Justice…Love…or something different!

All of us that are so easily influenced by what we read and see in the news for headlines sake will now be rendering judgement on individuals and institutions based on inflammatory headlines and half truths.

Daily Journal Article 9/7/2017

So here we are again.  There’s the mug shot.  There are the allegations.  There is a lot of detail here.  This is a lot more than I have seen in the past.  So much information.  Time to reopen wounds and maybe pour a little vinegar on them.  Now for the opinions that matter.  I am not talking about the ones rendered by a jury or a judge.  It’s us.  All of us.  All of us that are so easily influenced by what we read and see in the news for headlines sake will now be rendering judgement on individuals and institutions based on inflammatory headlines and half truths.  So from my own experiences with this institution and the players here, I would like to give some perspective.

  1. The person pictured has already plead guilty to a crime.  This crime has elements that are not being contested and has been accepted by prosecutors and he is awaiting the sentencing on these crimes.
  2. The rest of the article deals with allegations that are pursuant to a civil matter.  The person filing the complaint is looking for monetary damages…as if you can truly quantify those damages.  Those monetary damages come in the form of compensatory and punitive damages.  Often the punitive damages run very high as to send a message.  You can’t collect high damages from a teacher, so go ahead and name everyone you can think of at the school.  On the surface you would think that the victim is justified to seek the highest damages available, but consider this.
    1. The victim is not filing suit.  It is the parent who “loves” them.  Part of that love includes publicly stating all of the things that they say happened to them.  The attempt to protect her identity includes the use of initials which don’t protect the identity in the least, but instead, reinforce the identity.  Any pain and suffering experienced up to this point will now be multiplied as the entire world will enter the “opinion market”.  Also remember that these are still only allegations.
    2. Punitive damages means making the institution responsible for what took place.  That means that everyone who was involved in the process has to be listed individually so that they, the loving parents, can extract their pound of flesh.  Don’t get me wrong…I absolutely believe that there are individuals who deserve blame…lots of blame, but there are others who did the best that they could in a situation that can present itself without warning despite what you hear in assemblies and meetings.
    3. The guild by association deal.  If you are seen as a friend of an individual and they do something wrong, then it is so easy to attribute statements made by them particularly when you are “fanning the flames”.

I have had far too much experience with bad decisions made by stupid administrators and to this date I have not extracted my “pound of flesh”.  I can honestly say that it is because I can’t blame children for acting like children and if they are to remain innocent as they should, then I shouldn’t proceed.  They were not even my children.

Still, today, those persons still exist at the school in their administrative capacities.  Maybe I should’ve been like this loving parent and pushed a lot harder.  Do I think it could’ve prevented irresponsible actions of a teacher?  Nah.  I am not that important…but the leadership is and the school and the district have been suffering for years from lack of leadership.

Enough said.  I gotta go and contact my attorney.

~Peace

Justice Delayed

As I approach my retirement, I can’t help but wonder…what if?  There are a number of “what if” questions that I would ask.  For example, what if I never purchased that bicycle?  What if I never took an interest in the guitar?  What if I didn’t follow my passion?  The list could go on and on…but there is usually one “what if” that haunts everyone.

In my job for the last 17 years, you could definitely divide it into two distinct halves.  The first half could be defined as the “passion years.”  In those days, my passion defined my work hours.  I was committed to delivering the kind of experiences that I never had in high school and I treated that as a mission.  That commitment meant that I never watched the clock and was often surprised that I was receiving a paycheck.  I never worked so hard and I never had so much joy and I delivered experiences to the students that they had never had before in this school.

Things changed in 2011 when it became clear to me that my ability to communicate my value to the school became compromised.  The “entitlement mentality” meant that if a person (student or staff member) felt that they were somehow mistreated, they could complain loud enough and use the prevailing political climate to effect a change to their advantage.

What followed were 2 attempts to revoke my tenure, based on the combined desire of the district to save money and put a “favored” teacher into a position that she was clearly unqualified for and honestly, unavailable to do.  While they didn’t succeed either time, I was suspended for…nothing…for an entire year.  But it changed me.  It changed how I approached my job, shortchanged my students and robbed me of over a year of salary and pension time.

Several years ago, a student interviewed me as part of a project for a documentary.  Here is her footage.  I have been fighting this travesty for over four years now.  My lawsuit has gone nowhere.

I stand on the side of truth.  I have conducted myself with the highest ethics.  I have pointed out the violations of policy and ethics to my employers, my attorney(s), and still nothing.  Justice delayed???  Justice denied!!!!

As a footnote here, it should be noted that, coincidentally, the size and quality of the music and theatrical program that I had built, has fallen off considerably since my removal from this position.  Also, the size of the student body has dropped by over 30%…coincidentally…or maybe not coincidentally.