Friday, February 28, 2014

"Consistent With The Definition"


Amherst School Superintendent Maria Geryk, Thursday morning

So the long awaited official report from the Amherst Schools on the incident that closed the High School last month because of a "threat" posted to Facebook was just released, on a blog of all places.

Interestingly the report does admit "there were separate behaviors during the series of events that are consistent with the definition of both bullying and racial harassment."

And since it was the white student's family who complained repeatedly to school authorities about three black students bullying their son, it seems fair to say their charges have been confirmed.

No word on whether the father of the white student, who works in the schools, and was suspended for three days without pay for trying to stop the bullying, will be reimbursed for those days and the stain on his employment record removed.

And no mention of any discipline for school officials who failed to act on the white parents plea to help their son.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

And no word on whether Custard got any discipline for not following protocol that was already in place.
I hope the Dad's union fights for him.

Anonymous said...

I like how this cuts right to the point and doesn't use any jargon.

Larry Kelley said...

Sarcasm requires its own special font. Although in this case, fairly obvious.

Anonymous said...

Do you think that Ms. Geryk actually talks in conversation in the obfuscating way that she writes? Where did she learn how to do this? Did she write like this in high school, or college?

The prior comment on this blog gets to it: her use of jargon. And this is one of the things that is so maddening about her. I hope that we are not teaching young people at the High School to write like this.

How many polysyllabic words does it take to say "we weren't doing things properly"?

Respect, who needs it? said...

Did I see Cap'n Rick's pride for sale on Ebay?!


----> SSSSSSSOLD! <----


(christ, what a friggan idiot)

Anonymous said...

And the road to transparency continues. Well as soon as we get all of those smoke and mirrors out of the way.

Dr. Ed said...

The middle will cease to hold.

There is going to be a white supremacist group of some sort in that school before long, and you will have some real fun when that happens....

Anonymous said...

"How many polysyllabic words does it take to say "we weren't doing things properly"?"

Seems quite clear to me. Perhaps if you had studied harder in school you would understand it.

Anonymous said...

EQUITY, how about this. We f****d up and will make this right starting now.

Custard, and any other of the school staff involved should be helded responsible. They should come before the public and explain there action and the reason behind them. And you Ms Geryk should hand out the discipline. You are the chief policy maker of Amherst School system.

Anonymous said...

She may be the superintendent, but there are more than enough dots connected to show that Ms. Geryk is not the chief policy maker of the Amherst schools.

Dr. Ed said...

"How many polysyllabic words does it take to say "we weren't doing things properly"?"

The sad thing is that they still think that they were, an increasing array of evidence to the contrary notwithstanding, and nothing is ever going to convince them otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:13 am:

Was there one simple declarative sentence in that statement?

Would you really want our children to grow up writing like this?

Anonymous said...

Now there's a woman who knows her way around a Thesaurus. Written with true eloquence.

STILL A LOAD OF BULLSHIT, BUT VERY WELL WRITTEN BULLSHIT.

Anonymous said...

Maria Geryk is an utter failure and needs to be replaced. She's a sad example of an an administrator in over her head.

Anonymous said...

I thought the statement was concise and thoughtful and I did not detect any jargon. I would be proud if my child could write so well.

Larry Kelley said...

Sarcasm requires its own special font. Although in your case, probably not.

Anonymous said...

Look how many weeks her and her cronies had to write it. It should be written well. Sad part is people are talking about how well a letter was written and not how poor the response to the incident was and the response as written in the letter is. Classic Amherst to be interested in style over substance. It is a town full of degrees so makes sense.

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah it's also interesting that the statement was done on Wednesday when Maria was interviewed by Diane Lederman, but was held until very late Friday before releasing.

Anonymous said...

I think the point is that if you are trying to communicate to people of different ages, reading and educational levels, you should write clearly and simply. I have a few degrees, English is my only language, and I found this a rough ride. I am still not sure what it it saying. Everyone who commented here got their points across quickly and succiently.

Anonymous said...

Pretty clear that none of you even care about the issues. This is a blood thirsty group. Forget about the writing. Is your killshot attitude really the one you want your kids growing up with?

Legally it's not anyone else's business but the school and the families involved.

And then there's ed. Yea ed I too can see the white supremacists on the horizon. Good drugs, huh? Mmm.

Anonymous said...

Let's face it: this is cosmetics. She's written something. We have no idea what she's going to do, or what she decided.

She has spoken; that's the end of it.

She should have written at the conclusion: "Now please go away."

The culture at the schools remains the same. Order is restored.

Anonymous said...

The language she has used here and the clarity of her thinking, her desire either to be understood or misunderstood, are all one big problem.

The comments above on this blog include some feeble attempts to uncouple them, but writing and thinking are one and the same. Anyone remember Ronald Reagan's quote, "mistakes were made"?

I respect the privacy and legal interests she has to protect here, but I'm with Anon 1:39 pm. This is indeed "a rough ride". The woman does not speak clearly.

Dr. Ed translating Maria G Part 1 said...

I find her response infuriating because I actually understand what she is saying -- and will translate from EduSpeak to English -- this is really damning if (when) you understand what she is (and isn't) saying....

Ultimately, the investigation showed that there were separate behaviors

We can't look at the bullying as mala in se (or even mala prohibita) in that it is connected to the other provocative behavior.

during the series of events that are consistent with the definition of both bullying and racial harassment.

"Consistent with" as distinguished from "is." This is Bill Clinton's "what the meaning of the word 'is' is" writ large.

It's a common term in child abuse allegations, particularly if you want to spin something one way or another -- e.g. "bruises consistent with."

Accordingly, disciplinary consequences and educational interventions have been assigned as appropriate and where warranted.[emphasis added)

1. "Disciplinary consequences" and "educational interventions" are NOT the same thing. The former is punishment -- the latter, more likely than not, is everyone else doing or not doing something so that the person(s) is/aren't provoked again.

2: Where warranted is code for "we only punished 'Justin'" -- the other kids might have technically violated some rules, but punishment for that "wasn't warranted." (Read: "justified.")

This information has now been shared with all those involved and the consequences will be implemented immediately.

There be neither appeals nor discussion -- Maria has made her decree and it will be enforced.

Sorta tosses that little law about the right to appeal to the School Committee out the window...

I understand that there will be some in the community who wish to know specifics about the individuals involved and the consequences given;

Particularly after you and Mark (Marc?) Jackson announced how one of the boys would be punished -- heaven forbid you treat the other boys equally in this...

Particularly when the very legitimacy of your administration is on the line...

however, these specifics will not be shared. The district is legally bound by confidentiality requirements for children

No, there are exceptions to FERPA for acts of violence and I believe explicitly for "bullying."

Anyone remember the OCR regs that I asked Maria G about during her interview and which she hadn't even heard of? Those regs...

as well as for personnel.

Bingo. Custard has filed a union grievance and/or a MCAD complaint. The latter would explain the HR letter emphasizing Custard's race. She she well may have claimed that "George" created a hostile environment for her and the district's suspension of him being an attempt to abate that.

And beyond the legal boundaries, I believe there is also a strong ethical obligation to protect the privacy and confidentiality of these members of our community,

When releasing information makes me look good, I'll do it -- when it doesn't, I won't.

with sensitive information being shared on a need-to-know basis only.

And some people "needing to know" things so they could scream "racism" at a public forum.

Dr. Ed translates Maria G Part 2 said...

Her summary clarifies what I pointed out earlier -- that while the bullying was "consistent with" bullying, it really wasn't because it was in response to "Justin's" behavior.

In other words, "'Justin' deserved it" -- hence what appears to be bullying was actually a legitimate response to a racial assault.

That's what she's saying here -- and look how she confirms it with her conclusion:

This incident provides an important opportunity to address deeper issues of racial equity affecting both our schools and the broader community.

Notice how "racism" is mentioned and "bullying" is not -- she's only concerned with the former.

As a community, we clearly value inclusiveness and acceptance for all, but our system must also provide the supports necessary to actualize those values.

We must appease the Black students.

(Why every African American isn't insulted by that -- and the rest of the "soft bigotry of low expectations" is beyond me, but I digress...)

We prioritize an environment where our students, faculty/staff and families can work together to develop a safe, accepting and inclusive school climate.

"Safe" is defined in the context of "accepting & inclusive", -- and safety as the rest of us would define it is NOT a priority. Nor is free speech or any thing else, we will be politically correct...

We will provide opportunities for growth through personal and professional development regarding inclusive practices and issues of equity.

Brainwashing seminars to follow.

In fairness, that last line might be a resolution to a MCAD complaint.

And I think the whole thing is unmitigated bullshit. Two wrongs clearly make a right at ARHS...

Anonymous said...

You are an idiot Ed. Maria does not need you to translate. I was perfectly able to understand what she said without your bs opinion of what you think she is saying.

Dr. Ed said...

And then there's ed. Yea ed I too can see the white supremacists on the horizon. Good drugs, huh? Mmm.

To the extent to which education is a drug, perhaps -- and I do have a knowledge of history. And political theory, let's just leave it at that.

And if you don't understand what I mean, read George Santanqa...

Anonymous said...

It's circular talk. It shouldn't make sense. It's something a mediocre child social worker would write if they had to take a job they had no business having and they got into a pickle. Oh wait...

Anonymous said...

Or even George Santayana. But why spell his name correctly when you are trying so hard to sound erudite.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate Ed's translation and I suspect it is absolutely accurate. Our entrenched power structure (School Comm., Suoerintendent) circling the wagons to cover asses and perpetuate the unhealthy stasis.

Interesting insight Ed re: Ms. Custard who appears to be the most guilty party in the incident, and whether, in typical Amherst fashion, we will see her elevated - further inoculated, protected, and entrenched - as a result of her bigoted mis-handling of the incident.

Anonymous said...

Once again the chattering class will probably drive this superintendent out, briefly claim victory, only to not be satisfied with the next one and the next one...

Anonymous said...

It wasn't that long ago that we had at least one excellent, qualified and interested candidate for superintendent, but that candidate was not quite in Amherst's image and so we got the current Super.

Note to chattering class:
Stop chattering and learn to love the mediocrity.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the dads union is weak. He needs a lawyer but as he works in the lowest paid unit in the district, he likely can't afford to go up against the "Machine"

Anonymous said...

maybe if he changes his religion and name he will get some support....

Anonymous said...

No one's driving her out.

She's leaving when she says she's leaving. There are too many people invested in characterizing her as a success.

Nothing is going to happen that even faintly resembles an admission that Professor Sanderson was right.

Anonymous said...

A lawyer won't touch this case until all the union processes are done. With AFSCME that could take years.
This is what good a union is in this day and age.
He'll be lucky to keep his job.

Anonymous said...

Ok, so they finely admit they were wrong. The other students involved who got no discipline, won't get any even though they should and the staff who did not follow there own guidelines, policies, and the law that is outlined in the school's family & student handbook will not be disciplined either. The staff that should no longer be their will remain and nothing will change. The staff/administrators will hope that this is all forgotten and go away so they don't have to further deal with it. The staff and administrators who messed up and did wrong will stay when they should be let go, they will most likely get a slap on the wrist where they should be disciplined and maybe even let go. They will hope in a week or so that they can go back to their shady acts and still think they are above the laws. I really wish and hope that they would replace the staff and administrators who didn't do their jobs. This is not the first time and as long as they stay it won't be the last time they mess up.