Paula, Dylan, Steve Akalis June 6
Bad enough that Amherst Regional High School Principal Mark Jackson forbid Dylan Akalis to march with his classmates at the Mullins Center graduation ceremony last weekend -- but did allow a shrill senior to march who violated Dylan's privacy with a bullying Internet petition.
Or that Dylan essentially lost the last four months of his senior year because school officials favored three black youths who bullied him to the point of making a desperate Facebook threat about "packin" a weapon to school for self defense.
But now Amherst Regional Public School Superintendent Maria Geryk has gone one better -- or I should say worse -- by firing Dylan's dad, school electrician, Steve Akalis.
As you may remember back in late January when Mr. Akalis was trying to get school officials to do something about his son being bullied, he was suspended without pay for three days for using company time to ever so briefly discuss the scary situation with Dean of Students Mary Custard.
Now he's been fired for using the common electrician (and computer) term "slave unit," in the presence of a school employee who happens to be black.
Being an overly polite kind of guy (like most former Marines) Mr. Akalis said to the employee, "No offense, but the slave unit will not work unless the master unit is plugged in."
So yes, I suppose you could interpret that in one of two ways: either he is invoking the sad history in our country when blacks were enslaved (but somewhat apologizing for it) or he could simply have been saying that she should take no offense ... he was, err, not questioning her intelligence.
Either way, summary execution for an innocent expression used without malicious intent is a tad draconian.
When it comes to alleged racial issues it seems the public schools have lost sight of the expression, "teachable moment."