HO: Did HOWARD lodge any kind of allegation against you?
Me: Yeah, he said I grabbed his arm.
HO: OK. Did you visit HOWARD before or after he said you grabbed his arm?
Me: That was before the allegation was given to me.
HO: OK. When did you visit HOWARD—the home visit?
Me: This was …just after election day.
Me: The weekend after election day. And I hadn’t received any allegations.
So that’s why I said that I had to do that contact with MADELENE at about the same. time.
HO: OK. We established that election day was November 4. OK. HOWARD made an allegation that you had grabbed his hand on November 3.
Me: Not to me.
HO: He didn’t have to make the allegation to you.
Me: But I didn’t know about it.
HO: Did you grab his hand on November 3?
HO Who investigated that?
HO: PRINCIPAL P.?
Me: I don’t know.
HO: That’s corporal punishment, right?
Me: Yes, but that meeting was not held until after I talked to the parents.
HO: Ok but at some point you had a meeting. Was it a disciplinary conference about that incident? What was determined from that.
Me: That she believed him.
HO OK, so…you have a situation, again I’m not there. I’m the investigator, I’m not there in any of these things. You have an incident on November 3, alleged incident.
Me: But to me it wasn’t an incident. I didn’t know anything about the incident until I was informed by the principal after these conversations took place.
HO I understand. I understand. There’s an alleged incident according to HOWARD on November 3 where Ms. UNTAMED allegedly pulled HOWARD’s hand. He was writing down on paper problems that he had with Ms UNTAMED. According to HOWARD, you grabbed and pulled his hand and took the paper from him, OK? And stated, stop writing things about me. This is what HOWARD states. After that incident you visited occured HOWARD’s home, very early, unannounced and you told HOWARD’s mother that he lied and that you never grabbed his hand, only grabbed the paper. And you stated to his mother that SILAS is making comments and threatening you and that if you fail him he would tell his parents and you stated that all the students are a negative influence on HOWARD and making him tell lies on you. Does any of that ring a bell?
Me: OK what happened was that we were having a test and the boys were calling out—same four boys—were calling out that MADELENE was cheating and so since they were making noise during the test I gave them each a piece of paper—not looseleaf, a piece of white computer paper --and said if you have something that you want me to know or if you have a complaint, write it down.
HO During the test?
Me: During the test, because they were calling out, saying, “she’s cheating, and you’re not paying any attention. She’s cheating. So I said, whatever you want to say, write it down on this piece of paper.
HO Was she cheating?
Me: Well, let’s leave MADELENE and go back to the boys. SILAS PATECO, HOWARD, JAREL, and I forget if there was anybody else, oh, ALAN. I gave them paper so that if they had complaints or if they were seeing anything that they were very upset about, not to call out during the test—not to call out and disturb everybody, but write it down. So I gave them the paper, and they were quietly writing, and everybody else was doing the test, and I went around picking up the scantrons—there was no other paper on the desk—only scantrons and the white paper I gave the boys to write on and so then I said, ok, give me the paper, so I took the paper from a couple of the boys and then HOWARD said, “I’m not going to give it to you. And I said, “What’s the point of me giving you the paper to write on if you’re not going to give it to me and so he say’s “UHHH” and he was going like this (giving me the paper and then snatching it back when I went to take hold of it) and so I was reaching for it, and as he was going like that (waving it around), but there was no grabbing. There might have been contact, because he was going like this, like playing around and that was it. And so I didn’t know that that was going to be an allegation until later.
Me: I’ve got to check the dates because I have the dates of that test—was it the third?
HO: So during a test some male students were saying that MADELENE was cheating.
Me: That she had answers written on her hand.
HO: Did she?
Me: Well I didn’t check to see if she had answers written on her hand, no.
HO: Why not.
Me: Because I didn’t believe them. She didn’t look like she was cheating and there was no answers to be written on hands for that test. She couldn’t have written down the answers ahead of time for the test. It wasn’t that kind of test.
ADVOCATE: You were trying to shut the boys up by giving them a paper so that they wouldn’t disturb the whole class.
Me: That’s basically it. And I have those papers that the boys wrote, and again they don’t have dates and they aren’t signed, but I have the papers that HOWARD wrote.
HO How did you get HOWARD’s?
Me: He finally, you know, he was going like this (waving the paper around making like to give it to me and then pulling it back as I tried to take it) and we made contact. There was no grabbing. Finally he just let go.
Me: It was playing around.
HO: Did you bring the letters?
Me: The letters that they wrote? No.
HO: Wouldn’t that have been key to that corporal punishment allegation, that they saw something that HOWARD had wrote?
Me: There was no signature and no date.
HO: It doesn’t matter. It’s either his handwriting or it isn’t. You say this is what HOWARD wrote.
ADVOCATE: And what happened to those papers?
Me: I have them at home. I also have a paper that MADELENE wrote that said “I wasn’t cheating” and I told her, “I know.”
HO: I mean that would be key. “Hey this is what HOWARD wrote about MADELENE cheating.
ADVOCATE: Did they give you a chance to respond to that allegation that you touched HOWARD’s hand?
Me: I said that I hadn’t.
ADVOCATE: And you’re investigating that as well, or is this part of something else?
HO No, no. So she’s saying…I’m not even investigating that. That’s something that PRINCIPAL P. investigated.
Me: To be honest, if PRINCIPAL P. didn’t know about this, it’s all the better for me ,because they just would have worked something out to explain it or explain it away.
HO: No, it’s not better for you if it’s going to end up being substantiated.
Me: She substantiates anything that they say against me.
HO: Listen, if you say that you have something that shows something that HOWARD wrote.
Me: It wasn’t dated and it wasn’t signed
HO: It doesn’t matter. Did they write it or didn’t they write it.
Me: She wouldn’t believe me. She always substantiates the kids over me. As they said, “We’ll get our friends…” which they did, they all wrote their little statements that I grabbed him and now its substantiated because they have witnesses.
HO: Ok the way it looks is… I understand what you’re telling me, ok the way it looks, you’re tampering with an investigation is that here you have a situtation in which HOWARD’s saying that on November 3 he was writing something down. You pulled it away from him and then that same weekend you show up at his house and say oh no no no, it’s not what HOWARD said it’s something totally different. You’re saying in your defense that hey this is what happened, but you didn’t grab it or anything like that. You felt that he was going to concoct something so you went out to do damage control basically.
Me: No, I didn’t know that that was going to me the concoction.
HO: You knew that something was going to be concocted.
Me: At some point.
ADVOCATE: At some point. But not necessarily that incident.
Me: Not necessarily that.
ADVOCATE: Because you didn’t know at the time that there was a complaint, yet.
Me: No. There was no complaint yet.
HO: And HOWARD is saying here…
Me: They already said that they were going to get me in trouble.
HO: HOWARD stated that he tapped MADELENE on the shoulder to find a page number and she said “What” and you asked MADELENE why she was screaming and MADELENE stated that HOWARD touched me and you said, I guess you’re used to people touching you all the time. Something to that effect. MADELENE became angry at the comment and remained quiet, and HOWARD said that he thought it was an attempt to portray MADELENE as a slut. On the same day in question regarding… Is ALAN one of the kids? ALAN said the same thing that you visited his home the same day that you visited HOWARD’s. After class HOWARD reported to Ms. XAVIER that you had grabbed him and at some point you asked him what he told Ms. XAVIER.
Me: I didn’t even know that he had gone to Ms. XAVIER. I didn’t know that this was going to be the allegation. To me it was just, give me the paper don’t give me the paper, give me the paper and that was it. It was fooling around. So it was more of the same, and again remember, they’re still bothering MADELENE, they’re saying that she’s cheating, their disrupting the class, interrupting a test, and so I followed up and made home visits.
HO: Well let me ask you this, when did you first learn that there was an allegation made against you by HOWARD?
Me: It would take a couple of weeks because first they would give me a letter saying that I should meet with them and then I would meet with them and I would be given the allegation. But again it would take at least two weeks before I was informed about who was accusing me of what.
ADVOCATE: I was going to say you couldn’t ask him about something if you didn’t know there was any kind of…
Me: There was no question and answer. We were just discussing. First of all I told the mothers about the threats and then the kids, it did tip me off that they were being questioned because then in front of the parents they told me about grabbing and things like that. So we did discuss it with the parents when I got there, but I didn’t know that the allegations had been made yet.