Thursday, April 14, 2016

Banned In Pelham

Pelham Elementary School has Maria Geryk for Superintendent but is not in the Region

Over a dozen supporters of Aisha Hiza, a mother who has been banned from school grounds for advocating in behalf of her child, read a statement of support at the Regional School Committee on Tuesday night during Public Comment.

Committee Chair Trevor Baptiste tried not to let the discussion go very far because as he rightfully pointed out it's not a Regional School Committee issue (Middle or High School), but in fact a Pelham School Committee issue since the child attends Pelham Elementary School which is currently not part of the Region.

By the sounds of Attorney Tate's letter to Ms. Hiza the Pelham School Committee, which only meets once per month, will take up discussion of her complaint against Superintendent Maria Geryk at their May 4th meeting.

And since it's an Executive Session it will be hard to tell if Pelham School Committee Chair Tara Luce recuses herself, since she is employed at Amherst Crocker Farm Elementary School thus, technically, Maria Geryk is her boss.

210 comments:

1 – 200 of 210   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Oh my, so much drama. It all seems very unnecessary. The parent seems a bit crazy but, both sides seem a bit at fault. I'm sure the educators love dealing with stuff like this instead of focusing on education.

Dr. Ed said...

Larry, it is a matter of public record who is present in the executive session -- and as MA law requires an open meeting before, anyone present can see who walks out of the room as well.

I also believe a parent has the right to be present -- the body is required to relocate its meeting to some other venue should they not permit her on the property.

Dr. Ed said...

If I were an employee of a school where a 1st Grader wasn't permitted to contact her custodial parent, either directly or indirectly (i.e. school nurse calling) I'd immediately file a CYA 51A.

Likewise if a child was released to a *known* non-custodial parent, particularly if he is male -- it's called "Cover Your A..." for a reason, anything involving separated/divorced parents and little children can get really nasty. I, personally, don't want to be responsible for an AMBER alert -- at least not without a good reason....

Likewise, and I say this because I recognize the last name -- a friend & co-worker who died of cancer -- I strongly suspect mother and hence daughter are Black. Bullying on skin color thus becomes racial harassment and a big issue under the ED-OCR policy that I asked Maria G about at her interview for Supt.

Candidly, racism between Black & Hispanic is some of the most vile I've ever seen. Without assigning blame, I'd sit parent & teacher down and ask if everyone might be better off with the child in another classroom -- reminding both that we are (or ought to be) concerned only with what is best for the little girl.

In almost all-White Pelham, this is a MCAD complaint waiting to be filed (and may have been) -- a competent Superintendent has the fiduciary interests of her taxpayers in mind. And above and beyond that, discrimination is bad, the little girl doesn't need this, and if putting her in another school will solve her problems, you find a way of doing that. (Or at least I would.)

And when you start getting cops involved -- particularly in Pelham after what happened with the last Chief there -- well, I'd want to have a chat with someone, and I who exactly *can* one discuss concerns about a police chief with? (Seriously...)

What I would NOT do is what Team Maria appears to have here -- the stuff you posted Larry is FERPA-protected, and unless you got it from the mother, Team-Maria is every bit exposed as if Maria G were stark naked downtown at high noon. You simply do not release information like this....

And if the members of the Pelham School Committee have a collective IQ above 12, they schedule a special meeting "to address concerns presented to the committee" and they not only make sure it is at a time/place the mother can attend, but (even though it's going to be executive session) make sure to notify absolutely everyone. Redundantly -- again, this is CYA.

Now, that's what I would do.... And I'm serious, this really ought to be about what is best for the little girl -- and First Graders are little girls, they don't need this crap.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Dr ED I AGREE AS the person who had to transport the child for the mom .. The child was having trouble transistioning to school.. Due to mom.not bringing her based on the stay away order .. Then the school called dcf because of that.. Absolutely not in the best interest of child. Or my town.. Im sickened by the whole thing..

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

The whole thing is way out if of control and I feel bad for daughter and mom and the staff of a really good school.. These are first graders little girls who make mistakes and are learning how to get along.. But the real problem after the little girls not getting along is how it was handled after.. And violating civil rights of a parent who was trying to ensure her daughter's safety at school for over a year .. For me I need to say v the citizens of pelham don't like Marias decision to ban a parent from school without due process. We are embarrassed by the actions and treatment of this family by administration.

Anonymous said...

Of course the mother (or someone in the know advising her) released this information. And, of course there are two sides to this story. This is a group who will use anything to drum up controversy. They have certainly done it before. Why does it ALWAYS jump to a race issue. Maybe this lady really did something that warranted her being banned from the school.

Anonymous said...

The administration is not in the habit of banning parents. If this woman was banned I guarantee you that she did something to earn it.

Walter Graff said...

What's next, they will ban chalk because someone might write something that could seem like bullying. Hey mom, fix your shit with your ex. Both of you need to stop using your daughter as a pawn. And after you get therapy for your daughter, get some for yourself. Clearly you have some serious issues.

My hats of to Maria Geryk. Stand your ground. There are three sides to every story, yours, hers and the truth. The truth seems far closer to you than to her. You did the right thing banning this mother. She is a nuisance to the school, the children, and the teachers.

Life is tough. Suck it up lady. If you don't like the school system, the students, and the reality of life, send your kid somewhere else where she can be coddled.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like that parent did something that was deemed unsafe and a decision was made in consultation with two police departments. I applaud the supt for taking what appear to be protective measures. If she didn't and a child or staff member were hurt, she would take the blame then. There is no way to appease everyone in this community. I just hope it can be resolved for the child's sake. I do think it is tragic that race is being manipulated into the conversation. Read the information - no indication of racism anywhere except as a move to gain support. The real race issues are continually devalued when this happens.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Kelly,

From what I saw of the regional school committee meeting, it seems to me the gentleman chair added fuel to the fire and let the public run the meeting. And, he seemed to be in agreement with the complaint. Aren't the school boards the boss of the superintendent? Can they make public comments or talk about a complaint like that? It seemed so out of control and I wonder if someone is or should be in trouble. Can you tell us the rules
.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

https://acluvt.org/blog/2015/01/05/school-pays-for-banning-parent/

Dr. Ed said...

Walter, the first thing you learn in the education field is that (a) a lot of children have a**hole parents, (b) it's not the child's fault, and (c) by acting like a mature, rational adult in a situation where no one else is, you are teaching the child something more important than anything else you possibly could.

That said, I don't put up with bullshite, and people who know me know I don't.
Banning someone from school property is spineless and questionably legal, if "she did something to(legitimately) earn it", I'd press charges.

Although I also remember Larry being banned for investigating (accurate) reports of no hot water in one of the schools. As well as some of the things that happened in South Hadley. As well as the electrician's son. So no, I'm not going to blindly take Geryk's side on this.

Parents inherently are nuisances, but they have a right to be.

Thad said...

with all due respect,
"In 1929, Congress passed another resolution, this one recognizing
October 11 of each year
as "General Pulaski Memorial Day", with a large parade held annually on Fifth Avenue in New York City"
ref https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casimir_Pulaski

Dr. Ed said...

Ummmm, a child physically assaulting another because of the color of the child's skin IS a racial issue.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

It is regional issue when the superintendent makes a decision without doing any homework on the ramifications.. SHE REPRESENTS ALL OF US.

Anonymous said...

Ummmm, Ed, there is nothing showing that any of this is racial. The kids mother even states that it was a year earlier that she was asked a question about her skin color. No bullying mentioned. Then the next year states that her child isn't the only "victim." Doubtful that all of them are of color, yes? No statements in all of this that it is due to race.
Maybe she can get some action due to the bullying regulations, but she can leave racism off her list to get a big check from the school system.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

It's funny the mom felt like the chair was against her when she watched it

Anonymous said...

From what I have read this child bullied MANY kids. Who presumably were not all black. It's not a racial issue.

Anonymous said...

As a friend of the parent who has watched this whole situation, i have watched her and the father of the child try in every way to get the school and the superintendent's office to do the necessary things so their child could function in school. After everything when things continued and the mother felt unheard. She filed a complaint on the principal and so on. All she has wanted to do was make sure her child was safe

Anonymous said...

The chair is a personal friend of the mom. Hey, how did Vira know about the lawyer letter? Why did she bring it up?

Larry Kelley said...

The Mom is free to share the lawyer's letter with anyone, which she did with me.

Anonymous said...

How is race not a factor when the mom is black and has been treated the way she has?

Anonymous said...

Oh FFS, white parents have been treated like Crap by administration too. Stop playing the race card!

Anonymous said...

So far we have only heard one side of the story. I guarantee you there is another side. The administration does not ban parents from schools without a good reason. And our it turns out that they were being overly cautious then I am still OK with that. Safety of children, staff and other parents must come first.

Rick Hood said...

+1 to anon 12:31
There are always two sides with these things, almost always the truth is somewhere in-the-middle, and often both sides can be "right", or "wrong". Each side's view or remembrance of the facts can often be different. It can be tough to even come to agreement on what the facts are sometimes.
If there is one thing I would advise the public from my 6 years on the SC is that one should assume nothing. Facts matter, and unfortunately can be hard to uncover or agree on. And when the issue is employee or student related, facts can be confidential, such that most of us may never know them.
It's best not to throw either side under a bus when these issues come up where none of us really know all the facts.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

I wouldn't say the chair is a personal friend of the mom I would say that Pelham is a small community and we all know each other and the chairs daughter is in class as is mine with the moms child

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

The pribkem it is against a person civil rights to ban thenthem from school without process

Anonymous said...

"How is race not a factor when the mom is black and has been treated the way she has?"

Just because you are black doesn't mean everything is about race. To think someone would ask such a stupid and ignorant question, wow!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I know this post is about this situation with the mom, but one question that has been on my mind for a while is how can Tara Luce be a member of the Pelham School Committee (One of SCs' role is to supervise the superintendent) while also working in the Amherst schools where the superintendent is her boss. I have nothing against Ms. Luce personally and kudos to her for volunteering for the Pelham SC, but this has always seems like a big potential conflict of interest.

Anonymous said...

It actually is a race issue. If the parent was a white parent it would not have gone down the way that it has. The Amherst school systen has a long history of treating black parents and children differently then white parents and students.

Anonymous said...

I am disappointed that the name of the child whose parent has been banned from school premises is included in this story. As has been commented Pelham is a small community, so many people likely know the family & maybe of this situation as well.

However, by including the child's name, any privacy (including to the world beyond Pelham & Amherst) that they had is completely taken away.... & it feels ironic & wrong to me that the child who is called the "Aggressor" involving the main child here is still protected by anonymity but the main child isn't. This child hasn't necessarily done anything wrote themselves or even been accused of doing so, but they are now known to the world. It doesn't seem fair or right. I don't believe that journalists should release a child's name in such situations.

Larry Kelley said...

I had permission to publish the documents in their entirety.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Thec isdue is no longer the bullying and no one including the parent is upset with the child ad as they are young and learning how to function in a complicated world. The issue is the schools inability to follow through with the parent and then the parents vocal advocating first in the school then with the superintendent to make things better getting her,banned without due process. We are a small community and we all knew what was going on with the dynamics in the classroom with all the kids.. We have different family situations handle things differently honestly I think everyone of us have discussed our childs class dynamics eith one or more teAchers in the past two years.. They are kids everyday they like each other, everyday they dont.. And if the childs parent choose to publish in full it was her call. I feel for.this child too and had to strongly advocate to the suoers office to allow her mother to attend a play last week. It is about the child I think shevis great sweet and is shielded from whats happening. It's not talked about around her.. I don't judge because I haven't been in the situation where im powerless to have my voice heard. I imagine I too would be voicing the social injustice of my treatment in anyway I could be heard

Anonymous said...

Rick Hood~Two sides--we are hearing two sides. This ban is not only unconstitutional but irrational. It is so wrong in so many ways. Implicit bias in full charge--assertiveness by any other mother of the 'white race' would never face this kind of extraordinary reaction from administration. This is an outrage and you should be outraged too. This is an embarrassment--a total abuse of assumed power of our superintendent and it needs to stop and now. The child is victim here--Just try and imagine your school telling you-you cannot call your mother!? What is happening here is an assertive woman of color being viewed as a threat--The system is falling to the lowest form of thinking--smh--and acting on it to boot-Black people are dangerous. They are misinterpreting assertiveness for aggression and falling behind the curtains of racism. There is no bus big enough to throw these fools under--sadly enough.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

There are more issues here.. Read Maria's stay order where she basically stops communication with the custodial parent and orders the pelham school staff to do the same and starts communicating solely with the non custodial parent with out permission. And the non custodial parent is now regularly at school for hours during the day without notifying the mother.. Again where is,Marias power to over rule court orders. Denying a child the right to call the custodial parent when..sick.. Big problems... For chestnut st and my town .

Anonymous said...

even though you had permission to publish the documents, I wish you had redacted the child's name. They have rights, or should have rights, of their own, including the right to privacy.

Anonymous said...

You are wrong. Only one side is being told here.

Anonymous said...

Interesting public sector problem again created by lack of ownership and the contorted relations created by making public schools. In a traditional voluntary relationship the parent would be the customer. As a customer she would take her business elsewhere or the school may refuse to do business with her. Problem solved and they move on to the competition.

In stead we have forced relationships, welfare, no customer, no voluntary funding and so many rules no one knows which way is up. The problems never end just like the need for involuntary funding.

The traditional voluntary relationships and trade basis have so many passive checks and balances. I think it is time to privatize schooling and provide welfare for just those who cannot provide for their families. It could be modelled after the ACA. How can society continue to afford this wasteful and expensive system that produces poor results?

Anonymous said...

You are nuts.

Steve Akalis said...

Lol, It doesn't matter if your Black or White for the same happened to me. I tried to protect my son by notifying the Dean. She's a liar and cost my son his senior year and put me on probation with being the school. And I admit my son is no angel. We followed all the schools orders to seek help and still he wasn't able to graduate at the Mullins Center because the administration felt that the people of Amherst would feel unsafe. I was than fired as the school electrician for using the term Master unit and Slave unit to one of the secretaries at Wildwood who must have gotten aphended. My heart goes out to you for I know what your feeling as I did with Ms Carpenter.
Steve Akalis

Anonymous said...

Its seen that this school district is in the news daily for one reason or another.
Something or someone has no idea of how to deal with school related issues. Anyone
with a little sense can tell you have to sit down and work out your differences. The person in that role should be the head of the School Dept.

Come on people get together and work it out, then get back to your real job... EDUCATION.

Unknown said...

you should be ashamed of yourself. This is a very young child, she should be coddled at this age! Shame on you for trying to make this mother sound wrong for trying to ensure her daughter is safe and not getting bullied. Hats off to this mom for teaching her daughter that you don't just run away from these issues!

Anonymous said...

Anyone else reminded of the bullying incident at the high school a few years back (Dad worked for the schools) Dad was suspended and eventually fired while helping his son.

Seems the administration always punishes a parent who tries to get help for their child instead of dealing with the issue

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:26 The job of the school administration is to keep children and staff safe. If you dont believe that there is more to this story then what the mother is saying- you are incredibly naive. You can try to make this about race, but when all the facts come out, which is difficult given the law and rules of confidentiality that school districts must follow, this could all be much clearer. People sometimes take advantage of the fact that the whole story can't be told. The thing that surprises me is that there aren't more critical thinkers around to understand that of course this story is one sided.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

The credible witness being a person who almost got arrested during a court hearing for screaming at judge for not getting what he wanted.. THE CREDIBLE witness for the school bring an disgruntled ex who all conversations with the mom ate are monitored. The problem is no due process in the decision.. Search it on the Aclu website.. As soon as the stay away order was put in place with no due process nothing else matters.. If things were so bad Ms Geryk should have prrssed charges through the court system to CYA.. AND following the custody order would have been a wise move.. But.. Hence act reckless = lawsuit

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Call the aclu they violated your civil rights too it sounds like..

Anonymous said...

Get a lawyer!
Banned from your daughter's school for over a month with no information/meeting? Not okay.

In Addition- the schools need to have curriculum for Kindergarten/ first grade about why we all have different skin color.

Anonymous said...

There is obviously more going on here than meets the eye. You can hear the crazy in this mother's writing. I know from my interactions with my kids teachers and principals and administrators that this was not done lightly. There must have been very troubling things going on. You may quibble with the way things were done, but like with all these situations, you are only hearing one side of the story....

Anonymous said...

This is how Pelham loses its elementary school...

Anonymous said...

Im resdy to go to school union 38. Amherst doesn't own us. ALTHOUGH IT SURE IT FEELS LIKE IT RIGHT NOW. I Would like Shutesburys deal. And whwn all the info comes and everyone finds out thst there isnt more on the Moms end I hope you see that strong arm tactics didn't work here because the mom is s product of ARHs 2002 an honors student that learned you don't stand down to injustice. There is no policy or protocol for banning parents stated at the school committee meeting by the d westmoreland. If the superintendent bNned you with no real explanAtion and no xirections on what the next steps where, stopped communicating entirely, not following coirt ordered custody agreement how wpuld you ceel.. How long is someone expected to ne patient. Before they get Angry and start to sound a little bit crazy. After 1.5 years of trying to partner with school shes deserves to be angry..

Dr. Ed part 1 said...

Enough!

The job of the school administration is to keep children and staff safe.

That's what Sen. Joe McCarthy & General Westmoreland thought their jobs were as well. As well as certain folks in Salem back in 1691.

For that matter, the Klu Klux Klan thinks that is what they are doing -- and I have no doubt that at least some of those schmucks honestly think that is what they are doing.

The FBI wanted Apple to tell them how to access a dead man's IPhone (and everyone else's)"to keep children and staff safe" -- and unlike Team Maria, the FBI has an actual documented criminal act (actually a whole bunch of them, quite serious ones) to justify their "safety" argument. The NSA wanted to be able to listen to our phone calls to keep us safe.

If you dont believe that there is more to this story then what the mother is saying- you are incredibly naive.

Likewise Rodney King. The LAPD didn't just pick some random Black guy to beat on, there very much was more to that story. However, it didn't matter -- those exercising the power of the state are held to a higher standard.

You can try to make this about race,

Or you can take the "any port in a storm" approach -- I know, realistically, that the only chance that woman has for justice is to make it a racial issue, so she should.

but when all the facts come out, which is difficult given the law and rules of confidentiality that school districts must follow, this could all be much clearer.

Said the LAPD....

People sometimes take advantage of the fact that the whole story can't be told.

Yes, people in positions of authority routinely use the "if you knew what I know" fallacy. Lord Byron put it best: "Power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Folks, the late Ted Kennedy was once on the "no fly" list -- I'm sure that the then-sitting US Senator "was taking advantage of the fact the whole story can't be told".... Yep, Sen. Kennedy was a terrorist because GW Bush said so....

The thing that surprises me is that there aren't more critical thinkers around to understand that of course this story is one sided.

The thing that surprises me is that Team Maria retains a scintilla of crcontinuededibility. They lie worse than the mASSgop does, everyone knows that, and hence can presume they have fabricated some story to justify their actions. (Ask a cop what a "drop gun" is.)

Dr. Ed said...

Part 2

With so many outrageous incidents over the past 20 years, what surprises me is that anyone even presumes the possibility that they might be in the right this time, as we know of so many times in the past when they weren't. Anyone remember the HS Principal who liked little boys a bit too much? -- I presumed that there was two sides to that story, only to later learn that there apparently wasn't.

Above, I document specific things that I would document, in writing, to DCF if I had any personal knowledge of them -- the "CYA 51A's". There is a specific meaning in the term "custodial parent of an unemancipated minor" and while there are various "threshold" ages and it gets messy (e.g. pregnant 17-year-olds), a 7-year-old is clear. Outside a life-threatening situation, the custodial parent (which may be DCF) is responsible for all medical care, that's why either the girl (or a school employee) should have been permitted to call her mother, immediately.
You simply don't release children to anyone other than a custodial parent w/o permission of said person.

The more I think about it, in trespassing her from the property, the school has assumed the duty of walking the girl to the mother's car, wherever her mother's car can be legally parked, it's "child abuse" for them not to. They are responsible for the child until the mother is able to resume physical custody of her. Sure she can have another adult do this (lots of parents routinely do) but she doesn't have to -- she has the right to insist that the school deliver her child to a place they permit her to be.

And Rick, the only exception to this, other than a life-threatening emergency, is to have either the police or DCF take custody of the child, and either has to have some very clear reasons for doing so. THERE ARE NO OTHER SIDES OF THAT!

Dr. Ed said...

Sounds like that parent did something that was deemed unsafe and a decision was made in consultation with two police departments.

That's like saying the UM Dorms are firetraps because the fire trucks are there so much -- ignoring the fact that AFD has to roll on false alarms.

The two PDs had to listen to Team Maria, the same way that AFD has to roll every time some drunken schmuck pulls the fire alarm.


The fact that a drunken schmuck pulled the fire alarm does not mean the building was on fire....











Grandmataz said...

Thank You Ed for being a voice of reason There are many parents upsetvwithbthe school some give up thank Ms Hiza for having the guts to stick up for all of us.

Anonymous said...

Ed, you talk too much.

Anonymous said...

7:26 here. Dr Ed you soundlike the sweet voice of reason here. I thank you for that. This is quite an overwhelming situation to find oneself in. I am far from naive. This system is performing an act of abuse toward the mother and much worse toward the child. It is not okay. All those, every single one of them and what is even more outrageous is they are all mothers, and fathers themselves, should be fired. Yes f I r e d! They need to find a new field of work because they have failed grossly in their duties of 'eduacting' our community youth and respecting our youth's parents. The emotional upheaval and stress placed on Aisha and her child is simply unacceptable. Victiminizing the victim won't work here. Not this time.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha. Ed the voice of reason. That's a good one.

Anonymous said...

A note to the moderator: respectfully, it feels a little irresponsible to link to these communications without first blurring the personal contact information of the involved parties (email addresses, etc).

Anonymous said...

Don't worry. I'll bet anything that Ed posted that. BTW, go away Ed. You don't live in Pelham either.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

The superintendent is person who represents all towns in the region financially, morally, this one makes Amherst look bad too

Anonymous said...

When a school district, two different town police departments and court understand that a parent's access to a school needs to be restrained, there is more than what the one side trying to get sympathy is saying. The school is bound to not necessarily disclose the reasons and information to protect the student.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

School committee meeting airing at 430 on cable you have to watch first hour to see them admit there was no policy in plAce

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

I will believe the court was involved when I see that document.. APD DIDN'T ADMIT they knew anything about it before hand when meeting with the parent

Anonymous said...

The meeting video can also be streamed from amherstmedia.org. There is quite a discussion about this topic, even as the chair tries to focus on the fact that the regional SC doesn't have jurisdiction over this situation since it happened in the Pelham elem school & not the MS or HS.

Since the Pelham School Committee (SC) meetings are not recorded or shown on Amherst Media (are they?), if the people speaking on behalf of the parent had not gone to the regional SC meeting, then the airing of their concerns would have had a small audience. Now anyone can hear their comments & the words of the letter they presented to the regional SC.

Anonymous said...

This is entirely a problem for the town of Pelham. The Regional School Committee has zero responsibility or duty regarding the matter. If Ms Hiza wants publicity for her case then she can pursue it through the media (as she already claims) and the courts.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

It's a problem the regional superintendent created along with the parent and the school for all of the residents of our town. Yes I agree but when the superintendent makes a decision to violate someones civil rights without due process it effects all of us..in all tiwns. DECISIONS shouldnt be made without the research being completed too understand the road the decision will take us down. UNFORTUNATE that pelham.school commitees few votes will make any real difference or impose any real consequences for the superintendent. Just like when Amherst votes an override on the school budget and pelham taxes just go up.. With no vote or say by the residents

Anonymous said...

Maria uses the phrase "until further notice" 4 times in her email to Aisha on March 15th.

A month has passed and nothing has been done?



Anonymous said...

Lwyrup

Anonymous said...

Town is run by Liberals. Maybe they should all ban themselves.

Anonymous said...

It's an issue of immaturity. Childishness.

Anonymous said...

I'm white. I've been treated shabbily my whole life. Race is a factor all right. I find my black friends are treated better.

Anonymous said...

If the school system felt it necessary to ban this mom that is one thing but to not give the parent due process is wrong and a very un-American act.
Also from what I have heard when the mother spoke to both police stations she was informed that she had to speak to Maria Geryk because she was the one who issued it without the courts. So if there is no policy and there is no appeal how is that fair to the mother. Maria Geryk leading the Amherst school system has continued to fail and make the town look bad. Hats off to the mother who has kept fighting,instead of being silenced as Maria Geryk has done to many parents both black and white.

Dr. Ed said...

This is entirely a problem for the town of Pelham. The Regional School Committee has zero responsibility or duty regarding the matter.

No.

While Geryk may hold three different contracts with three different school committees, she's one person with one superintendent's certificate. Whatever she does (or doesn't do) in one district is legitimately of concern to the other districts, and this includes her supervision of school staff and what "she ought to have known" even if she honestly didn't.

The hypothetical that comes to immediate mind is child molestation, even if the accusation didn't involve a child/school within the jurisdiction of the regional SC, I assure you that they'd be dealing with it. While she wasn't acting as the ARSD's supt at the time, two questions would arise:

1: "Conduct Unbecoming" -- is what she did or didn't do in the other district grounds to loose confidence in her ability to serve in the same capacity in yours.

2: *Is* she doing (or not doing) the same thing(s) in your schools? If she is, this will blow up in your face, big time.

Hence, while the regional committee has no authority over the matter, they are responsible for it to the extent that they are responsible for monitoring the ability of Geryk to do her job for them. This is why the Amherst Arrangement is so messy, usually one SC hires services from the other SC which shares sole supervisory responsibility over the employee.

Anonymous said...

If you fight liberal indoctrination, you will find yourself on the outs. Best to put on your pod-people faces and blend in. Destroy from within.

Dr. Ed said...

Also from what I have heard when the mother spoke to both police stations she was informed that she had to speak to Maria Geryk because she was the one who issued it without the courts.

This is almost certainly true - Maria has the legal right to ban every child attending the school from being on school property because she "owns" it.

Now were she to do this, there'd be consequences, as children have an inherent right to an education. There are the parental custody rights mentioned, as well as liability on the part of Pelham taxpayers for her acts.

Where Maria runs afoul is a different law -- and DESE policy -- and the Pelham Elementary School could well wind up being taken over by the state. More likely, the taxpayers are going to be paying lots of money for this girl to go to private school.

Dr. Ed said...

Mother does have an appeal: to the DESE, arguing that Geryk's certificate should be revoked. Kinda like lawyer disbarment.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Yes the father has been ensuring his childs peaceful education by attending school a couple of days a week. I completely respect him for putting his work on hold for his child. With that being said the mom should have been told it was happening.

Dr. Ed said...

The only defense against an allegation of racism is that your decision was made compliant with/to a racially-neutral policy.

DESE requires that all school policies be on file with them.

Pelham apparently has no policy regarding the issuance of no trespass letters to parents.

The parent is Black and the Superintendent isn't.

CHECKMATE.

No, I don't think this is racism, nor that Team Maria are systemically racist -- I think that are "equal opportunity a**holes", a morally-bankrupt insular cadre of schmucks who treat all outsiders badly.

However, I would encourage the mother to raise the racism claim on the presumption that Geryk doesn't treat all parents like this -- and force her to prove that she actually does. All parents, of all races, will benefit. It's really the only way that Geryk will get reigned in -- we all know that she has that job for life.

And while I have made no secret of the fact that Geryk lacks credentials I consider necessary for a superintendent to have, well, this is why I consider those credentials essential.

Dr. Ed said...

Anon 1:02 -- Vote "yes" on more Charter Schools this fall.

Competition is the only thing that will reign this stuff in...

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Since this went public I have learned from friends that at least 3 other families in Amherst have pulled their children due to bullying and administrations lack of response in addressing the issue 2 from FR and one from Ww. One family has 3 kids... So 5 kids.. How much money is thaT costing the district? ED or Rick Im sure you know... SIDE Note RICK I SAW your retirement from SC speech and when you said it was furfilling to see ARHS students make a difference.. Is that difference only ok in other towns... Or is it ok for them to fix the system they all love when they see it goes in the wrong direction ?

Dr. Ed said...

With that being said the mom should have been told it was happening.

WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

If this is a "noncustodial" parent, or even (in most circumstances) a situation where parents share custody, this is only slightly less serious than having sex with one of your students -- and that is a really, really bad thing in all kinds of ways.

You can't conspire to deny a custodial parent info about a child. Like I said, the only thing more egregious is having sex with the child -- and in either case, there are serious consequences others who fail to report this. Larry, this is jaw-dropping -- outside of a situation where DCF has obtained an emergency order or is en route to get one, I can't imagine doing anything with a noncustodial parent to the exclusion of the custodial one. It's like a police officer shooting out street lights with his service revolver -- you don't do it...

And FERPA comes in here too -- if the above allegation is true, Maria has a mess...

Dr. Ed said...

As to bullying, go to ed.gov and use codeword "bullying" in the search box.
(US Dept of Educ.)

Look for "dear colleague" letters, there are at least 2 -- these are admin guidance with power of law -- same authority as Title IX/ women's spores.

Requirements to both have policies and to actually address bullying.

Lead complainant being Black WILL get OCR's attention -- not right, but "is."

If what is alleged above is true, Maria G is toast...

Anonymous said...

I know multiple families, not just a few, who have taken their children out of the Amherst schools due to bullying or non-response from the administration on other parental concerns, including being denied a chance for their elementary child to switch classrooms when the child and teacher are a bad match & the child is more & more upset by going to school. Some of the families that have left now homeschool or send their kids to private schools. But other kids are now attending charter or choice schools with costs paid by the Amherst school district & Amherst taxpayers. Charter school enrollments from Amherst are increasing each year faster than Amherst administrators project. But they really shouldn't be surprised.

Anonymous said...

Ed you wrote: "Competition is the only thing that will reign this stuff in..."
Don't you mean rein?

Anonymous said...

Amherst school system is in the news way too much. Why is this?

Anonymous said...

How much do we lose as a district for each school child leaving the district for school choice annually?

Anonymous said...

And what is the budget short fall? and how many students are we paying for that leave the district ? Has anyone talked to these parents about why they left?

Sickened by admin said...

Payments To Out-Of-District Schools
2013 $3,227,676 10.43% per child $23,457 $21,500
2014 $3,139,623 9.91% per student $21,114 $21,839

what is the Short fall and what are we doing as a district to get these kids back ?

Rick Hood said...

Competition is the only thing that will reign this stuff in...
Yeah like “competition” in the health care industry has worked wonders. Charter versus public is apples and oranges, they do not compete on the same field. Of course competition in a truly free market is a good thing. This is not a free market. I don’t know why people think public schools are so horrible in Massachusetts, which if it were a country, would rank 9th in the world. Mississippi sure, Massachusetts, no. It’s insane to kill MA public schools with charters when some improvement is needed, not throwing them away.

Amherst school system is in the news way too much. Why is this?
Not unique. Google “public school news Massachusetts”. Schools tend to be a major factor in local news.

“How much do we lose as a district for each school child leaving the district for school choice annually? “
Depends where they go. If they go to private school, $0. if the choice in to another districts, $5,000. They they go to a charter, around $18,000.

A link to exit survey data (2014-2015) is on this page: http://www.arps.org/cms/one.aspx?portalId=926815&pageId=1235007 Concerns about bullying: 5.3%

Anonymous said...

most folks who have gone through the bully 'process' in the disctrict know that the victim (regardless of their age) is placed in the position of responsibility (not the bully) by the administration. I assume this is a district policy. When I saw that Ms King was the point person for this problem, it was no surprise that there was no apparent progress towards reducing the bullying behavior. Some kids (and parents) faced with the 'process' of following up on the bullying, figures out pretty quickly that their best move is to do nothing (or move schools) because the 'process' places a big, fat target on the back of the victim, who is completely on their own without back-up or protection, to face the reprecusions of their reporting. What should be asked again and again by the community and SC- show us the data supporting success of PBIS implementation? From everything I've seen/heard, it has failed and acceptable social behavior has declined dramatically (and the faculty and staff seem helpless to intervene effectively (or directed, as per policy, to do nothing)).

Anonymous said...

Rick, as I understand it, there is NO cost to the district for choice to another district. Amherst just no longer receives the state support for the student (not really a loss), likewise of the $18,000 to charter, subtract the state portion (~$5K) and then Amherst pays the rest to the charter (but only for a time). So I'm confused and maybe you can help- if a student goes to private, then the district doesn't get the state reimbursement for that student, right? And they don't get the assessment from the town for that student, right? so how is that different from a charter student? Isn't it just accounting? In one case the district doesn't get anything (the student isn't counted if private) or in the case of charter, the district gets all the $$ but has to give it away (right away) to the charter school (state+town assessment). Unless the administration still gets all the associated $$$ (state+town assessment) for private school students. If that's the case, then the district benefits greatly by kids choosing private.

Anonymous said...

I suppose the difference between charter and private is that it really doesn't cost the district $18,000 to teach an average (or above) kid ($5k from state) who goes private, so it ends up costing more if we actually have to provide the charter school the "average of cost of an Amherst student (eg $18,000), which includes our expensive SPED program.

Rick Hood said...

I believe the district gets $ from the state based on where the child lives, not goes to school. The district has to pay the charter school or town that the resident child goes to school in, if not Amherst. But either way it is a loss of money. Yes, it is not really an additional cost, it is a loss of revenue. Yes, the district benefits greatly (financially, not in other ways) by kids choosing private.

Choice-out is not a big deal financially since it is $5,000, plus we get roughly as many choice in as choice out I believe. It's charters that are the problem. Choice is a problem for districts who have way more choice-in than choice-out, because they only get $5,000 per child for choice in. Pelham has this problem.

In Amherst we use choice in carefully - only to fill unused capacity for a given number of teachers/classrooms.

Rick Hood said...

Yes, the district benefits greatly (financially, not in other ways) by kids choosing private.
I might be wrong about that - checking - back later....

Dr. Ed said...

Every child that Team Maria bullies into Homeschooling or Private School is a net gain because the state still provides the funding on the basis that the child is attending Team Maria's Gulag -- even though the child isn't. Team Maria gains even if the child goes to a charter school because they still get some of the state money to educate a child they aren't educating.

So they have a financial incentive to drive children out of their schools...

Think WalMart guaranteed a per-capita gross payment, even if people choose to purchase stuff ar Target. WalMart would make more money if folks did...

Rick Hood said...

Any state aid we get is based on students enrolled in our schools, so we do lose that if a student goes to private. That is not good, but very minor compared to charter costs.

For charters, we do pay.
"School districts pay tuition for resident pupils attending Commonwealth Charter Schools"
http://www.doe.mass.edu/charter/finance/tuition/Reimbursements.html

The state cushions the blow by reimbursing for a while, but that goes away in time.

Anonymous said...

Ed you will never go away even if you "get what you want." This is the only place you can get anyone to communicate with you on your insane arguments. Larry keep raking in the revenue generated by this nut job. He has got to be worth thousands. Ha-Ha!

Dr. Ed said...

Give me what I want and I will go away -- until then, you ain't gonna do it to anyone else. Note total lack of expectation that the schmucks ever will, and hence you deal with me for all of eternity.

Anonymous said...

It's really sad that Ed isn't an Amherst resident, but Amherst has taken up permanent residence in his head. Rent free.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Seems like the bullying percent is 5.4 but how many kids from the social emotional category actually fall in the bullying category

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Ms King with the help of Diane S did a wonderful job with the progessive bullying program Pelham had in 2003-2008.. I miss that program it worked well.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Ms King with the help of Diane S did a wonderful job with the progessive bullying program Pelham had in 2003-2008.. I miss that program it worked well.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Most people in town are in denial... Denial. That most violence is student on student not some stranger walking in ... Denial that anything bad happens, denial that gang wAnna bees actual live here, and denial that there arent supporting every child. On top of their ability to keep most major things that happen out of the press.. And away from the APD.. The sad part is that the school seems to keep the parents, police and press out of the loop. They wont random search lockers like they used too in the 80s, They dont use metal dectectors and the don't have tegulae gang training.. Im surprised we haven't had a major incident..

Anonymous said...

Exit interviews from the school are new and not consistent. When a family leaves, the admin sometimes sends out an exit interview email, no phone call, no sit down meeting. Most people I know choose not to fill it out.

Anonymous said...

The father does not work from what I know, that is why he is able to go there so much. Yes great he is able to do that but you are very right the mother should be told what is happening.

Anonymous said...

It's to bad that Ms. King is no longer the way she used to be when it came to her job. I used to have respect for her and what she did.

Anonymous said...

I'm a parent that ended up having to take my child out of the Amherst school system because of bullying and the school systems lack of caring about how my child was being treated. I hope this mom doesn't give up like my husband and I did.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Basically if I get even more frustrated the best way to financially get back at the school is to sign my daughter up for charter school.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Thats terrible. If they aren't happy or complain they arent part of the brain washed masses.. If they leave so does their voice

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Im sad.. There are so many alternatives to having the victim have to start over. I hope your child is happy in his ? New school.

Anonymous said...

You shouldn't be looking for "the best way to financially get back at the school," you should be looking for the best educational environment for your daughter. Priorities.

Anonymous said...

My child too was bullied and ignored we pulled her as well seems the problems just never get addressed.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

I graduated from Amherst I used to believe,it was the only place to be educated but after having 2 graduate and seeing the changes watching ARHS state rank fall while my taxes continue to increase.. Im not sure anymore what is the best educational environment.. I know the school is trying hard but there is still too much drama in the class. With the cutting of electives at the middle school the districts financisl issues.. Maybe being here isnt best.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Agree..

Anonymous said...

It's been night and day. The school communicates with us about my child. If I have concerns they are addressed. My kid likes school and is not unhappy. It has been night and day.So I guess my only regret is that we "ran" and they continue to do to others what they did to us.

Dr. Ed said...

Anon 11:49 -- I understand.

Anonymous said...

Want to know the main reasons that students leaving district?

There are two reasons:

1. Perverted implementations of Reducing students achievement gaps: By eliminating curriculum choices, and systematic dumbing down the whole curriculum. The plot was that when curriculum is dumb enough, everybody can learn equally well, and achievement gap is reduced.
The Result? Good students, and average students who demand quality eduction leave district.

2. Perverted implementations of Reducing students discipline gaps: By stop disciplining anyone, and tolerating student bad behavior. Replace discipline with "effective classroom control", which means bully students run the classroom and playground, and control the education opportunities available to other mild students. It may look "better", "improved" in school climate report on paper.
Result? Students, fed up with being a victim of the failed school climate, exit school district.

Both perverted implementation of gap reduction policies go hand-in-hand to create a toxic education environment that drive away the good students, the well-behaved, mild students, and attract bully students who won't get what they want in some other district.

Not sure you can call back the families that have already left and now thrived in other districts, charter school, private school, or home school. However, It does help to prevent more families leaving school district by reverse back to common sense policies.

Anonymous said...

I have to kids that enjoy going to Amherst schools (one in elemtary and another in high school). Sure there are some disruptive kids in the system but that is real life. I won't be spending $40,000 per year/child to send my kids to private school. There are great teachers in our system. Every school has problems. That does suck for the parents who have kids getting bullied however and those issues should be handled.

Dr. Ed said...

Anon 1:50 -- you will find two other things happening with outliers.

First, very bright kids will fail a "dumbed down" curriculum. Three reasons -- (a) they are going to presume it "can't be that simple" and hence go off on tangents seeking the higher level concept that inherently must be there. (b) they are going too be bored out of their minds, and thus (c) see no useful purpose in learning, no receive any reward for doing so.

Second, not all bullied students exit the district -- Columbine High School had two that instead came back with guns. And to those who scream "gun control", a student with a basic knowledge of Chemistry (or access to the internet) could level the building with common things sold in Amherst/Hadley retail establishments, could do it at least a dozen different ways (i.e. otherwise-innocent things mixed in a certain way with other things, much like one turns ground wheat into bread.

It is incredibly easy to do this -- as is "cooking meth" -- and every bit as incredibly dangerous. (I was told that 1/3 of all meth labs are found by the *fire* department, after they explode, and I'm really surprised it isn't more...) And folks, I'm talking innocent stuff here, stuff I'd be surprised not to find in your homes. And wasn't there once a *real* bomb in ARHS?

Hence, third, the problem with bullying is neither what it does to the victim, nor that victims then grow up to become bullies themselves (e.g. domestic violence) but the potential of a victim committing mass murder. Like I said, that's what happened in Columbine...

Anonymous said...

anon@2:58: I agree we have some great teachers but I suspect they are finding it harder and harder to excel under the current climate. Because of the policy wrt to discipline, all kids are affected. Perhaps the bullies are the only ones who benefit from the new system. Those kids that are bullied learn quickly they are not particularly valued (again victimized by the administration process) and get targeted by going thru the 'investigative process'. Kids that watch the bullying learn that since there are no apparent consequences that kind of behavior must be normal and adapt appropriately given that school is a teaching environment. Thus the 'climate' quickly degrades. While no one wants a bully (who might have his/her own struggles) to get tarred and feathered, it has to be made immediately to all the witness the incident that particular behavior is wrong and won't be tolerated. Sadly, the message now seems to be aquiesence and tolerance of bad behavior, which quickly becomes 'normal'. While I understand the value of PBIS to the individual that is misbehaving, it unfortunately (as practiced by our district) gives the impression the misbehaving and meanness is ok.

Anonymous said...

I'm just going to reiterate this mother has been gagged ! She can speak to no one involved with the school!! If you think race has nothing to do with this outrageous act you are not getting it or blinded by white privilege !

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Im glad for your child. Im glad that you as, parents are getting to be a team with the school and the classroom dynamics are no longer hindering his education. My daughter is distracted by her classroom dynamics which makes it hard for her to excel.

Anonymous said...

Here we go with the white privilege canard. Why is it when a black person is involved it automatically becomes a race issue. I don't know all the facts but I guarantee that most of the people talking here about racist acts be the administration also don't know all the facts. If this episode leads to the ridiculous hijacking of SC meetings we saw a few years ago I'm taking my child out of school and will look for a school choice slot or perhaps a charter slot.

Anonymous said...

Cliche.

Anonymous said...

Discipline is a dirty word in the school's liberal indoctrination of our kids.

Anonymous said...

We judge by the color of our skin and not by the content of our character.

Anonymous said...

Thank god you corrected that. Now i understand the meaning.

Anonymous said...

You would remove your child from a school because people show support and demand racial equality? I removed my child because she was the victim of a racist act by a librarian, bullied and was victim blamed .. Maria did nothing

Anonymous said...

Free country ain't it?

Anonymous said...

Question really is why can't we know what she did as a parent I would like to know how far is to far before my child becomes a hostage and all my rights are stripped with legal repercussions over my head if I assert my constitutional rights hmmmm

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

All I can say is all it tAkes is one person to misrepresent a conversation. And have someone with an axe to grind add a few extras.. And the world goes crazy... Reminder all coversations are recorded due to the past history of negatvity and such documents were given ti admin after the ban but they were ignored.

Anonymous said...

Im wAiting for my ban.. Im sure some rant I made on this page will be misinterpreted...

Anonymous said...

Nobody has been "gagged." Once somebody mentions legal action or lawyers, they usually have to communicate via the schools legal counsel. They can communicate with Maria, just not the way they wish.

Anonymous said...

Seems to be theme... Educated teachers can do no wrong.. My niece was bullied so badly at FR her teacher made it worse. I dont exactly remember the details.. heard one teacher say "its my job to teach you reading writing and math.. Its not my job to teach you social skills " to a bullying victim .. When I was a student teacher at FR.. I told Masha Rudman I wouldn't go back and learn from that teacher

Anonymous said...

https://aclu-wa.org/blog/appeals-court-supports-parent-s-right-be-school. Second Aclu finding.. This is similar.. As well as Marcel Cyr case vs Rutland county in VT. IT ALL OUT THERE unbelieveable no one checked. The mons lawyer will be allowing the school eventually to release the info im sure.. OH right did I mention Pro Bono Lawyer because he knows hes gonna win.

Anonymous said...

No one wants to hijack school committee. We just want an answer to how Aisha can receive due process to be heard on the stay away order. Of course there is a million other issues the SC should investigate to find the validity of.

Dr. Ed said...

Anon 6:56 -- 10 seconds after you ask a difficult question -- and UMass does the same thing, only worse.

Anonymous said...

While you complain about kids leaving, ask how mant choice in to our schools. Charter is the biggest issue because of the dollar figure. There is nothing about Charter schools that makes them better than the public - they have their own stuff - remember the situation with the Chinese chapter and locking a kid in a timeout room? And, they handle very very few real special needs - they get to choose - yes, choose who they say they can support - public schools can't. Such falseness and lack of true knowledge about what is really happening.

The number of posts from a few people on this story tells the real story and is almost manic in its presentation. Pelham is a lovely school! It is just small which means everything takes on a big presence. Why does everyone assume there is a problem with the school when a parent takes their kid out? And that it is the school's fault? If that is the case then you should be celebrating Pelham given the significant number of students choices there!

There is no racial bias on this parent - there are cases where white and black families are involved in situations - funny how we don't hear much about Latino families or claims of racism. Makes you wonder doesn't it.

Keep up the great work Pelham staff and admin and the Supt. - and work on improving what needs to be better!

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Pelham is a great school.The main issue is,one bad decision to ban a,paRent without due process without doing homework on the ramifications puts pelham in a bad place. Most of these people who have taken their children out of schools were in Amherst. However the common theme .. Kids being bullied parents felt like administration wasn't doing enough. District wide... Im sorry but the superintendent screwed pelham by her actions.. Im mad.. We dont need the press that is going to come from this. No one that is involved in Pelham thinks the school is Racist.. But when this hits the news the public will think differently. Bottom line if this mom was that bad Maria should have had her arrested. NOT BANNED WITHOUT DUE PROCESS.. READ ACLU ARTICLES ABOVE.

Anonymous said...

The Pelham elementary school wouldn't exist without students choicing in, and even so, the town can barely afford the cost of educating its children.

Small schools can be great, but also have problems because of their size, such as lack of diversity & the same problems between individual students or groups of students potentially continuing year after year.

In this case, the parent was trying to advocate for her child who had allegedly facing bullying from another children repeatedly, as had other children. I hope the school works to address the bullying and restores the parent's right to be presence in her child's school.

I know of another bullying case, actually more than one, in a Amherst elem school, where a parent filed an official complaint of bullying on behalf of their child. Administrators then talked with the alleged bullies and with the child who felt bullied. However, the parents were never contacted after the complaint was filed to hear what the resolution of the complaint was and what steps would be taken to make their child feel safe again. Shouldn't the district be following up with the parents in these incidents? Leaving the resolution to school administrators and the students themselves does not seem sufficient.

Anonymous said...

You don't want the bad press? Really? You have to be joking. Right? All your comments here are the kind of thing that will lead to the bad press.

Anonymous said...

I agree with this comment completely. When a parent makes a complaint it should be SOP that someone from the school contact the parent and let them know what steps are being taken to prevent a reoccurrence of bullying.

Dr. Ed said...

Yes, everything Queen Maria touches turns to Gold and anyone who disputes that must be crazy.

And of course everything Team Maria says is true, and those who point out how it can't possibly be are instead mentally ill -- and presumably dangerous as well.

Fine.

When will we get to see Maria's new dress? You know, the one that only sane people can see...

PS: Charter schools do NOT get to exclude SPED, and anyone aware of an incident where one did ought to bring it to the attention of DESE.

PPS: "Parent" is singular and hence you can't modify it with the plural "their."

Anonymous said...

How exactly do you know race does not play a role?

Anonymous said...

There is an outstanding number of kids being pulled by the way !

Anonymous said...

When a parent makes a complaint it should be SOP that someone from the school contact the parent and let them know what steps are being taken to prevent a reoccurrence of bullying.

I believe that is mandated by the ED regs that Maria G knew nothing about...

Aggrieved parent(s) ought to file an OCR complaint(s).

Anonymous said...

good thing the district has a Media and Climate Communications specialist. I wonder how much longer that position will last.

Anonymous said...

(Gasp!). Discipline?? That's a dirty word in the liberal world. The teachers are there to indoctrinate. Not to teach.

Dr. Ed said...

Attention Parents:

The State of Oklahoma has assembled this better than ED does, and better than I (Dr. Ed) have time to, you want to go to this website, regardless of if your child is disabled or not:

http://sde.ok.gov/sde/us-dept-education-announces-guidance-bullying-students-disabilities
--------------

While the letter (url) below isn't quite written in English, I would encourage all parents of bullied students to read this ED doc (Aisha, this means you) -- the easiest way to comprehend these things is to print them out and diagram the sentences. Don't be intimidated if it doesn't make sense the first few times you read it -- I've had lawyers (competent ones) ask me to explain it to them.

http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-bullying-201410.pdf

NB: Beyond recognizing the "state.gov" protocol, and the sde.ok.gov from my doctoral research, I haven't verified the OK site as it is a moot point, I recognize the ED docs they link to, and know that www2.ed.gov is an ED url.

NB: "ED" is the US Dept of Education because DoE is the US Dept of Energy, as ED refers to itself as ED, the profession tends to as well. "Recipient" means "receives Federal funds (of any kind) which Team Maria does. "OCR" is ED's "Office of Civil Rights".

OCR's authority comes from various civil rights laws -- "Title IX" (i.e. "Title Nine") being perhaps the best known, but OCR deals with sex, race, & disability discrimination issues, along with a couple other things. They don't have general jurisdiction over all wrongs, only issues somehow related to race, sex, or disability.

This is why it is relevant that the girl is Black, not because she was bullied because of it, but because it gives OCR jurisdiction -- BECAUSE the girl is Black, OCR can help her. This is one of the reasons why OCR's letter is so convoluted, the other being that their initial circa-2000 letter only addressed disability harassment and instead of writing two letters, they tacked a whole lot of stuff into what was supposed to be an update of the 2000 disability letter, and then updated that a few times to get to this.

Anonymous said...

If you really want an answer go to the proper SC to voice your complaint. Going to the Regional committee was just grandstanding. They have no jurisdiction and no role in the matter. Go to a meeting of the Pelham school committee to voice your complaint. They are the committee that has jurisdiction over this case. Of course there are no tv cameras there so you won't be able to grandstand. But if you are really looking to have some dialogue that is where you should go.

Dr. Ed said...

Anon 12:13 -- I'm not so sure. My guess -- I emphasize "guess" -- is that any ED-OCR investigation of the Pelham Elementary School would inherently involve all 12 grades of those children's educations and hence OCR would investigate both ARMS & ARHS in the course of investigating PES.

In that OCR would, essentially, be investigating Maria G, I would not be at all surprised to see it expand into the Amherst Elementary Schools as well, particularly if they found anything of concern in Pelham. This is standard investigatory practice, if the cops find Heroin in the passenger compartment of a car, thet aren't going to look in the trunk. Likewise, if DCF finds that a woman is sexually abusing one of her daughters, they shouldn't consider the possibility that "mommie dearest" wasn't also sexually abusing her other daughter?

The Regional Committee is "on the hook" for anything their Supt does.

Dr. Ed said...

A better example -- let's say that the Pelham Elementary was violating Title IX -- say only had PE for boys. After finding this in Grades K-6, honestly think there wouldn't be an inquiry into Grades 7-12, particularly when the same Supt supervised those grades too?

Anonymous said...

ED-
You sure can use "their" parent. Yes, parent is singular, but the "their" refers to the child, which should be referring to more than one child.

So for one child and one parent: 'his/her parent',

for two children's parent: 'their parent' would be correct.

And is becoming common usage to use their as a gender neutral single pronoun...

Anonymous said...

How is it you know the community of people at Pelham do not think race is involved is there a survey only you are privy to?

Anonymous said...

One of the reasons people go to the press is because they are not being heard and therefore do not feel whole .. Also Maria's fault in most cases...

Anonymous said...

Speaking in front of the cameras at a regional or Amherst School Committee meeting is not about grandstanding. It is about having your voice and concerns heard not just by the people present at the SC meetings (there usually aren't many people beyond staff and SC members in attendance at SC meetings) but by the broader public. Many people who don't attend the SC meetings either watch the meeting live or stream it later -- thanks Amherst Media!

For meetings that do not air on local cable and are not recorded, meeting minutes can be helpful but often condense a 20-minute discussion into a few sentences. The same with newspaper articles. Only the recording itself captures the full discussion.

Dr. Ed said...

"Why does everyone assume there is a problem with the school when a parent takes their kid out?"

Sorry, -----breath, "a parent" is singular in both tense and article (i.e. "a")-- there is no way your twisted interpretation of English grammar is valid.

Furthermore, "their kid" implies a single child.

Not that we want to bother ourselves with the facts, mind you.

Dr. Ed said...

Anon 3:34 -- short of violence (which I discourage) going to the press is the nly thing that Maria's victims can do...

Anonymous said...

It is about grandstanding when you knowingly bring up an issue that the Regional committee has no jurisdiction over. Your post outlining the reason for going to the regional committee is the definition of grandstanding.

Dr. Ed said...

Actually, 7:42 PM, they do -- they can formally ask the Pelham board to investigate and to report back to them. This is how such things are usually dealt with.

Anonymous said...

That's BS. You don't know what you are talking about. Imagine my surprise.

Anonymous said...

The Regional committee has NO authority over the Pelham school committee. They absolutely cannot ask the Pelham committee to investigate and report back to them. These are two separate and autonomous committee.

Anonymous said...

She cant go she has been banned from school property. And it is the regional school committee's issue too bot hustcpelham Maria is the face of the school. The sc is responsible for her actions.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

When this parent was talking to any one and everyone after being banned she was emailing the scho committee that's wgen she was told she couldnt communicate with them any more by G Tate. If she cant attend a SC meeting, or email the SC , or aytend the executive session how is her story supposed to be heard
? How is the ban supposed to get lifted with no course of appeal ? Due process civil rights
No-trespass order against Marcel Cyr.
No-trespass order against Marcel Cyr.
In September, Vermont’s federal trial court ruled that the supervisory union had violated Marcel Cyr’s rights when it banned him from school board meetings without adequate explanation or an opportunity to contest the bans.
Recognizing the importance of parents’ involvement in their children’s education, the Washington Court of Appeals has overturned the conviction of a parent prosecuted for trespassing at her child’s school. The court found due process rights were violated when the parent was not told she had a right to appeal the school district’s trespass notice.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

No one knew at the moment the school committee couldnt help BTW They are Maria's supervisors and mom was banned grom all property in both towns.

Anonymous said...

I'll say it again. Her supporters should present their case to the Pelham school committee. Not the regional committee. That is the proper forum. Get up and speak during public comment at the Pelham school committee meeting. They are the ones with the authority over this situation. I'm not quite sure why this is such a difficult concept to understand.

Anonymous said...

She was only able to go to the pelham school committee meeting along with her supporters because it was held at the Pelham Library which she did on April 6th.
The Pelham committee who she is not allowed to communicate with. This making it so she can not give anymore evidence to them. The Pelham school committee inwhich Tara Luce is the chair, who's boss is Maria Geryk.....sigh because this has all been such a fair situation. I can't wait to watch Maria Geryk's team and the school committee try to wiggle out of this one. I'm curious how the hell did Maria Geryk get the job??? Who makes that decision? Did parents get to be part of the decision? Who actually oversees queen Maria? So many questions.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

I should clarify. Most of the children in this class see wgat happens every day. Neither the mom, or I think this child is getting bullied because of race. 5-7 year olds are learning about there world I don't think any parent of this class thinks this bullying was due to race. 7 out of 11-reported neing bullied at one point of another. I would say there are more than 7 in the class that have faced bullying in 2-years.. One of the problems every parent I have talked to is concerned about this. The mom feels like it's a racial issue on The adult end of things. How it was handle after the complaint was not handled in Pelham and she brought it to Chestnut St. I support the Mom on her instincts I have never been silenced or had my civil rights taken away , or had the superintendents decide to talk to secondary contracts instead of me. I do believe,based on the moms ecperience race is a major factor. I don't believe race is involved on the bullying issue be appears its happening across races and genders. But then again they are young and,need to be taught how to act. The school hasnt addressed my concerns on this issue at times either or followed up.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

There are issues
1. Lack of response to bullying in classroom by adminstration at all levels
2. Parental ban without due process
4.-MG.changing communication order thus over riding? Court custody agreement?
5. One month - parent not allowed to bring child to school still not able to attend functions or meetings
6.child sick not allowed by school to call custodial mother due to MG orders
7. Mom no longer permitted to email adminstrators, or SC Members
8. Non custodial at school regularly to ensure daughters comfort level in class custodial parent not told of these visits. Nor other parents.. Of classroom students
8. Assumption of MG that mom is or was a danger by using a hostile source for information on subject
9. Stay away order in place delivered by email.. No court involvement..
10. Call placed to significant others work chicopee pd to inquire if mom had access to weapons...how do we go from advocating grumpy mom to Gun violence??
11. Moms complaints have been passed from person to person at the supers office no consistency or real reasoning as to why certian people were assigned to help? For example sp ed director FB ?
12 MG will not actually communicate with parent and tell her what ahe dud to get band just that she has a credible witness who is the ex husband. which he denies.
13 . After stay away order in place someone from school calls DCF because they feel child is having trouble traNsiTioning to school in am. Really
..
14.. mom has been trying to get the bullying strAightened out since 2014.

Anonymous said...

So. We can add GRAMMAR to the long list of topics that Ed blabs on about but actually knows jacksquat about...

Good to know.

Dr. Ed said...

Regardless of why, if Queen Maria trespassed someone from Regional District, she did it in the name of the Regional School Committee, and hence that is legitimately an issue to be raised at the Regional Committee meeting.

I can't believe Geyrk was stupid enough to do that...

Dr. Ed said...

I also wonder about the legality of holding public meetings in venues that the public is not permitted to attend. The legality (under DESE regs & related laws) of holding school board meetings in a venue where a parent isn't permitted to be.

I know you can't do this with an IEP (it's been tried), I strongly suspect that while Queen Maria can ban parents from school property, she creates a situation where all public school meetings have to be held elsewhere.

And she has no legal authority to prohibit anyone from sending email to any public employee.
Or snailmail.

Dr. Ed said...

Anon 10:52 -- the USAF have a saying about being over the target...

Anonymous said...

the court explained that parents have a legal right to access their child’s school and a clear interest in observing their child’s activities at school. Because of the importance of this right, due process principles require that the school district clearly notify the parent of the right to appeal the trespass notice, before it can be assumed that the notice is legally valid.

The court also ruled that the prosecution failed to prove that the school district was justified in banning the parent from her son’s school. While schools have authority to regulate access to school grounds to ensure a safe and productive educational environment, there was no proof that the parent disrupted a classroom procedure or learning activity. The prosecution’s only witness had no first-hand knowledge of what the parent allegedly did that led to the banishment. Thus, her convictions for trespassing had to be dismissed.

Anonymous said...

Pretty dumb pretty dumb to not follow custody agreement as well

Dr. Ed said...

What's gonna happen is that the trauma of all of this is gonna cost Pelham an expensive out-of-district placement for 11 years. Good job Maria....

Anonymous said...

Ed,

You're getting flak because you're talking out your butthole as usual, not because you're near any "target."

Go take one of those nice little pills you've forgotten about and go to bed.

Anon 10:52

Dr. Ed said...

Well Anon 10:52/8:30, the American Psychological Association says "[a] verb must agree in number (i.e., singular or plural) with its subject..."


Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Ed I don't think so. If this mom was going to leave she would have already. She doesnt want this to ever Happen to any one else. She more interested in seeing Team Maria being held accountable for their actions. She knows there are other families that are unhappy, children who are trying to learn in a hostile learning environments across the district. She isnt going away maybe her lawyer will adbise her differently and thosecof you who believe no injustice was done to this family or other families I guess you will have to see how the court rules.

Anonymous said...

Back to the race issue here-it has got to be quite clear to anybody with eyes and ears. The Pelham principal is intimidated by an assertive Black woman. End of story. All the other bs-to back up her racial prejudice is just that-bs! You simply can not, legally or morally, do what is happening to Aisha.
To those who believe a court is involved-this has never been heard in any court room. This total disregard to due-process makes it all the more outrageous. I speak as the parent of a child bullied by the very ones (adults aka teachers) of this fine system, who lay claim to being trained in bully prevention among the student population. And yes, race also played it's role in our case. This whole situation could have easily, more than easily, been peacefully resolved back on day one, if MG would have met with Aisha and advocates and 'smoked the peace pipe,' But no, instead MG team has to call their collective f'd up bluff ang keep it going.

Anonymous said...

Ed- 'Their' is a pronoun. In this case it was replacing the CHILD in the sentence and does not take its form from the word 'parent.'

You can say:
Their house..
Their houses..
Their parents..
Their parent..

All would be correct.

Anon 10:52

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

I agree but I need to say that the principal did not push or ssk for the stay away order and was,very upset I think when it came down. Every thing that happened after Aisha began advocating was due to someones racial bias assuming they could bully a, single black mother into disappearing.. Bring an ARHS grad she was taught you don't back down from social injustice.. So here we are. HATS OFF AISHA for fighting the right fight for your daughter, yourself, and every other c parent that got brushed aside

Dr.Ed said...

"Their" is plural.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you are correct about that one small aspect of it.
Anon 10:52

Anonymous said...

Well parents of Pelham,

You wanted Maria Geryk as your leader. She is all yours. Don't like it, then you should have approached the superintendence search with an open mind and not like the hive mind. You're no alone of course, many in Amherst, Leveret, and Shutesbury acted just like you. What a bunch of short sighted fools. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

The principal is the one responsible--just as, if not more, responsible than MG. MG is her boss yes--but if she didn't ignite this false fire there would be no order. It is so far out-of-control all I can do is sit here and shake my head. Where are the people--the outcry at this injustice--Why isn't every single parent at Pelham School protesting this insanity?! How is MG able to get away with this if the whole kit and kaboodle were not as racist as she is acting at this point? None of it makes sense--and the secrecy --yup the big secret--the other side of the story is--there is a classist, racist, white supremacy system running our schools--hey, running our towns for that matter. For any police department to not question MG's abuse of the law--is well-questionable at the very least--and leaves this citizen feeling quite uncomfortable to think these people are here to protect our rights to peace. Where is the right to a peaceful existence for the child and mother? Rick, Ed, Larry, anybody???

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Yes the principal started the problem by not handling it. I DO AGREE.. but I think she was surprised and not happy the direction it went legally. That bad decisions were made that effect her employment and reputation. I never liked that we never saw our supers resume.. That we skipped the search.. But reality is unfortunately that being in with Amherst on voting means we out voted. Thst our SC alone will have very little effect on outcomes or accountability for team Maria.

Anonymous said...

The search was not skipped. There was a full search and Ms Geryk was chosen.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

I giess I misread something I saw on a,school committee blog . That makes me feel better

Anonymous said...

While I am sure there is an issue going on with her daughter that is not being handled properly, I'm inclined to believe the rest of it is not necessarily what it seems to be. This woman has a history of accusing people of racism and being rude and belligerent. I hope that this isn't the case here (or maybe it would be better because then it would mean there isn't racial injustice running rampant through the school system) but regardless, people shouldn't jump to conclusions only based on who is yelling louder at this point. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of transparency going on though so we may never know.

Dr. Ed said...

Maria G could legally trespass every parent who belongs to the League of Women Voters if she wanted to, much as she could legally paint a large red Swastika on the front door of the school.

She could even put up "White Only" signs and issue "No Trespassing" letters to not only all the Black parents but the Black students, teachers & staff as well. Massachusetts law gives her the authority to do this, and other than privately asking her if she was out of her mind, there would be nothing the police could do about it. (My guess is that the Chief would quickly but quietly call the State AG's Office or that of the US Attorney -- likely both, along with each & every member of the School Committee -- but that's all the police could do.)

Maria has the legal authority to exercise her professional judgement in supervising the schools -- the question is the consequences of her exercising poor judgment.

My guess is that she'd be gone within the day. DESE likely would find some retired superintendent willing to step in on an interim basis and try to sort out the mess.

But my point is that she can legally do illegal things -- and is expected not to do them....

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Rehardless of the issues this is the main point and what they did is wrong read linkhttps://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2899018/Vermont-school-district-barred-parent-pay-147-500.html&ved=0ahUKEwjzq6buuaLMAhWGbD4KHf_WB5gQFggiMAI&usg=AFQjCNHdbzkq4A1NDoJUahr0lIdTJrQOhg&sig2=f_GYNIKArQf9dtiq_isdCQ

Anonymous said...

Due to privacy issues neither the administration or SC can comment on this topic publically.

Anonymous said...

How is it that Pelham would absorb 11 years of choice out? The letter, from school lawyers, to Hiza is addressed to a Chicopee resident. Does this student reside in Pelham or Chicopee? Why hasn't anyone else brought this up? What am I missing?

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

They own property in pelham but yes Aisha moved to chicopee and is currently a school choice parent.

Anonymous said...

Since when does belligerence warrant a stay-away order? Since when does determination, agitation, assertiveness, and demanding your child be treated with respect while in school deserve a stay-away order? I don't get it. What is she guilty of except all of the above mentioned human traits? Dr. Ed, There is no Massachusetts General law that specifically states a superintendent can do what she is doing. MGL c. 71 sec. 59A, B, C, D. references a superintendent's authority--but does not specifically state she can have issued this kind of order. And without due-process? No appeal, no hearing? Not even being told the charges?! This is an outrage--Regional School Committee needed to be told--they are responsible for hiring and firing the superintendent. They all need to know this is happening--this is such an abuse of assumed power--oh yes--white privilege in the workings--Wake up people and smell the abuse--it stinks!

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Thank you for noticing all the issues with this situation so many people don't think she did anything wrong and it is so wrong

Anonymous said...

"without due-process? No appeal, no hearing? Not even being told the charges?! This is an outrage"

Hopefully Aisha is getting assistance towards resolving this as it has already been over a month- The May meeting of the Pelham School Committee is too far away!

One would think the school's attorney would have known that the handling of this situation was wrong from the beginning -and would've helped to rectify it-

Instead- she joined in on the wrongdoing!!!

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