Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Changing of the Guard

Regional School Committee Laura Kent, center

The Amherst Pelham Regional School Committee "reorganized" last night unanimously ousting outspoken (almost) two year Chair Trevor Baptiste from Pelham in favor of Amherst rookie Laura Kent who was only elected to her Amherst School Committee seat ten weeks ago.

The Region consists of four towns -- Amherst, Leverett, Pelham, and Shutesbury -- but Amherst provides 80% of the students and funding so Amherst representatives make up 5 of the nine Regional School Committee seats.  Their budget this year is $30 million with a per pupil cost of $20,000.

Pelham School Committee Trevor Baptiste center

Apparently Mr. Baptiste's latest faux pas was to allow Public Comment on the Aisha Hiza affair at the April 12th meeting where community members and fellow ARHS grads read aloud a letter of support demanding due process over a stay away order issued to her on March 15th by Superintendent Maria Geryk.

Since that restraining order encompassed not just Pelham, where Miss Hiza's young daughter attends elementary school, but the entire Region -- social justice advocates figured they had a perfect right to bring it to the attention of the Regional School Committee.

Interestingly last night's Public Comment was dominated by highly paid school administrators singing the virtues of Superintendent Maria Geryk.  

The sad story has since taken on a life of its own, generating heated comments on social media, newspaper editorials and providing yet another distraction from the core mission of our public schools:  education.





140 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another slanted blog post meant to inflame rather than report.

Larry Kelley said...

Were you at the meeting? Did I get any facts wrong?

kevin said...

You couldn't pay me enough for that job. Do you know how many School Committees' meetings Maria has to attend? And face those people. That alone would give a normal person a heart attack. You know, like Jack Heffley. Those people will stop at nothing. They are murderers.

Larry Kelley said...

I believe Mr Heffley was engaged in an animated conversation with a disgruntled parent, not a School Committee member, when he perished.

Anonymous said...

What you got wrong is the way you characterize what happened. Most Regional SC chairs serve for 2 years. He was not "ousted." It was just time for a change. The change had nothing to do with allowing folks to speak in public comment about Ms. Hiza's situation.

Finally, I do not see the Ms. Hiza situation as a distraction to the school's core mission. It's not like the schools have stopped holding classes or teaching our youngsters during this time. This situation has changed none of that. It has only been a distraction to those who continue to push this story like it was the end of the world. Bullying happens. Though I think to think that 5 and 6 year olds are bulliers is a little much. These kids are too young to be bulliers. They just need parents and teachers to help and guide them. Parents advocate for their kids all the time when they are being bullied or for a variety of reasons. I am a strong advocate for my kids and have been for years. I am a momma bear for them. Believe me, the schools know when they have roused this momma bear. But I have done my advocacy in a non-treatening way. I have never threatened, either directly or by implication, a teacher or administrator. And, hence, I have never had a stay away order placed on me. Ms. Hiza's stay away order had nothing to do with her race and everything to do with her behavior. I support Ms. Geryk in her courage of standing up to such behavior. She always puts the safety of students and her staff first and that is the way it should be.
I am so fed up with these made up racist crises. Does racism exist in the US? Yes. Does it exist in Amherst? Yes, just as it does everywhere. Are the schools addressing these issues of racism? Yes. Have they managed to totally eradicate racism from Amherst yet? No. Is that unusual? Again, no. Racism is a scourge all across our nation and Amherst is not immune to the scourge. The best we can do is address it and keep working on it. Will the scourge of racism be completely cured in my life time? Unfortunately, probably not. But Ms. Geryk and her staff have done more to address this scourge in our schools than any Superintendent here in recent memory. She has made equity her number one issue. And for that, she gets constantly maligned, pilloried and bullied by the readers and commenters on this blog and by the community she is most trying to help. It is a puzzle to me why this is so. I am thankful that she has been able to stand strong, so far, to the bullies and I hope she'll continue to lead our district for many years to come. We need her visionary work.

Larry Kelley said...

So you don't find it a tad unusual for a new Chair to have only 10 weeks experience as a School Committee member?

And it's not like she has a full time job in a related field (full time Umass student does not count).

Would a $30 million multi-national corporation elevate someone to board chair who had only been with the company 10 weeks?

Laura Kent said...

Larry, you are leaving out some key facts in your skewed style of reporting and I find it important to set the story straight. Regarding my credentials, not only am I a full time UMass student I am also a trained special education advocate and have been supporting families, students and districts in the Valley for the past 4 years. I have dedicated countless hours as a board member of the Special Education Parent Advisory Council for the ARPS district and attend many workshops and meetings within the state. For those of you that do not know- SEPAC is a federally mandated organization that must exist by law to collaborate between districts and families.

Interestingly, on the Massachusetts Association of School Committee daily email "digest" a few weeks ago, the discussion of chair and term was a recent thread where the majority of MA districts spoke about the process noting that chairs usually serve no more than two terms. We are no different here in Amherst.

The most important fact that you do not include is that the endorsement from both Ms. Appy (the most senior committee member) and Mr. Baptiste (previous chair) who spoke to their confidence and support in my work and the unanimous vote I received from the entire committee.

If you are trying to set the stage from the beginning, you need to learn to give people a chance. You obviously do not know me.

I'll check in with you a year later.

Laura Kent

Larry Kelley said...

I'm sure you will.

By "setting the stage from the beginning" I was starting from the vantage point of two weeks ago, where obviously Mr. Baptiste was not happy about the attempt to force a "reorganization".

Anonymous said...

It makes me sad to hear you say these things about racism. I am assuming that you are white. I could be wrong. That is your white privilege speaking. I have experienced as a student as well as a professional instantaces of racism. It is NOT handled well in the public schools as well. How can you as a white person say how a person of color should respond to racism. A first grader was continously teased about her hair. This is not ok.
The parent in this case did nothing but demand answers and would not stop advocating for her child. Instead of using community resources.... they made a rash decision. There are people who specializes in this. No one was called. This incident would have swept under the rug they way they do in Amherst.

Anonymous said...

"The sad story has since taken on a life of its own, generating heated comments on social media, newspaper editorials and providing yet another distraction from the core mission of our public schools: education."

And this blog bears most of that responsibility for creating this ridiculous cesspool of speculation and gossip.

Nina Koch said...

Very well said, Laura.

Laura Quilter said...

I'm going to put this as politely as I can.

The "optics", as they say, of this situation are truly disturbing. The African-American Chair is "termed out" against his will in favor of a white person, in the middle of an ongoing series of complaints about racially-inflected bullying and racially-insensitive administrative responses. I note that our School Committee is disproportionately white.

I wish Mr. Baptiste well and thank him for his service, which was voluntary, unlike our administrators, who are paid quite well for their service. I hope Ms. Kent, as a new Chair, is mindful going forward that the School Committee is supposed to serve as a check and supervision on Administration.

Larry Kelley said...

One of the reasons I take so many pictures at these kinds of meetings is to show rather than say what the "optics" are.

Although I'm bummed because all the photos and videos I took last night on my iPhone were lost this morning transferring them to my laptop and I had to rely on the only photo I posted to Facebook last night.

Although Mr. Jackson was kind of mumbling in his three minute presentation praising Maria, so I'm not sure the sound quality would have come out in the video anyway.

Anonymous said...

The use of the phrase white priviledge is racist on its face. Not to mention offensive.

Anonymous said...

It's not the blog's fault. Just the gossipers.'

Rose colored everything said...

"I'll check in with you a year later."



Great!


I mean, with all the am-mazing things you're going to accomplish (in such a short

period), you probably wont have time to "check in"

to ~anything~.



-Squeaky Squeaks


p.s. Tell Bicycle Kurt G. I send him my best, will you please?

Katrina van Pelt said...

8:30 But I have done my advocacy in a non-treatening way. I have never threatened, either directly or by implication, a teacher or administrator. And, hence, I have never had a stay away order placed on me. Ms. Hiza's stay away order had nothing to do with her race and everything to do with her behavior. I support Ms. Geryk in her courage of standing up to such behavior. She always puts the safety of students and her staff first and that is the way it should be.

I'm glad you have never had a stay away order placed on you, it is terrible humiliation from what i've seen, and the punishment does not fit the crime in the Hiza case,in my opinion. I would have liked to see the SI reach out through an independent mechanism directly to Ms. Hiza to resolve the underlying bullying issues as well as the feelings of animosity between the parent and administrators. I would have liked to see the SI present her evidence regarding "credible safety concerns" directly to the parent and give her a chance to respond in private, before an order was placed.

I have this uneasy sinking feeling that there is a great deal of dismissal of POC, insinuations of only wanting money, playing the race card, and totally discounting their experience. It seems people want this to go away so they can get back to touting their wonderful, equitable, and inclusive community, if only those pesky minorities would stop crying wolf and messing it up. It hurts. we are most certainly under represented on all boards, administrations, and committees. we need to see each other as people first and foremost, and that is so much easier when posters use their names. Also, just because it's not happening (or has not happened) to you,) does not mean that it isn't happening to someone else.

Nina Koch said...

Very well said, Katrina.

Anonymous said...

I was disappointed by some of the MS principal's remarks last night, such as when she accused community members who have disagreed with her and her decisions of telling lies. The parents and others who have questioned MS decisions and changes want what is best for our children and our schools just as she and the rest of the administration do.

The MS principal talked of sitting in School Committee meetings "listening to members of the community "spew negative and condescending remarks about the work I have done." Some parents, myself among them, have sometimes felt the same as we speak out about concerns and as try to advocate for their children and others, and our concerns go unheard and un-responded to year after year, or dismissed entirely.

Yes, there are times when anonymous comments can be particularly inflammatory and negatively impact constructive discussion. I hope though when parents do speak out and have genuine concerns that the administration listen and hear those concerns and appreciate where parents are coming from and respond as if parents' concerns matter. The administration talks about community outreach as one of its strengths, and yes the superintendent does now put out a weekly e-newsletter to ARPS families. Also, the district has regular surveys of families about engagement. However, unfortunately, few results of these surveys are usually released and it seems few changes made as a result of the survey findings. Additionally, the opportunities for real community and parent dialogue with administrations are few. I would hope that there could be more in the future.

Anonymous said...

I think that some people who choose to stay anonymous in their comments do so primarily because this can be a hard place to express views against the powers that be and because people who have spoken out against the administration's policies and decisions have sometimes felt the consequences of doing so, such as receiving hateful messages from the superintendent's spouse or other verbal/written attacks. ARPS teachers or staff have concerns about their job security and other impacts if they say or do anything that could be construed as unfavorable of the administration.

Dr. Ed said...

Another SPED Person!!!

Yet another person whose sole background is in SPED and/or Psych, instead of pedagogy & classroom teaching. I'm not going to go further than the public information, but look at what it says: Major: Public Health Sciences (BS).

More SPED & Psych & such.....

Now I'm not saying that a few people with this kind of a background aren't helpful, diversity of perspectives is always good, but when everyone is coming from the same field, all you get is the groupthink that is plaguing the district.

And it's this groupthink that has created this whole situation. It's the Psych mentality that won't release records to Aisha, that has secret star chamber trials, and which considers public humiliation an appropriate price for the right to complain about perceived injustices.

For those of you who don't see this as problematic, how do you think Maria Geryk would feel about her weight being posted on the hundred telephone poles nearest her office -- Why would it be wrong for me to do this?

Worse, there is a really big difference between obnoxious and dangerous, and an even bigger difference between being assertive via LEGAL aggression and being assertive via ILLEGAL aggression.

In other words, there is a big difference between "I'm gonna sue you" and "I'm gonna kill you." The SPED, Psych, Mental Health, & such folks fail to recognize this distinction. That's how threatening to file a MCAD complaint, something everyone (including Geryk herself) has a right to do, becomes a threat of violence, and the rest.

Katrina van Pelt said...

i get that, it is totally valid. I am a little scared that i've been "flagged" or written off in the admins mind as a biased, potential "trouble-maker" i have a child in the district, and there's risk in speaking one's own truth, but i also feel Change doesn't happen if we don't risk something sometimes. I would not advocate for those to reveal themselves for whom the risk is too great, but i wonder whether the mean-spirited language would be more measured if we knew we may meet someday out and about in town.

Larry Kelley said...

I can honestly say Katrina that over the past nine years I've had all sorts of venomous, nasty, rude, threatening comments directed at me from Cowardly Anon Nitwits but not ONCE have I ever had someone come up to me when I"m out and about in town and say anything to my face remotely similar. Ever.

Dr. Ed said...

"She always puts the safety of students and her staff first and that is the way it should be."

No.

The primary stated goal/purpose of the Klu Klux Klan was (and I believe still is) to prevent women from being raped. "Safety" was the justification for the lynchings of the late 19th & early 20th Centuries, and if you don't know what happened in Scottsboro, you might want to read up on it.

Furthermore, "safety of the students" was the cry of the segregationists, go read the rants of George Wallace and others. They were essentially arguing that it was "unsafe" for little White boys & girls to associate with Black children, and hence segregation must remain -- the logical fallacy being how on earth is it "unsafe" for Black & White children to learn that everyone is a human being....

"I would have liked to see the SI present her evidence regarding "credible safety concerns" directly to the parent"
If this wasn't a Commonwealth with some British Colonial statutes still on the books, she'd have to.

Vera was right, this was the equivalent of a Klan lynching -- a person alleged to be dangerous and summarily punished for it without a scintilla of due process, let alone even knowing what she is being "punished" for.

Katrina van Pelt said...

that's because you are measured:) i will try to be as well. Good to hear that though, i won't let fear guide my choices

Dr. Ed said...

Larry, I seem to remember us agreeing to disagree about aspects of the Town/Gown/Student triad.... :)

Anonymous said...

The nastiest comments on this blog are reserved for Maria Geryk. Would people say these things to her face?

Anonymous said...

Larry - I wanted so badly to say something to you at the Black Scholars Rising event but opted not to because I didn't want that celebration to be marred by interacting with you. And, everyone knows that once someone identifies themselves to you either in person or on the blog, we become fodder for the inflammatory remarks from you and others. Martyrdom is not a good look for you so let it go!

Anonymous said...

Well said Katrina!
Well said Laura!

Katrina van Pelt said...

I would say everything i have said to her face, yes

Anonymous said...

The letter read by the Middle School principal was very informative. Talk about data - that is the type of data folks have been desperate for. The data about how many classrooms are teacher centered instead of student centered was remarkable. Alschular and Demling were supposedly the "voice" for disgruntled staff who were actually asked to respond to leadership, expectation and direction. Both of them should be ashamed of the themselves for being part of the face of the catalyst that likely made the principal want to leave. Some school committee members should also be ashamed for letting the negativety "spewed" be assumed as reality instead of looking into it.

As a perspective 7th grade parent next year, I am beyond furious that she will not be there in light of all of the positive change. I can only hope my child will not be on the team of teachers who think there is only one way to educate students and that the adults are the focus instead of children. I am disgusted by Alschular and Demling and those teachers that don't know how to, don't see it, and/or won't improve their practice.

Anonymous said...

I wish someone would place a stay-away order on me. Unfortunately, I work here.

Anonymous said...

It's just that those who push an out of control liberal agenda hate you when you disagree with their Alinsky tactics.

Anonymous said...

Can we please leave the klan (a Dem group) out of this? Hitler too.

Anonymous said...

Well said Anonymous!

Anonymous said...

You don't say nasty things Katrina. I was referring to those who are VERY nasty on this blog. I don't agree with your perspective but at least you aren't nasty and calling names.

Dr. Ed said...

I actually would say WORSE to Caligula's face, a lot more nuanced and quite a bit more sarcastic, but as she offends my sense of decency, I would.

As to the teacher-centered classroom, mine inherently is. I know something that my students don't, that's why I am the teacher and they are the students -- it's why their parents are paying me to be standing there.

End of discussion.

RKA45 said...

Laura, I wish you the best success. I think it is great that you are new to the SC and taking on the role of chair. New voices are exactly what we need. I like that you are an independent thinker and that you are strong enough to speak your mind. Those characteristics will suit you well moving forward.
Rebecca

Anonymous said...

I am sure the MS principal is under binding agreement and couldn't through the whole story of her leaving out there. Which is too bad. I do believe her leaving was an olive branch to the teachers at the middle school. I do believe the policies she instituted where supported if not instituted by TM. Its too bad she can;t share with us the whole truth and it is too bad she had to be the first to be under the bus. It must be very hard for her.

Anonymous said...

Well said Anon 113!

Anonymous said...

So nice. So caring. So nauseating.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Katrina having the guts to responsibly speak truth to corrupt power and defend your friend without insulting anyone. Thank you Larry for uncovering the evidence to prove chilling civil rights violations by regional school employees and individuals on the school committees against a single mother who continues (over a year) to responsibly speak out against the bullying of her 1st grader.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me why Maria fired the MS Principal?

Anonymous said...

all the hateful comments on this blog come from maria geryk and her employees who are ordered to so under threat of employment termination. we've got the superintendent we entitled liberals deserve. too bad for the kids/collateral damage.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone stopped to wonder why Maria, after being publicly lambasted for her "treatment" of Carol Gardner, would issue this stay away order against a black woman? She MUST have known the shit storm that would come her way after such a decision, but she did it anyway. Let's look at motive. Perhaps it's exactly as she said it was, boring as that may be. Maybe Maria really had no choice but to issue the order based on the information she had - something that was verbally recommended by the Pelham and possibly Amherst police. But alas, we simply do not have all the information (still). Aisha is extremely quick to accuse Maria and others as racist, but not willing to release information.

Everyone keeps referencing an incident where a white parent went onto Pelham school property and "bullied" a child. This sounds absolutely awful but it's not an apples-to-apples situation unless we have all the facts about Aisha's actions, which we don't. And, not defending anything here but possible alternate scenarios - what if the white parent happened to be picking up her child, saw a child being mean or bullying her kid, and decided to march over and tell the kid to stop? It might (or might not) be an inappropriate act, but not necessarily one of bullying.

Maria has made many decisions I do not agree with, but this reactionary jump to scream "Racism" at every turn does a real disservice to actual victims of racism.

Anonymous said...

Hey 1:02 pm: Have you spoken to many of the MS teachers about all the changes? And it's "Prospective" not "Perspective".

Anonymous said...

"Has anyone stopped to wonder why Maria, after being publicly lambasted for her "treatment" of Carol Gardner, would issue this stay away order against a black woman?"

" I am a strong advocate for my kids and have been for years. I am a momma bear for them. Believe me, the schools know when they have roused this momma bear. But I have done my advocacy in a non-treatening way. I have never threatened, either directly or by implication, a teacher or administrator. And, hence, I have never had a stay away order placed on me. Ms. Hiza's stay away order had nothing to do with her race and everything to do with her behavior. I support Ms. Geryk in her courage of standing up to such behavior. She always puts the safety of students and her staff first and that is the way it should be."
This was an attempt to make a school choice student leave the school (because Aisha was a momma bear advocating for her child)

Anonymous said...

Hey 3:49 - Yes, I have and not everyone agrees with you and your backstabbing ways! And thanks for correcting my misuse of words. Guess you are one of the teacher centered staff at the Middle School because education for you is about an "I-gotcha" mentality! Well done...not. We may have to choice out or go to a charter for a number of reasons including the folks that think like you.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Ed, Horse's Ass, Do you live in Maine? Massachusetts? Amherst? Hadley?

Anonymous said...

i love the anons who think they know who all the various anons are...

Anonymous said...

mr ed is a horse with an horse's ass...dr ed is just an ass!

Anonymous said...

Ed lives in Maine but he pines for Amherst like a love sick moose.

Rick Hood said...

"So you don't find it a tad unusual for a new Chair to have only 10 weeks experience as a School Committee member?"
I don't. That was same case for me when I became chair in 2010 and did it or 2 years.

+1 to 8:30 AM comments

@1:02 PM "The letter read by the Middle School principal was very informative. Talk about data - that is the type of data folks have been desperate for. " Yes!

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah Rick, and look at how well your tenure turned out (kidding, kidding).

Dr. Ed said...

"Guess you are one of the teacher centered staff at the Middle School because education for you is about an "I-gotcha" mentality!

No, penis breath, the Socratic method is "teacher centered."

Anonymous said...

Rick Hood
How much is the district paying you to put together "data" and how much is the superintendent paying you to be a spy with minorities in the community?

Dr. Ed said...

No Larry, I'm not kidding --other than further strengthening Caligula, what did he accomplish?

Or are weallowed to ask that?

Anonymous said...

Amherst full of white liberals who love to tell minorities how they should act and behave. Also love to tell minorities how they should feel about racism because you know they know what's best for them. Then their are the white liberals who talk a big game but would never actually speak up and do anything to help better the treatment of minorities...Love Amherst

Anonymous said...

No matter the race the district has a serious problem when it comes to bullying. From what I've seen and my own personal experience the administration is the worst. You want anything done if your child is being bullied? Ms. Hiza should just take her kid out, I certainly did because when I spoke up when my child was being bullied they called DCF on me, That is how they operate. My heart aches for Ms. Hiza and her child.

Anonymous said...

I think to try to appease one group of ppl that were getting frustrated and ignored for sov long the ms teachers. I think she fired the ns principal becAuse the pelham community/ amherst community were showing their unhappiness with marias decisions . Firing the middle school principal was a sacrifice to try to gather shine mind if positive support in trying times.. Of course this is all just my personal perception and is only based on my opinion of what I have seen.

Anonymous said...

I wish there was a way we could get all the parents of bullied children together in the district. It would be good to be around ppl that understand that is for sure.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting. I think even recognizing race in government as institutionalized racism. Making laws that note race, very racist. Clearly folks around here want to recognize race, and more importantly, change things based on the race we see. Racist, quite racist.

I guess this is like how we treat the first amendment....where congress is not supposed even make a law respecting the establishment of religion. People without thought or education read this basic english as freedom of religion, but it is deeper, when congress is supposed to go "catholics", we don't recognize or consider they even exist, they are people, nothing more, nothing less.

If we were not racist, we would be saying, "black", "gay", etc.... we are not even allowed to notice, they are people, nothing more, nothing less.

But lets be real, if you are black, gay, stupid or just misunderstood, you are a higher class citizen here out of sheer guilt of how in denial of how prejudiced the valley really is. So obsessed with these attributes, it backfires.

You know the community is racist if it can never stop talking about race. Statistically, the Valley is one of the most segregated places in the US. Full of all kids of races, in their own neighborhoods and towns. The people, of their own free will, segregate more here than most other places in the USA. This is called NOT putting your money where you mouth is. Maybe it would help if folks just shut their mouths.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of clueless people! The Middle School principal was not fired!! She is choosing to move on! Duh!!

Anonymous said...

anon@11:18: I don't believe she just decided to 'move on'. Either Ms Geryk made a poor hiring decision or she didn't get the support from Ms Geryk that she should have. Mr Malone said a year ago, he thought she was great but that she wouldn't last (his implication being she would burn out with the level of commitment required, and I think that was before the decision to not refill the assist Princ position). I don't know all the issues parents had last year, but reentering the revolving door of principals is not good. The middle school sucks, and it has to improve. Good news, the folks at ARHS run a great ship.

Rick Hood said...

"How much is the district paying you to put together "data" and how much is the superintendent paying you to be a spy with minorities in the community?
$0. $0 is also what I got paid for 6 years on the SC. Actually lost around $30K income in first 2 years due to time taken away from my business (self employed) during that period, when I was chair.

"spy with minorities in the community?"
Incredibly ignorant. Just like racists.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, 2:06. I appreciate that.

Anonymous said...

More teaching by adults rather than indoctrinization by those who want to be seen as kids' friends. And, i'm begging you, stop dressing like the students please.

Anonymous said...

That's not quite true . My hateful comments are entirely my own. Lol.

Anonymous said...

Again you point out that because someone is a certain color, they should be treated more specially. Why?

Anonymous said...

Who cares where he lives?

Anonymous said...

Hey, anon 8:30, how ya doin' buddy? Saw you at Barnes n Noble the other day...

Anonymous said...

Are you seriously proposing that we hire teachers, but do not trust their methods? So the educating comes from ...where? Tell me again. As a parent, I am (or was) under the impression that my daughter was learning under the tuteledge of certified instructors. No? Where am I off course here?

Anonymous said...

You speak as though there were something wrong with being white. There's a mental disorder known as Liberalism, yes. But to say "white" is offensive to a large group of people.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you identify the bully or bullies and punish them? Or is discipline non-existent?

Anonymous said...

I remember growing up with the phrase "...without regard to race, color or creed." Now it seems all we Do is regard these things. Pity.

Anonymous said...

Keep telling yourself that. Duh.

Anonymous said...

Your welcome 113

Forget Ed, Rick Hood's got the crush said...

"$0. $0 is also what I got paid for 6 years on the SC. Actually lost around $30K income in first 2 years due to time taken away from my business (self employed) during that period, when I was chair."


$30K?!


Is that all, Rick?


The town lost more. A LOT more.


Didn't it?


-Squeaky Squeaks

Anonymous said...

"Yes, I have and not everyone agrees with you and your backstabbing ways! And thanks for correcting my misuse of words. Guess you are one of the teacher centered staff at the Middle School because education for you is about an "I-gotcha" mentality! Well done...not. We may have to choice out or go to a charter for a number of reasons including the folks that think like you."

Wow. I don't know why you're so upset but I apologize for poking the hornet's nest. Backstabbing? How does that even make sense in this context?

I am actually a parent of a soon-to-be 8th grader. My son has had a great year at the M.S., despite the upheavals. My position is and will always be that supporting our teachers so they can properly educate our kids should be a priority. It is my impression many teachers were not feeling in the least supported by all the recent transformations.

Anonymous said...

"More teaching by adults rather than indoctrinization by those who want to be seen as kids' friends. And, i'm begging you, stop dressing like the students please."

I am confused. When did anyone say teachers were not supposed to be teaching? Student-centered means being responsive to the educational and learning needs of students and not just having a teacher instruct in a didactic manner. Teaching at students is not the same as teaching to and with students and ensuring they are understanding versus reiterating information. I don't know of a single teacher in Amherst who has ever expressed wanting to be the friend of their students.

Not sure who you second comment is directed at in terms of "stop dressing like the students please." Wanna clarify?

Dr. Ed said...

:As a parent, I am (or was) under the impression that my daughter was learning under the tuteledge of certified instructors. No? Where am I off course here?

1: Certified does not mean knowledgeable. 76% of elementary school teachers flunking a math exam ought to have been a wakeup call -- and wasn't.

2: There is a reason why I keep mentioning how everyone running things has a Psych background -- if no one has a subject matter background, no one recognizes excellence in it.

3: What we are seeing, nationally, is another reincarnation of the '70's madness that led to the "open learning" design of classrooms without walls. Two elementary schools come to mind on that.

(Larry, what's the status of that asinine MegaSkool?)

Yes, teachers in elementary grades depend on certain things having been taught in the grade before, and yes, subject matter teachers depend upon certain things being taught in other subjects -- science depends on math, social studies on English.

But this "team" concept, driven to the extreme, becomes the lowest common base.

4: The asinine concept that students should learn from each other.

5: The Borg Conspiracy -- this is why I don't like the Psych/SPED people running schools -- they are more about the collective than education in general or individual mastery of anything.

As a parent, BE a parent. Assess your daughter, not with exams nor grades, but with abilities. Does she use proper Grammar, can she place the US Civil War (1860-1865) and the US Constitution (1787,1789) in the correct half century? (Can you?)
Can she point out the five errors in this sentence, which actually appeared in a US History textbook:
"FDR ended the Korean War by dropping the Atomic Bomb."

6: Group learning -- the asinine nature of this has been pointed out well by others.

Dr. Ed said...

Tests & homework are how you ensure that your students are (or aren't) understanding the material.

Anonymous said...

And saying that being liberal is evidence of a mental disorder is also offensive to a large group of people.

Dr. Ed said...

Parents need to read this -- I know her personally, she's one of the few sane folks in K-12.

http://newbostonpost.com/2016/06/16/were-common-cores-ela-standards-written-by-charlatans-sure-seems-so/

Anonymous said...

Good manners and decent behavior should transcend race. So a white person can have an opinion on how another race acts.

Anonymous said...

I suppose so, but at least it isn't a racist statement

Anonymous said...

Has the bully suffered any consequence?

Anonymous said...

It's known as free speech.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:10..I assume your comment is sarcastic so please enlighten how it is racist?

Anonymous said...

The use of the word white privilege is not racist. Google it. If you are offended you must be white and denying this privilege. But try and understand it first. It is a concept, just like race is. A social concept(both) meant to oppress. Not all whites have this same privilege-it comes with more power and in this case more abuse, the more money one has. Until this comfortable little elite valley will understand this, these racist acts will continue and get worse. There is no safety issue here that Maria protected anybody from. She simply got kissed off at Aisha and retaliated against her using her power of authority. And that is a fact.

Katrina van Pelt said...

7:50 Thank you

Anonymous said...

It was at recess during the school day. So the white parent made a special trip. It was as simple as she saw her child (ren) being bullied and was defending them in the moment. The incident the put this parent over the edge had occurred previously. Telling a seven 7 old "you will be sry if you ever touch my kid again. I will take care of it if no one else will. Using words like i'm warning you.
Bottom line is Maria/Lisa had a perfect opportinty to make the race agruement much weaker by doing the right thing. I think they didn't ban this parent for lots of reason. This parent thinks the principal has it out for her due to unsubstantiated" according to the parent " dcf calls, they have to means to get a lawyer, there are two parents, they own property here, the publicity from Aishas ban. If my child got threatened by an adult during school I would be livid of nothing was done. I hope the parents of this child jave that serious discussion with chestnut st.

Anonymous said...

We don't need asst principal but we need medua relation person, a director of of every possible thing.. lets have a game.. Who can name all the admin titles that dont direct teach or supervise.

Anonymous said...

What 's wrong with saying "I'm warning you?"

Anonymous said...

Once again: who cares where the man lives? Is this blog's use restricted to Amherst residents? No, it isn't.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:50 seems to feel that just saying something is a fact makes it a fact. If anon would reread their post they would see it makes little logical sense. I believe you say race and white privilege are concepts that are both meant to oppress. I also think you meant social construct but all this terminology is hard to remember! My only point is that all races can be civil and enjoy good manners. Let's have some micromanners!

Dr. Ed said...

This is an issue of classism, not racism.

Never forget that there are more White families in poverty then there ARE Black families.

Anonymous said...

My hope with this school committee is that they feel comfortable asking critical questions regarding the decisions the Ms. Geryk and the admistration are making. I personally want to know why there are "interim" assistant principal positions posted in various schools. Why "interim"? Where and why have the administrators left?

Anonymous said...

At Fort River School the current Asst Principal will be the interim Principal next year. Hence Fort River needs an interim vice principal to take her place for one year.

Dr. Ed said...

Hey wait a second. We were told interim positions weren't posted, much to my surprise in the case of the MS Interim Principal.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

We are talking about an adult talking to a 7 year old during school with the purpose of scaring the child. The whole scenario is wrong would you want someone you hardly know talking to your child that way.

Jackie M'Vemba said...

What the hell are micromanners? How about just plain old manners?

Anonymous said...

The Amherst Bulletin 6/17/16) says:
"The notarized letter, Geryk said in the June 8th email, was hand delivered to Aisha Hiza of Chicopee the day after Memorial Day in advance of a conversation with Pelham Principal Lisa Desjarlais and Paul Wiley...

The notarized letter (dated May 31st) to Aisha states: "Based on the successful outcome of that conversation, the stay away order against you is lifted, in its entirety, effective June 1, 2016"

So- the successful outcome of the conversation occurred AFTER the letter of release was written, notarized and delivered to Aisha?

I can see why Aisha would be wary and not trust Maria - and the schools!

The schools need an attorney on site/ on call 24/7 to monitor their every move. (and the attorney that added fuel to this fire early on should not be consulted!)




Anonymous said...

I guess no one will answer the question about whether or not the alleged bully was disciplined in any way. Discipline seems to be a dirty word in the schools these days.

Anonymous said...

When did Aisha get the letter? (Maria's email of June 8th to the Bulletin states two different things)

The notarized letter, Geryk said in the June 8th email, was hand delivered to Aisha the day after Memorial Day (5/31/16) in advance of a conversation with Pelham Principal Lisa Desjarlais and Pau Wiley...

"At the end of that meeting (6/1/16), the parent was handed a notarized letter from me informing her that the stay-away order was lifted in its entirety as of June 1st, based on that facilitated meeting, Geryk said,"

Anonymous said...

The Godmother and her Consiglieres should be prosecuted under the RICO Act...follow the money!
And anon 8:20, it doesn't matter when the Godmother lifted the illegal stay away order. It only matters that she and her best girlfriend Consiglieres are so hateful and hungry for absolute power they issued the illegal order in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Jackie....micromanners is a play on micro aggression. ..

Dr. Ed said...

TY]he problem with ignoring procedure is that Aisha -- or anyone -- has a legitimate reason not to trust procedure.

Anonymous said...

Maria is the procedure...that is her job. No reason to make this difficult...oh yeah...it's Dr ed...never mind.....the left must be very conflicted. ...strong woman in charge versus black woman....it is primaries 2008 all over again....

Anonymous said...

Yes identity politics can be difficult!

Dr. Ed said...

"Maria is the policy" -- and no one notices.

Caligula -- her whim is law.

Seig Heil, Maria

Jackie M'Vemba said...

Lol. Funny word in itself.

Anonymous said...

Here we go with the Nazi comparisons. Well, Socialism (National or otherwise) still seems very popular with the lefties.

Anonymous said...





What a festering pit of lunacy this blog has become.




Dr. Ed said...

Fascist. Fascist analogies, Maria is a fascist.

Anonymous said...

No ed, nut job, the policy is that maria, the SI, decides these kinds of issues. The policy can be changed. It is a distinction that ed will never understand or doesn't want to understand. Maria is doing her job as it is defined by others! Now parse that out doctor as I know you will.

Anonymous said...

I'm just letting you know that some of minorities in the community see you as a spy and see no good in what you're doing buy instead you are a spy for the superintendent. So not ignorant just stating my thoughts. I would also like to ask don't you come from money? So 30k is chump change isn't it? I would love to see records that show that you have gotten paid $.0.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Maria may be doing her job in Amherst not in pelham

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Aisha was handed the letter June 1 before she met with Lisa and Paul

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

The restorAtive justice program lays no blame on the victim or the bullier. Discipline goes to the principal office yes it HAPPENED

Anonymous said...

Poor Rick...please prove you weren't payed.....go ahead and prove a negative....these people want to see your records but not aishas'

Anonymous said...

Ed, you are out of your mind.

Anonymous said...

What "happened" sickening? I don't understand you.

Anonymous said...

Ed's comments are so over the top they are embarrassing. Calling her Caligula and a fascist is very immature.

Anonymous said...

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY ED!

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

It was dated 5.31

Anonymous said...

I am going to stop commenting on ed because when he goes postal the media will say we drove him to it!

Anonymous said...

Explain 1:15 sickened

Anonymous said...

Hey Sickened...was that supposed to be an answer? What the the hell is the restorative justice program? Is that anything like plain old regular justice? And why would blame be laid on the victim anyway?

Anonymous said...

What would that legitimate reason be?

Anonymous said...

Maybe so. But Nazis were socialists.

Anonymous said...

Why do u come here, then?

Dr. Ed said...

The Nazis were no more socialist than FDR was, they were just more efficient.

zEver hear of the CCC or WPA? The Hoover Dam or the Cal Coolidge bridge?

Anonymous said...

Ah yes the old myth of Nazi efficiency. The Nazi were collectivist and FOR was a pragmatist and ed is a nitwitist!

Rick Hood said...

"some of minorities in the community see you as a spy"
Whoever it is, should say that to my face.

"I would also like to ask don't you come from money? So 30k is chump change isn't it?"
You might think that because my Dad was a self-made businessman who did pretty well. But he was also risk-taking entrepreneur, and he lost around 90% of his worth by the time he died. Which is fine, his money to lose. So, no 30k is not "chump change" to me. One more example of how people in this town love to assume things when they have no facts. If I could retire early, believe me I would.

"I would love to see records that show that you have gotten paid $.0."
Go ask Sean Mangano.

Anonymous said...

National Socialism. Sounds like fun, Adolph.

Nina Koch said...

So, 12:40 pm, what contributions have you made toward improving the community? Based on the evidence presented here, your main role is to repeat unsubstantiated gossip. Of course you hide behind the cloak of anonymity because you would be too embarrassed to attack someone in this way if people knew who you were.

And don't even try to put forward the retaliation argument. You're just engaging in flat out bad behavior and you don't want to admit to it. I might listen to what you had to say if you had the courage of your convictions.

Anonymous said...

To: "all the hateful comments on this blog come from maria geryk and her employees who are ordered to so under threat of employment termination." LOL, ROFL, LOL - Stupid is as stupid does! Anon: June 15 @ 3:15

Anonymous said...

https://thsppl.com/i-don-t-trust-white-people-even-the-liberal-ones-and-science-backs-me-up-18dc718bcc4b#.m99ds9xvu

This sums up life as a POC in the valley

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

She didn't havecpelhams, best interest in mind when she didn't deescaLate the situation with ms hiza. We get 5,000 for school choice how much did she she's so far on lawyers fit that situation? She also didn't think about his this would effect our school choice numbers. She hasn't been a positive leader or take the bullying situation seriously now the mass exit had,begun and we are continuing to lose students because parents are pulling them out if our school. When the law suit moves forward pelham will be held responsible and we will take the heat fir her bad decisions.