Friday, February 14, 2014

Racism By Any Other Name

ARHS closed January 27 due to "unforeseen circumstances"

Are the Amherst Regional Public Schools guilty of a coverup in the Facebook Confessions threat incident that closed the High School on January 27?

At the Community Meeting held later that night to (sort of) explain the "unforeseen circumstances" that suddenly shut down the school, why did school officials not mention the racial component and bullying that led to the fear fueled "threat" being posted on Facebook out of self defense?

And exactly how did the mother (Jamie Sadiq) who blew the whistle on the racial backstory (but not the bullying) leading up to the Facebook incident know the white student involved?  Police and School officials had only learned his name at 3:30 AM that very morning and were refusing to divulge it to the media.  

And why didn't the schools contact the Amherst Police Department after a white father first complained to Dean of Students Mary Custard about the bullying his son was receiving, which later escalated to (criminal) assault by one of the students, who is black?

Why was the white youth suspended for 12 days and his father who works for the schools suspended without pay for 3 days, while the three black youths who bullied him -- including the one who laid hands on him -- received no suspensions?

As part of "Warrior Week" at ARHS, the schools published and promoted two compelling incidents of racial bigotry aimed at a new teacher of color that occurred last October.  But why are we only now hearing this sad story?

Those back-to-back incidents clearly crossed the line into criminal activity via Civil Rights infractions.  Again, why was the Amherst Police Department not immediately notified last October?

Anyone see a pattern here?

Anyone remember 12 years ago when Superintendent Gus Sayer failed to file a 51A report when a mother complained her 15-year-old son was propositioned by the new Principal (Steven Myers) who turned out to have a pedophile background?

And yes that's the same Gus Sayer who retired from Amherst within a year of that ignoble incident, but then came out of retirement to become Superintendent of South Hadley High School where he failed to protect Phoebe Prince from bullying -- and dying.  



In response to that tragic incident the state passed an anti-bullying law requiring all schools to report incidents exactly like the ones that have occurred at ARHS since October.

Amherst needs to start prioritizing the health and welfare of all students (whatever race, creed or color) over their public image.


video
Amherst Regional High School kids stomp out racism/sexism/homophobia last year.  Well, almost

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Larry,

Don't hold back. Tell us what you really think (sarcasm). Great job asking the tough questions that our elected school committee members should be doing for us all.

It is going to take people as thick skinned and devoted as you to figure out what has been going on behind closed doors in our schools.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

This whole episode speaks of reverse discrimination which add zero value to social justice. Sure the white kid should have been punished in some way but so should the bullies. The suspension of the father seems like an overbearing threat to his job security from the administration. What a strange place. I don't envy anyone who walks through the front doors.

Anonymous said...

And they wonder why multiple families have pulled kids out of the high school since the school year started. Even the kids have had enough.

Anonymous said...

Isnt Ms. Sadiq the wife of the MS guidance counselor?

Larry Kelley said...

Yes.

Walter Graff said...

The superintendent of the Amherst school needs to be let go. She is unqualified for her position. She is destroying the school system. It has run a muck because of her incompetence. They lie and hide things because they do not properly know how to deal with issues. The longer this woman is allowed to remain the more our school system will suffer and the more our students will lack the proper educational support they need.

Adam Sweet said...

"Run amok" FTFY Walter

Anonymous said...

Why does the wife of a MS guidance counselor know things that happened in the High School? I guess things are not as confidential as one would like them to be.

Dr. Ed said...

Isn't Ms. Sadiq the wife of the MS guidance counselor?

Wow....

I always thought that "conflict of interest" extended to immediate family members.

And Larry, what's the union got to say about dad's 3 day suspension?

Anonymous said...

The school will solve the problem by spending more time teaching the white kids about racism and historical guilt. Eventually they'll learn to take their beatings and quit complaining.

Anonymous said...

When the victim is white there is no racism. It's kinda' like who can use the N word. Boy, where have you been? That's why you will never see equality in this world.

Anonymous said...

Are the Sadiqs still the directors of the ABC house? Maybe she got her info there and not thru her husband's job.

Larry Kelley said...

But how would anyone at the ABC house get the information?

It was supposed to be highly classified (in fact it still is supposed to be).

Anonymous said...

I would guess its because kids know whats going on at school, especially fights, and gossip spreads like wildfire. Not all info is correct which makes it worse. If the ABC kids were talking about it, she would know. Or if they were involved.

Anonymous said...

Lets face it. Amherst might seem like a big town but it is anything but. So many people are interconnected between the university, college, town offices, and school system everyone knows everyone else.

If I want to find out who someone is in town I only have to ask a few friends. By the end of the day I can have basic background on most people. Amherst is one very close knit community. Be careful what you share and with whom.

Sounds like someone in central office might want to take that advice to heart.

Larry Kelley said...

But NOBODY other than School and Town officials knew the white kid in the middle of that racial friction was the one who left the "threat" on Facebook.

Even the three kids who were bullying him did not know it.

Larry Kelley said...

Comments tied. You owe me a beer ... errr, coffee.

Dr. Ed said...

But NOBODY other than School and Town officials knew the white kid in the middle of that racial friction was the one who left the "threat" on Facebook.

That's a CORI violation -- that was police information and the investigation was still active then, wasn't it? APD needs to investigate.

Larry, just for fun, I'd ask the Chief, the CORI folk and DESE for formal comment on this.

Even the three kids who were bullying him did not know it

What good is a threat if the persons whom you threaten don't know it? This sorta blows Jackson out of the water, doesn't it?

Larry Kelley said...

In fact the white kid who made the "threat" had tried to post it a week earlier but the Facebook page moderator did not publish it in a timely manner.

By the time it was published the kid himself had even forgotten he submitted it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, now I see the issue. Very interesting!

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah, it took me a while. And I'm suspicious by nature.

Anonymous said...

So the wife of a school employee gets up in a public meeting, indicates she knows exactly who the offending student is and what he's been doing leading up to this, and then calls out the high school principal (obviously, another school employee) for the insufficiency of his response.

There are so many legal problems embedded there that it could be an exam question.

Anonymous said...

You are all blowing this out of proportion.

Anonymous said...

That's right it's all blown out of proportion. Amherst needs to eat a huge slice of humble pie and admit they are not the best of the best. They could have allot going for them, but I've never, nor do I think I ever will see a school system so clouded by controversy. For this I pulled all my kids out of the ARPS and they are being educated in another town. If you want to see what zero tolerance is put your kids in a different school district. Amherst is far from having a zero tolerance and to embarrassed to admit it. My kids now get A's and B's and love going to school again!

Anonymous said...

Well if we're blowing this out of proportion, why is Dean Ms. Custard still working and not on at least "administrative leave" for not doing HER Job.

Anonymous said...

When will the bullying black kids get disciplined? And why was the father of the kid who wrote the post suspended? Did they attach some kind of blame on him for his son's actions. This whole affair is still very murky.

Larry Kelley said...

It is indeed.

Slowly but surely, I'm letting the sun shine in.

Walter Graff said...

Part 1 of 2

I guess you folks are not too updated on the new rules and guidelines... you know the rules for discipline at children’s schools across the country... the same updated discipline guidelines issued last month by Education Secretary Arne Duncan... the same rules that were pushed down the throats of Americans because of pressure from Dignity in Schools.

And what are some of the juicy tidbits of these new guidelines being quietly enacted? How about this, teachers can no longer kick students who misbehave out of the classroom. Yep! The new rules relax the protocols for punishing even the most violent kids. Talk about fears of classroom safety in a post-Newtown world batman. Forget putting new doors on the schools we need doors on the classrooms.

Through new education guidelines that always hard working and dependable Obama administration is now pressuring schools to keep disruptive minority students in the classroom. There is now a moratorium on suspensions. The logic? Suspensions are racist because they have a different impact on black students.

Now school authorities are discouraged from bringing police onto schools even in the most violent cases. Hmmm... sounds like Amherst is right in line with the Presidents new marching orders.

The new guidelines say schools are to enroll troubled kids in what is referred to as “restorative circles” instead of suspension. Yep, political correctness has now become ridiculous. They call it “positive approach.” Under “positive approach,” those who get in trouble are allowed to negotiate the consequences for their bad behavior, which usually involves anger-management counseling and what is referred to as “dialogue sessions" which is PC talk for teachers and offenders being forced into “talking circles” with the purpose (I swear I'm not making this up) to foster greater “cultural understanding.”

So now if you are white you are automatically considered a trouble maker and if you are of any other ethnicity, especially black talk invariably turns to racism - what the new guidelines refer to as “white bias.” Please don't blame me, go read the DEO guidelines for discipline for yourself.

So instead of punishing blacks for bad behavior, all the new methods of talking combats what they consider bias that contributes to disproportionate discipline for blacks. In other words black kids are punished too much so we'll ignore it when blacks pick on whites. Again, I'm not making this stuff up, you can read it yourslef at the DOE's website. These new rules allow rowdy minorities to have an excuse for continued bad behavior while whites are punished. Sort of exactly why folks are scratching their head at what is going on in Amherst.

Walter Graff said...

Part 2 of 2

Again, if you think I'm making this stuff up I invite you to visit what's going on in public schools all over the country thanks to the Dignity in Schools program. http://www.dignityinschools.org/

As an example NYC public schools amongst other large cities recently adopted “restorative counseling” as an alternative to suspensions, now banned as a punishment for one-time minor infractions. In other words, punishment is not good if you are a minority offender and we might even ignore what you do. Here is a tidbit ripped right from the new DOE guidelines;

“Taking a restorative approach to discipline changes the fundamental questions that are asked when a behavioral incident occurs.”

So instead of asking who’s to blame and how they should be punished, the new guidelines addresses underlying factors that lead youth to act out, AKA minorities are punished too much and that is why they get in trouble.

And guess what drives schools around the country to enact such ridiculous rules? Money. Right now the Obama administration is tying school funding to compliance with its Dignity in Schools guidelines, while at the same time threatening discrimination lawsuits for those that don't comply. So effectively we are seeing a compete reversal of the zero tolerance policies that were started in 2004. Welcome to the new order. Welcome to a world run by academics.


Yes, the extreme left is running the show so if nothing makes sense, now you know why. You can read every point I made above and more here:

http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/school-discipline/index.html

Anonymous said...

If I understand all of this kid 1 was bullied by kids 2 through 4. Kid 1's parents went to the school to ask for help. School said avoid the kids and let us know if anything else happens.

Something else happened, kids 1 was threaten again by kids 2 through 4. One of the kids no. 2 to 4 placed a hand on him, did not hit him. No action was taken by the school and kid 1 made a really stupid anonymous threat on the internet.

The stupid threat does not get posted for a week. Maria G. notices it and closes the school for a day.

Student 1 is put on 12 day suspension. Student 1's father is given 3 days without pay. The 3 bullies are allowed to roam the halls unpunished.

During the unraveling of all of this a Mrs. Sadiq stands up and corrects the school on the facts. How does she know this stuff if know one else is supposed to. Are people on staff talking when they should not. Then going home and telling their spouses who blab in public.

Does she have kids of her own that know some of the kids involved.

Most important if we take bullying seriously why are the 3 kids not being punished in someway.

Also why is a parent being suspended from their job. It really sounds like major coercion and intimidation are at play her. The victim is taking all the heat for being a victim.

What they hell is the administration thinking? Does anyone else in Amherst see the problem. If this is true no parent is safe from being threatened into silence in the school system. Have both Maria Geryk and Mark Jackson lost their minds. Isn't someone from the state ethics board going to look into this matter?

Anonymous said...

Larry, any idea when more of the truth (results of police investigation, not ARPS' 'false narrative') will come out?

The three-day suspension from work of the father/school employee who attempted to work through channels and was backburnered by Mary Custard is a disgrace. But I am still confused about the reports that his registered, legally owned firearms, undress proper lock and key in his home and not accessed by the student, are reported to have been "permanently removed" by the police.

If this is true, then what is the justification for this?

Larry Kelley said...

I believe another city police department has the guns at the moment.

Anonymous said...

How does a community talk about something that the administration can't talk about because of the laws protecting minors? No one has the whole story.

Larry Kelley said...

Oh, there's a lot you can talk about without giving up names.

Although someone certainly seemed to with the identity of the student who posted the Facebook "threat."

Anonymous said...

This is comical. No one has the whole story (and just one sided by the looks of things) yet all too many of you are calling for heads to roll. Seems like there may be axes to grind...while I am admittedly NO FAN of Jackson I think we must wait until the investigation is released, read or concluded before we truly judge. Quite frankly it looks like there is plenty of blame to go all around.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:25

I think that is exactly what concerns everyone. No official reporting will ever be released to tell us what happened. There is no oversight, no checks and balances, no SC to stand up for the parents or kids, especially when it gets ugly.

The schools might give us a loose / vague narrative but that is the best we can hope for. We have leaders leaving all the time under a veil of secrecy. Why would anyone tell us more about this incident.

Anonymous said...

We haven't heard from Kurt Geryk for quite a while.

Did he also have to be mysteriously disappeared?

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah after blabing the information that the student who posted the "threat" was identified around 3:30 AM Monday morning (5 hours before closing down the school) he did admit "someone with more authority than police" told him to "knock it off now."

Dr Ed said...

The three-day suspension from work of the father/school employee who attempted to work through channels and was backburnered by Mary Custard is a disgrace.

!: It would be interesting to know how the Civil Service Commission would have ruled had he filed within 10 days (which may be the reason for the 12 day suspension).

2: What's even more disgraceful is that none of the town unions have said anything about this. What unions usually understand is that if this can be done to *anyone* then it can be done to their members next, and hence they at least informally protest stuff like this.

3: This is the same situation as Phobee Prince -- her mother was a school employee as well.

4: If it is true that one of the Black kid's parent is also a school employee, that becomes a State Ethics Commission matter -- the parent had connections that the average parent does not have and used them to his/her/its advantage.

But I am still confused about the reports that his registered, legally owned firearms, undress proper lock and key in his home and not accessed by the student, are reported to have been "permanently removed" by the police.

Yes, and like a car towed away, he has to pay a daily storage fee or sacrifice ownership rights in what is his property.

If this is true, then what is the justification for this?

Paul Cellucci revoked the Second Amendment -- there is no lawful right to own a gun in Massachusetts anymore. You can only possess a firearm with the permission of a police department who can revoke such permission without cause at any time and come & confiscate your guns at any time. Worse, you are required to waive your FOURTH Amendment rights as a condition of even applying for a permit to have a gun (with their indulgence).

Gun owners -- read the fine print....

Dr. Ed said...

One more thing -- if he is a veteran - and at this point, most Marines are -- then he quite likely was trying to avoid being locked up in the psych ward as well. Yes, PTSD.

Even though she didn't earn her doctorate, Maria G was in the Counseling Psych program at Planet UMass -- she inherently knows enough people to scare the guy into submission.

The extent to which I saw the psych laws being abused at UM is why I am no longer proud to be an American -- and I openly state that.