Friday, November 21, 2014

Colorful #Amherst Theater


 UMass Grad Student Matthew Cunningham gleefully pointing out make up of crowd

The divide in the room last night was stark.  In the back: folks of color, many of them standing, with a smattering of young hipsters who epitomize the social justice movement; and in the front: well dressed, mostly white, middle aged parents who came out to support the schools.

video
Carol Sharick to Principal Jackson:  "You have my heart."

School Committee members got a taste (and smell) of what the meeting would be like as about 50 demonstrators greeted them outside the entrance to the High School holding candles as the smell of incense filled the cold air.

 About as many showed up for candle light vigil prior to meeting  as on Tuesday night

video
 Trevor Baptiste welcomes the largest crowd in memory to a RSC meeting

Rookie Chair Trevor Baptiste welcomed the crowd and said he would allow 30 minutes for public comment, twice the time allotted on the agenda but the Committee would not respond to anything concerning Carolyn Gardner.  A sign up sheet was passed around and about a dozen-and-a-half speakers indicated their interest in addressing the Committee.

 Mark Jackson whispers to Maria Geryk

Supporters talked about the positive influence school officials have had on their children, protesters talked about how unfairly Carolyn Gardner was treated -- not just by an unknown (?) troll but also by school officials who did not acquiesce to her demand for a $500,000 settlement.


Demonstrators read Internet petition of support signed by over 400 individuals

After 8 speakers had their say including a group reading, Mr. Baptiste, who previously championed a l-o-n-g-e-r public comment period when then Chair Lawrence O'Brien tried to restrict it to only 15 minutes, said he would hear only 3 more speakers.

 Lawrence O'Brien (probably happy not to be Chair) Trevor Baptiste, Chair

A committee member quickly pointed out that it should be a committee decision, not just his.  Katherine Appy said it was an important issue and all should be heard.  The committee quickly agreed.

The theater continued.

video
 Vira Douangmany Cage without a spear, just "community"

Main organizer of the Justice For Carolyn movement Vira Douangmany Cage once again played the "gag order" card.  Although she did not seem to direct that at Chair Trevor Baptiste who had earlier told the crowd the School  Committee simply would not respond to anything concerning the MCAD complaint filed by Carolyn Gardner due to lawyers orders -- both School District attorney Gini Tate and the insurance company attorney.

video
 Brother Muhammad cites "slashed tire" incident that never happened

Sonji Johnson-Anderson was one of the last to speak but certainly not the least as she went twice as long as the allotted three minutes, and only in the last few seconds did Mr. Baptiste attempt to bring her to a close.

She read statement after statement of support and sympathy for Carolyn Gardner that School Committee members or school administrators had shown her prior to the MCAD complaint being filed.

 Sonji Johnson-Anderson reading back quotes to the School Committee

Of course that could also be used someday in the school's defense to demonstrate how much attention and concern everyone showered on Ms. Gardner throughout the sad affair.


Carol Ross: "That's who I'm fighting for:  our kids"

By 7:15 all the speakers had their say and Mr. Baptiste brought Public Comment to a close.  Well over half the room started to undulate and Baptiste implored them to stay and see the work this Committee does for the children of the Region.  All to no avail.

 Crowded room 6:05 PM (at peak about 120 people in the audience)
Majority of crowd leaving 7:17 PM
By 8:30 PM only 17 remained


The meeting continued well after the scheduled 8:00 PM finish time posted on the agenda and nerves seemed a tad frayed towards the end. Some minor bickering broke out between Superintendent Maria Geryk and Trevor Baptiste and Amilcar Shabazz over timelines for budget items and the evaluation of the Superintendent.

 Finance Director Sean Mangano bearing bad news

Brought on, no doubt, by both the late hour and the bad news presented earlier by rookie Finance Director Sean Mangano that the Governor's most recent budget cuts now put the Region in an even deeper hole, increasing cuts required from $700,000 to an even $1 million.

At the conclusion of the meeting, as the clock struck 10:00 PM, member Rick Hood stated for the record that the Committee had, essentially, done good.

They had come together as one big family, under trying circumstances (some would even argue, embattled) to do the demanding work for their #1 constituents, the children.



Kind of like that redneck (if I dare use such a racial stereotype) brotherhood statement, "Only I can beat on my little brother."

114 comments:

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention the hissing...

Larry Kelley said...

Actually I carefully edited the video to include Carol Sharick mentioning it.

Although it was not bad enough to be picked up by my camera (But I was of course in the very front of the room).

Anonymous said...

The whole thing was a big step backward, presided over by an incredibly weak chairman, who was uniquely empowered to maintain decorum in the room, and failed to do so.

Anonymous said...

The CG supporters were their usual rude selves: hissing, making comments, shouting out when the"other side" was speaking. Then snapping fingers and "yessing" when they agreed with the speaker.

Anonymous said...

The chair NEEDS to cut off community speakers who go over the alloted time.

And if anyone invokes the name of Jesus (as the reverend speaker did) he/she needs to reminded that this is a PUBLIC school meeting and under the law there is a separation of church and state...this should not be tolerated. If the reverend was teaching a history lesson, then that is a different matter.

Larry Kelley said...

Yes, I'm not condoning their actions by any means but I actually thought it was going to be a tad worse.

Larry Kelley said...

I think Vera probably realized her Facebook post response to Nick Grabbe was W-A-Y over the top, and she decided to chill out a bit.

Anonymous said...

"done good"

Your mother and the nuns are cringing.




Anonymous said...

Snapping fingers? Wow i'm impressed that people old enough to use the "beatnik handclap" as popularized by Bob Denver as Maynard G. Krebbs in the old "Dobie Gillis" TV show are still around and trying to bring that back. It really was hip back then.

Anonymous said...

Was there an executive session at the end?

Larry Kelley said...

No Executive Session at end. Will schedule for next meeting.

Michael H said...

I signed onto the letter presented at the school committee meeting as a way to honor, and show respect for, all our school teachers, staff, committee members, students, parents and families:

Dear School Committee Members,

Whereas, Carolyn Gardner, an outstanding teacher was subjected to repeated racist, threatening notes and vandalism-graffiti at the Amherst Regional High School during the 2013-2014 school year, and suffers post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result; and,

Whereas, the school district has unilaterally placed her on unpaid medical leave, so that she is left without income to support herself and her child; and,

Whereas, the school district has refused to meet with her, to explore alternatives, to negotiate, or even discuss the situation with her and her attorneys, but instead, offered a termination settlement with unacceptable conditions; and,

Whereas, Carolyn Gardner is an exemplary teacher of mathematics, with consistently outstanding evaluations; and,

Whereas, she is African American, a teacher our schools should be going to great lengths to support and retain for the benefit of all of our students; and,

Whereas, Ms. Gardner has done nothing wrong; and,

Whereas, we deeply value our schools and want them to be excellent in every way and to serve all our students and families with the highest possible quality education; and

Whereas, we want our school system to support all our teachers, including Carolyn Gardner, and work with her to seek justice and reach a mutually acceptable agreement;

We, the undersigned, urge the Amherst-Pelham Regional School District to meet and negotiate with Ms. Gardner and her attorneys to resolve the issues contained in her MCAD complaint.

We further urge the District to disavow the statement made by Regina Tate, the school district's attorney, regarding Ms. Gardner's claims of mistreatment as "baseless" allegations (Merzbach, S. 2014, October 27. Former Amherst teacher Carolyn Gardner files discrimination complaint. Gazettenet. Retrieved from http://www.gazettenet.com).

We stand firm with Carolyn Gardner recognizing that the racist attacks that plague her harm all of us as well. To this end, we call upon the School District to treat Carolyn Gardner with the dignity and respect she deserves by vigorously pursuing an immediate resolution to her complaint: one that is fair, equitable and just.

Anonymous said...


"To this end, we call upon the School District to treat Carolyn Gardner with the dignity and respect she deserves by vigorously pursuing an immediate resolution to her complaint: one that is fair, equitable and just."

Yeah, Michael h, they already DID that. She turned them shown.

Larry Kelley said...

Once the lawyers are involved all public input should cease. (Which is why I hate it when the lawyers are unleashed).

Anonymous said...

How does that letter show "respect" for anyone other than Gardner? Her supporters clearly do not understand what that word means, nor how to show it to others.

Anonymous said...

How much upspent money has the school district turned back at the end of each of the past five years?
I recall a million dollars a few of those years.

Why not cut two Central Office staff and saving $250K or so (including benefits)? Or three and save $400k?

Let's keep the money in the classrooms.

Or just start proposed cuts to art, music, theater and get the parents out to vote for an override, the usual tactic.

Anonymous said...

It should be noted Carolyn Gardner is the one who turned to lawyers first.

Anonymous said...

Is the state really "cutting" what they provide or just adjusting it based on our enrollments. Big difference. Our schools continue to spend more $$ each year while at the same time our student numbers continue to drop precipitously. Long ago we should have seen a drop in costs or at least a leveling off. SPED spending needs more examination. I suspect our heavy (over) investment in SPED encourages families with children with special needs to move to our district. How does our % kids w Special needs compare to Belchertown, for example?

Anonymous said...

Go Amherst Regional Boys' Soccer Team... Beat Needham High tomorrow for the Division 1 Championship!

Anonymous said...

Whereas, Carolyn Gardner, an outstanding teacher was subjected to repeated racist, threatening notes and vandalism-graffiti at the Amherst Regional High School during the 2013-2014 school year, and suffers post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result; and,
-- Insensitive student pranks exists in all schools, including her 10 years at Northampton school. Why suddenly becomes green and cannot tolerant it any more? Is it become Amhest district has bigger coffer? I develop a PTSD today by watching these videos.

Whereas, the school district has unilaterally placed her on unpaid medical leave, so that she is left without income to support herself and her child; and,
-- She chose not to return to her teaching at high school, not return 2 other teaching positions in other schools, and refuse to take financial settlement from district, nor finding another job in other school. She chose not to work.

Whereas, the school district has refused to meet with her, to explore alternatives, to negotiate, or even discuss the situation with her and her attorneys, but instead, offered a termination settlement with unacceptable conditions; and,
-- School district has offered beyond standard offers from day one, and continue to support her above and beyond. School needs to move on and cannot be dragged and crippled.

Whereas, Carolyn Gardner is an exemplary teacher of mathematics, with consistently outstanding evaluations; and,
-- I heard she is a substandard teacher from students in her class.

Whereas, she is African American, a teacher our schools should be going to great lengths to support and retain for the benefit of all of our students; and,
-- All people are created and should be treated equal, regardless of skin color.

Whereas, Ms. Gardner has done nothing wrong; and,

Whereas, we deeply value our schools and want them to be excellent in every way and to serve all our students and families with the highest possible quality education; and
-- Lofy goal in slogan, but I heard behind the door, the activists pressure the school to favor a small fraction of students associated with the activists.

Whereas, we want our school system to support all our teachers, including Carolyn Gardner, and work with her to seek justice and reach a mutually acceptable agreement;
-- School district has done that with over-generous offer, but Carolyn Cardner refused.


We, the undersigned, urge the Amherst-Pelham Regional School District to meet and negotiate with Ms. Gardner and her attorneys to resolve the issues contained in her MCAD complaint.
-- To bad, Ms. Gardner sent it to MCAD, it is now between the lawyers and MCAD, the school cannot do it any more.

We further urge the District to disavow the statement made by Regina Tate, the school district's attorney, regarding Ms. Gardner's claims of mistreatment as "baseless" allegations (Merzbach, S. 2014, October 27. Former Amherst teacher Carolyn Gardner files discrimination complaint. Gazettenet. Retrieved from http://www.gazettenet.com).
-- Since it is a "baseless" allegation, district will not fire its own attorney to accomodate.

We stand firm with Carolyn Gardner recognizing that the racist attacks that plague her harm all of us as well. To this end, we call upon the School District to treat Carolyn Gardner with the dignity and respect she deserves by vigorously pursuing an immediate resolution to her complaint: one that is fair, equitable and just.
-- School and community has rallied around Ms. Gardner to stand up against pranks, and insensitivities. Ms. Gardner, through her laywer, turns way from her supporter in school and community. Instead of working together to fight insensitive pranks, she reaches into the community coffer for a big payout to herself. It is a stab on her supporter from the community.

Anonymous said...

The pro Carolyn crowd was incredibly rude at the meeting. Is this what they teach their children at home? Their behavior was more like that of a group of middle school children who just can't seem to control themselves. Imagine all the cries of racism if a white audience acted toward Carolyn the way this group acted.

Oh yeah. I forgot the double standard. Some people can say what they like.

And I noticed the esteemed shabazz was quiet. His name did come up a lot later in the meeting when the various committees he signed up to work on had to bring him up to speed about what the committee did at all those meetings he missed.

Must be tough to be so busy in your shabazz. Maybe you should resign from the sc so someone who actually will do some of the work can get on board.

Anonymous said...

The root problem is there are too much money squandered in Amherst district. Everybody wants a piece of pie, and a bigger piece of pie. The property tax payer's back is in the brink of break.

Anonymous said...

I have disagreement with school. But on this matter, I support school. Carol Sharick is a brave woman who dare to speak the truth. I am Carol Sharick.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the district try mediation? It will either work or not work?

Cheaper than litigating.

Which of course means less billing for Tate, an attorney known for taking parents to the mat in SPED cases instead of mediating. And most families cannot afford an attorney.

Amherst SPED administration under Geryk also was known for never mediating a single case. With a free state funded mediation program regularly mediating throughout the state go figure.

So why not try to find some middle ground instead of this miserable media spectacle and anxiety and confrontation in our small community?

It would be a good model for our students.

Anonymous said...

Activists and lawyers. A nightmare combination for any community. Ms. Gardner's matter could have been solved in a much less contentious way, for the benefits of herself and school. Once activists start to ignite and flame the fire, and lawyers start to exploit for financial gain, all bets are off.

Larry Kelley said...

And everybody has not forgotten the Calvin Terrell debacle.

Anonymous said...

What baffles me about all of this is the wasted energy in the room. The activist who mean well could spend their time working with inner city youth. They could tutor these kids and help them get a better education. As more and more kids of color get a better education they move up the ranks in our work force. These adults create a solid stable base for more kids of color to look up to as role models.

If the kind of behavior shown last night and the type of cause, CG, which is questionable at best, is what they want to teach other kids of color then what type of behavior and responsibility do you think those kids will emulate in the future.

Again so much wasted energy.

Anonymous said...


"ROOT" ?!?! OMG somebody said roots!

That's racist! ...and certainly not a word ever associated with mathematics...

Larry Kelley said...

I love when folks show determination.

The peace protesters who stand out in Amherst town center every Sunday since the 1960s spring to mind.

Or that strategically useless hill in Korea we put up a hell of a fight to keep on the last day of the Korean War just to send a message.

But it helps -- it helps a lot -- if you're correct.

Anonymous said...

Around the 5th "whereas" the race of the teacher is pointed out. I was raised to view people without regard to race, creed, color or national origin. But you seem to want her to be judged at least in part with her race right up there? Why?

Anonymous said...

"Done nothing wrong." I don't know if it was "wrong," but she kind of abandoned her post, no? (I know...I know,,, she 'had' to. Never understood why.

Anonymous said...

Hear! Hear!

Anonymous said...

Gr8 rebuttal.

Anonymous said...

Nothing says "We're really insecure that anyone is going to take us seriously" quite like repeated uses of the word "whereas".

Anonymous said...

Speaking as an outsider, I love this media spectacle. It's not only entertaining, but a glimpse into government by PC. Fascinating.

Larry Kelley said...

You should have seen the 'West Side Story' fiasco 15 years ago.

Anonymous said...

I agree completely. Instead of meaningless just yours like candle light vigil's, put your money where your mouth is. Do something that makes a difference. And matters.

Anonymous said...

Lol.

Don't you know how to fight? said...

Oh come on now.

Screw this racism shit and take

the fckers on.

Just take them straight on!

Christ.

Quit beating around the god damn

bush.


-Squeaky Squeaks


p.s. Jesus, just blow on them and they'll fall over.

Anonymous said...

Don't get me started on WSS. Lol.

Anonymous said...

Again it is Carolyn Gardner who chose to go the lawyer route. Once she hired a lawyer and sued the school all chance of mediation was ended. The school kept reaching out to her to find out what she planned to do. They offered her one year salary so she could take a year off and decide her next steps. She never responded. She called a lawyer instead. It is not the school district who would not negotiate. It is Carolyn Gardner who would not negotiate.
And it is not Gini Tate who represents the district in this matter. It is the district's insurance company lawyer who represents the district. Once the MCAD complaint was filed that ended all negotiations.

Anonymous said...

The school district never said she had done anything wrong.

Anonymous said...

Take a 20 min. drive over to Holyoke and volunteer in their schools. People in Amherst have NOTHING to complain about.

Anonymous said...

...er...that's "gestures" of course. sry

Anonymous said...

I am Carol Sharick.

Anonymous said...

I am also Carol Sharick.

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that the man pictured at the top of the post, Matt Cunningham, as he turned to whip up the masses, had his fly unzipped, which surely added to the power of his presentation.

Being the true humanist that he is, Matt sneeringly suggested that the views of all the white people in the front of the room should be discredited by virtue of the color of their skin. We're told that he's amazingly a grad student at UMass, ladies and gentlemen, and his teachers there have a reason to be proud.

It was a truly uplifting evening. We should get together and do it again some time.

Anonymous said...

Shabazz and O'Brien are up for reelection in the spring of 2015.


Anonymous said...

"Whereas, Ms. Gardner has done nothing wrong; and,"

The school district has done nothing wrong, either. There is no basis for litigation. End of Story.

I am another Carol Sharick.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Carol Sharick will run.

Anonymous said...

I would be Carol Sharick, if I had her guts and determination.

Thank you, Carol.

And thanks also to the speaker who said matter-of-factly, "Now she's asking for half a million dollars. I don't get it."

Brevity is the soul of wit.

Anonymous said...

I'm not getting the "spear" references, as in "I didn't bring my spear."

Huh?

Larry Kelley said...

I think if I had made a reference to her and a spear I would be in BIG trouble.

Anonymous said...

I thought Shabazz already said he wasn't running again.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I didn't get the spear or mob reference either. Like Larry said, if anyone else had used those words...

Anonymous said...

I saw dementors.

"Dementors are among the foulest creatures that walk this earth. They infest the darkest, filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them... Get too near a Dementor and every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you. If it can, the Dementor will feed on you long enough to reduce you to something like itself... soulless and evil. You will be left with nothing but the worst experiences of your life."
—Remus Lupin

Anonymous said...

Is she telling us that she's the Grace Jones or the Pam Grier of Amherst politics?

Anonymous said...

Worked Holyoke Schools for 7 years. My last year saw a kid pull a knife on a teacher. Principal was very strict. Excellent disciplinarian. Not cuddly. Never worked with an admin so well respected. Holyoke's a tough town. (Native here. Also went through that school system all the way. Left teaching for financial reasons. Went private sector. My 7th year teacher pay? 19K. Not much sympathy here.

Anonymous said...

I'd be her too if I knew who the hell she is. I'm only in it for the rubbernecking.

Anonymous said...

She didn't bring her spear, but Sonji Johnson-Anderson made a kabob out of the School Committee.

Anonymous said...

But enough about Amherst liberals...

Anonymous said...

Sonji proved the school's position by showing how much everyone was sympathetic to CG and did what they could to ameliorate the situation. The whole thing last year was a made up crisis and we are now witnessing another made up crisis.

Anonymous said...

Gardner did the Amherst Community a favor by releasing her detailed complaint. Until reading it, we were left considering the possibility that she HAD been the target of exceptionally egregious behavior (and a weak response from the school district). Now everyone can make their own judgement on her case. Too bad she had to add details that outed the HS student (unforgivable for an experienced teacher w the oversight of her lawyer). I bet teachers in Holyoke and Springfield are still LMAOing. What she described would be considered a cakewalk in their school communities. She has NO case. Kids in our schools experience way worse everyday, regardless of race (and don't get paid).

Stephen said...

Matthew Cunningham's comments were divisive, in poor taste, racist (as if that term weren't thrown around enough now... but here's it's true), and frankly wrong in regards to labor law. For Mr. Jackson to have issued a so-called gag order with a *gasp* script, is perfectly reasonable and within the bounds of the law when a case is being litigated. I heard his advisor was in the audience and was dismayed by his display of ignorance of the law.

Me, I found his black vs. white, front vs. black (reminded me of 'I can see Russia from my backyard' mentality) deeply upsetting and a sign of their paltry movement's tactics to further the very thing they are supposedly trying to resolve. Those weren't productive comments, there, Matty boy

Most egregious of all was that hideous sweater. Yikes! Go back to whatever hipster, Brooklyn, pseudo-intellectual hovel from which you came. Don't you quote heady German philosophers in MY neighborhood, mister. This isn't your g-d classroom or a forum to show off your (presumable) intellect. Stay where you belong, in academia.

Anonymous said...

In terms of Ms. Gardner doing anything wrong, she is not responsible for the attacks on her. But it is wrong action, by omission, to not refute public statements, such as the allegation that her tires were slashed, that she knows to be false.

Anonymous said...

With residents checking The Gazette for an article on the meeting- the ARHS band/ orchestra citrus sale is getting a lot of publicity!

Dr. Ed said...

"Being the true humanist that he is, Matt sneeringly suggested that the views of all the white people in the front of the room should be discredited by virtue of the color of their skin. We're told that he's amazingly a grad student at UMass, ladies and gentlemen, and his teachers there have a reason to be proud."

I don't doubt for an instant that he is, and never forget that there are a whole lot more like him -- the overwhelming majority of the graduate students.

One point though: Sarah Palin never said :U cab see Russia..." -- it was Tuba Fey on SNL. Facts do matter -- Palin never said it.

Anonymous said...

I also don't get it. What does it mean?

Anonymous said...

Those activists doesn't care about our community or our children, or any community. Their lives centers around their power, their publicity, and themselves.

Thank you for Amherst parents who were present at the SC meeting. You are the silent majority, and you represent the conscience and backbone of this community.

I am Carol Sharick, too!

Anonymous said...

A knife? Now that's ptsd.

Anonymous said...

Wrong to give up on teaching All of her students because of the actions of so few.

Larry Kelley said...

Anon 4:30 AM
I think it's a reference to her Facebook exchange with Nick Grabbe where she closed with what could be interpreted as a threat.

And since we were in a school (and after the Calvin Terrell fiasco) she probably didn't want to use a firearm as an example.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that. Some falsehoods will never die.

Anonymous said...

I'm not Carol Sharick. But I'm Willing to be. For a small stipend.

Anonymous said...

Gag order? Who needs one? Gardner's overbearing and misinformed spokeswoman told the world last year that the teachers"shunned" Gardner. We did no such thing. Quite the opposite really. We spent an incredible amount of time focusing on her, way more than we spent focusing on kids of any color.

You kick us in the teeth one day and then wonder why we we don't support you the next? I'm surprised you got through the front door for the job interview if that's your thinking process.

Your spokeswoman isn't doing you any favors, nor are the verbally abusive, poorly mannered circus acts who are following you around.

When will y all go away so we can begin to put our school back together?

Thank you Carol Sharrick.

Anonymous said...

Never saw a nun with problems teaching students. Maybe this generation of teachers could use a few lessons from the good ol' SSJ. They could use the bucks right now.

Anonymous said...

Go beat Needham, ARHS Boys soccer!!

Anonymous said...

Thinking back now:

Where does all that anger come from? It can't be just about Carolyn. Has this been festering inside the schools all this time? Is life just a series of racially based humiliations every single day? Is life as a black or Hispanic person in 21st century Amherst really awful? Is it better in other places in America?

Are expressions of good intentions and good will not enough? Or is the only solution to have our racism lobotomized, surgically removed, out of us, because no matter how hard we try, no matter how hard Geryk and Jackson tried, to be good people, all we're projecting is racism?

Is that where we're at? No matter what we want in our hearts for our country and our world, all we give off is prejudice and hate, so that Mr. Cunningham, in his angry rectitude, can compare us to good obedient Germans.

Tell us, Mr. Hood, you who claims to understand this better than the rest of us.

Stephen said...

Anonymous said... I also don't get it. What does it mean? November 22, 2014 at 4:30 AM

What I meant was that Matthew Cook's inference that somehow all the whites that attended were sitting at the front of the room and therefore were part of one, collective, racist pact ("I think all of you at the front of the room should talk to people of color more often"), etc. Palin similarly inferred she knew about Russian politics based on proximity. I know, it's a strained comparison, but that's what it was.

Anonymous said...

How many people in the room actually have kids in the schools? Was anyone paying attention to that? How do we presume to know what it's like to walk the halls, sit in the classes, hang out at ARHS. Maybe we should ask the kids how they are by and large getting along with each other and the rest of us adults go home and calm down and be appreciative of the teachers and administrators who are showing up at work everyday with our kids.
As an aside I am still mystified by the Muslim preacher at a public meeting asking us "what would Jesus would do" ?!?!? Can we someone please unpack that one for me? Maybe he needs to go back to school too. (-:

Anonymous said...

I also want to thank you for setting the record straight on the Tina Fey quote. Larry's blog here is about the only place Republicans in Amherst can vent. Because God knows we embrace diversity. Just not diversity of thought.

Anonymous said...

Will someone please tell me a lonely outsider, who Carol Sharick is and why everyone seems to be she.

Anonymous said...

Racism is not illegal though we'd all like it to be. You can't make thought against the law. By the same token, if you break the law based on that thought, that is what's illegal, quite obviously.

Anonymous said...

For Vira, claiming there is a gag order for APRS staff from Jackson is useful. It priori explains why there is so little support from Ms Gardner's peers. Its not because they don't want to, its because they fear for their jobs....

Vira has painted herself into a corner. Most of the support for Ms Gardner that she has garnered is not actually from OUR community (ie Amherst). Its easier to fool those from outside (ie the preacher from Springfield who claimed "tires were slashed" didn't happen dude).

Anonymous said...

He wasn't asking you to believe in Jesus, fer chrissake. He was just asking a question. Relax!

Anonymous said...

Carol Sharick, wife of former Principal of Fort River school, Ray Sharick. They have a few kids in the schools and have been long time residents of Amherst. Generally good people.

She wrote a letter to the paper last week. Google it.

Anonymous said...

I think we should all take a positive spin on this whole CG debacle.

If this is the best fight these activist can find to fight against racism and oppression then we have truly come a long way in this country.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for responding. I will google that letter to the Gazette. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Just remember, Anon November 22, 2014 at 10:42 AM, its not over till the (racist) fat (white) lady sings!

Anonymous said...

Bonfire of the Amhersst Vanities. Why do we indulge these brainless, immature 'community activists' searching for a militant cause and a potentially-aggrieved mob to stir up?

I am Carol Channing

Anonymous said...

WE demand justice for CG!
She deserves a full measure of justice that can only be delivered through the adjudication of a court of due process, in front of a magistrate of the law and a jury empaneled f her peers.
WE will not settle for any shady back-room deals, or greasy envelopes stuffed with hush money, so that those with Privledge can protect their lily-white reputations.
Yes, we DEMAND a full and public airing of the heinous racist attacks committeed against CG, a scholar and teacher of mathematics and caretaker of our children.
It is high time the plantation-era, racist attitudes and white supremacist sentiments of the school administration be exposed for what they are. There will be nowhere for MG and MJ to hide in a court of due process.

CG must not be denied her day in court. We will not abide efforts to derail this legal process before it is complete. With all of us pushing, this train of justice will reach its station.

There will be a candle-light vigil to support CG's right to a fair hearing. Details to he announced soon.

Let the light of the law shine upon this mess.

-- The Rev.

Anonymous said...

The lady is not fat. She's a victim of American Food Industry greed. They have made her into a foodaholic and she's seeking remuneration in the courts to the tune of 750K.

Anonymous said...

Lol. Hello Dolly.

Anonymous said...

She's getting her day in court. Enough already. I'm a lttle vigiled out . Still.

Anonymous said...

Instead of yet another meaningless gesture, why don't you have carolyn over for Thanksgiving dinner. That would be something concrete.

Anonymous said...

And please, enough with the White Supremacy accusations. Are you a Black Supremacist?

Anonymous said...

To The Rev: CG's supporters don't actually want to go to court, it would seem. They want the district to negotiate a settlement with her - which means NOT go to court.

They actually seem to be concerned about going to court, perhaps because the propaganda they are spreading is just that - propaganda, and not based in fact.

CG was treated badly by students who directed hate speech and actions at her. She was not treated badly by the district, who offered her incredible support last year. Once she filed her lawsuit - negotiations ended. That was her choice.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous commentator at November 22, 2014 at 3:20 PM who signed their comment "-- The Rev."

Will you please comment again and let the readers know if you are Brother Johnnie Vernon of Muhammad's Mosque No. 13 in Springfield, who attended our school committee meeting on Thursday November 20th?

Jackie M'Vemba said...

I can't wait til the court case is over. Then we can all shut up. That's the hope, anyway.

Anonymous said...

These people will never go away. When they lose the court case they'll come up with something else.

Anonymous said...

Ugh. Now there's a depressing thought.

Anonymous said...

As a parent of underserved schoolchildren - we are a white family, the kids are high-achieving, not getting into trouble, but we can't get teacher attention along with advanced extracurricular challenge - I used to believe that the School Committee, the Superintendent, and the racebaiting bomb-throwers were all complicit in keeping my kids' needs on the back burner.

It's nice to see them all at each other's throats now.

Anonymous said...

You mean CG doesn't actually want to go to court? I guess I should have checked with her first. Stay tuned. I will have a new statement shortly.
-- The Rev

Anonymous said...

No. I am not he.
-- The Rev.

Anonymous said...

My guess:
Rev. Talbert Swan II, the head of the Greater Springfield Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Anonymous said...

I think the Rev's post needs the special font for, what do you call it Larry? Satire?

Anonymous said...

PLEASE, don't bother.

Anonymous said...

They All say that.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like my ex.

Anonymous said...

The new Beyoncé video sucks

Anonymous said...

Yes. Great topic. Let's get back to that at some point! Not sure there was enough backbiting and recrimination. So much more fingerpointing to be had.

Anonymous said...

I guess people failed to grasp the anti- hate message in West Side Story. Goddamn shame.

Anonymous said...

Lol. Good to have a lttle comic relief.

Anonymous said...

My guess is that the rev is a troll here to wind you all up.