.

Remember that Maria G's background is psych -- just sayin....

It would not surprise me to learn that the kid who maintains that confessions site had actually told Marc Jackson about the "packin" comment and maybe even asked for advice as to what he should do. That's what most high school students would do, and it's interesting that he waited a week before posting the comments.

It wouldn't surprise me that they were waiting for *something* to come from his IP address and this response was prepared for whatever they could find to justify it.

Hence, the "packin" post may have been fortuitous, but he and/or his father (a Marine) would have been declared "crazy & dangerous" in some manner.

I find this disturbing because it is almost a standard operating procedure for the quaint little trade school down the road -- UMass does this all the time.


Anonymous said...

Gazette, 12-11-13:
Geryk said that other than offenses such as assault and weapon possession, she would like to eventually stop using suspension as a method for discipline.

HE didn't assault anyone, and he didn't bring a weapon to school. So what, exactly, was he suspended FOR?

And if he was suspended for 12 days, as Larry states, then that's more than 10 days which raises all kinds of due process issues and such that don't exist for 10 days or less.

They well may have screwed up here badly on this one -- procedurally -- and Mass Law says that if the School Committee can't justify the suspension (in writing) upon request, he can sue the shite out of the district.

And I am still trying to figure out exactly what he was suspended FOR -- what SPECIFIC offense in the handbook?

Anonymous said...

I understand from this blog that "Justin" has a suspension. What about the boys that beat him up?

That is my point about implicitly if not explicitly authorizing mob violence against "Justin"

what are their consequences?

Do you honestly expect any?

And what about Mr. Thompson who sent "Justin" into harms way (after he had reached out for help) back to the cafeteria, unescorted????

That's why it was so important to declare him a threat to public safety as they did -- to make him the issue of concern and not what happened TO him. And but for Larry, they would have been able to do so....

Anonymous said...

WAVE

Work hard
Act responsibly
be Very respectful
keep Everyone safe

Anonymous said...

So what happens to these children when they get out into the real world after a childhood of coddling by parents and administrators? Do they end up cowering in the corner or on their backs flapping their flippers helplessly when they face real world bullying and all that life has in store for them.

Anonymous said...

AMHERST – The student who posted a message on a Facebook page Jan. 26 that resulted in the closing of the Amherst Regional High School the following day has filed a bullying complaint with the district while school officials are looking at whether his use of the “N” word is a civil rights violation.

Masslive one hour ago

Larry Kelley said...

And the District Attorney is gonna think to himself: "Geeze, isn't this the same school district that thought it was perfectly fine for young girls to shout the C-word in public?

Anonymous said...

If it's a civil rights violation for "Justin" to use the N word then it must also be a civil rights violation for ANYONE who uses it. You can't just apply it to one kid.
I hope this kid sues the school because they did not protect him and then they go and suspend him. I still want to know what consequences the kid who beat him up got.

Anonymous said...

"Justins" parents need to have him go thru facebook to prove how often its used. Im sure there are plenty of fed up kids that will vouch for him too.

Dr. Ed said...

"And the District Attorney is gonna think to himself: "Geeze, isn't this the same school district that thought it was perfectly fine for young girls to shout the C-word in public?"

It's actually worse than that Larry, they were *told to* use the C word (i.e. told to read the script), by a district employee, at an official school function, on school property, for which the school charged admission.

Now he wrote the N word on what, Facebook? On his own initiative and without any supervision. Do we see how this is a tad different?????

And the _RAV_ case is going to become relevant here -- if burning a Klan cross is considered "protected speech" then I can't see how the N word would't be.

Dr. Ed said...

This is the Judge's instructions to the jury on a Civil Rights violation charge -- not only did Justin not violate anyone's civil rights but the Black kids violated HIS civil rights!!!

"The defendant is charged with having violated the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act, which is found as section 37 of chapter 265 of our General Laws. It provides that:

“No person...shall by force or threat of force, willfully injure, intimidate or interfere with, or attempt to injure, intimidate or interfere with, or oppress or threaten any other person in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him [or her]
by the constitution or laws of the commonwealth or by the constitution or laws of the United States.”


In order to prove the defendant guilty of this offense, the Commonwealth must prove four things beyond a reasonable doubt:
First: That [alleged victim] was exercising a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or of the United States;
Second: That the defendant either injured, intimidated, interfered with, oppressed or threatened the exercise or enjoyment of that legally protected right by [alleged victim] , or attempted to do so;
Third: That the defendant did so by using force or by threatening to use force; and
Fourth: That the defendant did so wilfully.


Now, using the N word as a racial slur is actually protected speech -- but even if it wasn't, you'd be hard pressed to make it meet all four of the above criteria. Besides, the "victim" would be his friend, whom he was congratulating, and who never complained about it.

And how the hell do you get "force: out of this?

Now as to the Black kids who hit him, that's a completely different story, they ARE guilty of a civil rights violation. we won't ever see them charged, but they are guilty of it.

Anonymous said...

Threatening to shoot the POTUS because he is a N----- is protected speech. Wow...

See http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/07/21/appeals-court-rules-call-to-shoot-obama-protected-speech/

Saying it as a complement to a friend -- asinine, yes, but you've also got to prove intent here. You got to prove that he WILLFULLY intended it to be hateful -- and even if you do that, hate speech codes are unconstitutional because they are content based.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not a lawyer, but I play one on the internet."

Enough already, Rainman. Have you considered re-enrolling somewhere for another ten-year "degree"? I know a place that's nice and quiet. They've got train sets, and juice boxes are included.

Anonymous said...

"Our Town"

About to make its third well-deserved appearance as laughingstock on the O'Reilly Factor?

Dr. Ed (who actually HAS his doctorate) said...

I'm not a lawyer, but I have three research degrees in education and actually teach education & SPED law to lawyers.

(They pay very well...

Have you considered re-enrolling somewhere for another ten-year "degree"?

Will this one include 9 years of "advice & guidance" from a deceased professor like my last one did?

I know a place that's nice and quiet.

So do I

They've got train sets,
That go really fast

and juice boxes are included.
If you want to pay $8 (each) for them....

But what does any of this have to do with the fact that Team Maria has Effed up big time? Mark my words: Maria's done.

Goodbye Maria....

Anonymous said...

About to make its third well-deserved appearance as laughingstock on the O'Reilly Factor?

I might already be getting email traffic from DC about this.

For what it's worth, rumor has it that one of Rush Limbaugh's people is looking for the number of Maria G's direct line. I have a pretty good idea why and said that I don't approve of that sort of thing -- and I emphasize that this is only a rumor.

Anonymous said...

Ed,

Hate to burst your bubble but Maria Geryk, Kathy Mazur, Mark Jackson and the like will rule that schools as long as they want. The politics of Amherst are so interconnected from affluent local business men to local leaders to state level leaders. They all like each other and work to promote each others agenda to some degree. It is not nefarious in any way. You just have to be involved to see it. To think that a bullying case which was being worked on by the schools, regardless of how inefficiently it was done, is not going to destroy any top administrators career.

Anonymous said...

"JUSTICE for 'JUSTIN' !! "

Dr. Ed (part 1 of 2) said...

I'm gonna ask this:

Exactly how many racists even have Black friends, let alone would be publicly complementing them on stuff?

On the other hand, attempting to mimic the cultural norms of another group is a sign of respect.

For example, I was taught that men never wear a hat indoors. Yet when I'm going to a Jewish wedding or funeral, and all the other men are wearing what is a hat, I do too. Likewise, even though I was taught that you don't get out of your seat until the Minister told you to, when I'm attending a Catholic service and everyone else gets onto the kneeling benches, I do too.

I have absolutely no idea why Jewish men wear a kippah (which I hope is the right word) nor how Catholics know when to kneel -- but to show respect, I do what everyone else is doing.

If it is OK for them to do it, then it must be OK, right?

So let's say that a bunch of young Black men are using the word "Orangutang" to congratulate & complement each other. Now you always thought that an Orangutang was an Indonesian Primate, but we now live in the Brave New World where words mean whatever we say they mean, and you also use the word Orangutang to complement a friend, who happens to be Black.

After all, its the exact same word his other friends use for the exact same purpose, and you have the exact same meaning and intent as they do, so it's gotta be OK, right?

This is just like me getting onto the kneeling bench during the funeral mass for a friend -- all the Catholics did it and hence I presume it is the appropriate thing to do at that point in the Catholic service.

This isn't racism, this is a kid who wants to be "Black." He either wants to be accepted into and be a member of a clique in that school, or he wants to be part of the larger "Black" culture.

That's not racism, folks.

Not everyone who is part of the "Black" culture is actually Black -- Marshall Bruce Mathers III, better known as the Rapper Eminem, is not. Market demographics on the sale of recorded Rap music -- the majority is sold to WHITE teenagers -- or was last I heard.

Nor is everyone who is Black exactly pleased with the "Black" culture -- Bill Cosby has been quite outspoken against it.

So how the hell does Marc Jackson get away with calling this kid a racist????

Dr. Ed (part 2 of 2) said...

Part 2 of 2

There are two Constitutional issues here that Jackson is violating -- and others have pointed out the first one already, although not with the citation.

The 14th Amendment to the US Constitution requires that everyone be afforded the "equal protection of the laws." Every American is equal before the law, and is to be treated the same.

It doesn't matter if your family has been in Massachusetts since 1644 (as mine has), how many generations of Larry's family have lived in Amherst, or if you are a naturalized citizen. It also doesn't matter what color your skin is.

That's what the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is all about, along with a whole bunch of stuff that Maria G has signed off on as part of receiving Federal funding. Maria G has promised ED not to treat students differently on the basis of their race.

So Marc Jackson can't say one word to this boy about using the N word unless he drags in absolutely everyone else who has used it and treats them the same way.

Now it gets better -- to the lawyers I merely say "mens rea", "ex post facto" & "bill of attainder." To everyone else, I translate to English with the caveat that this is a super-simplified version, I know the complicated version but don't wish to type it out.

You can't punish someone today for something that wasn't prohibited yesterday, if you prohibit something today, it is only from this point forward that it's against the rules. The person also has to know that it is against the rules, and be able to understand that =- this is what the "insanity" defense is all about, although it also applies to a 5-year-old.

For example, and this *does* happen, a 5-year-old releases the brake on a parked car and it rolls over & kills his little sister. We don't prosecute him for vehicular homicide.

"Ex post facto" is Latin for "After the Fact" -- Marc Jackson can (possibly) say that anyone who uses the "N" word will be expelled -- but he can only expel those who say it in the future, not those who have already said it.

A "Bill of Attainder" is a lovely thing the British were doing, so offensive that this is actually in the text of the Constitution and didn't need to be added as an Amendment -- it is a law that punishes only a specific person -- "Corruption of Blood" is extending the punishment to the person's children and subsequent generations.

Marc Jackson can not decree that it is an offense for Justin to use the N word -- he can't create a crime that only applies to Justin.

And isn't that exactly what he is doing here?

Anonymous said...

Nothing is going to change, nothing ever changes with Amherst's bureaucratic BS. I to have had first hand experience with the School system and bulling. My son was viciously sought out by some bullies at school. One time to the point that he was being chased down by some kids with sticks they had found. When I sat and talked with the "Puppet School Administrators" I was told point blank "Didn't see it so it didn't happen" and when I tried to tell them the names of some of the kids my son was having these problems with I was abruptly stop and told we don't mention names in these meetings! WTF! Amherst officials are infamous for burying anything that might tarnish their make believe world, that they will do it our and our kids expense.

Dr. Ed part 1 said...

"Hate to burst your bubble but Maria Geryk, Kathy Mazur, Mark Jackson and the like will rule that schools as long as they want."

The same thing was said about the Asselin Family in Springfield, and people legitimately believed that, until they made a few too many mistakes.

That's why I am now predicting Team Maria's demise -- they will be cut loose by the rest of the town/gown cadre.

Phoebe Prince actually dying changed some things and while Maria & Co may be "friends" with people, its not like they have any intention of falling on their swords for her.

If she starts attracting attention from the wrong places, she's going to find herself even less popular than *I* am. And I think that's going to happen.

This is where it helps to have a Doctorate in Education, to actually be a certified classroom teacher, and the son of one -- none of which Maria is. They've made some really big mistakes, on little things, and that's what's going to bite them. It'a not that they mishandled the bullying investigation -- or didn't even investigate -- but it's the little things that -- well, remember that Al Capone went to jail for a crime that no one had ever heard of before, not paying his income taxes.

Marc Jackson's first mistake was saying (to the parents at the meeting -- where the press was and reported it) that "Justin" would never be in the school again. (Direct quote was something like "you won't see him in the school.")

He may intend to expel him, which is what I think his intent is -- but it was a big time mistake to publicly say so. It's more than just FERPA, it dismisses the presumption that Jackson is impartial which, for some technical reasons, becomes a problem with an expulsion.

Second, he made a big mistake suspending Justin for 12 days - 10 days is a big-time threshold between suspension and de-facto expulsion. Maria should have known this because the US Supreme Court case that established the 10 days was a SPED case, although the profession needed some threshold and 10 days is what it became.

BTW -- it's "up to a total of" -- no one says that but that is what it technically is.

As a general rule, it's "up to three days" and "up to ten days" -- and then it's a child that you really don't ever want to see again. As beyond 10 days is considered "long term" suspension, as you are getting toward expulsion, there's a lot more due process that comes in.

As a general rule -- not only am I not an attorney but the state & federal law (including case law) is changing so quickly that I'd want to research it before saying definitely -- but as a general rule, a principal can suspend up to ten days without prior parental notification, without parents having right to be heard, to bring a lawyer to the hearing, to see all evidence against the child, etc.

As a general rule, to go beyond 10 days, as a general rule, you have to do all of this before the suspension starts.

Jackson's mistake was not suspending Justin for only 10 days (or 9 as Monday was already gone) -- and then doing his expulsion hearing.

I'm guessing there's some significance to the number 12 -- is the School Committee meeting on February 11th?

Anyway, that'll bite them.

continued

Dr. Ed Part 2 said...

Part 2

The other thing is that you can't change the reason for a suspension after you have suspended the kid, which is what they are doing.

You can long-term suspend a kid on the basis of a pending criminal charge, which I believe is what they did to justify the 12 day suspension -- except that there were no criminal charges, and are no criminal charges pending against Justin.

Ooops...

Back when it was the Dept of Education and Dave Driscoll was running it, they warned big time about this. Parents have the right to go to the school committee and demand a written justification for the suspension (I'll post the reg if anyone asks) and you can't change the reason once you've suspended the kid. And if the SC can't produce a valid written justification for the suspension, the law explicitly permits the school to be sued, big time.

Now they'd love to have a civil rights charge filed against him -- that'd be pending criminal charges which would justify long term suspension, except I don't think that's going to happen either.

Then going after Justin *now* for using the N word back when becomes problematic because they were required to file a bullying report with both DESE and the APD upon him telling Custard about it, and I doubt they did. According to Larry, they didn't immediately notify the parent and that's going to at least look really bad if not be yet another problem.

Now we're assuming that SPED (Special Education) isn't even involved in any of this, but all Justin's father has to do is request a SPED evaluation and it's going to really knock their train off the tracks. He now comes under IDEA and is protected by ADA and they have to provide an alternative education for him at district expense and all the rest.

Oooops....


There's a lot more starting with how the hell do you punish one kid for using a word that absolutely everyone else uses with impunity,and what ever happened to rules against hitting people, and the whole thing is going to stink to high heaven, but they are going to get caught on the technicaliites....

The Evil Dr. Ed said...

The politics of Amherst are so interconnected from affluent local business men to local leaders to state level leaders. They all like each other and work to promote each others agenda to some degree. It is not nefarious in any way. You just have to be involved to see it.

Oh I've seen it. Trust me, I've seen this although I'd debate the "nefarious" aspect -- those folks tried to destroy me and almost succeeded.

Remember that I was part of Jack Wilson's reform effort and we know what happened to that. I know how things are, but 20 years ago, would you ever have expected there not to be a Frat Row?

I'm not saying any more than that...

Larry Kelley said...

"justin" was not hit by the other kid but he did lay a hand on him, which I believe is still considered "assault."

Anonymous said...

Assault is when you threaten to do bodily harm. Battery is when you actually do the bodily harm. So if someone told Justin they were going to hit him, that is assault. If they then went ahead and hit him, that is battery.

Larry Kelley said...

Okay, then "Justin" was angrily assaulted by the kid and then battery occurred when the other kid laid a hand on him. But he was not punched or kicked.

Dr. Ed said...

Larry, this is from the model jury instruction for Assault (only) in Massachusetts -- it's worse if you actually touch the person, and worse yet if you injure him/her/it.

-----------

An assault may be committed in either of two ways. It is either an attempted battery or an immediately threatened battery. A battery is a harmful or an unpermitted touching of another person. So an assault can be either an attempt to use some degree of physical force on another person — for example, by throwing a punch at someone — or it can be a demonstration of an apparent intent to use immediate force on another person — for example, by coming at someone with fists flying. The defendant may be convicted of assault if the Commonwealth proves either
form of assault.

In order to establish the first form of assault — an attempted battery — the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intended to commit a battery — that is, a harmful or an unpermitted touching — upon [alleged victim], took some overt step toward accomplishing that intent, and came reasonably close to doing so.
With this form of assault, it is not necessary for the Commonwealth to show that [alleged victim] was put in fear or was even aware of the attempted battery.

In order to prove the second form of assault — an imminently threatened battery — the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intended to put [alleged victim] in fear of an
imminent battery, and engaged in some conduct toward [alleged victim] which [alleged victim] reasonably perceived as imminently threatening a battery.

Anonymous said...

What would we do without Eds ability to Google?

Dr. Ed (part 1) said...

Justice for Justin -- how his friends can help him

Do not do this at school, or on any computer resource owned by the district -- I'd do it at the Jones Library and or at UMass -- in the bottom of the Tower library, to the left, are computers that anyone can use. You can print from them for 10 cents a age, you gotta buy a guest card in the machine.

Do not do this during school time, or (if you are an adult working) during work time -- there will be a time date tag on things. And get your parent's permission as well, please....

Seriously -- if you are a high school student, PLEASE get parental permission first! I have to say that because I am a teacher myself, but I am quite serious on this, you *must*! Please.

All of the stuff below you are putting into a file folder -- go with hard copy (on paper) and with parental permission (PLEASE), at some point you are getting this stuff to Justin.

1: Write down, as best you can remember, what you have heard from both Principal Jackson and the teachers, and when. Exact quotes are best, but if you aren't sure, don't guess. Write something like "During the A Period meeting, Ms. Jane Roe, who teaches math, said something about how he was a racist and wouldn't ever be allowed back in the building."

Commonly used expressions are:
"Said something to the effect of ..."
"Led me to believe that..."
"Said something like..."

The important thing is to make it clear that you are not using the person's exact words unless you actually *are* using the exact words, at which point you use the quote marks.

One big thing is that they can't kick him out (expel) prior to a hearing - and if they are telling people they have already made that decision, that's significant.

There have been three teacher's meetings about this, and as loose-lipped as Jackson is, he inevitably said things in the private teacher's meeting that he'd never say in public. Teachers are told that "what's said in the teacher's room stays in the teacher's room -- that they aren't supposed to tell the students what was said in the meetings, but a lot of them inevitably do anyway.

I've seen some teachers say some *incredibly* stupid things -- I've seen some professors do likewise -- the Yvonne Henry case (a Black UM student falsely accused of being an arsonist) was won because a police officer said something incredibly stupid and someone else wrote it down.

continued

Dr. Ed (part 2) said...

Part 2

2: One of the requirements is that the punishment be similar to the punishment for other offenses -- except that's all confidential and protected by FERPA. But if you are a student there, you know what people did to get into trouble and what the consequences were - you probably know better than some of the teachers do.

Seriously -- when I was teaching, it was my *students* who told me that another student (not there) had been suspended -- it'd been nice if the principal had told me, and he may well have intended to, but hadn't.

What have people been suspended for this year? How may days? And what had they done before?


3: Go to Facebook, Twitter and anything else you can LEGALLY access (so NOT hack into anything) and find every example of another ARHS student using the N word -- any spelling or version.

Print it out, circle the word (every time it appears) and write on the printout (on the back if necessary) as much of the following as you know:

1: First & Last name of the student who actually used the word. (Or as much as you know.)

2: If it was reposted by someone else, that student's first & last name too.

3: As much demographic information as you know about the student(s) named above, including
A: Sex (that's M/F not Y/N...)
B: Race
C: Class and/or grade level
D: Any extracurricular activities the student is involved in, if any (e.g. "on the varsity baseball team", "plays trombone in the band.")

4: DEFINITELY talk to your parents first, but both the Gazette and Republican give the email addresses of the reporters under their names.

DO NOT SEND ANY EMAILS TO REPORTERS FROM A SCHOOL (ARHS) COMPUTER, OR THROUGH AN ARHS INTERNET CONNECTION! There is a very real fear that child molesters will be contacting K-12 students through the school's email, so they are able to see all your email, and are supposed to be reading some of it. (They also are supposed to tell you this.)

The Republican's Amherst reporter is Diane Lederman and I believe her email address is dlederman@repub.com -- I forget who at the Gazette is covering Amherst now -- I've been out of this a few years now.

Diane's not stupid, I know her personally, but she's only hearing what Marc Jackson, Maria G & Co are telling her -- she can't give the other side of the story if no one tells it to her.

She's not a high schools student and she's only seeing the school that Team Maria wants her to see. (Google "Potemkin village")

I don't want to speak for her or Larry or anyone else, but I was rather shocked to read that the "N word" was considered a term of friendly greeting and praise -- I can assure you it was NOT that when I was in high school!

Anonymous said...

Sheesh, enough already Ed. Do you really think anyone is reading all your stuff?

Anonymous said...

I actually teach education & SPED law to lawyers.

(They pay very well...


Lawyers eat a Taco Bell -- and they're big tippers? Who knew!

Anonymous said...

I'm reading it all.

Nina Koch said...

For people interested in actual facts, here is the information that was sent to teachers prior to the discussion in Advisory last Friday:

http://arhs.arps.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_926913/File/ParentGuardian/SummaryJanuary31.pdf

During Advisory, teachers read that information to the students.

At no time were teachers instructed to say that the student was a racist or that the student would not be returning to school. Mr. Jackson has not made such a statement, either publicly or in teacher meetings.

In advisory, it was the students who did most of the talking, because we wanted to hear from them. Teachers served to facilitate that discussion and to collect written feedback with concerns and suggestions from the students.

Anonymous said...

I'm not. Sorry Ed

Dr. Ed said...

What is the fixation with Taco Bell?

It really doesn't do much good to insult me if I don't understand the insults, does it?

Anonymous said...

Wow Ed, I get it and I only have a high school diploma.

Dr. Ed said...

For people interested in actual facts, here is the information that was sent to teachers prior to the discussion in Advisory last Friday:

Thanks Nina -- seriously -- it is late, I am tired, and I can just send that to folks rather than having to write it up myself.,,.,. :)

At no time were teachers instructed to say that the student was a racist or that the student would not be returning to school. Mr. Jackson has not made such a statement, either publicly or in teacher meetings.

OK, I got sloppy. I should have included an "e.g." (and honestly thought I had), although exactly how many high school students know what "e.g." stands for?

(It's Latin -- Exempli Gratia -- it translates to "Example, Free" although makes more sense as "For Example" but I digress.)

Nina, English is one of the subjects I am certified in (7-12), writing is one of the things I've taught, and I'm told I'm pretty good at it. I was trying to give an example of how to paraphrase -- You don't have a math teacher named "Jane Roe" do you? Then she's not quoting Principal Jackson saying anything because she doesn't exist....

Sloppy, yes, but I kinda thought folks would realize that there isn't a Ms. Roe in the Math Department....

Nina, I was giving an example of how to write the sentence -- a format for people to copy, not facts -- I thought I made that clear.

In advisory, it was the students who did most of the talking, because we wanted to hear from them. Teachers served to facilitate that discussion and to collect written feedback with concerns and suggestions from the students.

Wow....

If this goes to court, there are going to be so many violation\s of student rights that this won't be pretty. Think an attorney isn't going to subpoena those written statements?

The larger question, however, is exactly when did students start having input into administrative decisions involving the suspension and/or expulsion of other students?

And Nina, I still say that Marc Jackson ought to have been fired after the incident with School Committee Chair Catherine Sanderson -- the City of Bangor would have fired him in a heartbeat.....

Oh, and as to who Jane Roe really is, maybe this isn't as common knowledge as I thought it was:

Norma Leah McCorvey (née Nelson; born September 22, 1947), better known by the legal pseudonym "Jane Roe", was the plaintiff in the landmark American lawsuit Roe v. Wade in 1973. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that individual state laws banning abortion are unconstitutional.

Anonymous said...

Larry, can you PLEASE make a special "Ed" tab where Ed can continue to post happily away and people are able to access if interested but just NOT on the main thread?

Ed- do you even live here anymore? You never have/never will have kids in our schools. No link to our town except having been a UMASS student. Try controlling your urges or find another interest, please.

Anonymous said...

"So how the hell does Marc Jackson get away with calling this kid a racist????"

I'm confused. You actually meant to write something like this?

"So, e.g., how the hell does Marc Jackson get away with calling this kid a racist????"

Please enlighten us all, because your command of basic English and exceptionally common Latin abbreviations is far superior to our own.

Nina Koch said...

Ed, further up this page you wrote in screaming bold font, "So how the hell does Marc [sic] Jackson get away with calling this kid a racist????"

I wanted to set the record straight. He never called anybody a racist, nor would he. Your sample sentence for the students to paraphrase was a pretty inflammatory sample sentence.

Asking students for anonymous thoughts and suggestions does not violate their rights. To the contrary, it acknowledges that they are all valued members of our school community and that everyone has a contribution to make.

Dr. Ed said...

You never have/never will have kids in our schools. No link to our town except having been a UMASS student. Try controlling your urges or find another interest, please.

Please take a long walk off a short wharf.

The corrupt cadre that control both town 'n' gown (including the ARSD) tried to destroy me, almost succeeded, but didn't. And as the Pequots said before they became so fabulously wealthy, I'm still here.

I'll find another interest if & when it is clear to me that what was done to me can never again be done to anyone. Not "won't" but "can't" and those of you in the psychology field likely understand just how strong a motivator something like that is.

If you folk think I'm identifying with "Justin", you're right. Much as the post-Holocaust Jewish community identified with the African-Americans in the Jim Crow South, I want to see "Justin" treated fairly because I wasn't.

And damn near killing me is something I take quite personally. One tends to....

I'm told the references to Taco Bell involve the presumption that's the only employment I can obtain, something so far from reality that I completely missed it. No folks, you didn't destroy me -- you well may have created the type of person Machavelli warned about, but I can assure all that I'm not working at Taco Bell.

I'm doing a bit better than that, thank you.

But more importantly, if there ever was a case where I'd be dangerous, it'd be in a job like that. I wouldn't just step on people, I'd probably accidentally knock someone into a Fryolater or something -- things which stop being fun real fast.

I have an awful lot of respect for people who have the skills to do a job like that because I don't and know enough not to try.

Anonymous said...

And spell the principals name correctly while you're at it, professor.

Larry Kelley said...

Okay folks we are approaching the upper limits of what Blogger allows for number of comments per post.

Please think of Comments as an old style telegraph where you had to pay by the word.

Dr. Ed said...

Three other things -- and this is more a critique of the education profession in general than of Team Maria.

First, if you blindly support the establishment and the "Never Educate Anyone" (NEA) agenda to blindly shovel ever more taxpayer money into the schools without ever asking for either accountability or even an accounting, then you're accepted with open arms.

But if you ask any questions, no matter how legitimate, you are discredited and told you have no right to ask that question. Because you aren't a teacher, because you don't have enough degrees in education or because you aren't a parent or whatever else they can think of.

That's a logical fallacy. It discredits the legitimacy of the profession as a whole, perhaps deservedly.

Second, I = personally - have a vested interest in the ARSD. If you're self-employed, you're paying both halves of FICA (Social Security) -- that's over 15% of your gross income with no deductions or exemptions -- it's far more than I pay in Income Tax.

The kids who are those schools today are the ones who are going to be (hopefully) earning lots of money so I can get my Social Security check. I want them to be able to do so -- I want them well educated.

Third, like the Freedom Riders, I'm in a position to be able to say things that Amherst Parents aren't. My kid's not going to get beaten up in school because of something I write -- and I understand that.

When Larry & I spoke out against the Vagina Monologues at ARHS, a group of parents thanked us afterwards, telling us that they couldn't say what we did because they didn't want to put their kids safety at risk.,

I distinctly remember being told of someone's daughter already being chased through the high school, bullied, threatened and the rest with impunity.

I didn't see anything in the story in today's Gazette that discusses how that will be ended.

Dr. Ed said...

Nina, et al -- if you announce a formal investigation into if a student is pregnant, haven't you already declared that she's female?

I don't see Jackson mentioning either the context of the student's use of the "N" word, nor that (apparently) the word is widely used at ARHS, only that he used it.

This is like saying "the police investigating the bank robbery are looking for Nina" without adding the "because she saw the get-away car."

Anonymous said...

time for some peace, understanding and forgiveness?

Anonymous said...

In many urban areas around America, you'll often find people standing on street corners shouting angrily and continuously at the top of their lungs, seemingly oblivious to whether anyone is listening to them.

Apparently, there's a deeply felt human need for this.