Good one, Gazette, maybe you should get your facts straight by interviewing the relevant parties BEFORE publishing...Nah, that would mean getting off your fat asses and doing some actual work!
Apparently, there are people in this community who don't understand what the consequences are when you call the lawyers in.Any attorney's first responsibility to a client is to tell him or her, "From here on, shut up."
This really is a shit show.
If you retrace your steps down the road we've been on, you arrive at a junction we were last at in 2009.One signpost points to "Alberto Rodriguez", with no experience as a superintendent, from Florida. That's the road we took.The other signpost points to "David P. Sklarz", former superintendent in West Hartford, CT.Ah, what might have been. Instead we get, as Anon 10:26 am so eloquently put it, this "shit show".
The Gazette has a clear agenda against our schools and our community, based on the last few articles and editorials they've written. I will not be reading the Gazette ever again.
Yeah, anon 1147 AM, if Sklarz was super that kid never would have written graffiti on the wall and the protesters would be very content with the schools.
Does anyone know how many people of color are reporters, editors, otherwise work at the Gazette? I'm surprised the Justice For Carolyn folks trust the Gazette. I guess if the Gazette will serve their needs ......
The Justice for Carolyn folks have the Gazette in their pocket.
Well- The Amherst Bulletin can't get 6000 residents to say they want the paper-It's a sign of the times
Well, it's possible, I suppose. We'll never know. But did we choose Rodriguez " without regard to race, color, creed or national origin?" Not so sure the chice was that unbiased.
Why is it important to determine the race of a reporter? Or anyone. Are you prejudiced in some way? I thought we wanted to be "post-racial." Did I not get the memo that said judge people of different races differently?
I'm a person of color. Pink.
Did anyone else see who Shabazz is comparing himself to today on his ARPS SC facebook page?https://www.facebook.com/ElectShabazzApparently we didn't notice it but Shabazz is a "change agent" who is trying to "create a more effective school committee".
Notice Shh-bad uses the phrase "Trying to learn". Try, try, try again. When is someone going to tell this guy that his 1980 Preditor-alien look went out of style long ago. Or is that to make you believe he has some sort of connection to Egypt and North Africa. Maybe he's just been smoking too much good shit for so long. He sure acts numb.
Mark Jackson's email is a bit odd. It accuses the Gazette of saying he threatened people's jobs if they spoke out of this matter. Jackson is a bully and a boob, but I always assumed he could read (he really isn't terribly smart if you listen to him for any period of time, however). Still, reading is, you know, fundamental. Here's the Gazette on Jackson:"Many supporters wore duct tape over their mouths, a reference to an attorney’s suggestion that district employees not comment publicly on Gardner’s complaint, according to a Nov. 3 email from high school Principal Mark Jackson to teachers and staff."That's the single reference to the him. I checked both online and the print edition from this morning. Jackson seems to be acting like other petty politicians who create fake enemies they can critique and seem superior to.Again, I ask, where did the Gazette make this claim? And, Jackson's email is probably bs. The district cannot silence teachers. It may be unwise for them to speak, but he can't order them not to. Unless the teachers signed Amherst's version of GB's Official Secrets Act, the teachers can talk all they want and they can criticism Jackson and Geryk all day long. It may be unwise, but it's allowed.
I can't imagine Catherine Sanderson or Steve Rivkin would appreciate Shabazz comparing himself to them. Not even close to being in the same league.
The Gazette made the claim in yesterday's paper in a long article.
Anon 8:20 pmI think you need to read the Gazette article again. The claim was made by Ms. Cage that employees were being threatened with loss of employment. So the Gazette may not be making the claim but the Gazette is reporting the claim by others.So don't let your personal animus toward Mr. Jackson, and your need to belittle him, keep you from reading the newsprint thoroughly.
http://www.gazettenet.com/news/townbytown/amherst/14404417-95/amherst-teachers-staff-told-not-to-discuss-carolyn-gardner-case-publiclyThe above is yesterday's Gazette piece. Please find me something in there that accuses Jackson of threatening jobs. It isn't in there.
Here's the quote from Cage. Tell me where jobs are threatened:“We are aware that teachers have been instructed by the administration not to speak their minds,” Cage said. “That’s a dangerous climate, a very harmful climate for my children to be in.”Cage said she worries for teachers who got the email. “This culture of fear and retribution has to end, and it has to end now,” Cage said.
He's going to "fundamentally change America." Oops. Sry. That was President Obama.
Jackson's letter explicitly says that the Gazette article claims that people's jobs were threatened if they spoke out. Those are Jackson's words.Not a single word in the Gazette article even implies that.
Jackson's letter says, in part:"This morning, The Daily Hampshire Gazette ran an article that made a troubling claim. I write to you now to correct the record.The article alleged that, threatening the loss of employment, I forced the ARHS faculty into silence around Carolyn Gardner's legal action against the district. That, in effect, I imposed a gag order. that is a gross distortion. I'd like to explain why."The article says nothing about threatening jobs and the Gazette itself doesn't say Jackson issued a gag order.Here's the quote from the Gazette: "While some in the community are perceiving this as a gag order, Geryk said in an email Monday that Jackson's note was a reminder about protocol. . . ." More to the point, at no time is there a single mention of "threatening the loss of employment." If no one said it, then Jackson lied to serve his own purposes, to make himself into a victim to take on a straw man who can be easily knocked down. We expect more from our educators.
Let them flail and try to turn this on Jackson. The word out here is that Douangmany has gone WAY off the deep end and support for the administration is rising while Douangmany's, Shabazz's, Vernon-Jones', et al is diving big time. Not even many other social justice activists in the greater area support her antics and statements.Douangmany is behaving like a raving lunatic in public, just let her keep digging the ditch deeper.
Fear and retribution sure sounds like a threat to me that includes losing their jobs.
I'd like a school system where our kids and the education are the focus, not all these events and the theatrics and press surrounding them. Is our district so much worse than other districts on these issues? From the media coverage, it would certainly seem like it, but is that just because in Amherst we have so many activists and such a microscope aimed searching for wrongdoing? I can't help but wonder. Northampton doesn't generate this kind of attention or press. Why is that? Is everything so much worse in Amherst? It's interesting to me too that in Northampton, the mayor is the chair of the School Committee.
The last statement in the Gazette article is a quote from Cage, discussing why school employees have not signed the petition:But the petition has garnered little support from school employees, which Cage said might be due to Jackson’s email.“It’s eerily silent, and now we know why: People are scared for their livelihood,” Cage said.source:http://www.gazettenet.com/news/townbytown/amherst/14404417-95/amherst-teachers-staff-told-not-to-discuss-gardner-case-publicly The Gazette left that as the last statement. They didn't, to my knowledge, contact ARHS teachers or administrators to ask for a comment in reply to Cage.
by the way, 8:20 pm, since you are questioning people's reading skills and general intelligence, you might consider that there is more than one Gazette issue that you need to read before you reach your conclusions. That's why you failed to find the relevant quote. Or maybe you were deliberately lying so that you could criticize Mark Jackson and feel superior to him. (I'm just applying your technique of analysis.)
Nina, Read Jackson's letter. There is a world of difference between saying the major newspaper in the area reported that HE SAID people's jobs were in jeopardy and quoting a NON-EMPLOYEE who BELIEVES people feel scared.You get that, right? The Gazette NEVER SAID JACKSON THREATENED JOBS (I'm capitalizing so you can get the point). JACKSON CLAIMED THE GAZETTE WROTE THAT HE THREATENED JOBS.Jackson's letter says (read it slowly, maybe out loud): "The article alleged that, threatening the loss of employment, I forced the ARHS faculty into silence around Carolyn Gardner's legal action against the district. That, in effect, I imposed a gag order. that is a gross distortion."Where in the Gazette does the Gazette say that Jackson threatened anyone with anything? Now, do us a favor and try really hard to admit that Jackson lied. Or, maybe that he just can't read real good.
Anon 741 You are the one who is way off base. In publishing Vira's comment they did report that teachers' jobs were threatened and that is why they are remaining silent.
online statements from Vira Douangmany this morning:"I identify with Carolyn Gardner. I breathe and live Carolyn Gardner. I am Carolyn Gardner. The things that happened to her would never happen to you. Yes, I have a fire inside me that burns fiercely, because the fact of the matter is, it is not so "good" for everyone. Perhaps that's where our distress should lie. The status quo benefits you. You are comfortable with that. I am making it uncomfortable. Justice for Carolyn is making it uncomfortable to keep the status quo. Because in actuality it is been hell for us, us, who you see as other. It will get more uncomfortable, be prepared."
Beware of a person unable to see both sides of an argument.Such a person is unfit to be elected to public office.And such a person, if she gathers a crowd, can really do serious damage to a community.
I won't "admit that Jackson lied", when, independently of him and before he wrote anything to anyone, I drew the same conclusion from the Gazette's articles recently: that there were members of the community stating, as fact, that school employees were being intimidated into not speaking out, threatened with the possibility of loss of their jobs. I thought the alleged fact of such intimidation was horseshit when I read it, but it was clearly at least implicated by Merzbach at the Gazette.
Thank you, Anon 5:08 am, for bringing up the absence of a mayor in Amherst.This is, once again, another instance of the price we are paying for rejecting a municipal system with a mayor several years ago.
Ms. Cage got the largest number of votes in town for her Town Meeting seat, and lots of positive press for her candidacy for School Committee.And, all of that seems to have gone straight up her nostrils.
Yikes! It appears Ms. Vira Douangmany has caught a serious case of the messiah complex disease. No vaccine or drug treatment available. It is impervious to reality, like all successful religions.
Vira during an Amherst Media "Vira For SC" presentation March 7, 2013:"I've always felt that (Amherst) would be a great community to raise my kids, and I'm living the dream right now."Was she lying to get elected, did her feelings change toward Amherst, or did Amherst change?
Maybe the really poor English education offered in the Amherst public schools is making this hard for some of you to understand. Mark Jackson called out the Gazette as reporting that he had said something. Can we agree that he wrote that? It's really clear what he wrote.The problem is that the Gazette never wrote that he had said what Jackson says they say he said. The Gazette did not report that Jackson had threatened jobs. Show me where the Gazette quotes or paraphrases Jackson saying anything at all like that.You're really having a tough time understanding how to read a newspaper.If the New York Times reports that a conservative member of the US Congress claims that President Obama was born in Africa and not the United States (which was said many times by Republicans and reported by the Times and other news outlets as having been said), then are you saying that the New York Times reported that Obama was born in Africa? This isn't complicated. Jackson lied or at the very least wildly exaggerated. He wrote that the Gazette claimed he had threatened jobs. The Gazette did not report that. I'll put this in caps for you: SHOW ME WHERE THE GAZETTE WROTE THAT MARK JACKSON THREATENED ANYONE'S JOB. Mark Jackson claims that the Gazette reported that he had threatened jobs, not that it quoted a non-employee as saying so. God I'm glad my children aren't being taught by any of you.
To Vira I would say this: cut the shit, lady. Stop reveling in victimhood.
Wow, Anon 11:35 am, you need to get this problem with Mark Jackson checked.
Yeah? Well the feeling is mutual.
To 11:35 am, I am not sure why you feel that shouting makes your argument more cogent. We understand what you are saying. We don't agree.Would it quell your bluster if Mark's statement said "The article contained an allegation" instead of "The article alleged"? I agree that would be better language. Does the choice of language make Mark Jackson a liar? No.Either way, here's what makes the Gazette's reporting completely irresponsible in this article:They printed a serious, potentially defamatory allegation without any apparent attempt to check its veracity. Did the reporter ask Ms. Douangmany anything like "How do you know that?" or "What leads you to believe that?" Did the reporter call Mr. Jackson and ask him to comment on the allegation? Did the reporter call any teachers and ask if they felt their employment had been threatened? It's his obligation to do that if he wants to print the allegation. I don't if the Gazette still has editors who have a chance to edit, but the editor should have caught that.Instead, we have Douangmany's statement left unchallenged as the last line in the article, creating an impression that is patently false. And so the allegation becomes not just Douangmany's allegation, but also the Gazette's.
Nina, There is a world of difference between accusing a newspaper of saying you did or said something and a newspaper reporting that people you're in conflict with feel a certain way. I like the example of Obama's birth certificate. It isn't at all irresponsible of the Gazette to report that Jackson's opponents in this feel threatened. It would be irresponsible if the Gazette didn't report that. But it was highly irresponsible of Jackson to make a claim that the newspaper literally reported he had threatened people. It would be like Obama complaining that The Times had reported he was born in Africa.The Gazette didn't report that it had happened or was true. The Gazette said some people said they feel that way. There's a huge difference between the two.The person's original post joked that Jackson can't read. He either did a terrible job of reading and responding (which a HS principal shouldn't do) or he cynically manipulated what was in the story. Either way, Jackson did a horrible job and I think there are a lot of people who are tired of his bullying and bluster.
Sorry, Anon 11:35 am and 7:39 am (I assume you are the same solitary individual): Nina is right.The Gazette did a poor, and unethical, job of reporting this story, which they are doing more and more lately. They had about three drafts of a school-related story in consecutive Gazettes earlier this year.It was a good idea for the high school principal to clarify the position of the administration with regard to teachers and other employees commenting on this situation. The implication was clear from Ms. Cage, who seemed to have sheepishly tempered her thunder last night: they are enforcing a "gag order" with a threat to fire people. The Gazette having failed to distinguish between allegation and fact, Jackson owed it to the people who answer to him to clear the air.As with the myth of tire-slashing of Ms. Gardner's car that gets repeated over and over, we have this 21st century phenomenon: if you repeat it enough times, it becomes true in some people's perception. (Thank you, Fox News.) So the phrase "gag order" is repeated. Doesn't make it true, but talking back to it has some value.
Thanks for your comment, 8:23 pm.I actually don't think that 11:35 and 7:39 are the same person. 7:39 seems much more reasonable. In fact, I would like to ask 7:39 about his/her characterization of Mark Jackson. Where do you see bullying in his letter?
I suppose you watch MSNBC. Funny, Do you think that crap is unslanted? Awful ratings. Most people who put down FN oddly enough, don't actally watch it. I watch Morning Joe, The Five and Special Report with Bret Baier. Pretty good balance of left and right. I yearn for the days of the objective reporters. You knew where they stood, but at least their politics didn't come through so blatantly.
Believe it. It does happen and has happened; staff told not to speak about issues.Haven't you noticed, smart and talented educators simply disappear.
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