Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Spray

Follow more adventures of pepper spraying cop

I've always liked to celebrate Thansgiving because it gives an opportunity to sit down with family and friends and reflect on how lucky I am for so many reasons and to give the Powers That Be appropriate kudos for whatever hand they have had in it all.  The fact that the first Thanksgiving was really the opening salvo to genocide in the name of greed and power--not the first thing on my mind.

But that is what Wall Street is all about, isn't it?  Greed and Power.

That is why I have decided to accept the invitation of Occupy Wall Street 

This Thanksgiving, Occupy Wall Street is celebrating unity and community with an open feast at Liberty Square. From 2 to 6 p.m. at Liberty Square (Zuccotti Park) we will meet to share food, stories and inspiration. All members of our global community are invited to break bread with us.  
Will Pepper Spraying Cop be there too?  Maybe.  After all he is part of the 99%.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pepper Spraying Cop Strikes Again

Check out some more sightings of pepper spraying cop.  Be prepared for supreme lack of respect to every iconic image imaginable.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Coptic Christian and the Muslim

Today we are hearing a lot about clashes between Coptic Christians and Muslims in Egypt.  Back in 2006 I saw a Coptic Christian, Mr. E, try to help K.N., a Muslim.  I liked Mr. E., the custodian. I often stayed late after school and saw him when he came to sweep my classroom.  He was an older gentleman with white hair and a permanent smile on his face.  K.N. who shared a room with me also liked him. 

One day she told me that they were both from Egypt, but that they had different religions--he was Christian and she was Muslim.  She told me a little about the Coptic Christians.

After I learned that Mr. E. had actually been a witness to the incident with J.F., I urged K.N. to get him to write a  statement in her defense. 

"I don't want to make trouble for him."  She said.

"Why would there be any trouble for him?"  I asked.  "He's just telling what he saw."

I was really stupid back then.

Eventually I got her to let me approach him.  I asked him about the day that she had  talked to him in the hall about giving her some garbage bags for an experiment.  Yes, he remembered very well.  Did he happen to see Ms. N. grab a boy as he entered the classroom?  No, but there was a boy who pushed past her and then tripped when his bookbag got caught on the door.  Did he know that she had been accused by the boy of tripping him on purpose?  No, but the boy had gotten angry and said something about it being her fault.  Could he write down what he saw?  Of course, no problem.

K.N. gave Mr. E.'s handwritten letter to her attorney, and at some point during the 2006-2007 school year the attorney called the school (!) and asked to make an appointment with Mr. E. who was a witness in the 3020a hearing of K.N.

Shortly thereafter Mr. E. was brought up on charges.  There had been an "incident" in one of the science classrooms.  A substitute had led the students downstairs and had failed to notice that the last students on line had opened the water faucet full force and thrown papers all over the classroom floor.  The classroom was flooded by the time someone noticed and turned off the water.  It had been Mr. E.'s job to clean up the mess.  He took a piece of paper and wrote a note to the teacher:  "Make sure the water is turned off before leaving the classroom"  or something equally innocuous.  The next thing Mr. E. knows, he is brought up on charges for threatening a teacher.

Mr. E. told me about the "incident" (I hate that word) and I offered to write a letter in his defense.  He was glad I offered.  I wrote a glowing letter saying truthfully what a kind, respectful, considerate, hardworking, cheerful, gentle man he was. 

A few weeks later he told me about his hearing.  They wouldn't enter my letter into evidence because it wasn't notorized.  "Anybody could have written it."  Then they forced him to admit that he had done something wrong and had suspended him for a certain amount of time (I forget how much).  I think they might have fined him too--I forget.

Anyway, Mr. E. never did show up for any of the appointments that the attorney set up through the school office (!). 

OK.  There was a lot of  Union involvement here.  First of all the Custodian's Union allowed a principal to retaliate against one of their brothers for simply telling the truth.  Secondly, the UFT allowed one of its members to bring bogus charges against a custodian (union brother) in order to  help the principal retaliate against him for telling the truth.  I'm not sure which teacher brought the charges--Mr. E. didn't want to tell me.  I always assumed it was Mr. G. who was assigned to that room and would have been the first to find Mr. E.'s note when he came in the day after the flood.  But I have no proof, and have to admit it could have been someone else.  Somewhere there are written records.

Without the collusion of Local 891, International Union of Operating Engineers who, according to their website, put children first and of the United Federation of Teachers, a union of professionals--without the collusion of both unions, Mr. E. might have been able to tell his story to K.N.'s attorney.

Both unions should have praised him for giving a true statement in support of a union sister,  and protected him against retaliation instead of stepping back and allowing  him to be fined and suspended for doing so.

Union Collusion

I became suspicious of Union collusion with the DOE back in May of 2006.  At that time I was the only teacher who stood up for K.N. when she was brought up on charges.  Here is the letter that I wrote to Chancellor's Investigator B.F. when I thought that he might actually be a Real Investigator instead of a Bogus Co-Conspirator.  Back then I made up false names for everyone:  I called K.N. Adila Hassan and I called B.F.  Haden Sands.  Now I'm referring to them by their real initials. 

There was so much that could have been done by the leadership as well as the membership.  If we had fought back then the way we should have, we would not have all the school closings that we have today.  We would not be losing public education in this country.  Although I have refrained from taking the Union to task (there are just so many battles one can fight at one time),  I feel that we need to forcefully denounce any cooperation or collusion between the Union (membership and leadership) and the 1% of this country represented in our case by Michael Bloomberg and his billionaire friends.

My evidence is anecdotal.  I'll be telling you a lot of stories.  The real evidence, of course, can be found among the innumerable records involving thousands of teachers during the Bloomberg Witch Hunts.  So much of it was carefully and meticulously written down--much like the records kept during the Holocaust.  Even if we didn't have the written records, however, we would have the memories of thousands of survivors.

Chancellor's Bogus Investigator

In my last post, "No Harm, No Foul",  I showed how easy it was to get a child to tell the truth.  Twelve-year-old J.F. had lied about a teacher and gotten her sent to the Rubber Room, but a year later, he had caved under the pressure of a few simple questions.

J.F. told his lie to:  his mother, Principal S.T., and Chancellor's investigator B.F. ( I have referred to this guy as Hayden Sands in other posts--Head in Sands, get it?  he he he).  There were probably a few other adults involved along the way (Assistant Principals, Counselors, Parent Coordinators, Teachers, Union Representatives, etc.) who could have prevented the teacher K.N. from being brought up on charges and sent to the Rubber Room.  Why didn't they get him to tell the truth?  It isn't that hard.  Children lie all the time, but they have a hard time maintaining a lie consistently.  They just don't have the brain, or (I would like to think) the soul for it.

In this post, I'm going to concentrate on the Chancellor's Investigator.  If you haven't already, it might help to go back and read my post called "If a President Can Lie, a Principal Can Lie"  which gives more detail about K.N.'s case.

The Chancellor's Investigator is usually called by the Principal after the Principal has carried out her "investigation".  She or an Assistant Principal has interviewed everyone involved, has asked for statements, and has written reports.  When the Investigator arrives,  he is presented with a neat little folder containing all of the above.   However, this person is not there to investigate anything.  He is there to help repair any weaknesses in the elaborate frameup that the principal has begun to construct.  I'm still searching for an appropriate title that would better describe this person's actual job description.

Chancellor's Frameup Expert?

Chancellor's Co-conspirator?

Chancellor's Rent-An-Accomplice?

This is what you do if you are a Real Investigator:

First of all, you make sure that the parents of all children involved have been informed about the incident and that they be given the opportunity to be present during at least part of the interview. 

In K.N.'s case, the parents of the children who were being used to corroborate J.F.'s story were not informed about their children's statements.  I know.  I called them and asked. 

Second, you interview both parent and child separately and together.  It's no joke to bring false allegations against a teacher.  You make sure that everyone knows that you expect the truth and nothing but the truth and that liars will be delt with severely.

J.F. would have caved.  The six children who gave false testimony in support of J.F. would have caved.  Karl, the boy who couldn't get to the bathroom in time would have provided enough testimony for you to bring several people up on charges, none of whom were K.N.  For that reason alone, the principal would never have given you the opportunity to interview Karl, because she would have been the first person to be brought up on charges for locking the bathroom doors.

Third, you interview the teacher.  Union representatives often tell teachers not to say anything, but if you are a Real Investigator, everyone knows that you will do everything in your power to protect teachers from false allegations.

K.N. would have given her version of events and might even have shared with you that a custodian could corroborate her version of events on the day J.F. said she had tripped him. Mr. E., one of the custodians was talking to her as she stood in the hall.  She was asking Mr. E.  if he could give her some plastic bags for an experiment she planned to do later in the week.  Mr. E. saw J.F. push past her.  He saw the children run up as the bell rang.  Why hadn't she mentioned Mr. E. to the principal?  He was a nice man. She didn't want to make trouble for him.

Fourth, you interview other people not included in the principal's report.

Mr. E. would have backed up K.N.  He was shocked that she was in trouble.  Such a nice woman.  He saw the boy push her out of the way as he ran into the classroom, tripping and almost falling as he did so.  Children these days don't know how to show respect for their teachers.  The other children?  Oh they ran up as the bell was ringing and had to stand in line as Ms. K.N. marked them late.  You should have heard them complaining! Children these days!

Then you interview the entire Leadership Team that came up with the rules about locking the bathroom doors.  You also interview Karl's Math teacher, Ms.  B.,  who taught Karl during the first two periods of the day he had the bathroom accident.  She admits that she didn't allow him access to the bathroom in spite of repeated requests because of Principal S.T. didn't allow children to go to the bathroom during those periods (The accident occurred at the beginning of third period).

How many principals would want a Real Investigator in their building?

No, B.F. was not expected to carry out a real investigation.  If he had, he wouldn't have remained a Chancellor's Investigator for long.  He was expected to help fortify a case against a targeted teacher--  someone the principal wanted to get rid of.

All of B.F.'s investigations are a matter of public record. A researcher should look for a clear pattern of bias in favor of the DOE.  It would also be a good idea to interview the children.

By now, J.F. has graduated from high school.  It would be interesting to interview him about his role in destroying a teacher's career.  Does he still think there was no harm, no foul?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

No Harm No Foul

J.F. peeked in through the doorway. It was the end of the school year and J.F. had just graduated from 8th grade. He had never been my student, but for the past year he had been doing the same thing. He would stop by my room, peek in the door, and run away laughing. Once he called out, "I'm King of the School! I got a teacher fired!

He was the student I wrote about in "If a President Can Lie, So Can a Principal."

He was not referring to me, of course. I retired before they could fire me. He was referring to my colleague K.N.  He had accused her of intentionally making him trip when he was in 7th grade.  She had spent this whole school year in the Rubber Room as a result.

This would probably be the last time I saw him, so I decided to ask the question that occurred to me every time I saw him.

"J.F., Why did you lie about Ms. N? Why did you say that she tripped you? What did she do to you to make you want to get her fired?"

"She did! She tripped me on purpose!"

"Look. J.N. I know that isn't true. She had arthritis in both knees. The last thing she would do is grab hold of you while you were running and risk falling down."

He paused, considering his next move. Then he said,

"She wasn't really fired. She has a job in another school. So, No Harm, No Foul."

Then he ran away, and I never saw him again.

It took me barely 30 seconds to get the truth out of him--a truth Principal S _ _ _ _ _   T _ _ _ _  was never interested in hearing.

It's time to finish K.N.'s story.

Happy Thanksgiving,  S _ _ _ _ _   T _ _ _ _.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Bidding of the Many Not the Few

"We Are the Many" by Makana

Reminds me of Dylan, but that's OK.

Friday, November 11, 2011

November 17

 It seems like there have been a lot of calls to join this march or that march.  If you haven't come out yet, this would be a good one to join as a first experience.  Even the UFT is backing it.  If you have been marching and marching and nothing seems to have changed...well Rome wasn't built in a day and it wasn't destroyed in a day either.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

George Carlin on the American Dream

I wish I could joke about all that's happened to me, but since I can't, I'll let people like Carlin do it for me and remind me to never stop laughing.

TRANSCRIPT ( courtesy of shoq value)

But there’s a reason. There’s a reason. There’s a reason for this, there’s a reason education SUCKS, and it’s the same reason it will never, ever,  EVER be fixed.

It’s never going to get any better, don’t look for it, be happy with what you’ve got.
Because the owners, the owners of this country don't want that. I'm talking about the real owners now, the BIG owners! The Wealthy… the REAL owners! The big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions.

Forget the politicians. They are irrelevant. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice! You have OWNERS! They OWN YOU. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought, and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls.

They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying,  lobbying, to get what they want.  Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I'll tell you what they don’t want: 

They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. Thats against their interests. 

Thats right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago. They don’t want that! 

You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shitty jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it, and now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, and you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all from you sooner or later cause they own this fucking place! Its a big club, and you ain’t in it!  You, and I, are not in the big club

By the way, its the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long beating you over the head with their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy. The table has tilted folks. The game is rigged and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care! Good honest hard-working people; white collar, blue collar it doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on. Good honest hard-working people continue, these are people of modest means, continue to elect these rich cock suckers who don’t give a fuck about you….they don’t give a fuck about you… they don’t give a FUCK about you. 

They don’t care about you at all… at all… AT ALL.  And nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. Thats what the owners count on. The fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick thats being jammed up their assholes everyday, because the owners of this country know the truth. 

Its called the American Dream,because you have to be asleep to believe it.