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The system works.

That I write these words may surprise those who are aware that my employer of the last 10 years, the Joplin R-8 Board of Education, voted 7-0 to terminate my contract earlier this month.

The decision did not surprise me. I was fully aware that teachers rarely survive termination hearings. This hearing, not permanent employment, is the only thing that tenure offers, despite the protestations of the so-called “reformers,” who insist it is keeping thousands of bad teachers in the classrooms.

Not a single parent or student complained about me. The primary witnesses were six administrators. Though the charges against me had nothing to do with any kind of pedophilia, the district’s human resources manager insisted that when she interviewed girls about me, they were so supportive of me that she saw signs of “grooming.” My lawyer vigorously objected to the woman’s loaded language, but it was allowed to remain on the record.

Other such innuendo was sprinkled throughout the administrators’ testimony with the board president noting each of my attorney’s objections and then allowing the remarks to continue unimpeded.

This even included our superintendent C. J. Huff, the legendary hero of the Joplin Tornado, who while acknowledging there were no such allegations against me, said, tears flowing, that the board couldn’t take a chance of allowing me back into the classroom and then having something happen to a child a few years from now.

None of those claims were listed in the original charges against me, which were filed a week and a half after I was escorted out of my building in full view of my students and co-workers, by a police officer April 8, something I wrote about later that month in a Daily Kos diary.

During the second half of the hearing, my witnesses, a combination of parents, students, and my fellow teachers testified on my behalf, In one instance, three witnesses, myself, the president of our parents’ association and the treasurer of the association, contradicted what an administration witness had testified.

So even though I expected a negative verdict, I was dismayed when I read the opinion, which said that the administration’s witnesses were “more credible” than mine, that my attorney was the one who brought up the pedophile accusation, and that I had been discourteous to the human resources manager by recording the four and a half minutes I was interviewed before I was taken out of the school by a police officer in front of my students April 8.

Since the decision was announced, I have received hundreds of messages from supporters who feel bad about what happened to me and who are frustrated that they cannot do anything.

My message to all of my supporters- this is not the lesson I would like to be teaching at this point, but it is one that is well worth learning- the system is not perfect, but it works.

During the days and weeks before my hearing, my eighth grade students peacefully protested through use of posters and t-shirts, never causing any disruption, but getting their message across.

A couple of my former students, now attending Joplin High School, Laela Zaidi and Rylee Hartwell, worked with the local police department to arrange a peaceful protest to be held outside the administration building an hour before my hearing.

My case became a rallying cry for our faculty and for our local NEA chapter, which is now seeing its ranks increase.

And my hearing, though the results were not what I or my supporters wanted, served a valuable purpose. For the first time, the tactics that have been used by our administration for the past few years were exposed during a public hearing, which was well covered by the local media. (Though, unfortunately, that same media coverage is probably going to make it difficult for me to ever get a job in education again, despite the fact that the board's decision expressly says that I was not guilty of any immoral conduct.)

Parent groups are forming in Joplin in an effort to elect board of education members who will be more responsive to the needs of the people. This is in response to many things that have happened in the school district; my case is just a small part of it.

For the past 14 years, as I have worked to help middle school students to become better writers, I have also taught the importance of the First Amendment and the necessity of becoming involved in the community.

What I have seen the past few weeks is better evidence to me than any standardized tests that my lessons have hit home.

If I have truly taught my last lesson, I can’t think of a better way to go out.

(Links to previous posts I have written about this case can be found here.)

Originally posted to rturner229 on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 03:16 PM PDT.

Also republished by Show Me Kos.

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  •  Tip Jar (244+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheGreatLeapForward, Tonedevil, too many people, dov12348, Maverick80229, elwior, TracieLynn, viral, True North, emeraldmaiden, Vatexia, blueoasis, livjack, OldDragon, karmsy, slowbutsure, Superskepticalman, bowtieguru, muddy boots, VA Breeze, NYWheeler, Sandy on Signal, Brian82, ferment, kathny, exterris, enhydra lutris, here4tehbeer, JVolvo, erratic, luckylizard, home solar, ichibon, Chaddiwicker, countwebb, linkage, Dobber, Josiah Bartlett, indubitably, emelyn, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, ArchTeryx, TheMeansAreTheEnd, implicate order, OldSoldier99, blueoregon, lcrp, pixxer, Bob Love, shopkeeper, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Amber6541, SCFrog, Mlle L, gustynpip, peacestpete, bmaples, triv33, annieli, multilee, Lujane, mamamorgaine, bleeding blue, rapala, greycat, skohayes, Kevskos, also mom of 5, alasmoses, Catte Nappe, Laconic Lib, antirove, middleagedhousewife, rb608, Van Buren, antooo, wader, Laughing Vergil, Dave in Columbus, Dragon5616, eeff, madmsf, Shippo1776, marleycat, PeterHug, RainyDay, twigg, leonard145b, quill, ladybug53, llbear, Eric Stratton, xaxnar, Al Fondy, FloridaSNMOM, dwahzon, nupstateny, Williston Barrett, South Park Democrat, sturunner, banjolele, third Party please, psnyder, Yonkers Boy, misscee, mjbleo, kenwards, Blu Gal in DE, wayoutinthestix, kerflooey, Alumbrados, meg, edsbrooklyn, Black Max, zerelda, suesue, Involuntary Exile, cocinero, gloriana, Chinton, houyhnhnm, cyncynical, Eman, Matilda, rbird, cinnamon68, celdd, NYmom, Alice Venturi, EntrWriter, ER Doc, SteelerGrrl, BadKitties, ModerateJosh, cosette, commonmass, eyesoars, tobendaro, RAST, JDWolverton, mofembot, JerryNA, coldwynn, No one gets out alive, Justina, tmay, tikkun, dotsright, Constantly Amazed, jennyp, 207wickedgood, Bluesee, K S LaVida, Debby, Aaa T Tudeattack, davehouck, mslat27, bluedust, spooks51, bbctooman, susans, lady sisyphus, VTCC73, badger, northerntier, camlbacker, rickeagle, jck, RLF, WakeUpNeo, OIL GUY, SeattleTammy, cpresley, Bluehawk, ypsiCPA, Lilredhead, chimene, fhcec, jolux, ArtemisBSG, chickeee, skywriter, thomask, Dingodude, indie17, northsylvania, equern, sobermom, sawgrass727, ladypockt, davespicer, riverlover, jarbyus, nswalls, Russ Jarmusch, Creosote, WearyIdealist, sodalis, Marihilda, GeorgeXVIII, StrayCat, hopeful, Desert Rose, cv lurking gf, Robynhood too, SingerInTheChoir, boadicea, Philpm, rlb, onionjim, filby, Temmoku, Radiogabs, pmcmscot, BlogDog, Texknight, Audri, Stein, papercut, boatjones, JamieG from Md, Edward Adams, Caerus, tegrat, HeyMikey, duhban, mikejay611, jw1, AllanTBG, MKinTN, our better angels, Lashe, el dorado gal, speak2me, Trendar, Liberal Thinking, royce, BlackSheep1, CorinaR, Friend in Miami, DreamyAJ, orlbucfan, science nerd, HiBob
  •  The link to your other diary (7+ / 0-)

    is broken.

  •  Good Luck. I Mean Good Luck!!!! (48+ / 0-)

    and I don't mean to sound stupid but I assume the claim of "grooming" means you didn't do anything wrong, you were just (in their eyes) setting the course for you to do something wrong in the future. Gosh if that is true that sucks so much.

    I told a client of mine, and I am 43, when she showed me a picture of her 15 year old child the other day that she was an "attractive young lady." As in one that could be young enough to be my kid.

    Her mom that didn't even know me that well got it wasn't sexual, just a compliment. I wasn't in the ballpark, much of less in the park lot of being sexual.

    I fear in the not too distant future .... well I don't even know what to say.

    •  Please don't be jumping to the conclusion that (19+ / 0-)

      this is proof that all men have to be on the constant watch or will be charged with molestation.  Please.  This was one woman looking for an excuse - any excuse - to can someone who'd dared criticize her.  

      I doubt it would cross hardly a mother's mind that a statement that their daughter was an attractive young lady was intended to be sexually suggestive.  Unless of course it's said with a leer, in a tone of voice suggesting that or with body language suggesting it.  People are not so suspicious or obsessed that every compliment is suspect in their minds.  We generally know when someone is being complimentary rather than being offensive.  

      "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

      by gustynpip on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 04:58:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (24+ / 0-)

        And she should be sued for defamation, and probable slander.

        I would want to know what questions were asked, where is the transcript and what are her qualifications in forensic questioning of minors, and child psychology.

        The woman, absent some seriously unimpeachable expertise, is a complete fraud.

        I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
        but I fear we will remain Democrats.

        Who is twigg?

        by twigg on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 05:26:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  True and another reason my sister, a teacher of (9+ / 0-)

        30 years now, was telling me she documents almost every interaction she has with a student alone. As teachers do have occasion to talk to a student alone in their classroom about their grades, their behavior , or an important issue. But she documents it all while having her door wide open and usually makes sure it happens when another teacher is close by. It has gotten to the point where teachers have to super protect themselves. But she says more and more, teachers are talking to kids about their grades and other issues in front of the guidance counselor for some of these same reasons.

        But then again in this case, if an administrator wants a teacher out of there, they will fabricate whatever they want to get it done. Once an admininstrator turns against a teacher or a boss against an employee, anything can happen.  Even with tenure and unions, it happens more and more.  

        As we were just talking about some of the most hated professions in this day and age, and sadly teachers are right up there with politicians and cops in a lot of regions of the country.  So she has to be extra, extra careful all of the time.  

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 06:03:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I would not talk to a kid about his grades without (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wishingwell, BlackSheep1

          a parent present.  It is a waste of time.  It's the parents responsibility to deal with bad performance not the teachers.  A teacher can present the information, a parent is the one that has to make it a priority for a child to learn.  I think we have forgotten that, education is a partnership.  My teachers never saw my father(it was too difficult for him to go to school regularly) but he had their back every step of the way.

          •  True but occasionally a senior who is 18 will (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tonedevil

            ask to just to talk to the teacher and guidance counselor and I do believe once they are legally adults, that changes everything. Most of the time with kids living at home, they will be fine with parents coming in or even if they are not, most of the time teachers can do this and the adult student will not object. But I did run across a case of a kid who was 18 who was estranged from his parents and living with a non custodial person as he was 18 and we just were allowed to talk to him.

            Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

            by wishingwell on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:46:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  At 18, they are legally adults (4+ / 0-)

              We're facing this issue more and more often at the higher ed level.

              Parents want to challenge their children's college grades. Really. Another faculty member and I are dealing with this at this very moment.

              Legally, we can't talk to the parents (even if they are paying the tuition) without the student's permission.

              •  Yes my sister teaches high school seniors and sees (0+ / 0-)

                this from time to time. My friend teaches at the college level and has parents calling to see if their kid is enrolled, what his grade is, how he is doing, how he is adjusting to college and more. The faculty and staff simply are not allowed to talk to the parents without the students; signing a release..period.  Some parents get very upset and angry but it is the law.

                Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

                by wishingwell on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 06:42:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  In that case, I would not write a check until (0+ / 0-)

                after they showed me a degree.  I think it is crap that parents financials are required for young adults to apply for aid.  If people are adults for grades, they are adults for financial aid.  You cannot have it both ways....but apparently universities are.

          •  I taught only seniors for a couple of years and (0+ / 0-)

            often they were 18 or turned 18 well before graduation ..or a few months anyway..and I noticed then, the guidance counselor said we needed the student permission to get the parents involved ...but most did not object at all.

            Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

            by wishingwell on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:47:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I wouldn't go there... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      citylights, papercut

      in the future. What happened to the diarist was just a set up to get him out, seems to me.
      I don't see any indication it will be worse in the future. There will always be a small subset of people that read others wrong and get offended, and another small subset that use such alligations to abuse their power and get what they want for other reasons, like in this case.

    •  or that their testimony.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Creosote

      was coached.

      You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

      by murrayewv on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 04:08:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's tough to be a guy working with kids (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey, mikejay611, Tonedevil, orlbucfan

      I am a chess coach, but I'm also a classroom teacher.  I end up driving some kids around, and I spend some time with kids without their parents or other school people.  

      Men need to be constantly on their guard when they are working with kids.  Things get said at home that are not at all representative of what happened.  As a result, misunderstandings can be had.  I've never had that happen, but I've always been on my guard.

      I simply wouldn't ever make a comment that said anything about the looks of a girl in school.  

      My wife, for instance, is free to offer all the commentary she wants on the attractiveness of my son's girlfriend/s.  I cower in fear that I might accidentally state an opinion!

      Streichholzschächtelchen

      by otto on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:30:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry to hear about your ordeal (69+ / 0-)

    but in modern American education, if they don't like you and want you gone, they'll find a way.

    A former teacher (who hasn't had a paying job in four years).

    The Republican Party is now the sworn enemy of the United States of America.

    Listen to All Over The Place - we play all kinds of music!

    by TheGreatLeapForward on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 03:32:57 PM PDT

  •  stories like yours are one of the few times I (25+ / 0-)

    feel like public schools really do need a shake-up.  There is so much political bs that goes on with things like this.

    So sorry to hear about what sounds like a serious injustice rendered upon you and your reputation.

    Just awful.

    If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

    by livjack on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 03:48:36 PM PDT

    •  This is one board who (seemingly) made a poor (12+ / 0-)

      cowardly decision.  It says nothing per se about public schools in general.

      But I agree that this is a sad, bad story.

      ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

      by slowbutsure on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 03:55:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not So Sure. I Am A HUGE Public School (13+ / 0-)

        fan. A good friend of mine went from teaching, well he ran the school as the Principal, in a lower income town to teaching at a more upscale primary school. Private. He was sick of the BS.

        This dude is a RAGING liberal and he just couldn't take it anymore. He couldn't fire a teacher that couldn't teach. And as he won't told me things are FUBAR. He is 6'9 and kids would stand him down and he couldn't do anything about it.

        I don't like private schools, or well I don't mind if they don't get public funds, but my gosh this guy didn't wimp out.

        •  Perhaps a real teacher will school me (which (10+ / 0-)

          would be great), but I am pretty sure it does not matter how big a teacher or Principal is - the kids know you can't touch them, so who cares?

          1. You need a 'teacher face' so that the kids will know right away when they get it wrong.  Sort of like using a clicker to let a dog know when they get it right.
          2.  You need to earn their respect so they care about pleasing you.  Part of that is setting clear expectations and consequences and not shaming kids in public.
          3.  Teachers that can no longer teach can be 'counseled out'.  It takes time and effort, but not a bunch of $$$.
          4.  Private schools do not perform better on the average than public schools.  They can throw out any kids that do not fit their model and they do not have to take special needs students.

          ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

          by slowbutsure on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 05:04:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've been having some interesting experiences with (5+ / 0-)

            students transferring from private to our public school.  This has been happening on an increasing basis, and there seems to be 3 reasons:

            - Families can no longer afford the private tuition due to the economy.
            - Our school is pretty terrific: Fantastic music program with both a ban and full orchestra option, great arts & culture education (arts, music appreciation, lit, drama, dance classes) and oh, great test results [see arts program IMO ... and I'm a science teacher]
            - To get special ed, ADHD, and just a little different student services they need and away from bullying that they definitely do NOT deserve

            The students coming in from the private schools are woefully behind in science compared to our students, and I mean YEARS behind, and I don't mean just in content.  They don't have lab skills.  In 8th grade, our students are learning to use fire and serious acids in chem labs.  They learn aseptic technique in bio labs.  In physics, we don't even have to go over how to use various measurement tools including all sorts of types of scales, stop watches, thermometers.

            The private school students coming in don't know the difference between a flask and beaker, can't measure the mass (or really understand what that is), use a microscope and on and on.  I've asked them to describe the look of their science rooms, and up to the middle school level, they don't even have lab rooms.  It's gotten to the point where I have these students stay after during their first couple of weeks after transfer for lab skill tutoring, or they would not be safe to do labs.

            It may just be the private schools in our area, but it has me seriously wondering about this whole "private schools are so much better" stuff.  I'd put a student earning a D in my class up against ANY same grade level private school student any day, and I am confident my student would demonstrate mastery in science skills and knowledge in any area.  

            Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

            by bkamr on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 06:55:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  The first link, to the decision, is completely (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sacrelicious, Lujane, soros, bobtmn

    broken.  I'd like to see that before commenting further.

    The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.-Bertrand Russell

    by Timaeus on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 04:01:56 PM PDT

  •  Okay, I was interested by this diary, and I (15+ / 0-)

    read the reconstructed link to the school board's decision.

    That showed that the major grievance was the diarist's publication last year of a novel called "No Child Left Alive."

    So I went to Amazon.com and read the reviews and summaries of that novel.

    On the basis of that evidence, I think the diarist is not telling the whole story here, and I'm not making any tips or recs, nor am I launching any HRs.

    From what little I have gathered, the diarist must have known that he was painting a giant target on himself when he launched that angry attack on the local school administration, which included salacious sex scenes, which middle-schoolers were encouraged to read.

    So, sorry, I'm not buying the Joan of Arc argument here.

    The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.-Bertrand Russell

    by Timaeus on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 04:26:13 PM PDT

    •  And once again, and it must be thousands of (7+ / 0-)

      times, I'm amazed by the general credulity of so many DKos members, who blindly and uncritically believe what they read on their computer screens.

      Yes, yes, that's not true for most DKos members, but it sure is true for a lot of them.

      The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.-Bertrand Russell

      by Timaeus on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 04:30:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Feeds into people's biases (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        soros, Timaeus, bobtmn, erush1345

        They want to believe that the school board is acting inappropriately, probably for many reasons.

        The story here is being told from the diarist's point of view with no input from the school district and even so there are several blazing red flags.

        I do not take a position on the diarist's firing, but other than as a critical-thinking exercise I don't understand why it is on the top of the rec list.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 06:23:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  because I guess we trust until evidence (6+ / 0-)

          shows otherwise. But we stay open to other data. Anything online must be taken with a grain of salt.

          I have to say I have had a group of people in power (I was in a grad school as a student years ago) close ranks against me in a way that smells every so much like what happened to this person. Three of them in different roles did not like me (others did but did not have power). Things were exaggerated, others were trumped up. Those that supported me were afraid to stick necks out (they told me).

          In my situation it began because I blew the whistle on bad patient care by someone who was in a position of authority. I had not intended or tried to blow the whistle as I'd thought it was something that was my responsiblity that didn't get done but they took it as be criticising a nurse. Once that happened I was scrutinized with a microscope and flaws were found, some saw what they wanted to see.

          In any case I think human power structures and human nature often have patterns across different kinds of situations. What the diarist says rings a true to me.

          Perhaps on DK we act "as if"..ie pretend that everything a diarist says is true. Many/some/most of us also hold in the back of our mind that it may not be. It is probably what allows this community to work.

          We know this diarist's real name. That means he knows we can look stuff up in the real word and so it makes it less likely he' d lie.

          •  In this case (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mamamedusa, bobtmn, erush1345, Timaeus

            There is no reason to default to believe the diarist.

            The diarist was fired by his school department employer for alleged misconduct. We hear only the diarist's self-interested side of the story and even in his own explanation I see multiple actions that indicate red flags, and by his own admission.

            I'm not necessarily saying this makes the diarist guilty of a fireable offense, but I'm not even going to put my pseudonymous credibility on the line defending him, let alone writing letters to the school department or doing anything else in real life about this.

            If the diarist posts this material (against the chorus of advice by legal minded kossacks) he should expect his credibility questioned or even outright demolished. It's what happens when you publish details of a legal dispute on a public forum.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 09:11:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I am not asking for any help (5+ / 0-)

              I am trying to figure out what kind of a person would even think that I was trying to get people to write letters on my behalf. Hundreds of people did so before my hearing and it did not do any good. For better or for worse, I have always been open with the people who read my writing, whether it has been here or on my own blog. I told what happened to me. Nothing more, nothing less.

              •  I don't know why you are posting this material (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bobtmn, erush1345

                It cannot help you and in all probability will make your situation worse, not better (I certainly would think twice about hiring you based on what you've written in these diaries alone, let alone what you are actually accused of doing, which itself is murky).

                You wonder why I would think you are looking for help: what are you looking for? I have no idea. Because this certainly isn't a public policy issue here; this is a private battle between you and your former employers.

                (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                by Sparhawk on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 09:44:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Oh, chill out, Sparhawk. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  orlbucfan, Tonedevil, jplanner

                  Another diarist today wrote about grief at losing a beloved cat.  What was that diarist's hidden agenda? What did they want from us?

                  Sometimes people need to vent when they are facing a huge upheaval in their lives. It helps to put the experience into words, and it helps when other people support you by offering condolence and sharing their own experiences.

                  "YOPP!" --Horton Hears a Who

                  by Reepicheep on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 10:57:22 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Sparhawk is more conservative than (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Tonedevil, jplanner, Reepicheep

                    he/she likes to admit. Plus, the diarist is making a valid point about vindictive school administrators and school boards. No big surprise there.

                    Some people make u want to change species! --ulookarmless, quoted w/his permission: RIP good man.

                    by orlbucfan on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 11:19:05 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  groups of people in power (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Reepicheep

                      over individuals lives and well being., is what is in common in these kinds of situations. More than only school boards, I've seen this happen to people in companies (when one person has a problem or a few people do and things are a combination of exaggerated, trumped up, and misunderstood) and within schools (within a graduate school program for me).

                      It must be some human-  nature thing that makes these groups, which can be making life changing decisions about individuals, so fraught with possiblity of abuse of power.

    •  Clarification (17+ / 0-)

      I did write the book in question, but not only did I never encourage middle school students to read it, the administration was unable to find any students who had read it. I inadvertently placed a link to the book on a website that I had not used for educational purposes for more than two and a half years. All of the accusations were based on that. It is more likely that the content of my book as it relates to public education and not the sex scenes is the reason I became a target. You can also find out more by trying out the link at the end of the diary.

    •  The story doesn't pass (7+ / 0-)

      the smell test to me either.  Sexual harassment and related charges generally have to meet a VERY high bar in education, and tend to favor the defendent.  7-0, a unanimous vote, is pretty amazing in a case like this.  Moreover, where was his lawyer or union rep in all of this?  And finally, why was he discussing details of the case in public on blogs while the investigation was still ongoing.  As someone in the field of education, albeit it higher, there's a lot that's strange in this story.

      •  Not that strange (16+ / 0-)

        The official vote was 7-0. That is something the Joplin Board of Education does on a regular basis. Time after time, they reportedly have had disagreements on issues, but they feel when they go back into session to take the "official" vote, they have to put on a unanimous front. All of the sexual harassment charges were based on the idea that I had encouraged students to read the book. Again, they were not able to find a single student who had read the book. I did not discuss details of the case in pubilc until after the superintendent told the media that 28 pages of charges had been filed against me (which mostly consisted of any excerpt from the book that involved sex, violence, or included any use of profanity). The local newspaper's account included information about my book, noting that it had "strong sexual content," something that it could have only found out from administration since the reporter did not have time to buy the book and read it. I had been led out of the school by police in front of my students. Had i have waited the six weeks until my hearing was held, my reputation would have been savaged and the end result would have been the same. You will find very few people in Joplin and the surrounding area who believe the administration's version of events. I agree there is a lot that is strange to this story. And where you got the idea that anything ever favors the defendant in this kind of case is beyond me. Few teachers survive termination hearings in Missouri.

      •  I will remember not to every bring something (5+ / 0-)

        like this to DK where I'm railroaded by a group of people wiht more power (to wreck my life) again.

        It happened to me in Grad school. And I didn't know enough to have a lawyer or protect myself.

        Probably if I posted what happened to me I'd get responses like yours. All I could say is "you had to be there".

        Glad I know this in advance. And God forbid something like that happens again. I work with parents and kids in their homes. Any accusation is possible.

        To get only "it doesn't pass the smell test" will feel like shit.
        Glad I know

        •  This is because (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          freemark, jplanner

          there are some in this community who feel it their duty to always play Devil's Advocate, and question everything, when the use of Occam's Razor would suffice in most cases. Why would the diarist have a reason to lie? And why is it not his right to post on this? Hell, we got diaries on cats, cooking and music? This diary is more germane to political discourse than any of them...

          /rant

          No star is lost once we have seen, We always may be what we might have been. Adelaide Proctor -7.25/-5.64

          by mikejay611 on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 09:44:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ? Nobody denied his right to post. (0+ / 0-)

            Nobody said he was lying.  Please cool down.

            Some people questioned whether the diary told the whole truth and questioned whether the board's decision might not have been rational.  That's the last thing from a nasty attack on the diarist.

            The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.-Bertrand Russell

            by Timaeus on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 03:10:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think you may be responding to me "calm down" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mikejay611

              By the way, that can sound, in writing when you don't know someone especially, as kind of condescending.

              I don't know your gender, but it is something men tend to do, I've noticed more. ANd more often it is done to women then to men. Just and observation.

              I am calm. If you were were responding to me the original commenter instead, you read into it. The reason I think you were responding to me is that I when I read the mkejay's post it is completely normal and calm. If someone is shoutign in all capitals, that would not be calm.

              I perceived not only questions but judgement. Someone wrote for support and got judgement. I was relieved to know this. Sometimes people do share upsettting and life changing things here. It would have been detrimental to my well being to have shared something like the diarist did (life changing scapegoating of those in power). I could hack being questioned but not judged.

              If you read them, you will see that multiple commenters basically were saying "why should we believe you?". I just reread some of the posts and get the same jist. QUESTIONING is fine with me. But they did not put anything in their post that balanced their "questions" with something like "if this really happened it sucks".

              I did not hear/read anything like "if this happened as stated it must be infuriating, but I've done some research and have to say I'm left wondering...". The statements I reacted to were one sided doubting statements. They were not only questions, they were questions with judgement in them.

            •  Comment by you... (0+ / 0-)
              And once again, and it must be thousands of (7+ / 0-)
              times, I'm amazed by the general credulity of so many DKos members, who blindly and uncritically believe what they read on their computer screens.

              Yes, yes, that's not true for most DKos members, but it sure is true for a lot of them.

              Nobody said he way lying? This clearly states that you don't believe him. Another comment from Sparhawk, supporting yours:
              There is no reason to default to believe the diarist.

              The diarist was fired by his school department employer for alleged misconduct. We hear only the diarist's self-interested side of the story and even in his own explanation I see multiple actions that indicate red flags, and by his own admission.

              I'm not necessarily saying this makes the diarist guilty of a fireable offense, but I'm not even going to put my pseudonymous credibility on the line defending him, let alone writing letters to the school department or doing anything else in real life about this.

              If the diarist posts this material (against the chorus of advice by legal minded kossacks) he should expect his credibility questioned or even outright demolished. It's what happens when you publish details of a legal dispute on a public forum.

              Looks like you're calling him a liar to me. If you don't believe him, it means you think he's not telling the truth... Pretty simple...

              No star is lost once we have seen, We always may be what we might have been. Adelaide Proctor -7.25/-5.64

              by mikejay611 on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 05:06:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I think they could be the Devil's Advocate and say (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mikejay611

            so.
            Have both in their reply. I am sure some of them think.."well that sucks on the other hand Maybe you are not telling it like it is.." and just don't mention the "that sucks" part.

            But it does seem that some are not even considering the possibility it could be true.

        •  People on DKos, in general, are very fair and (0+ / 0-)

          very intelligent.  Of course, without knowing your own story, we have no idea how it relates to this diary.

          The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.-Bertrand Russell

          by Timaeus on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 03:09:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have found that before but not in this diary (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mikejay611

            that is why I said I was relieved to know. My situation was in grad school but it was quite parallel (no insinuation of "not beng safe" with children ie being a pedophile, but another horrible career ending insinuation not based in any fact or evidence).

            I explained above that I experienced in this diary more than just questions. Multiple people were not "very fair" (I dont' have an issue with their intelligence".

            They mentioned only their doubt in their posts. The "questioning" had a judgment, a "prove it" attitude. If something traumatic or horrible happens to someone to get that can be very hurtful.

            I am very glad I know. Up to now I had felt DK was as you say. I was surprised that multiple people had reacted so negatively to this diary.

            Again questions with acknowledgement that what happened if true really sucked is a different attitude than what I read here.

            •  Exactly... (0+ / 0-)

              It is an "I'm from Missouri" mind set... And I personally take offense to anyone ordering me to "calm down" as if you can tell by my post that I'm upset, the way I can tell from your post that you're an egotistical know-it-all (usually white male) passing judgement from a position of supposed authority... That doesn't pass the smell test.

              No star is lost once we have seen, We always may be what we might have been. Adelaide Proctor -7.25/-5.64

              by mikejay611 on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 05:11:50 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  There were other problems, too... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JosephK74, Timaeus, Sparhawk, erush1345

      ...such as allegations of improper use by the diarist of student information in putting together a book about the Joplin tornado.  There are too few reviews of "No Child Left Alive" on Amazon to really form an opinion as to its merit as a book (seems a number of reviewers had an axe to grind), but pointing students that age to sexually-involved material is iffy, at best.

      The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

      by TheOrchid on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 04:49:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not only that, (6+ / 0-)

        but Mr. turner omits (in both diaries) that he had a practice of friending students on Facebook.  I don't even do that with my college students.  That's extremely skeevy.

        http://m.joplinglobe.com/...

        •  Amen! (6+ / 0-)

          We need a big diary on BOUNDARIES.

          As the world gets more digital, I fear that that concept is being obliterated.

          The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.-Bertrand Russell

          by Timaeus on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 04:55:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I didn't cover everything (3+ / 0-)

          I omitted that fact. I also omitted the fact that when Joplin High School teachers were trying to locate students and make sure they were all right after the May 22, 2011, I was able to help them locate 70 of my former students in a short amount of time. I did not leave out the information because I was trying to hide anything.

          •  Sorry, but practices (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Timaeus, Sparhawk, bkamr, bobtmn, erush1345

            practices such as this shed light on why the grooming comment might have been made.  There are just some things you do not do as an educator and fb friending of students is one of them.

            For those who have never sat on a committee evaluating inappropriate behavior, sexual misconduct, and harassment, you should also know that grooming is one of the things these committees look for in their investigations. There's a very common and telltale pattern with serial offenders.

        •  Well, that's just asking for it. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Timaeus, JosephK74

          Just stupid.  I'm removing my rec.

          What would Mothra do?

          by dov12348 on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 05:42:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I don't find that "skeevy", but I do find it (3+ / 0-)

          inappropriate for teachers and students to engage in digital world contact modes without explicit policies in place to govern the nature of such connection possibilities (if such happens to be the case).

          In high school, a number of my friends helped one of our Mathematics teachers move her home furnishings between towns and made a day of it by going out for pizza, etc.  It was an event and our parents knew what we were doing, with whom, etc.

          Digital world contacts require definitions for acceptable means and purposes by each school district (or wider) that are close analogues to what is perceived as reasonable in meat space,  I feel.

          "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

          by wader on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 05:53:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  When I was teaching some 30 yrs ago, a teacher (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Timaeus

            and a few students and a parent helped me move as I was a young, single woman. But I almost turned them down when I thought it was only going to be students of mine who also went to my church. So we did know each other due to church but I wanted a parent there as well as a teacher.  As I remember a principal telling me it was great the kids volunteered but be sure to have an adult there too..preferably a parent. Well one of the boys' dad volunteered, thank god.

            Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

            by wishingwell on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 06:34:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Are you suggesting it's OK to do that with (7+ / 0-)

          college students????? What else do you do with your students????

          Looks like we got ourselves a real PERV here! Have him arrested by the morality police, let's put him before the Purity Council for a Creeper Inquiry!

          /snark

          You are so ready to throw this guy to the wolves, and assume it could never happen to you. This is why guys are so eager to throw labels like "skeevy" and "creeper" at other guys. By making them the other, you hope to ensure your status as a decent person. You figure you won't become suspect. But what if you did?

          Enough with goddamned witch hunts.

          You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

          by Eric Stratton on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 06:00:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, I'm not. (5+ / 0-)

            as a matter of professional protection you don't friend your students precisely to avoid these things.  This is standard stuff.  Follow the link I gave and read what I was doing.  In a case such as this you really shouldn't be basing your entire conclusion on what the defendant says after the fact.  We don't know the details and given the terror of lawsuits school districts live in, it is highly unusual that they would casually level such charges if there weren't strong grounds.

            •  I do think some of it depends on (5+ / 0-)

              How connected you are to the community and what other connections you have to the students.

              When my kids were in hs, many of their teachers were the parents of their friends. The math teacher was my daughters friends dad. The English teacher lived around the corner. One of my daughters friends was the principals son.

              Even now, many years later, my sons friend teaches at the hs he attended. It would be very possible that he could be teaching kids he babysat as a teen, whose parents hes known for years. My daughters friend teaches at the local community college. One of her other friends is a local doctor. They all have kids. They keep in touch.

              It wouldn't be out of character for them to friend each other, and their kids, on Facebook.

              Without knowing a hell of a lot more about who was friended on Facebook, what connections there were, and how long those connections had existed, it's really hard to say that friending students is inappropriate or not.

              •  It should be strongly presumed to be inappropriate (4+ / 0-)

                Friending students is not a good idea and opens you to allegations of misconduct. If the student is your brother, fine, but I would go so far as to say that a teacher likely should defriend people in their classes until the class is over.

                Friending students has zero benefits and lots of drawbacks. Why would anyone do it?

                (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                by Sparhawk on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 08:32:14 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  And this is my point... (3+ / 0-)

                  freedom of association is gone in the modern world. Simply clicking on a friend icon makes you a suspect of horrific crimes, in spite of the absence of any other evidence.

                  That's wrong. I have "friends" on  my fb account I haven't talked to in ages. By itself, it's meaningless.

                  You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

                  by Eric Stratton on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 09:41:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  How many 11, 12 & 13 year old FB friends do you (6+ / 0-)

                    have? For whom you have professional responsibility? The only FB friends I've ever had under the age of 18 have been my nephews. And they certainly were NOT allowed to join FB in middle school. [13 is supposed to be FB's minimum age, for starters!] Their FB activity was closely monitored by my sis--who is a teacher--throughout high school. Questionable postings by any of their peers meant DEFRIENDING. Being friends with adults they were not related to? Absolutely not.

                    My sis' students love her; she is a fantastic teacher. Is she FB friends with any of her students? Are you fucking kidding me!?!?!

                    Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

                    by earicicle on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 11:57:54 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Yes (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sparhawk, Timaeus

                  I remember being actually warned about this in one of the education classes I took a few years ago.

                  It is sad though.

                  I do have a few friends on Facebook who still teach and many but not all of them have separate accounts for personal and professional posts.

                  I 'friended' a few of my old teachers and professors because we genuinely did become friends during class (oh so many years ago) and I've got a few of my own ex-students on my list. I hate the artificial barriers educators have to put up to protect themselves from accusations but in today's paranoid world it's better to be overly cautious.

                  Saving the elusive werelynx though swag.

                  by Marko the Werelynx on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 12:08:13 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Joe (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mikejay611, royce

              This is a blog.  He's telling his friends about it.

              You're acting like judge and jury.

              Give us all a break, Mr. Authoritarian-Rules-Enforcer.

              •  That's an insult, hence an HR-able (0+ / 0-)

                comment.  It's also just plainly not true and not fair.

                The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.-Bertrand Russell

                by Timaeus on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 03:15:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  It is just my personal opinion and the choice (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JosephK74, mikejay611

            of several friends and family members who are teachers not to friend students on Facebook. But I do not condemn those who chose to do so. But I simply think teachers need to really consider not doing it for their own protection.

            Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

            by wishingwell on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 06:36:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  My rule (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              erush1345, Timaeus, wishingwell

              (I teach grad students as an adjunct)--no friending until either they have taken my class--I only teach one, so if you've taken it, you won't have me again--or they graduate. That way I can't be accused of bias or anything of the sort.

              "No one has the right to spend their life without being offended." Philip Pullman

              by zaynabou on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 10:08:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  ? Nobody is throwing this guy to the wolves! (0+ / 0-)

            Mild questioning of the premises of a top rec-list diary is NOT throwing the diarist to the wolves.  Please.

            The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.-Bertrand Russell

            by Timaeus on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 03:13:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Friending MIDDLE SCHOOL students on Facebook? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wishingwell, JosephK74, bobtmn, Timaeus

          Wowza. Just...wowza. I am at a loss for words.

          Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

          by earicicle on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 11:47:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes my sister and her colleagues tell their (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bkamr, erush1345, Timaeus

          students they will not accept them as  Facebook friends until they have graduated and even then, maybe not for a year or two. They never accept Facebook requests or anything like that until the students have graduated and left the school.

          Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

          by wishingwell on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 06:31:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Love the way an investigation into whether (11+ / 0-)

        he pointed students to the book automatically makes him guilty of it.  If you read the decision, it does NOT find that he did so and he states that not one student could be found who'd read it.  But why let little things like facts influence our perceptions.

        "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

        by gustynpip on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 06:33:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Common sense. (0+ / 0-)

          You don't need documentary evidence of every obvious fact.

          The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.-Bertrand Russell

          by Timaeus on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 03:17:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  This might be a reason that a teacher told me (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Timaeus

        she wrote a book using a pen name so no one would know it was her. It was not about the school and it was purely fiction, almost like a romance novel but there were some steamy scenes. She told everyone about the book shortly before she retired and what her pen name was. She used to advise teachers who could write, to write books but never use their real name and never do interviews as the author. But then again, she believed teachers should be able to write and publish books about any topic with any content but she knew how administrators and school boards could get with this and how freaked out they can get over some stuff.

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 06:30:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I also read the reviews and summaries, and I (18+ / 0-)

      came away with a completely different perception than yours.

      There were indeed a couple of reviews that read as though they'd been written by the admins he criticized.  They specifically said they were from that area and were reading it for that reason.  They then went so far overboard in trashing it, it seems unlikely they were unbiased to begin with.  The other reviews were much more positive.

      So here we have a teacher who wrote a book.  A book that contains sex scenes.  Gasp!  A book that dared make comments on the school system.  Gasp!   Fire him fast!  Before kids figure out that sex exists!  Or other teachers think they have a right to criticize their bosses!  Must Not Permit Dissent!!!!!

      Although you chose to present as fact that the diarest encouraged students to read the book, that fact was never established.  The ONLY thing that you can use as support for that allegation is  a comment in the one of the reviews that part of the investigation into his termination was whether he encouraged his students to read it; a finding that was never made.

      I'm afraid that it's people who accept your very biased and wrong statements that will be the suckers here.  

      "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

      by gustynpip on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 04:53:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I do kind of wish that had been acknowledged in (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timaeus

      the original diary.  Perhaps the termination is just as unjustified even in light of said book, but I kind of wish that all facts had been made known so that readers could make an intelligent decision.

      Still, teachers don't waive their first amendment rights; it's their interactions with students that tends to matter, not just speech in general, although when sex gets involved it's incumbent on people to realize that shit can get real pretty quickly.  But there are still potential first amendment issues that I'm sure the diarist's attorney has discussed with him/her, particularly since I surmise that this school in MO is indeed a public school - and thus a state actor - seeing as a traditional school board is involved.

      "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

      by auron renouille on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 07:17:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed, but... (6+ / 0-)

      The other grievance is pretty significant too:

      31. On or around March 5, 2013, Mr. Turner published a book entitled Scars from the Tornado, which he also authored.

       32. Scars from the Tornado contains student  information,  pictures  of  students, and

       works written by students.  This information constitutes district property and confidential student information.

       33. Mr. Turner published Scars from  the Tornado under his name as a personal

       project and sold the book through various commercial retailers nationwide, including on-line.

       34. Mr. Turner did not seek to obtain permission from  the  district  to  use  student works and information  to publish a personal book.

       35.    Mr. Turner did not obtain permission from parents to publish their child's works in Scars from the Tornado.

       36. Mr. Turner obtained signed permission slips from approximately half of  the parents whose children had works published in Scars .fom the Tornado. That permission slip reads in part:
       We would  like to include work  written by your  child  in an  upcoming book, Eagle Pride, being written about the Joplin Tornado and our 2011- 2012 school year.

       (Exhibits 24 and 27.)

       37. Nowhere in the permission slip does it rcfer to Scars.from the Tornado. Nowhere in the permission slip docs it indicate that Mr . Turner was personally publishing a book.

       38. Mr. Turner produced no permission slips for any book for approximately half of the students whose work was published in Scars from the Tornado. (Exhibit 27.)

       39. Scars.from the Tornado is for sale to the general public on amazon.com for $3.99 and is also available at some retail locations. Mr. Turner announced on his biogs where copies of Scars from the Tornado could be purchased. (Exhibit 4, 5, and 30.)

       40. Nowhere in the permission slips and nowhere in the promotional and marketing materials for the book does it indicate that Mr. Turner intended to donate part or all of the proceeds from the book to charity.  (Exhibit 30 and 34.)

       41. Based on the evidence, the book was promoted for personal gain, both financial and otherwise,  by Mr. Turner.  Mr. Turner  frequently posted  Scars from  the Tornado  for sale on his various blogs and through Twitter  and Facebook.  His marketing  efforts typically included  a link to where an individual  could  purchase the book  for a price from  amazon.com.  (Exhibit 30 and  34.)

       42. Mr. Turner specifically marketed Scars from the Torando to parents and students of the district and used his position as teacher to influence their purchase of the hook. (Exhibits 30, 34 and 36.)

       43. District administration  was unaware lhat Mr. Turner was publishing Scars from the Tornado until he publicly announced at a faculty meeting in February 2013 at the time the book was completed.

       44. Such conduct on the part of Mr. Turner raises a reasonable question of conflict of interest with his duties and responsibilities as a teacher in the district.

       45. Board Policy GBCA - Staff Conflict of Interest states that employees will not trademark, patent, copyright or claim ownership interest in any publications or· other intellectual property created by thc employee in their capacity as an employee of the district, unless authorized by the Board of Education. Further, employees will not use district property, including the district's Intellectual property, or confidential information obtained in their capacity as employees of the district to financially benefit themselves or any other person or business unless authorized by the Board or Education. (Exhibit I 5.)

       46. The Board of Education did not authorize Mr. Turner to copyright Scars from the Tornado and did not authorize the use of district property or confidential student information by Mr. Turner.

      Is Randy keeping all those profits for himself?

      I don't know what happened outside the text of the decision -- maybe there was an injustice there, maybe there wasn't -- but the text of the decision strikes me as eminently reasonable.

      "The stream of commuters heading into the city, the caravan of tractor-trailers pulling out of the rest stop into the dawn’s early light, speak a deep-throated Yes to the sum total of what’s going on in our collective life." (Garret Keizer)

      by Couch Activist on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 10:53:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Basically... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bkamr, erush1345
        40. Nowhere in the permission slips and nowhere in the promotional and marketing materials for the book does it indicate that Mr. Turner intended to donate part or all of the proceeds from the book to charity.  (Exhibit 30 and 34.)

         41. Based on the evidence, the book was promoted for personal gain, both financial and otherwise,  by Mr. Turner.  Mr. Turner  frequently posted  Scars from  the Tornado  for sale on his various blogs and through Twitter  and Facebook.  His marketing  efforts typically included  a link to where an individual  could  purchase the book  for a price from  amazon.com.  (Exhibit 30 and  34.)

        That rubs me the wrong way.

        "The stream of commuters heading into the city, the caravan of tractor-trailers pulling out of the rest stop into the dawn’s early light, speak a deep-throated Yes to the sum total of what’s going on in our collective life." (Garret Keizer)

        by Couch Activist on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 10:57:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Decision conveniently ignored evidence (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          indie17, bkamr, mikejay611

          The board ignored testimony from me and from two of my fellow teachers about plans for a charitable use for the proceeds from the book. As for administration not knowing about it, my principal testified that he had never even heard about the book until right before it was published. I had talked with him about it seven times and his testimony was contradicted by testimony from the president and treasurer of our Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) who both said that the principal had talked with them about the book 10 months before he claims he first heard about it and that he thought the book was   a wonderful thing to help the students get over the trauma of the tornado. In addition, the principal was fully aware that not only did I not make my money off it, but I went in the hole more than $4,000 on the project.

    •  Reviews on Amazon (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indie17, Sparhawk, mikejay611, royce

      The reviews were mixed and the "most helpful", both critical and positive were fairly positive. The three reviews (out of ten) that gave the book less than 3 stars-- (all 1 star reviews) consist of the following:

      This book has become a very public and legal matter, locally. I thus read the entire book to form my own opinion of it. Bottom line, in my view the book is PURE TRASH and has NO MERIT for consideration to judge, critically NCLB, a government program. The author simply takes the absolute worse that he has heard about or been told about by other teachers and lumped it all into one tirad against a fictional and dysfunctional school system. Is it good satire? No way in my view. It is gross and ridiculous hyperbole, overstatements that border on being irrational when taken as a whole. This book is not worth reading beyond the first four pages, unless you like raw sex, etc.
      This book was poorly written, contrived and immature. This "author" lacks imagination and insight. The characters are nothing more than stereotypes. I expected a more sophisticated satire. This book is over-priced. Turner should pay us to read it.
      Full disclosure: I live in Joplin, Missouri where Turner is currently on administrative leave pending a hearing as to what will be his final status with the Joplin RVIII School District. I am also the publisher of www.Caldwellscorner.com and will be writing on the subject over the next couple of weeks.

      Part of the charges against Turner include this book regarding its sexually explicit language passages and whether or not he encouraged students to read No Child Left Alive.

      I downloaded the book in preparation for an upcoming column on the situation.

      It is, without a shadow of doubt, the absolute worst book I have ever read in my entire life.

      Setting aside just how bad the actual writing is, the tone throughout the book is more the private diary entries of a disgruntled and angry employee than that of any actual "novel".

      If you actually find a way to finish this collection of trash, Turner leaves you with three thoughts:
      1. No Child Left Behind is the most evil thing to ever invade the public education system
      2. School administrators are the 2nd most evil thing to ever invade the public education system
      3. Putting any rules or limits on teachers "ability to teach" is the 3rd most evil thing to ever invade the public education system.

      In essence the "book" seems to be more of a thinly veiled attack against the Joplin RVIII school district, No Child Left Behind and his fellow teachers than it is a "novel" of fiction.

      BUT, if you've got $3.99 to blow and want to see what a book is not, go ahead. You won't be disappointed.

      And here's the link to that last beauty's website that he mentioned in his review.

      Notice anything?

      Now, I'm not about to take sides on some blog regarding a book and a court case that I know practically nothing about-- but I do recognize the blithering idiocy of die-hard fans of Dubya and his failed policies.

      Yeah, especially that last one is a real treat. And the first one seems to be written by another victim of "No Child Left Behind" ...

      Saving the elusive werelynx though swag.

      by Marko the Werelynx on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 11:05:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good luck. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, OldDragon, gustynpip, cocinero

    SOS - Save Our Sigs!

    by blueoregon on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 04:29:42 PM PDT

  •  I wonder... (10+ / 0-)

    You said that you'd be blacklisted and sadly, that's the most likely outcome.  But there are few things I can think of offhand.

    1) IANAL, but have you thought of a wrongful termination suit against the Board.  That hearing was an absolute parody of due process, something that your lawyer has ample documentation of.  Did they dot every i and cross every t?  Many times, they are so eager to get rid of you they fail to do so, and even employ-at-will states usually have SOME guidelines.

    2) If "1" isn't possible, networking with us Kossacks to try and find a job elsewhere.  The "system" may be against you, but maybe a few community members may be able to help you get into a new district.

    3) Apply for reinstatement if a new Board is elected in your district, and work like hell with the parent groups to GET that new Board elected.  This sounds like a problem that your administrators had with you, not your students, co-workers, or parents.  If you're doomed to be blacklisted elsewhere, I'd fight for that job if your administration changes.

    •  Excellent suggestions (11+ / 0-)

      I am exploring the possibility of a defamation lawsuit against the district and I do intend to work on getting a new board elected. I am fortunate enough to have a solid reputation in my area of Missouri as a journalist, a job I held for 22 years before becoming a classroom teacher, and I am exploring some interesting possibilities in that area. I would love to return to teaching, but that may not happen at this point.

      •  You might at least be able to gag them. (4+ / 0-)

        I do not know enough about this case to form a view either way. That is, with regard to whether or not you should be teaching, I remain neutral through lack of information.

        However, there was sufficient, even in this Diary, to strongly suggest that the Hearing was a sham.

        This does not mean that it reached the wrong result, simply that if it got it right the process was so flawed that it should be set aside.

        Everyone deserves a fair hearing, conducted with propriety. You do appear to have been fired based on innuendo, suspicion, and probably some pretty unconstitutional hidden agendas.

        I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
        but I fear we will remain Democrats.

        Who is twigg?

        by twigg on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 05:38:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Probably won't need a gag. Employers don't (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ER Doc, JerryNA, twigg, codairem

          dare provide information about why a former employee is no longer working for them - huge risk of a defamation lawsuit.

          Which does mean that really bad employees (including a teacher and a principal from our school district) got hired here, fired, and then hired elsewhere.  Where they'll probably also get fired shortly.  At a huge cost to each respective school district.  In fact, I suspect the principal might be doing it intentionally.  He gets a two year contract, lasts for a year or less before the school board gives up on him, gets his full two year contract paid in order to get rid of him, and he moves on to another school.  Our district was the third one, he's on his fourth school now.  The longest he's lasted on each school is a year.  But each one thinks they're scooping up an experienced guy who turned the last school around in just a year and he's looking for a new challenge.  A real problem in a small, underfunded district.

          "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

          by gustynpip on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 06:39:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  First my appreciation for your work in trying to (11+ / 0-)

    provide a quality education to your students and sympathy for your abuse which is most likely the result of fundamentalism and the rightwing witch hunts which have become more frequent over the last two decades especially.

    I hope that you write a book about your experience.

    We are going to see greatly increased incidences of the best teachers destroyed for working toward independent critical reading/writing/thinking skills.  In many school districts these used to be the most respected teachers.

    The problem is really a very simple one here.  In order to help student develop logical and well supported theses there has to be choice.  For the fundamentalist/evangelical religions and for the politically ultra conservative, it is anathema to allow students to read, discuss, or write about
    any point of view or idea which varies from their own.  They are also so limited in their own open-mindedness that they can't conceive of anyone presenting students with ideas they don't believe.

    This of course leads to wanting to ban works like MacBeth because of witches and the occult or reading excerpts from Marx because it is teaching socialism, etc.  Most of the world's greatest thinkers can easily be excluded under their censorship.

    Then methodology is a whole other world of contention if the teaching involves alternate and/or creative approaches to the learning.

    It's encouraging that you had the support of so many students and parents.  The greatest problem today with education in my opinion is poor administration and the election of ALEC type members to boards of education.

    More matter, with less art. Hamlet, 2. 2

    by blueoasis on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 04:38:28 PM PDT

  •  is this a followup diary? (0+ / 0-)

    I missed the memo.
    I get that the teacher presented something to their class that someone thought was inappropriate.
    This diary is hard to follow without some prior links or references if they exist.

    •  Links are available (0+ / 0-)

      I included links to the previous diary I wrote about this, as well as to other information that goes along with it.

    •  Diarist has links and google: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cocinero, gecko, JerryNA

      "joplin missouri teacher terminated"
      This Joplin Globe article is top of the hits right now:
      http://www.joplinglobe.com/...

      In a footnote to the board’s decision about immoral conduct, the board said Turner was not charged with immoral conduct for engaging in inappropriate relations with a student. The charges against Turner specifically indicate that he was charged with immoral conduct because he had provided and promoted obscene material containing graphic depiction of sexuality to children in a book he authored called “No Child Left Alive.’’ Turner described the book as a satire on the state of public education in the United States.
      Of particular interest to me, article's local folks comments.
  •  I've been in a similar situation (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rick Aucoin, codairem, indie17

    and I have only one piece of advice: Give up.

    It doesn't matter that you never behaved inappropriately with a student. It doesn't matter that no student ever accused you. It doesn't matter that you were never accused by the board.

    If you look for work teaching children, ever again, you will be googled. If the question even comes up, if you even have to explain at all, you're not getting hired. They have destroyed your career.

    Even if you sued, and won, and were reinstated, they have robbed you of the respect of your community, and the presumption of competency.

    Rather than bang your head against that wall, you might consider immediately, enthusiastically pursuing a new career. Teaching adults is the obvious choice. Or is there something you've always wondered if you'd be good at?

    Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

    by Boundegar on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 06:12:13 PM PDT

    •  also if you can, sue... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cocinero

      ...for wrongful termination.

      We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

      by delver rootnose on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 06:22:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Now that you mention it (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cocinero, ER Doc, Desert Rose, mikejay611

      Believe me, I am fully aware that everything you say is true. Before going into teaching 14 years ago, I was a newspaper reporter and I already have some promising digital journalism prospects.

      •  Go for it. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        houyhnhnm, cocinero

        Not too many people can make writing a 9-5 job, but it's worth a stab, especially if you can complement it with teaching gigs and the like.

        As for wrongful termination, I do hope you take them for a whole pile of money, but it won't undo the damage.

        Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

        by Boundegar on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 06:42:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Winning wrongful termination suits (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mikejay611

          in Missouri is just about impossible. I found out the hard way. I reported some egregious slipshod practices in the lab to a doc on the staff, got a lot people in trouble and my head on a pike. I, too, was escorted from the premises by armed guards.

          I paid a lawyer $300 to find out that I basically had no rights.

          I then went to a posh stationery store and ordered engraved announcements: "houyhnhnm has the pleasure to announce her involuntary separation from Big Bad Hospital Corporation -- no gifts"  I sent one out to all my friends as well as  my former coworkers.  

          Then I rose from my ashes and decided from now on I was going to cover my ass, not paint a bull's eye on it.

          I'm sympathetic to rturner229 because of the sleazy way things were handled by administrators and board members.  I know it was traumatic.

          On the other hand, I have to agree with Timaeus. C'mon, man, you knew what was going to happen when you published the book.  You knew the mindset of the people you were dealing with. Pearl clutchers  doesn't begin to describe them.  I hope it was worth it.

          Light is seen through a small hole.

          by houyhnhnm on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 07:16:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The problem is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mikejay611

          he will likely never be able to teach again given how incestuous public education is.

          The book is likely an excuse to get rid of an older, more experienced teacher so the district can save money.

          It happens all the time in public ed.  It is very easy to get rid of teachers regardless if they have continuing contracts (misnamed "tenure").

    •  As far as his reputation, they've done what they (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cocinero, JerryNA, Rick Aucoin, mikejay611

      can in that regard.  But based upon the comments to the newspaper article, they did a better job ruining their own than his.

      "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

      by gustynpip on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 06:48:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The only thing is (0+ / 0-)

        his name will come up on a Google search, but face it, very few teachers who are fired ever have their cases reported in the paper.  Privacy laws govern personnel issues.

        What wrecks teachers is applying in other districts and having to disclose HR questions on applications that are designed to weed teachers out--and should be illegal because they are blackballing questions--and calls to school districts to see if the teacher is "rehireable."

    •  Though a name change is pretty cheap if you (0+ / 0-)

      do it yourself and would be a good idea in any case (as well as moving to another address) as someone might simply think "oh, he is a pedophile!" and decide to take action on their own.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 09:07:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not good advice because (0+ / 0-)

      many of us wrongfully terminated cannot just go back and "retrain," especially if we are older.

      And why should we have to pay when administrators screw up?

  •  Why don't you run... (0+ / 0-)

    ...for the board?

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 06:21:02 PM PDT

    •  Others considering running (5+ / 0-)

      I have heard of several qualified people who are considering running for the board, including a couple who were run out of their jobs by administration in a less public way. At least one parent made the decision to run after he sat through my entire 10-hour hearing. I am not going to run, but I will be happy to help any good candidate who does.

      •  Vote for me (0+ / 0-)

        I have a major personal grievance against the existing school board. That's what makes me a great candidate for elected official.

        Not a great argument.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 08:22:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  after reading this diary (6+ / 0-)

    and previous one by the diarist and I feel like they're leaving something out... yes, of course they have their point of view but still, I don't feel like I'm being told the whole story...

    To you, I'm an atheist. To God, I'm the loyal opposition.” ― Woody Allen

    by soros on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 06:52:58 PM PDT

    •  I can't shake that feeling either. Can't put my (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      soros, JosephK74, erush1345, Timaeus

      finger on it.  I'm not going to impugn the diarist's credibility but I am quite nervous about jumping on the bandwagon, particularly since the diarist omitted all mention of the book in question in this diary.

      I do wish the diarist well, though.  Sounds like a scary situation to be in, regardless of whether or not said book was a mistake.

      "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

      by auron renouille on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 07:27:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The book was mentioned prominently in first diary (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        indie17, mikejay611

        The book is mentioned prominently in my earlier diary, which I link to in this one. I have not hidden anything about this case. The other side is also featured through the board's decision and through the Joplin Globe article link.

      •  And as comments above detail, there was (0+ / 0-)

        controversy about more than one very recent book by the diarist, which he did not include in the diary.

        The diarist may well be a fine and honorable person, but I'm not buying the Joan of Arc routine in this one-sided diary.

        The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.-Bertrand Russell

        by Timaeus on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 03:36:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I taught hs for two months. I have no (3+ / 0-)

    Comment about this diarist's experiences (who knows?)

    What I will say is that I had a student I had to send to the dean several times, and the last time he told me that he was sick of me getting rich (lol) while telling him to shut up in class. He said that he would tell administrators that I hit him.

    I quit a little later, which, in my case was awesome, anyway: I cannot stand teens and have no idea how their teachers do it.

    “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

    by jeff in nyc on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 07:00:38 PM PDT

  •  I remember your other diary and.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mikejay611, BlackSheep1

    I remember no accusation of pedophilia of any kind. No concern that you weren't safe and upstanding, at least that I caught.

    I thought iirc that they were mad about writings you'd blogged and published outside of school hours. They had profanity but the plots weren't about abuse of students.
    You did appear to be a "troublemaker" and maybe they'd seen themselves in your writing.

    Suddenly, at least it seems to me, your moral character including what "might happen to a student down the line we can't take a risk" is in question. WTF?

    You don't say it (as far as I saw) directly. I am so incredulous I hope I am getting it wrong...they have made up lies about you to discredit you despite no evidence, right? They are smearing your good name and reputation, right? They are abusing their power, right?

    I feel like I'm missing something. Maybe I'll go back and read the rest of the comments. THis is crazy.

    I am sorry this happened to you.

    •  First time I had heard of it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indie17, saluda, mikejay611

      There were only four charges against me- that I wrote the book No Child Left Alive and made it available to students, that I wrote a book called Scars from the Tornado, which included student work without getting the district's permission (originally they said without parents' permission, but I had parents' permission), that I secretly recorded my meeting with the HR director, and that I had provided another book I wrote called Devil's Messenger (which was written for teens and has been on the shelves in the libraries of three of our schools since 2006) to my students. There was never any charge about me doing anything improper with students. That was brought up for the first time by the administrators in the hearing.

  •  I stand by my comment in the earlier diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JosephK74, Timaeus

    also

    Something is missing, I agree with other posters.

    They really want you gone. If the original charges are not it, and the new charges are not it, what do you think could make the board take all these steps? What do you think is going on?

    •  It has to be the book (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indie17

      It is not the board. It is the two top administrators in the district and it appears to all be about the book No Child Left Alive. The book is a satire about a year in a dysfunctional high school in a dysfunctional school district where education and discipline have been sacrificed as ambitious administrators push their own agendas. I have been told that the satire hit too close to home. There are a few people, including one of the reporters who covered the case, who think that my problems can be traced back to my personal blog While I never wrote about the school district on the blog, except in positive ways, I was warned about writing about politicians and other friends of the administrators. There are also a few people who believe administration was sending a message that if you step out of line, you are going to be crushed. I can't be for sure if it is one of those things or something else that I haven't even thought about. In my 22 years as a newspaper reporter, I covered stories involving corrupt cops and politicians, child murderers, and absolute lunatics, but I never ran into anything like this. Any teacher, even one who had tenure as I had, can be removed, simply for violating school policies. There was no need for them to create something like that to get rid of me so you are right, something is missing here.

      •  It is the board (0+ / 0-)

        It is not the board. It is the two top administrators

        The tenure system exists so that administrators cannot make capricious hiring and firing decisions about the staff. Regardless of the feelings of the administrators, the board voted to get rid of you. Self-publishing a trashy roman a clef about your employer while having a poor sense of professional boundaries probably didn't help, either.

        •  You don't understand "tenure" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mikejay611

          It doesn't actually exist in public education.  You have the same "protections" as police and fire personnel, so it is basically a civil service protection and not at all similar to college and university "tenure."  They can fire you; all you have the right to is a sham hearing.

          School districts make up shit all the time--do you honestly think principals ever get fired in this system?  They are protected.

    •  Until you have been targeted by administrators, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mikejay611

      you have no clue what it is like.

      They can fabricate ANYTHING because they KNOW administrative law is a joke and they can get away with it.

      You can't prosecute school administrators for fabricating charges or for committing misconduct at hearings--alleged legal proceedings but school districts commit all kinds of criminal acts in these sham tribunals that would never be allowed in civil or criminal court.

      Teachers have NO rights, and once fired, it is almost impossible for them to get a job in education again in all states in the country because of weeding out questions on applications or "do not rehire" labels created by school districts to make sure these teachers never work again.

      It is a very dangerous occupation to go into, especially if you are older.

  •  Thanks for the response (0+ / 0-)

    I was trying to parse out the objective of your diaries by (perhaps incorrectly) trying to determine what you "think is behind their actions" in this whole episode. Since I couldn't find that information I found it hard to form an idea about how I can understand the termination, which makes it hard for me personally to know how to feel, and of course to then express those feelings to you.

  •  Too many of these comments (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mikejay611, BlackSheep1

    show skepticism or even damning charges.  Some are just outright mean.

    What kind of research did you do before writing these kinds of comments, Kossacks?  Did you go read his blog, read inside the book, look at the reviews, look at his picture, look through the links on his blog, etc?

    William, I wish you the best and thanks for your honesty.  I don't know much about Joplin, but it looks like around 28% of the people there voted Democratic in the last election, so at least some of your acquaintances are not bigoted, close-minded fools.

    I trust that you'll be able to find employment, and if that town of 50K people is too small, hopefully you can reach outside of that area.

    Wishing you the best!  You've got some fans for your latest book, too, like this one:

    "This is best seen as an arch treatment of what, in fact, is going on in education.

    Martinets following proscribed rules... who serve the rules and not the students.

    I'm fairly wonky... but my mother, who was in the public school system for almost 40 years, found it somewhat rude... but spot on."

    •  Most of these people are clueless (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mikejay611

      because they have never taught and do not understand the power imbalance between principals/administrators and teachers, which is unlike any other relationship in any other occupation.

      Principals can fabricate charges against teachers they don't like, knowing the hearings are heavily rigged in their favor.  It is difficult for teachers to sue in civil court because the cases drag on for years on end.  Principals have almost ironclad job security, and that's because of the "good old boy" network that still exists in school districts throughout the country.

    •  I wonder if you could find a place (0+ / 0-)

      in Aurora or Seneca schools. IIRC those were not run by fearmongers, at least in the 1970s.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 10:34:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You were fired (0+ / 0-)

    for doing nothing wrong. There wasn't even any smoke, let alone fire - when teachers can be fired under those circumstances, the system does not work!

    The witch-hunt of "paedos" has gone way, way too far. How many innocent, well-meaning people need ot suffer for the actions of a few sickos before it's acknowledged that perhaps such matters should rest on evidence rather than prejudice and hearsay?

    My best wishes to you for your future, despite this manifestly unjust ruling.

    "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

    by Australian2 on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 01:32:33 AM PDT

  •  So sorry to hear. (0+ / 0-)

    And  I don't want to sound trite, because I understand how you feel. Seventeen years ago, after spending three years on three "short term contracts," being hired and fired every year for three years, I was denied tenure, despite excellent evaluations. The AZEA sued the district, and we lost. Not only did I lose my job, but I had to pay thousands of dollars to the district to cover their legal expenses.  It took several months and 18 job interviews to finally get a 2/5ths position in another district.

    People told me that one door opens when another door closes. I didn't believe them, but it actually worked out that way. It will for you too, I trust. Karma has a funny way of playing out. Something will happen to the people who did this to you, and you will rise above the fray. (It looks like you already have.)
    Good luck and screw them.

    If I had one wish, Republican men would have uteruses.

    by Desert Rose on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 06:11:03 AM PDT

  •  Well - (0+ / 0-)

    this SUCKS!!! (((((rturner229)))))

    No star is lost once we have seen, We always may be what we might have been. Adelaide Proctor -7.25/-5.64

    by mikejay611 on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 09:17:19 AM PDT

  •  I've read all of this more than once, and it (0+ / 0-)

    keeps being obvious that we don't really know why this guy got fired.  He doesn't tell the whole truth in the diary and comments (that's obvious, but that's not calling him a liar).  And the board obviously gave a one-sided and incomplete view of the truth in their decision.

    So after putting a ridiculous amount of time into this, I have no idea what really happened.

    I don't trust the diarist, which is not to call him a liar.  And we have no record from the case, no transcript of hearings, no nothing, just a buttoned-down legalistic decision from a board, which obviously doesn't begin to tell the story, plus the diarist's own biased testimony.

    Ordinarily I'm STRONGLY in favor of people who get railroaded by administrative boards of various types.  I have many examples in my legal career of fighting that kind of stuff.  

    But I trust my instinct, and I would not accept this case if the diarist asked me for help.  That's not an insult.  It's just an honest statement that my distrust is too high for me to take on the reputational risk of a defense.

    And I support underdogs all the time!

    The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.-Bertrand Russell

    by Timaeus on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 03:46:53 PM PDT

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