Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Shame & Disgrace?

Vince O'Connor told SB the school controversy brought "shame & disgrace" to Amherst

The Amherst Select Board received an earful of pent up frustration from speakers decrying the Aisha Hiza affair, the single mom banned for ten weeks from public school property for standing up in a forthright manner for her 7-year-old bullied daughter.

 Aisha Hiza (center) Vira Douangmany Cage (far right)

This was their first session in six weeks back at Town Hall since they had been meeting in a hard to find back room in the Middle School while Amherst Town Meeting is in session, something that takes up way more time than it should.  And because of time constraints on their agenda they did not take Public Comment during those abbreviated meetings.

But last night they got back into the swing of regular meetings in a five-hour marathon that started on a somber note with a moment of silence for the victims of the Orlando massacre.

Connie Kruger led the SB into a moment of silence

Then they moved to an upbeat celebration of two new AFD firefighters and Steve Gaughan's  promotion to captain, as well as announcements of our public school students winning the Human Rights Commission "Heroes award."




Chief Nelson welcomes Joshua Steininger (left), Michael Sawicki



Steve Gaughen promoted to Captain


But then things became contentious when Chair Alisa Brewer announced the next item would be the Select Board response to Vira Douangmany Cage's fiery email from a few weeks backs asking if we are "in the deep Jim Crow South," because the Select Board had been silent on the Aisha Hiza affair.

Connie Kruger read to the board her reworked letter response of last week's draft version that board members were unhappy with me for releasing.  

It played out along the same "not my problem" theme:  The controversy was a school issue and the Select Board has no jurisdiction over the public schools.  And they had complete faith in APD Chief Livingstone (who attended but did not speak), Superintendent Maria Geryk and the Amherst School Committee (neither in attendance).

Moreover,  they were not privy to all the details of the matter so could not make an informed judgement in the particular case of Aisha Hiza being banned for over ten weeks via the stay away order.

Click to enlarge/read

Temporary Town Manager Peter Hechenbleikner took some heat for his statement two weeks ago that he knew more than the Select Board and based on this secret knowledge deemed the situation not a matter of social justice.

Aisha Hiza was the last to speak from the floor, directly asking Mr. Hechenbleikner if he would blindly sign a legal release without knowing what that allegedly incriminating information was?

And if the School Superintendent wanted to have a signed okay to release said information, why can't she release it to the person in question first?



The board voted unanimously to support Ms. Kruger's response and the letter will be mailed to Ms. Cage today.

The Select  Board then, appropriately enough, went on to an extended discussion of medical marijuana.


68 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your photo shows Vira sitting right there. Couldn't they just hand the letter to her?

I'm glad the SB didn't waste more time on this school committee issue.

Larry Kelley said...

There were a few scrivener's errors they wanted to correct before signing it, which did not happen till the end of the l-o-n-g meeting.

Anonymous said...

You say she was banned solely for advocating for her child. That is not a factual statement and you know that. That is a statement meant to inflame.

Larry Kelley said...

So is yours.

Dr. Ed said...

Saying you have complete faith in Caligula is not staying neutral.

Secret files on people -- how Nixonian. Selectboard should be ashamed of themselves.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why she was banned and may never know!

Anonymous said...

I'm so ready for this shitshow to be over. On all sides, a disgraceful chapter in town politics. I'm waging that the mother is going to profit VERY handsomely from this affair. Nice maneuvering for ca$h under the guise of social justice. The payout that teacher got last year and this one should be a wake up call to dissolve the current school administration.

Larry Kelley said...

I'm pretty sure money is not her top priority.

Dr. Ed said...



I think it is time to re-evaluate the teacher incident -- I still don't think that was racism, but it might have been psychological warfare, something Maria has studied although under the friendlier name of "Cognitive/Behavioral."

Did Geryk intentionally push that teacher over the edge?

And if Aisha was after cash, she could have filed a MCAD complaint months ago, merely pointing out disparate impact (i.e no White parents banned) and have five figures on that alone.

And as to $$$, don't think that the districts won't wind up paying for 12 years of uber-expensive private school before this is over...

Daddy, what does "sniveling" feel like? said...

"I'm so ready for this shitshow to be over. On all sides, a disgraceful chapter in town politics. I'm waging that the mother is going to profit VERY handsomely from this affair. Nice maneuvering for ca$h under the guise of social justice. The payout that teacher got last year and this one should be a wake up call to dissolve the current school administration."




I very directly (and single-highhandedly) started warning this town


---> 9 <--- years ago.



NINE


YEARS.


That it's still recoiling from it's responsibility to do ANYTHING


is an absolute


fcking


~disgrace~.



-Squeaky Squeaks



p.s. Fortunately, the Iranian clerics still love you. Assholes.

Anonymous said...

She won't sue. If she did the whole true story would come out. And no way she wants the truth to be known.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
"I don't know why she was banned and may never know!"

Aisha doesn't know and may never know either...
"information we find credible" didn't provide her with any information.

Anonymous said...

Yes the school committee issue which is where she went initially it's kind of like that when you're at Walmart and you're looking for an item and every single person you talk to tell you it's in a different department and you run around in circles Rebecca

Anonymous said...

I know she's not looking for money Aisha and I have had this conversation I can tell you any money she gets the bullying program in the district will benefit greatly from because her main goal is not the money it's fixing the problems after exposing them

Anonymous said...

Doesn't Pelham have its own town government? Why isn't this before their Select Board not ours?

Anonymous said...

Aisha knows.....

Dr. Ed said...

Aisha knows.....

And Maria knows how much Maria weighs.....

Why won't Maria tell us????

Anonymous said...

Idiot rednecks (Vince) or pseudo-intellectuals playing in politics. Welcome to Amherst.

Anonymous said...

That's a good point - Pelham has a Select Board. Why wasn't this a Pelham issue?

Anonymous said...

"Doesn't Pelham have its own town government? Why isn't this before their Select Board not ours?"

Pelham does not have jurisdiction over the Amherst Police Department -- who are involved both directly & indirectly in this matter -- more than Aisha may realize.

If the truth ever comes out on this, the Selectboard's 2-faced response of noninvolvement yet endorsement of both SI & Chief is going to come back to bite them.

I don't thinkVera's email was strongly worded ENOUGH.

Anonymous said...

Pelham selectboard was not significant to consult. It was brought to the Amherst SB by Vira I think because she thought the SI shouldn't have invloved Amherst PD in a Pelham issue but Vira will have to answer for sure. Im sure that answer is too simplified.

Anonymous said...

Maria also knows, as does the Pelham SC I suspect. Maria also knows she has a sweet deal if she can keep a mejority the Reg Sc happy she will never lose her position. Three different contracts all entertwined are hard to terminate.

Anonymous said...

#1...it's always about money.People go on strike it's never about the money until it is! #2 ..Walmart is the worse managed store I have ever been in and it smells like cheap plastic and Subway sandwiches...yuck!

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:19 seems to have very deep sources....maybe they know Maria's weight or if Dr ed lives in Maine!

Anonymous said...

Yes it is welcome to Aisha's reality of the run around. Walmart another badly run entity for sure.

Anonymous said...

It is so much more pleasurable to go to target though I think Walmart is cheaper but then again a lot of their product is cheaply made.

Anonymous said...

This has been made an Amherst issue for political purposes.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:04 - You are f*#+ing hilarious.....that mom will be laughing all the way to the bank! Gardner said it wasn't about the money either ....she laughed all the way to the bank with $170k. What a joke!!!!

Anonymous said...

Larry - You are even more slimy than I originally thought. Such drama you spin for your friends, for money, and your own pathetic need for attention. One day your children will read this blog and they will come to see you in a light that is less than pleasant. That is the legacy you have left for many other people in the town and community, so it will only be fitting for your family as well.

Anonymous said...


Edit:



"I very directly (and single-highhandedly) started warning this town..."


To:


"(and single-handedly)".



-Squeaky Squeaks

Anonymous said...

Well if Maria resigns we will never know.. If Maria resigns the lawsuit would go away. For Aisha this is about the truth. If Gardner won Aisha will win. It get expensive to continually pay out the SI salary dbl every year to cover her self inflicted lawsuits. Geryks Gotto Go one way or another. If the SC doesn't have the guts to do it.. Maybe the courts will help them grow a spine.

Anonymous said...

Expensive choices Maria makes .. Is she worth the cost ?

Anonymous said...

His karma will only be outshined by Maria's.. But hell maybe she can earn her next million on a reality tv show instead of being over paid and under educated.

Anonymous said...

She will not laugh... Until She gets justice which is not always in the form of money. However we appreciate the vote of confidence in the W column.

Anonymous said...

As seen tonight Welcome to the new fluffy SC meeting. Oh Maria we are hear to support you.. Tea? Wine ? A pillow?
Next step massive Choice/ charter out..They only understand money.

Anonymous said...

Oh please--this is an issue of class and race--the rich white upper class who oppress people over and over are running this town-pelham is simply an extension of amherst.This is a situation of a strong Black woman who is being trampled by a racist, elite community--please see this for what it is--so it stops happening--our children are the ones who receive the short end of the stick--all the infighting over the injustices is simply insane! and like it's been said before--they don't need to wear their white hoods and long white robes anymore--and they don't have to meet in barns at night--they can meet in public forums--aka selectboard meetings--school committee meetings--human rights commission meetings. when the truth prevails--and it always does--I hope you can understand it and stop denying and running from it.

Anonymous said...

Did Maria do something to ms gardner? I don't remember it that way.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:19 seems to have very deep sources....maybe they know Maria's weight

Well, medical records are all on-line now, many on some quite unsecure servers...

Anonymous said...

Really Larry? Who am I inflaming? Those who stand for factual reporting?

Anonymous said...

Maria bent over backwards to support Ms. Gardner. Another manufactured crisis resulting in tens of thousands of tax payer dollars making their way to Ms. Gardner's pockets.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Just wow! Again I say where do you find these wing nuts Larry?

Anonymous said...

anon 2:11: yes, school district coughed up $180,000 because Maria discriminated against Ms. Gardner because of the color of her skin. how many teachers could Maria hire for $180,000?

anon 5:46: you make me laugh and then cry. Maria bullied Ms. Gardner the same way she continues to bully Aisha. The $180,000 pay off to Ms. Gardner, and the eventual pay-off to Aisha, was and is bully-fully manufactured by Maria and school employees like you. Better circle the wagons hateful school employee anons, we taxpayers are mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore.

Anonymous said...

"And Maria knows how much Maria weighs....."

Ed, just FYI, every time you bring this up -- trying in vain to make a point that no one except you comprehends -- you merely reinforce the impression that you are obsessively fixated on Ms. Geryk's appearance, dating back to your comments about her being "cute".

(Yes, yes, we know: the "cute" comments were all taken completely out of context. I'm sure these weight comments are, too.)

Dr. Ed said...

Kurt:

1: Had you actually quoted the entire paragraph, or even entire sentence -- then or now -- any person with an IQ above 12 would see the sarcasm dripping off the "cute" comments.

2: As to her weight, if you can't comprehend how NO woman would like her weight to be publicly announced, you will never understand my point.

3: The only thing I'm "obsessively fixated on" is that mean, incompetent,& unprofessional schmuck being fired.

4: You do a good job of how anyone who disagrees with Caligula gets smeared with a "crazy" and/or "dangerous" label. I was going to stop calling her Caligula before this, but now, no...

Anonymous said...

Please, beautiful people...just shop at Whole Foods. If you don't drop dead over the high prices. Leave Walmart to those poor folks for whom it's a budget issue.

Anonymous said...

They find him. Thanks a lot Obama. Racism at every turn. It'll turn into sexism if the execrable Clinton is let in.

Anonymous said...

Had you actually quoted the entire paragraph, or even entire sentence -- then or now -- any person with an IQ above 12 would see the sarcasm dripping off the "cute" comments.

Really, Ed? You want to publicly humiliate yourself again?

Very well; I'm glad to help. Your original comments are pasted below, in their entirety. They can be found, in even fuller context, here:

http://onlyintherepublicofamherst.blogspot.com/2011/01/town-manager-presents-no-override.html

------------------

So, if it's not Maria on Thursday night, expect the howling to begin.

And if it is Maria on Thursday night, expect the WAR to begin. This will be the open indication to all of just how corrupt the ARSD is and as to the benefits of school choice and home schooling.

If Maria G is hired without my being shown a clear reason why she is more qualified than the other two candidates with the doctorate she lacks --- something I am currently busting my a** to get -- then I will consider her an illegitimate fraud and act accordingly.

If Maria G is hired because she is cute and has a hot body then it will be very clear to absolutely everyone that this is all a chirade and that working within the system is ineffective and that we need to openly attack it. And we will. War will have been declared...

You children are declaring war on people with whom you truly do not wish to fight -- can we please make this a fair process where we look at qualifications and not whom she is married to?????

Or do we have war?

------------------

Catherine S., Maria G, and at least (2) of the finalists all like Banana Bread.

As do I. Will all of them come over to my apartment and bake me some? Will they wash my dirty dishes as well? Maybe sort my assorted dirty clothes into the appropriate hampers?

Folk, there are a lot of responsibilities and no small amount of money involved in this decision -- just because she is cute is not quite good enough of a reason to hire her...

I really do like freshly-baked Banana Bread....

Anonymous said...

ed got burned bad...but be careful...he may be a psychopath!

Dr. Ed said...

And if it is Maria on Thursday night, expect the WAR to begin. This will be the open indication to all of just how corrupt the ARSD is and as to the benefits of school choice and home schooling.

And there hasn't been a dramatic increase in both Home Schooling & Charter enrollment?

If Maria G is hired without my being shown a clear reason why she is more qualified than the other two candidates with the doctorate she lacks --- something I am currently busting my a** to get -- then I will consider her an illegitimate fraud and act accordingly.

She is a fraud, I regret not acting accordingly.

"If Maria G is hired because she is cute and has a hot body then it will be very clear to absolutely everyone that this is all a chirade and that working within the system is ineffective and that we need to openly attack it. And we will. War will have been declared..."

Kurt, you don't want to go there.

I consider marriage sacred and I know you have two children.

Please don't make me reveal what I was alluding to there.
You don't want me to -- trust me.

Kurt, you don't want me to do this.

Dr. Ed said...

ed got burned bad...but be careful...he may be a psychopath!

If Ed were a psychopath, lots of bad things would have happened long ago.

Trust me...

Anonymous said...

That sounds like a threat, Ed.

Anonymous said...

Have the bullies been found and disciplined?

Anonymous said...

So-called Rednecks, whom you demean often here, can't wait until Civil War II to take revenge on you holier-than-thou prigs in this stuck-up town. Idiots? Keep telling yourself you're smarter.

Anonymous said...

There you go again. Whites oppress. Especially rich ones. Demeaning racist bullshit. Another hater speaks!

Anonymous said...

"Please don't make me reveal what I was alluding to there."

Ed, I'm begging you: spill it all. I do want you to do it.

Why am I begging? Because I know there's nothing to reveal. You're just trying to distract attention from the obvious fact that there was no sarcasm whatsoever in your comments.

[Prediction: You'll demur, while mumbling something about being too honorable to destroy something sacred, too busy to bother, or some other ridiculous and transparent excuse. Or maybe you'll go through all kinds of semantic contortions, trying to prove you actually were being sarcastic. That's always fun to watch.]

Larry Kelley said...

Sorry Squeaky, that one gets a No.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I believe it's true and accurate.


Inflammatory, you betcha. But 1000% true? Absolutely.


-Squeaky Squeaks


p.s. Further, for all the people complaining when Larry withholds a comment, don't. Respect this man. He really is a kind of "hero" (or whatever you want to call it). Period. We all owe HIM.

Dr. Ed said...

That sounds like a threat, Ed.

WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT.

Dr. Ed said...

My guess -- just a guess -- is that Squeaky (and others) also know what I do...

And as the editorial decision has already been made, the point is moot.

Anonymous said...

Hey anon 10:26....I believe ed is anti-Semantic...

Anonymous said...

Please others...tell us what ed does?

Anonymous said...

Ed is a professional internet commenter.

Dr. Ed said...

Make that "knows what I know."

And calling me anti-Semantic is actually hilarious.

What alternative dimension of reality do you live in?

Anonymous said...

Uh ed.... anti semantic is a pun based on anon 10:26 ..."penis breath" dolt!

Anonymous said...

"Make that "knows what I know."




Definitely Ed.




-Squeaky Squeaks

Dr. Ed said...

And Squeaky, that's her qualification to be superintendent.

Anonymous said...

I love when squeaky and ed talk to each other....mental illness in action!

Dr. Ed said...

Well, as having a mental capacity is a prerequisite, no one would ever falsely make such an accusation of you.