Friday, July 10, 2015

The High Cost Of Racist Graffiti



Carolyn Gardner was allegedly targeted by racial notes and graffiti numerous times

UPDATED 3:00 PM 
(Scroll down for School Superintendent Maria Geryk response to School Committee member Vira Douangmany)


Under increasing public pressure the Amherst Regional Public Schools just released the settlement amount in the sad case of math teacher Carolyn Gardner:  $180,000 total payout from three sources:  $90,000 insurance, $60,000 from the Regional School District, and $30,000 from payroll.

But only $120,000 went directly to Ms. Gardner, the other $60,000 was paid to her esteemed attorneys Sasson, Turnbull, Ryan & Hoose, LLC.



Some will argue the total amount is W-A-Y too much, but considering her initial request was $500,000 maybe not so much.  Others will argue it's W-A-Y too little for the indignity of it all.  Most, however, will agree the lawyers got too much.

The truth, inevitable, stands somewhere in the middle.

Click to enlarge/read
Email from School Superintendent Maria Geryk to Regional School Committee member Vira Douangmany, copied to the entire School Committee

68 comments:

Anonymous said...

She's going to donate that to NAACP or another advocacy organization, right?

Anonymous said...

It was her plan all along right?. She worked in Hamp and Amherst. Where else could she get away with such nonsense? Bilk the fools who are oversensitive to any conflict. Damn, I need to claim to be in a protected class, find a job up there, plant a note or two and claim mental anguish. JACKPOT

Anonymous said...

I in no way condone racism or the alleged acts toward Gardner and believe employers are responsible for providing positive work environments in all respects. Regardless, I must question why a teacher with "....superior content knowledge and dedication to her students...." would be a consistent target of such behavior. While this is a legally justified outcome, the system has failed for both sides.

Anonymous said...

Good to see the Amherst welfare system is alive and well. If every teacher received that amount every time some kid scribbled nonsense on the bathroom wall, the school system would be bankrupt. Kids have been writing stuff like this and much, much worse about teachers they dislike since the invention of public schools. She played her cards right and won the big pot. Pay attention fellow teachers I see a bonus plan that you all can monopolize on.

Anonymous said...

When this Superintendent exhales, it's a "confidential personnel record."

Anonymous said...

Jackpot? Not so much as $120K won't go far these days. Recommendation letter or not, most employers will steer clear of hiring anyone with this type of settlement in their history, right or wrong.

Anonymous said...

This person was persecuted and treated very poorly. The fact that everyone on this blog is castigating her, even when it is indisputable that she was subjected to racial harassment, is proof of a hostile climate not only within the school but within the broader community. You all should be ashamed of yourselves.

Anonymous said...

"Ask not what your country can do for you..."

Anonymous said...

We are all subject to racial harassment. Every day. That's life. You can't change it. I have never been paid a reparation for it. In 1 million years, I wouldn't expect that nor want it. Enough already with the victimhood we show revel in

Anonymous said...

Persecuted my ass.

Anonymous said...

Where's Vira's rant?

Anonymous said...

How did you get that email reponse from Maria to Vira so fast? And yes, where is Vira's rant?
The Regional budget was just cut by one million dollars. And yet we are giving Gardner $90k? That amount would almost pay for 2 teachers! Good riddance to her. And good luck to the next district that hires her. They better put a lock on their wallets!

Anonymous said...

A fabricated reference to screw over another school district.





Anonymous said...

Show me one post here that's not overtly racist. You are the racist parents of the type of students that did the graffiti. More power to her for standing up to this.

Anonymous said...

What did the administration do to her that was so egregious? Following the story, they seemed to bend over backwards for her after the incidents. Not sure why the actions of a few kids results in a $180,000 settlement. Richard Marsh

Walter Graff said...

Laughing all the way to the bank, even though it wasn't the pay-day she hoped for. Got to love the backward reality that is Amherst.

Anonymous said...

We are all racist including you. As long as we regard skin color as important rather than unimportant, so it shall remain.

Anonymous said...

What I find interesting are the times when a black person who is so very clearly unqualified is elected and then re-elected to a position simply because they are black. And the people voting in this way can't see that their votes are as racist as if the elected person were a white person. It's mind boggling to me and I'm fed up.

Anonymous said...

Bolt for faculty chair-- $1
Eraser for chalk board-- $5
Replacement for bald tire-- $60
Payday for former teacher-- $180,000
Assauging liberal guilt-- Priceless

Dr. Ed said...

What I find interesting are the times when a black person who is so very clearly unqualified is elected and then re-elected to a position simply because they are black.

Two points:

1: I fail to understand how someone raised by his WHITE mother and his WHITE grandparents in Hawaii where racism is along Asian lines, where any past history of slavery is as well, can possibly be considered anything but "White."

Allen West is a Black man, raised by BLACK parents in "Inner Atlanta" in the 1950's & 1960's, when there was more than a little bit of racism in Georgia. I have met him personally, not because he is a Black man but because he is Allen West, a unique human being whom I think would do a good job as POTUS.

2: You can not mix the singular and plural cases in the same sentence! Both the subject (person) and verb (is -- a form of the verb "to be") are singular, and hence must remain singular in the sentence. In English, any animate object is a "he", any inanimate object is a "she" -- this comes from the Latin where there is a male, female, and "neuter" case for *everything.*

It's the same reason why Spanish (which comes more directly from Latin) has the "el" and "la" -- only that Spanish follows some bizarre rule I could never comprehend, with a train being male and a house being female.

In English, "he", "his", & "him" are used for any individual human being of unknown gender -- YOU CAN NOT USE THE PLURAL CASE(i.e. "they", & "are")!!!!

Now you can make end-runs around this -- here you could have said "because the person is Black." (NB: The APA style manual specifies that "Black" is capitalized, I capitalize "White" for purposes of equity.)

Anonymous said...

Let me check:

Are the above comments an example of "the conversation about race that we need to have" that I keep hearing about?

Or is that "conversation" really just the speech that it's demanded that I listen to?

Anonymous said...

You are such a fool Ed!

Dr. Ed said...

Recommendation letter or not, most employers will steer clear of hiring anyone with this type of settlement in their history, right or wrong.

Not to fear, read Maria G.'s letter a little more carefully, particularly the reference to the MS&LT degree and how "Ms. Gardner is well positioned to assume employment in any school or university setting."

This is the old MSIT Doctoral program, what my CAGS is in, and what -- but for some flagrant discrimination dimensions beyond whatever might have happened to Caroline Gardner -- what my doctorate would have been in. (It actually is in Teacher Education & School Improvement.) So this is personal.

What is MS&LT -- UMass says: "MSLT prepares graduate students to improve the learning and instruction of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. To achieve that goal, we are deeply committed to research and scholarship, using both basic and applied research."
See: http://www.umass.edu/education/departments/tecs/mslt

You need to think as a graduate student here, and think of that letter as a cite-able source -- the facts are what that letter says they are. This is how academia works -- any academic discussion of Caroline Gardner as a teacher MUST be what that letter says.

What the settlement thus does is license Caroline Gardner to write a dissertation about how the Evil Racists of Amherst Regional precluded even the most super-qualified, super-dedicated and all-around "walk on water" teacher from being able to teach Math -- to write a diatribe about all of this and call it a dissertation -- and then become a Calvin Terrell with credentials.

She'll get some cushy faculty position at UMass or elsewhere, earning far more money for far less time in a classroom than she ever could have at ARHS or anywhere else in K-12, where she'll supplement her six-figure salary with "consulting" contracts essentially extorted from assorted school districts. She truly has hit the jackpot.

Forget the issue of teachers actually knowing their subject and then teachers being able to effectively convey that knowledge to others, it will all be about racism.
And this will play right into Common Core and all the rest of the garbage that is destroying public education in this country.

I am infuriated.

Dr. Ed said...

I wouldn't be surprised to see Amherst College hire Caroline Gardner -- even without her doctorate.

And the reason why I should despise the assorted White Supremacist schmucks IS????

How much longer will the middle hold?

Anonymous said...

Wow! Who is this long winded nutjob?

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:40 pm,

That is what we've all been asking.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say he's not what Mr. Kelley was hoping for when he started this blog.

Dr. Ed said...

And I'm writing a "thank you" note to Allen West because otherwise -- if I didn't know him, if I didn't respect him, otherwise...

The two schmucks above are the people who breed racism in America and aren't bright enough to even know that...

And as to Caroline Gardner, who inevitably will get a professorship somewhere, don't ask me to cry for higher education -- I will enjoy seeing it implode, and the parasitic communities that have been living off it as well.

Gardner is a lying schmuck who should be in jail.

Anonymous said...

Why all this talk about money? Can't the person that did this be forced to look at graffiti that makes them feel bad so that everyone can move on.




Mommy don't you know you're stupid? said...

And they attack Ed.


WAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA...


Fools!


-Squeaky Squeaks

Anonymous said...

Ed's posts are increasingly incomprehensible.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, we can talk about racism and work to resolve differences....but why is this being confounded with a financial payoff?

Poor citizens as a results of government taking to pay this stuff is going to result in more resentment and racism because of local ignorance. Most people are so stupid, they blame the fact that they cannot make a living (or they are just jealous - the underpinning of democrat economics) on those that out competed them for jobs - those that are better and more skilled, their superiors. This woman not only beat out all her coworkers in terms of pay, she got paid as much as others get in 5-10 years simply because someone said something bad about her. It is clear from this blog and elsewhere that this government action as increased racism and resentment in the town, combined with making so local citizens are less able to afford what they need.

Is this not the definition of government failure? Shame on Amherst for taking an unfortunate non-violent HS incident and turning into a financial and racial tragedy for all residents.

The valley is statistically one of the most segregated places in the US. Deny this all you want. The valley is not that into other races, but it is really really into pretending they care.


Now that being said, all she did was ask, it was your government officials that made the real mistake, they took your money and are giving it to her for no work in this case. She is not to blame, those in charge are to blame for perpetuating this mess and making the community more racist to satisfy one person. That is the exact opposite of their responsibility.

You owe the world an apology said...

Incubated in Amherst,

~destroying~ the planet.


A-holes.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mu8bmMrfMYw



-Squeaky Squeaks


p.s. So many fking victims.

Anonymous said...

Must be a matter of national security.

Anonymous said...

We're ashamed all right. Of the whole sordid mess. Including the findings and award.

Anonymous said...

Haven't you heard? Only white folks are racist. Even though to me racism means judging another on the basis of their race, apparently, only Caucasians do that. (Funny, huh?)

Anonymous said...

Good pne!

Anonymous said...

Speak for yourself, 1:36.

Anonymous said...

We've been vaving a "conversation" about race since back when the Jews were slaves. How do I get paid after all that persecution??

Anonymous said...

I take it you can rebut the long-winded nutjob? Let's hear it.

Anonymous said...

Usually people like 8:56 use words like "nutjob" and "incomprehensible" when they have no credible argument. Let's hear why you think Ed is off - base.

Anonymous said...

Reparations! I want some too!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:21-

You do realize that this wasn't a simple request for money-

This was a case brought forth with the MCAD which would cost the town $$$ in legal fees to dispute with no guaranteed outcome. (rumor has it- their decisions often have no real basis in fact)

Amherst had to deal with the cards they were dealt.



Dr. Ed said...

Sometimes you fight knowing you will lose, it's called "integrity" and "principle."

And then you appeal the MCAD decision to Superior Court.

That woman should not have received a penny...

Anonymous said...

...and in a government by the people, we make the rules of said card game. We are collectively in charge of and responsible for the elected officials, judges, rules etc.

Perhaps the rules should include stuff like not having the right to blame a third party and punishments in proportion to the crime. If the person cannot be identified, accept that there is no one to blame, not look for another to lash out at, that is the behavior of a child or a dog, not an educated adult.

In our legal system, an eye for an eye is often considered over the top. This is a punishment orders of magnitude above and beyond the crime and then directed at third party. No logic, pretty random.

Dr. Ed said...


I think perhaps Shakespeare was right, the first thing is to kill all the lawyers.

These are the same schmucks who screamed "racism" so loudly that no one cared that Jason Vassell sliced 'n' diced two unarmed men, who accused a White cop of being racist solely because of what a Black cop said to him, and a lot worse.

Gardner got a handout for being Black, nothing more or less, and that's racist.
It's not what the civil rights movement was supposed to be about.

Anonymous said...

Agreed.

Anonymous said...

Gardner is gone from the Amherst schools and that is a good thing. If she were a strong teacher, she would not have caved in so quickly when the first little mean girl wrote a nasty about her. Ms. Gardner is not cut out to be a hs teacher if she cannot take a mean girl's attitude. The term mean girl derives from high school girl behavior. Hello?

Then all of the circumstantial fabrications played a big part to fuel the righteous locals. Her tires were never slashed, (the schools video cameras in the parking lot clearly show that no one was near her car that day.) smart phones and other expensive electronics get stolen all the time at ARHS. New flash there are thieves in the world. Screws fall out of chairs every day in the HS.

The daily hampshire gazzette played a very big role in sensationalizing this story. As did the locals who brought in their Muslim iman to ask the mostly jewsih audience at the school committee meeting, "what would jesus do."

All in all this circus may well have been worth $180k. Look at all the mileage Kelley is still getting out of it.

Dr. Ed said...

My greatest fear in all of this is that Caroline Gardner will become a role model for Black teenagers, and that will be a true tragedy.

I ask again: A racist, by definition, fails to recognize individual differences between persons of the same race -- the schmuck universally hates them all without ever noticing that they are all unique human beings, often with differences far more significant than those which they share. (I also like to remind people that race is a social construct.)

Gardner was, by no means, the only Black ARHS employee, nor the only Black Female ARHS employee -- is not Mary Custard both Black & Female? I mention Custard only because Maria G. made a point of stating Custard's race & gender in a certain letter a while back, but when you add up all the teachers, aides, administrators, bus drivers and janitors, these can't possibly be the only two Black employees of the ARSD.

Why didn't this stuff happen to anyone ELSE?!?!?!? It isn't like a racist is going to distinguish between Gardner and Custard -- a racist won't. A racist would hurl the "N" word at both women with equal venom, a racist would make no distinction between the two individuals. So why did this stuff happen only to Gardner and no one else?

There have been hoaxes in the past. I remember something about a student who was writing things in her own notebook -- and conclusive proof being found that the notes had come from her notebook.

And then, years back when Amherst College still had official Fraternities, there was a cross burned outside the Black Frat -- and the FBI found that the wood used had come from the same tree as wood found in the basement of said Black Fraternity House.
Yep, it was the Black students who had done it.

There are hoaxes of other kinds as well -- anyone remember the infamous 1999-2000 UMass Campus Pond Rapist Hoaxes?

But even if Gardner didn't write that stuff herself, she should not be considered a hero or role model -- not when there are real ones whose purses might not be as well stuffed as hers.

A book I highly recommend: Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice -- the cover picture says more than words ever could: thick black smoke coming out of a burning Greyhound Bus. There are a lot of other such pictures, a detailed narrative of all of the Freedom Rides (including one years earlier that I'd never heard of), along with an alphabetical listing of *everyone* who participated in a Freedom Ride.

I got to meet the author, Dr. Raymond Arsenault, at a Pioneer Institute event last winter, along with some of the other folk who were involved in the Civil Rights movement. These are not the same type of people as Carolyn Gardner.

Anonymous said...

The town was gripped in hysteria during the Gardner fiasco and some people continue to be in such a state. A huge manufactured crisis that the Gazette had a big hand in creating. I'm sure they sold a lot of papers during the "crisis."

Larry Kelley said...

There is still a tremendous amount of public interest in this case. All three of us posted the legal agreement to ScribD on Friday and thus far mine has 7,643 reads, Masslive's has 3,979 and the Gazette's 638.

In other words over 12,000 people have taken the time to read the legal document.

Anonymous said...

Ed,

Wouldn't your energy be better spent focusing on some place where you actually live?

Jackie M'Vemba said...

We celebrate diversity here in Amherst. But only diversity of the kind which matters least--diversity of skin color. I like Larry's blog because there's diversity of the kind which matters most--diversity of thought.

Cr. Ed said...

Give me what I want and I will go away. Not before.

Anonymous said...

Persecution? Most of us don't know the meaning of the word. Ask my Jewish grandmother what persecution is. I'm sure you yourself can come up with more examples. But the Gardner case is not one of them.

Anonymous said...

Allen West is a great man. I wish he would throw his hat in the ring.

Anonymous said...

You've been reading too much Stephen King, Linoge.

Anonymous said...

Ed, get real, no one cares what you want.

Anonymous said...

Get real yourself, I don't care how unwelcome I am, either.

Although I agree on Allen West -- and I'm hoping.....

Anonymous said...

Of course you don't care. You are a narcissist. You just crave attention.

Anonymous said...

I still don't get, at a basic level, why the district is punished for the actions of some 16-17 year-old student(s). How did that happen? What did the district actually do to merit this? BTW: I haven't heard about screws missing from chairs or missing portable electronics, or tire slashings. What is the story there?

In addition, one of the payees in the case is cited as the disctrict's insurer. Who is that? Is that $90,000 out of the pocket of the insure or the pocket of the town?

Finally, now folks are up about the leaking of personal information by the district. What personal information? I looked at the released docs and I didn't see anything that appeared to be personal or confidential.

Anonymous said...

This is Amherst. Everything bothers somebody around here. God, that's how we make the news...

Anonymous said...

There's an art to never being happy.

Anonymous said...

The Gazette. Ugh. Don't get me started. Okay. Start with the infantile political cartoons.

Anonymous said...

If Ms. Gardner was about justice and not the money, why did she settle for a cash payout? Why not settle for other things that would influence and improve the schools and community around social justice? While it won't happen, I would really like an explanation about why Amherst settled on this one. And, of course, I highly doubt Ms. Gardner's intentions and her representatives when they say it is "not about the money"; anytime you take money, it is about the money. Period.

Anonymous said...

Gee, could it be because she was suspended without pay and had no income?

Anonymous said...

anon@9:29: I believe you are mistaken or deliberating misrepresenting fact. The year of the "incidence(s)" she left teaching but was paid through that school year. The following year, she did not respond (in a timely enough fashion) to the district when asked if she was coming back to teach. The district hired another teacher. I believe NO suspension was invoked. People ought to go back and read Ms Gardner's own description of events, which I believe are consistent with what I just described. You can make your own judgement of whether the events she describes warrants a payout of $120,000 to her. My opinion is that it does NOT.

Anonymous said...

And that brings us back. Why was she suspended after all? Her own actions.

Anonymous said...

She was NEVER suspended!