Sunday, March 8, 2009

UNprivileged

This is my version of the meeting of February 24 mentioned in Zippo's disciplinary letter. Union representatives.Clyde Baker and Thor Heyerdahl were present.


ZIPPO: We are meeting today regarding an incident that happened on Friday, February 6.

If you’ll remember on Friday, February 6 Ms. Xavier and myself came up to room 273 during science class with 7B during period one at approximately 8:30, based on the report of two students that you were very very angry

Two students approached us and stated that we needed to come to the class because Ms. Moriah was yelling at the class. The students stated specifically that you were making statements including I swear to my God. I swear to your God, I swear to everyone’s God.

BAKER: Are those the words you heard?

ZIppo: No those were statements made to Ms. Xavier and myself by two students.

BAKER: And you’ll show us those statements.

ZIPPO Absolutely

HEYERDAHL: These students left the room?

MORIAH As soon as I said this?

ZIPPO I don’t know at what point they left the room, but they approached Ms. Xavier and myself in the main office at about 8:30, 8:20.

MORIAH Main office?

ZIPPO That’s where they approached me, yes.

MORIAH So I gave them a pass to the main office or they just ran out of the room without a pass?

ZIPPO That I would have to ask you, Ms. Moriah

BAKER Do we know who the students are?

ZIPPO I do have statements for you and if you like we’ll make copies, as soon as you sign a privacy agreement.

MORIAH: No privacy agreement will be signed.

BAKER You’ll have to white out the names, and therefore, we can’t validate whether Ms. Moriah wrote a pass for them.

ZIPPO This is not about writing a pass. That’s not the nature of this meeting.
In response to the complaints by the two students, Ms. Xavier and myself then arrived in 273. When we arrived there, we looked in and I observed Ms. Moriah standing there, arms folded and I observed a lot of noise and ruckus from the class. They were in their seats, but there was a lot of talking.

BAKER: Was the door open or closed.

ZIPPO It was closed.

MORIAH I was standing with my arms folded?

ZIPPO Folded or crossed in front of you, yes.

We opened the door into the room and I stated to Ms. Moriah, I asked her “Is everything all right?’ You responded, "No, everything is not all right. I am being accused by the whole class of saying something which I did not say and do not want to repeat.


ZIPPO Once you said that, there was a lot of calling out. I made the motion with my hands to quiet down, which they did, and I asked you if there was a lesson in progress, You replied, "No, there is no lesson in progress. How can I teach when the whole class is arguing with me?"

MORIAH Arguing with me or accusing me?

ZIPPO Well, I took notes soon after and my notes say that you replied, “No there is no lesson in progress. How can I teach when the whole class is arguing with me. I cannot teach when the class is arguing with me.

At that point I requested that a teacher walking in the hallway come take over the class, and I asked you to meet us in the principal’s office.

MORIAH: Could I ask, if you saw the students misbehaving and the teacher not misbehaving, why is the teacher being removed, and not the students who were causing the problem?

ZIPPO: Well, we’ll get to the cause of the issue, but at that moment it is the teacher’s responsibility to maintain an appropriate environment and decorum in the classroom.

MORIAH So you removed the teacher, not the students.

ZIPPO; We removed the teacher based on your statements that there was no learning going on. It was not an environment conducive to learning.

MORIAH So you removed the teacher.

ZIPPO: I removed the teacher for being argumentative with the class.

MORIAH I was being argumentative? I was not saying anything to the class when you came in, and I stated that the class was yelling and disrespecting me, but I was punished in the eyes of the students. I was taken out. Not the disruptive students.

ZIPPO: They were moderately disruptive. As I mentioned, there was some calling out. They called out particularly in response when you said “how can I teach with the whole class arguing and/or accusing me”?

MORIAH: So the whole class was yelling and screaming and saying some very very upsetting things to me.

ZIPPO I couldn’t discern

MORIAH You couldn’t discern, but you basically blamed the teacher, and accused the teacher, and punished the teacher when the teacher was doing nothing wrong when you came into the class, but standing in front of the class. So on the word of two students who had left without permission, with a pass, you blamed the teacher.

ZIPPO Ms. Moriah what occurred with two students, is they brought to our attention an incident in the classroom. We responded to the classroom. No instruction was taking place and you were engaged, basically arguing with the class when we got there.

MORIAH: No..

ZIPPO; When we arrived you were saying nothing at that moment, but it was clear that there was no instruction occurring and that it was a back and forth exchange. Once you stated, “How can I teach when the whole class is arguing with me or accusing me, the class then responded to you, so it was clear that this was a pattern that had occurred. Bottom line, there was no instruction, as was your responsibility. So that’s not an acceptable use of instructional time.

MORIAH: In other words, the children were misbehaving, but you removed the teacher.

ZIPPO The teacher was removed because it was inappropriate use of classroom time and it led to an environment of arguing in the classroom.

MORIAH The class was calling out and accusing—specific students were calling out and accusing me and I was saying, “I swear to God, that’s not true. I never said that, because it was so heinous that I needed to make a statement that everybody would understand and I swore it. If I had had a Bible, I would have sworn on the Bible that I did not say that. They needed to know that I did not say what the boys were saying that I said…and this isn’t blasphemy, because the President swears to God when he takes his oath of office.

BAKER: We do it everyday when we say the pledge of allegiance.

MORIAH: That’s right. I was swearing to God. I was taking an oath before God that I did not say what they were accusing me of saying. What they were calling out in loud voices. That is not an argument. That is an oath.

ZIPPO: Can I ask you what it was that they were accusing you of saying?

MORIAH After reading the statements, I will respond in writing.

ZIPPO After you were removed from the class, you reported down to the main office. Subsequent to that I did interview a number of students from the class. I have the statements from the students.

MORIAH I’ll be very interested to read them.

BAKER How was the interview conducted?

ZIPPO I spoke to the students individually. I called them out of class one by one.

BAKER One at a time?

ZIPPO One at a time in this office.

BAKER: And when you called one out, the other one went back to the classroom?

ZIPPO; Yes, they did.

BAKER: And so they had a chance to tell everyone else what had happened.

MORIAH During which period did you call them out?

ZIPPO The interviews occurred several days later on the Thursday prior to vacation.

MORIAH So this is one week later.

ZIPPO It occurred on Thursday, yes.

MORIAH One week later.

ZIPPO Four school days later.

HEYERDAHL: So these statements were obtained on the following Thursday. It was not done on that Friday.

MORIAH: So they had plenty of time to talk amongst themselves. Not during four days, but six days.

ZIPPO Ms. Moriah you can assume or deduce anything. The statements were taken on Thursday, we’ll be glad to give you specifics….

MORIAH Six days later.

ZIPPO; Looking at some of the statements, there were some inconsistencies over exact language and some other points, However, there were some consistencies you will notice when you read them. I have to ask you, did you ask three children to go to another classroom to write statements?

MORIAH; I asked three children to go to the classroom next door to write statements.

ZIPPO What was the reason for that?

MORIAH They were disagreeing with the boys who were accusing me and the boys who were accusing me were running over to them and threatening them, so I sent them out and told them to just write down what they were trying to say.

BAKER: Would you please write down what she said? That the boys were threatening the girls.

ZIPPO: Let me ask you this. Did you ask the girls specifically to write down on a piece of paper that you did not say anything.

MORIAH: The girls were disagreeing. The boys were threatening them. Same boys…

ZIPPO: Did you ask the girls to specifically write down on a piece of paper..

MORIAH: I told them to go write on a piece of paper what they were trying to say to me when the boys threatened them.

HEYERDAHL In other words, the girls were interrupted by threatening boys and that’s why she sent them out of the room.

MORIAH They had a right to say their opinion, and I told them to write down whatever their opinion was.

ZIPPO During that period did you say to the class that they were acting like animals?

MORIAH No, I did not.

ZIPPO That’s all the questions I have. Do you have any questions? I can give you the statements.

MORIAH I would like the statements, with the names whited out of course, because they will not be priviledged. Now or ever. I will discuss them with whomever I want to--write them wherever I want to.

ZIPPO( Copying down and repeating what I said) They are not priviledged…

MORIAH Nor will they ever be.

ZIPPO: And you will discuss them with…

MORIAH: Anyone I please—not just my representatives, as would happen if I signed a confidentiality agreement, which I will not.

ZIPPO ends meeting.

2 comments:

Chaz said...

Disgusting how the administrators,in their zeal to get the teacher, ignore the facts.

moriah said...

yes, but this can be made in to work in the teacher's favor if the teacher takes really, really good notes of absolutely everything that was said, and then converts the notes to a transcript shortly after the meeting.
It's also important not to share these notes with them before they write their letters. That way they can be caught in lie after lie.