Friday, May 23, 2014

Fairness For All


click to enlarge/read

The frustrating back story


Anonymous said...

What's your point?

Larry Kelley said...

I don't have a "point."

The document does.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like we have a very racist black person in our little town of equality.

Oh, say it isn't so...
Not here.
Who is going to save us all???

Anonymous said...

That dean of students has been racially biased for years!

Anonymous said...

So this letter asserts. Doesn't mean its true.

Anonymous said...

I think the kids who bullied Dylan should not be allowed to attend graduation, if they are seniors, as well as Camilla Carpio.
I really feel badly for Dylan and his family and wish there was something I could do for them.

Anonymous said...

If this constitutes a formal complaint to the School Committee, then what will constitute a reasonable and responsible - formal - handling of the complaint by the SC?

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:21am the kids who bullied Dylan should not be allowed to attend graduation... as well as Camilla Carpio

Right On!

In South Hadley and everywhere where the lesson has been learned, bullying is now frowned on, and nationwide, cyber bullying is shown to be a despicable act.

In Amherst, black-on-white bullying is documented with no consequences to the bullies, and a Hispanic student with a victim/grievance axe to grind starts a defamatory online petition to publicly shame this white student, and she is given front-page "crusader" treatment by the Gazette, plus likely an unearned acceptance into a like-minded college.

Welcome to Obama's America!

Anonymous said...

So the administrator having pictures of african american people or "african things" is somehow a show of racism towards white people? Are we this ignorant at this point? A picture of MLK Jr or Malcolm X doesnt scream "I hate whites", rather they are important historical figures who had a great impact on racial equality in our country. Can a person not decorate their office with things that are meaningful to them? I dont think anyone would be offended by a flag of a home country or a picture of past presidents.

Larry Kelley said...

I guess anything would be better than the response generated thus far (ten full days later): No response, nothing, nada, zip, zilch.

Anonymous said...

Curious as to why the ARHS Dean of Students' name is redacted in the copy of the letter you received. Isn't who she is public information?

Anonymous said...

Why the over the top response to graffiti about Carolyn Gardner written on a bathroom wall and no response to the bullying Dylan endured. There is a real problem in that high school. No discipline for kids of color and throw the book at a white kid who was in actual fear. This is not good. Where are the protest marches with signs that say "Justice for Dylan!"

Anonymous said...

So, if a teacher or administrator has a poster of Ben Franklin on the wall does mean he/she doesn't like Hispanics, Asians, African-Americans, etc.? Of course not. So, why does having a poster of an African-American mean you hate White people?

Anonymous said...

When will stupid white people figure it out? They are the peasants, and should not complain about their darker-skinned betters! Complaining about being bullied by darker people is racism, and racism means you deserve whatever happened to you.

If the kid was smart, he'd suddenly decide to be gay, and accuse the bullies of homophobia. The school would have them whipped in chains before the entire student body the next day.

Anonymous said...

An objcet in motion will remain in motion until counteracted upon by an opposing force in the opposite direction...

What are you waiting for? said...

"What's your point?"






(again and again and again)

-Squeaky Howls Hysterically

Anonymous said...

I think the administration handled this event like they handle everything. They did exactly what they intended to do. They were / are heavily criticized for everything they failed to do. They have continued to ignore the criticism because they know in time, based on past experience, that it will all blow over. By next fall this will all be an unfortunate memory.

The administration knows if you can get past the 6 month mark you are in the clear.

The sizable dissatisfied minority in Amherst refuses to organized for a number of reasons and as such this situation will continue forever.

For those unhappy with what is going on, I would recommend finding a different focus before the injustice eats away at you. Find something positive for you and your family to spend time on.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

"So, if a teacher or administrator has a poster of Ben Franklin on the wall does mean he/she doesn't like Hispanics, Asians, African-Americans, etc.? "

Ben Franklin, no, although the feminists might have some concerns as Franklin was (quite publicly) less faithful to his wife than even Bill Clinton.

Now as to Nathan Bedford Forrest -- assuming anyone even knows who he was -- might be another story. Likewise Bull Connor or maybe David Duke, it might take a few months but eventually some bored student would Google the name and then all hell would break loose.

I am way to young to have ever known Dr. Martin Luther King Jr as anything other than a man a day off from school is named for -- and only recently heard his "I have a dream" speech in its entirety. I never realized that *I* agreed with him, that he is my hero too -- I had always thought of him as a slightly more respectable Malcolm X.

This is the cost of what these people are doing...

Anonymous said...

the statement about the posters was not said to show that the teacher was racist. It was to show her bias, or favoritism if you will, towards people of color.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 1:13:

Your suggestion that we all find a different focus is an interesting one. It's not just the "injustice" that eats away at you, but also the self-regard, the preening, the egotism, the willingness to perform simply to entertain oneself, all of which is writ large and loud in Amherst. We can all come up with a list of the characters who engage in this, year after year after year.

Many residents have figured this out already. When it comes to politics in Amherst, perhaps it is truly better to look away.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't the posters have Latinos, whites and mixed images?

By the way, as a white supporter of black power in the 60's, I find all of this distasteful. We are supposed to be working together, no matter what the color of your skin.

We all should have to have a reason to dislike someone other than the color of her/his skin.

Anonymous said...

Once again, do you think that there MIGHT be some additional information that we don't have? Is it possible that we don't know everything?

Or can we ever entertain the notion that we don't know everything on this blog?

Larry Kelley said...

But you know a Hell of a lot more than if you only relied on the bricks and mortar media.

Anonymous said...

Once again a one sided story…the squeaky wheel getting all the grease..typical 'Herst. Wasn't there an investigation? is THAT public record?

Larry Kelley said...

No, but it should be.

Keithw said...

Anon 11:16
Bad example. If you go by today's standards, a teacher or administrator with a poster of Ben Franklin on the wall is a terrorist.

Anonymous said...

The complaint by the mother to the school committee is easy to sympathize with. Her entire family has been harmed multiple times in this gross miscarriage of justice:

- Son is bullied for trying to maintain friendship on the terms of his friend's culture,
- Son's pleas for protection are ignored/disregarded,
- Son acts out in desperation, foolishly, and is punished with suspension,
- Father is punished for trying to protect son,
- Son is publicly humiliated - bullied again - by self-righteous, 'protected' classmates,
- Family is excluded from graduation ceremony and will not see son recognized for earning his diploma.

A tragedy, no question.

What is the "ask" in the mothers SC complaint? What restitution is she seeking?

Dr. Ed said...

"For those unhappy with what is going on, I would recommend finding a different focus before the injustice eats away at you. Find something positive for you and your family to spend time on."

I tried that. It doesn't work, it just slowly destroys everything that makes you human. To use a computer analogy, it not only puts dead sectors in your soul, but they keep growing.

Yes, you can move on (I have) but at a certain point, you still need the "pound of flesh" and I'll get mine. It may take me a few years but my goal is to preclude UM from ever being able to do to anyone else what it did to me. That will happen -- if necessary, by the General Court shutting the Amherst campus down, but it will happen.

Ed does not loose.

I'm also reminded of something that Alan Kors once said to me -- if I had been able to bite my tongue and be politically correct at UMass, when would it end? I could never come out of that closet...

No. The "something positive" is vengeance...

Anonymous said...

Dealing with behavior issues in the high school has got to be a challenging job, day in/day out. We have complaints on this blog that the Dean historically favored black students over whites. At the same time, there has been tremendous community pressure to adjust school discipline because more students of color get suspended, proportionately, than white students. Who is giving these disciplinary consequences, if not the Dean?

Now she can't even decorate her office the way she wants? Would any of us want it dictated to us what pictures we can display on our desks? There are no black people worthy of having their images on a poster in a school office? How about some moderation, people?

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:16, although the issue of the posters and office decoration is a red herring and a distraction, you raise another interesting point about whether, as Dean, Ms. Custard believes it is her responsibility to "even the score" for black students, perhaps by overcompensating with injustice for whites.

Mary Custard was recognized last year at the MLK Awards breakfast with an award that is described as follows:
The Norma Jean Anderson Civil Rights and Academic Achievement Award is presented to a teacher, administrator, or staff member for work in our schools promoting ideals of a just and respectful community built on compassionate relationships; contributions to the on-going work to remove systemic privilege based on race and class; efforts to develop a school system free of racism, classism, prejudice, and discrimination which promotes safety, personal growth and academic achievement for ALL students.

(emphasis mine)
The ideals embodied in the Norma Anderson award are clearly noble. If Ms. Custard is deliberately targeting white students for mistreatment in order to make reparations, could it be due to a well-intentioned but disastrously vengeful mis-reading of the spirit of the award - that she sees it her job to "remove privilege" from any white student, even when the facts cry out for support and equal treatment?

On this basis, perhaps it would be interesting to learn whether Ms. Caustard has the requisite MLK poster on her office wall, because her prejudgments and methods would seem to be so contrary to King's belief that all ought to be judged "not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character!"

Anonymous said...

Ed, you have been threatening lawsuits since the beginning of this blog. Come out of fantasyland and move on with your life.

Anonymous said...

Let's look at the incident using the ABCs of behavior (antecedent, behavior, consequence)

A: Child bullied by peers
B. Child's parent reaches out- notifies dean of bullying and requests help
C. Information and request for help is ignored, Parent is punished and child reacts in frustration (Facebook post)

The dean should be the one punished

Anonymous said...

"Ed does not loose."

Nope, he does not.

Nor does he know (1) how to spell a second-grade word, despite his ridiculing of others' grammar, spelling, and punctuation as a last resort when his own arguments are shown to be specious; or (2) that only a looser habitually refers to himself in the third person.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ed, yes you, the guy who loves to point out everything that is wrong all the time. You wrote "Ed does not loose." I think you mean lose, but I will agree with you. You truly are about as loose as they come. Sometimes I'm glad I'm not a point-head like you, LOSER.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:05: I wrote the comment at 11:16 that you reference in your response. The point of my post was that some people complain that black students aren't disciplined severely enough. Other people complain that black students are disciplined too much. No matter what a Dean does, some people in the populace will not be satisfied.

Dr. Ed said...

"Ed, you have been threatening lawsuits since the beginning of this blog."

You have got to be kidding...

Someone is actually that ignorant and folks go after me for having a sticky "o" key that I didn't catch. Wow...


Massachusetts is (a) *not* a "state" and (b) does *not* have a "state legislature."

Massachusetts actually is a "Commonwealth" and the "General Court" is the common/accepted reference to a bicameral legislative body formally known as "The Great and General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

If you weren't so damn ignorant you wouldn't have interpreted "...if necessary, by the General Court shutting the Amherst campus down..." as
"threatening lawsuits."

Good Lord! Do you call Congress the "Federal Legislature"?!?!?

And people go after me for an extra "o" in one word -- caused by the same soon-to-be-replaced keyboard that is causing "I" to be "i" (and hopefully, I caught all of those).

I'll add one more thing here to all of you so-sensitive a-holes -- there is a legitimate reason why I would never see the second "o" that I hadn't intended to have there in the first place -- bet you never even thought of *that*, did you?

Larry Kelley said...

Okay folks moratorium on "off topic" comments. Starting ... NOW.

Anonymous said...

"...pressure to adjust school discipline because more students of color get suspended..."

Larry, what is the male/female ratio on suspensions?

Of course more boys are suspended than girls -- more boys get arrested by the cops as well.

This is because more boys are doing bad things. And if, for whatever reason(s), there are more Black students doing bad things, then they shouldn't be suspended for that? Isn't THAT racist?

Dr. Ed said...

Larry, assume for the sake of argument that "someone" not only believed Custard to be a racist but to have made racially-biased decisions that were potentially problematic.

The Dylan matter comes to mind.

Assume for the sake of argument that Custard perceived her job to be in jeopardy. For that matter, that Team Maria was actually trying to fire her but had been stopped by a MCAD complaint and/or union grievance.

Would Custard sacrifice "the new guy" (Gardner) to save herself? What happened to Gardner is quite fortuitous to Custard -- there is no way that anyone is going to be able to fire any Black Female in that school right now -- and I'm wondering if that's just Custard's good fortune or if she helped.

I still can't get over how all the racist stuff was directed at Gardner with none directed at Custard. Why?

Dr. Ed said...

"whether, as Dean, Ms. Custard believes it is her responsibility to "even the score" for black students, perhaps by overcompensating with injustice for whites."

Is it even deeper than just race?

Remember that her award said "...racism, classism..." and "classism" is often considered not only economic circumstances but also single motherhood.

(I presume Dylan's mother and father reside with him under the same roof. I note that as a possible factor in all of this.)

Reality is that a disproportionate percentage of the Black kids reside in a single mother household, the vast majority of which are on some form of public assistance (e.g. Section 8) even if mother is working full-time.

Is Custard making the mistake that a lot of racists make -- presuming that "everyone who is Black is on welfare"? Is she giving the Black students far more leeway not because they are Black but because she perceives them as victims of economic and social oppression? Because of "classism"?

Throw in the fact that Amherst is becoming an almost bipolar community -- that the lower middle class has largely vanished from the schools -- and that much of this is along racial lines as well, well...

The statistic to look at is not the subsidized lunch figures but the HUD Section 8 ones. Memory is that reduced lunch kicks in at 150% of poverty level, Section 8 has one stat of 20% of poverty level -- vastly different.

Anonymous said...

posted on facebook last week by an ARHS senior:

May 19

Happy 89th Birthday El Hajj Malik El Shabazz!

"As long as the American government is either unwilling or unable to protect black people from the retaliation they face, there should be nothing controversial about negroes with guns." -Malcolm X

Larry Kelley said...

I think an attorney -- seeing her Facebook wall -- would use a peremptory challenge to keep Camila off a jury if he/she had a white client charged with doing something bad to a minority person.

Anonymous said...

The Town of Amherst professes lofty goals, high standards, political correctness ad nauseum, and a "we are above it all, and if we're not, we should be" attitude. Larry, maybe you should change the name of your blog to "Even in the Republic of Amherst." After all, we're really just like everyone else - unbelievably stupid and ridiculous sometimes.

Anonymous said...

"After all, we're really just like everyone else - unbelievably stupid and ridiculous sometimes."

No, you are worse -- you know better. You have the benefit of knowing the Social Justice stuff...

Dr. Ed said...


Thomas Sowell recently wrote a column on what he is calling a "Censored Race War".

Sowell, who is Black and/or African-American, is a truly brilliant man who also has the perspective of having actually seen real racism, when it truly was a form of "terrorism" as we would define the word today.

He wrote: "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."

Larry, that is exactly what I fear things like the Dylan Disaster will lead to. If Custard can't be fair, it is only a matter of time until you have vigilantism and that is truly terrifying.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

"So this letter asserts. Doesn't mean its true."

Right. The old innocent until proven guilty rule - even though there's a lot more than just this letter to confirm that this really happened.

Anonymous said...

"So this letter asserts. Doesn't mean its true."

The worst letter is the one from the school's HR department to the dad-

Full of assumptions and hearsay- and taken as the truth.

Dr. Ed said...

The worst letter is the one from the school's HR department to the dad

And why the SEIU isn't grieving that is beyond me. As I understand labor law, "existing practices" are understood to be an unwritten part of the contract (and have to be negotiated if management wishes to change/eliminate them).

If the "existing practice" was that employees with children could informally use FMLA "Small Necessities" time without going through formal proceedings (and paperwork and such that management wouldn't want to deal with), then this letter is an elimination of an "existing practice" which then, absent a union grievance, becomes a precedent for ignoring all "existing practices" in employee discipline.

Management can "bust" anyone, at any time, for doing stuff which everyone else routinely does and which the employee had no way of knowing wasn't permissible.

That essentially makes your contract worthless. I don't know why the SEIU doesn't understand that...