Thursday, February 27, 2014

In Their Own Words

Amherst School Committee 2/25: Nothing to say on this sorry incident

A month after a racial/bullying incident escalated out of control leading to the closing of Amherst Regional High School originally ascribed to "unforeseen circumstance", ARPS School Superintendent Maria Geryk will issue a "conclusive statement to the community on Friday".  

Let's hope it is as transparent as it is fair.

Mother/son's letter to Faye Brady, ARPS Director of Student Services 2/3/14

Tweets from black youth threatening white student: 


 "Extendooo" could refer to high capacity ammunition clip commonly used with assault rifles or a police baton

Even now 2 of the black youths still use "the word"


Amherst School Superintendent Maria Geryk

62 comments:

Anonymous said...

Methinks the Amherst School Committee has hunkered down and there will be no further public discussion of this topic.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts House just passed antibullying legislation making it a crime to not report incidences of bullying.

I wonder if the punishment will be retroactive?

Anonymous said...

What you expect,
Fuckin' n-----s.

Larry Kelley said...

Those who are not going to be a part of the solution will remain a part of the problem.

Anonymous said...

Ms Geryk IS NO LEADER, this should have been addressed long ago.

The time now has come to clear Amherst School's of the people who have been standing in the way of this problem. Start with the SC and go right to the School officals who turned a blind eye to this matter.

Anonymous said...

Complaints and threats about a word they toss around more than a smile..,,,,,,

Anonymous said...

Larry,

This just doesn't fit factually into the way that we typically think about these bullying scenarios in this community.

Therefore, we can't expect that our elected leaders will do anything about it.

Anonymous said...

The amherst school staff would have stopped the press and changed the world if a "minority" student had been treated as such. They had zero tolerance but this kid is just left on his own. Having been a student there years ago I saw plenty of messed up things regarding preferential treatment regarding race specifically by the administrators and the lovely ms custard. Seems as tho some of the "frequent fliers" were never reprimanded. Either the teachers were scared of the student or they were scared of being deemed racist for disciplining the same child over and over.
I had one of these students acting completely disorderly while I was working on my assignments and asked him to leave me alone and do his work to which (within earshot of the teacher) screamed at me "shut the f**k up white boy or I'll stab you in the eye with this pencil" I was 15 and in shock unaware of any of my rights and all the teacher said was hey were trying to study here quiet please. I later asked what to do because I was terrified. The teacher did nothing and the school did nothing I later on skipped some school because I hated it there so much. And what a great idea let's suspend him. So imagine my horror seeing the individual that threatened to stab me in the eye But no worries I was white I was put out in one room and told to do homework and the other "minority students" were in the deans lounge with her watching tv all day and hanging out. Could have been preferential treatment or maybe they were in trouble so much that they had befriended the dean Either way. That school handles things about as well as drinking makes problems go away

How do you blame a kid for saying a word he likely felt he had to say to fit in. The N word is glamorized by songs movies and "most" minority groups use it like it's profitable
Good luck to the boy and the family.

Jocie said...

A lot of this started because the boy who is crying "bullying" was making racist remarks and threats to some of these boys. I don't condone bullying and threats by any student, but the media coverage seems overly sympathetic to the white student who made the threat. Apparently, he had similar issues at his previous school in Holyoke. From my experience, if the tables had been turned and it had been a student of color who made the threat, the public response would not have been the same. All of these students need guidance and support from the community, but there is more to this story than the media is putting out there!

Anonymous said...

Let's face it:

We believe that the educational system in our town is so infected with ideology that we don't believe that the leaders can get the facts straight, and then act accordingly.

So there's no confidence in these folks to get it right.

Anonymous said...

I sure am glad our taxes are so high to support these administrators ridiculous salaries

Dr. Ed said...

A lot of this started because the boy who is crying "bullying" was making racist remarks and threats to some of these boys.

Josie, this is exactly like telling a woman that it was her fault she was raped -- that she shouldn't have been wearing what she was wearing, have gone where she did, have said what she said.

Most of us don't believe in blaming the victim.

No, the victim doesn't "deserve it" -- ever.

And there is a big difference between a "racist remark" and a "threat" -- the latter having a very clear legal definition.

This is a point which is being missed in much of this, merely being racist, even if he was, itself does not constitute "threatening" persons of that race.

Anonymous said...

Wake up, racism will never go away. It fills too many voids, when excuses are needed for the human animal. And I mean anybody. Also you can't fix stupid, either.

Dr. Ed said...

Those who are not going to be a part of the solution will remain a part of the problem.

Larry, I'm more thinking about what Yeats wrote -- "and the middle shall cease to hold."

What will eventually happen if this is not addressed will be the White kids organizing amongst themselves for their own mutual self-defense. They will organize along lines of mutual self-defense against what will be perceived to be a common foe. "Us" versus "them" and the middle will cease to hold -- everyone will be forced to stand on one side or the other of a growing racial chasm.

Black Conservative Thomas Sowell has an interesting column on this, and I found this line particularly chilling:

"If there is anything worse than a one-sided race war, it is a two-sided race war, especially when one of the races outnumbers the other several times over."

That's a Black perspective that I never thought of, what it would mean to be in a minority group in a mob-ruled society. And then read something like The Turner Diaries (and realize that some sick mind actually wrote that stuff) and you can see that he has a quite legitimate point.

Never forget why Nathan Bedford Forrest founded the Klu Klux Klan -- to his credit, when he realized what he had done he tried (unsuccessfully) to undo it and shut down the organization -- he had lit a fire in the tinder-dry underbrush that got away from him.

But he was attempting to address a legitimate concern. This was Reconstruction, their wives & daughters were being raped with impunity (by drunken *White* Union soldiers), the men were totally disenfranchised because they had fought for the Confederacy, and this was during Reconstruction so they got no help from what where "the authorities" at the time.

So they took the extra-legal vigilante approach. And that's what is going to happen at Amherst High School if the rule of law isn't established.

Anonymous said...

Extendo is a Law Enforcment Baton, or an extra long joint...

Dr. Ed said...

"...screamed at me "shut the f**k up white boy or I'll stab you in the eye with this pencil"

Exodus 22.2 (King James version):
"If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him."

Berakhot 58a:
"[I]f someone comes to kill you, get up early in the morning to kill him first."

The principal of self-defense is quite clear and if the school authorities will not intervene and respond to something like this, then the appropriate thing is for the victim to do so.

What Custard & Co need to understand is that the White students have a legal right of self defense and that some of them might actually use it.

That can get really ugly really fast == Thomas Hobbes put it best, a life that is "boorish, brutal, and above all else, brief."

Anonymous said...

Why do the black kids get to use the N word without consequence, and if the white kid uses it he is a racist? Seems to me that if it is bad to use that word (either version), then the same standard must apply to all.

Anonymous said...

Seems like a lot of what the black kids were saying to the white kid was racist. And what's up with calling him a pussy? That's not ok with me either.

When will the school wake up to the fact that you don't have to be black to be a racist. There are some mighty big problems at the high school. I don't know if I want to send my child to that school. Guess I better start looking around now.

Do other high schools in the area have the problems around race that Amherst has? Anyone have a sense of that? Any Northampton parents reading this blog who could give us some info?

Dr. Ed said...

"Why do the black kids get to use the N word without consequence"

I think it's a little bit more than that...

IF one considers "Justin's" posting to be a "threat" then the two that Larry has posted would definitely be considered "threats."

If "Justin" is expelled -- not suspended but expelled (he isn't back yet, is he?) then the Black kids ought to have been expelled as well.

And *that* would have gotten Bill Newman screaming about "free speech" and the rest -- which he hasn't done yet.

It's becoming very clear that there are multiple sets of rules -- which is what the 14th Amendment was written to prevent....

42 USC 14141(a):
"It shall be unlawful for any governmental authority, or any agent thereof, or any person acting on behalf of a governmental authority, to engage in a pattern or practice of conduct by law enforcement officers or by officials or employees of any governmental agency with responsibility for the administration of juvenile justice or the incarceration of juveniles that deprives persons of rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States."

I think Ms. Custard is pretty much in violation of Section 14141(a)....

Dr. Ed said...

Here it is! 18 USC 242 -- the criminal go-to-prison statute:

"Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person...to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties... by reason of his color, or race, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both...."

It seems to me that various members of Team Maria -- not just Ms. Custard -- need to be concerned about spending a year in Danbury....

Anonymous said...

I sure hope Justin and his family have a lawyer by now. And if they don't because they can't afford one, lets start a fund for them.

Larry Kelley said...

He met with a good one on Wednesday.

Anonymous said...

And Larry, well he should.

And good luck to this family.

Anonymous said...

How's Maria's resume coming. Has she updated it lately?

Anonymous said...

These words are always going to get used selectively to determine who's "in" and, even more effectively, who's "out". Looks like the school system is simply ratifying what the black students had already decided: "you can't use that word because you're not one of us."

Dr. Ed said...

"you can't use that word because you're not one of us."

How far is this from killing a kid because he is wearing the wrong baseball or basketball team's logo on his hat? Seriously...

Anonymous said...

Um, real far.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous Anonymous said...
... Looks like the school system is simply ratifying what the black students had already decided: "you can't use that word because you're not one of us."
February 27, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Funny you should mention that. It was a topic that was brought up the morning they came back to school. Kids in some classes actually debated that they, being of darker skin, could say the word but others could not.

Anonymous said...

Ego's are steering this sad turn of events. Ms Jerky(Geryk)and the rest of the school will back peddle-starting now.

The Lawyers will bring closesure$$$$. And you my friend will pay the fiddler.

Anonymous said...

Boy does Maria look haggard in that photo. This job has aged her poorly. This is what happens when you are in over your head and not qualified for the position.

Anonymous said...

Larry - How does the comment from 8:00 pm anon contribute to this conversation? That's just plain mean. You can control this nonsense, but choose not to. Shame on you.Think your Irish mother would be proud now?

Anonymous said...

Haters keep on hating.

Anonymous said...

Anon: 8:00

Amen, the truth will set her free.

If only she could remember what that is. Maybe she can hire an administrator at 100K to remind her.

Anonymous said...

I recommend armed teachers and security guards. Maybe metal detectors. Since no one can seem to handle a bunch of little wannabe gangstas. This B,S, looks like its about to get real!
Maybe when the section 8 disappears so will the problems.
I wonder what would happen if the black kids harassed/bullied a gay kid?

Anonymous said...

I think the work Larry has done on this story is outstanding. I think this family, more than any other in Amherst, will get closer to justice.

Unfortunately I fear that little change will happen. No one who should, will get fired. 6 months from now it will be business as usual with other fires to put out and buried from the public eye. It would be great to be wrong just this once though.

Larry Kelley said...

Anon 8:26 PM:

Publication of comment does not indicate endorsement.

And over on Twitter, retweets do not indicate endorsements.

It's called the digital age -- get used to it.

I think my Irish mother, a public school teacher all her life, would be exceedingly proud of this overall story.

She was very strong believer in justice.

Anonymous said...

I can believe your mom was a strong believer in justice and would want to expose injustice. The comment about one's appearance though does not seem to edify or complement this story. It's just hurtful to an individual. If you're trying to expose injustice, comments about the drain a job might take on one's appearance, does not seem to be particularly relevant.

Larry Kelley said...

I seem to recall media discussion along the lines of "He's aged since coming to office" for almost every President since Lincoln.

(Of course, President Kennedy didn't get the chance to age in office.)

Anonymous said...

Don't deflect, Larry. Stick to what's relevant. You took that photo and chose that particular one, unflattering at best, to post. To be relevant and just, stop posting provocative, irrelevant comments and photos. People then might take your work more seriously. You can do better.

Larry Kelley said...

Actually I only took one somewhat close up (using zoom) of Maria, so that's the one I published.

I took 3 group shots of the SC but then a couple of members (no names mentioned) wandered in 5 or 10 minutes late and I had to reshoot those.

So yes, on the lead photo I did get to choose.

Anonymous said...

I look forward to hearing what Maria Geryk has to say about the matter. Even if I don't like her opinion. It is way overdue.

I assume you will post it for all of us to see.

Anonymous said...

Really Anon 8:26? There's a shitstorm going on in our high school and you are worried about a comment about a woman aging??
Priorities please.

Anonymous said...

How many hours of Ms. Tate's time do you think we are paying for in Maria's response to this incident?

Larry Kelley said...

Don 't want to think about it this late at night as I will have nitemares. But I will be requesting the total tab after this is all over.

Anonymous said...

I'll bet she now misses having those "strong personalities", Sanderson and Rivkin, around to serve as lightning rods.

Sometimes when you win politically, you lose.

Anonymous said...

I see someone coming on from Florida, Larry.

Here's a big shout-out to Dr. Alberto Rodriguez!!! Where are you sunning yourself these days, big guy?

Hey,do you miss us?

No, I didn't think so. You would have frozen your ass off this winter and flown back and forth to the Sunshine State at least a dozen times.

Check out the cluster that Maria has gotten herself into now.

Anonymous said...

Larry,

Great job with the blog. And kudos to you for bringing light to this story. Can the Gazette and Republican possibly not be jealous of your pageviews? Why don't they cover this stuff?!?!

Anonymous said...

Yea. Let's take the experiences of two kids in a building with 1300 people and presume that every white kid is using the word nigga and every black kid is looking for revenge.

And these are the same people who think arhs is the only place with racial issues. If only arhs could figure itself out all of Americas race issues could go away, because arhs teaches kids to act like this, right. America couldn't have anything to do with it. No one else anywhere uses nigga right?

The longer this blog exists the lower the intelligence denominator sinks for the general population here.

And it's lad by the clearly objective reporting of scoopy Kelly.

Anonymous said...

There is not a shitstorm happening at the hs. There is a shitstorm on this blog where people are uwhipping each other into a fury, Kelley's goal.
Read the bulletin article interviewing pocu kids. They say that the media is blowing this way out of proportion.

He loves to scream fire in a theater. And most of you uninformed idiots get your news from this misanthrope.

Guess your poor old Irish mom was doing busy actually working for a living to pay you that attention eh Larry?

Larry Kelley said...

Beat up the messenger much?

Anonymous said...

No, 6:58, I get my info from my kids and their friends. There have been issues there for a long time that are finally reaching the public. You wont find the truth in some Bulletin fluff piece.

Anonymous said...

Shoot the messenger?

ARPS already did that!




Anonymous said...

Anon: 6:58

I'm glad your experiences at the school are good. There are many people who are very happy with what they have. There are also many who are not. They are not supported by their elected representatives on the SC. The administration listens to them and ignores them with in-action

So feel free to keep living the dream that the schools are wonderful and ignore those left behind. This is true face of social justice in Amherst. Simple hypocrisy, with silver tongued leadership and empty promises.

Anonymous said...

The white kids need to shut up and take whatever the black kids want to do to them. Anything else is racist.

Anonymous said...

Please, please people stop commenting on women leaders' looks--unless you start talking about how the men look--hair, lines, weight, clothes, nails, etc.

Anonymous said...

That picture was taken at an evening meeting...probably the end of a very long day for Maria. I bet most of us look like that at the end of a long day. Remember, she worked all day, and then had at least one meeting after her work day before the School Committee meeting where this pic was taken. She may not have even had time to go home for supper between the end of her day and this pic. So, let's lighten up a bit here folks.

Anonymous said...

Some bloggers just don't get it.

Let me explain:

When you do your job, you get praise.
When you don't do your job...well you get the picture.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't give a shit if she looked like a Wookie. She just needs to do her job.

Anonymous said...

For the $650.00 she made that day she could have taken a second to spruce up. But like the last poster stated, this is about a woman who is in over her head, she has no business being a school superintendent, and who is showing serious signs of wear because of it. Her allies all want to defend her and that makes sense. In the end she's a disaster and that's why she's not seen in a good light. I feel sorry for the kids who have to be taught in an inadequate system.

Anonymous said...

The real question related to the Geryk photo is why is she holding up the middle finger of her right and and covering it with her left hand and who is she secretly holding her finger up towards? That's the real question.

Anonymous said...

This week's Amherst Bulletin gives coverage without irony to the usual feel-good/feel-guilty hypocrisy of this town's obsession with self-pity and self recrimination over race relations. For all the years, $$$ and student careers diverted away from core learning to the social justice agendae, has Amherst become a more elevated and livable place? Or rather is it an object lesson in thin-skinned melodrama.

My college student shared with me last evening that among students at ARHS in her day, Ms. Custard was widely perceived to be the most unfair and bigoted person on the staff, whose job was to blame whites, exonerate minorities, delegitimize claims against actual but inconvenient offenses, and suppress police investigation into crimes purportedly committed on the premises by minority students.

Custard reportedly shared during a student sensitivity training session that only African Americans can be victims of racism, and that only whites can commit racist acts. Again: note absence of irony!

By such policies are "Reparations" exacted and paid, ... although the debt is never forgiven.

Anonymous said...

Ok, anon 11:33, Bronco Bama looks like crap, and is in way over his head.

Anonymous said...

Geryk has spoken. There will be no public release of documents:
http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2014/02/bullying_racial_harassment_eve.html