Friday, November 21, 2008

Update on Goader

Linda, please tell me who the people are that make the decision to fire a teacher such as Goader. Is it preliminary committee that then makes recommendations to the board? Is the decision a regular board entry on the agenda in which citizens get to comment? Thank you. When and where is the hearing for his dismissal? ldd



Subject:
FW: Kemp put this on his blog, so now I know what it's about. ldd

From: lee de cesare [mailto:tdecesar@tampabay.rr.com]
Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2008 9:56 AM
To: 'Linda Cobbe'
Subject: Kemp put this on his blog, so now I know what it's about. ldd



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Evanescent Commentary
I’m a Fool for Freedom of Speech-Felony Pt15
Posted on November 18, 2008 - Filed Under Blogroll

Goader on November 15th, 2008 2:05 pm said:

The jury is out on whether I should flatter myself that my blog and outspokenness have enough influence to motivate some in administration to fabricate reasons to banish me.

In the wings waiting on November 15th, 2008 2:35 pm

Don’t even try to fool yourself into thinking that you haven’t been in the cross-hairs of the administration ever since you have been shining a light on the inner workings of the district. Don’t let this happen. Fight until the very end!

Perhaps In the wings waiting is on to something. I have a hard time believing that my little blog has enough influence to cause someone to want to fire me from teaching. I can’t seem to convince myself that enough people really pay that much attention to what I say. If they do, I must say, I am flattered.

It is something that others take the time to read my ramblings and take them to heart. I have always been careful not to engage in obscenities, primarily, because I know some of my students might stumble upon these words. Sometimes expediency would benefit from a bit of profanity or a risqué reference; however, for the sake of students that might read these words I refrain from those devices.

Maybe I should suspend my naiveté and smell the coffee. I guess I should heed In the wings waiting’s warning and not delude myself into thinking some people don’t hate me because of what I write. I realize words can have influence. I know that others might take offense to some I have written. What I do not understand is why someone would hold a grudge because of something I wrote. Perhaps, I would better understand if someone wrote some negative things about me. (That is an open invitation to say whatever you like right here in the comments section.) If another blogger were to say some inflammatory things about me, maybe I wouldn’t be so dismissive about what I say.

This brings me to my Felony series. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why the district is threatening me with termination for what I did. Believe me when I say their response is a gross overreaction. I promised to reveal what happened, and, though I am staring down the barrel of termination, I will make good on that promise. I will be careful not to add any extraneous details and not color the prose with any sassiness. I will attempt to stay with the facts, just the facts. Here is what happened.

It was June and summer school had begun. I was to be a teacher’s aide in a learning disabilities class. My paycheck betrayed my position by being a bit lighter than that of a teacher’s. My assignment was to work with a varying exceptionalities teacher in a class of learning disabled students. Unfortunately, no one showed up for the class so it was cancelled. Just so I had a job I agreed to help in a class with autistic students. It was okay as there was quite a few aides plus the teacher.

Along about the second or third day the department head said she needed me to go help in another class down the hall. Upon arriving, I was not prepared for the degree of disabilities that these students had. There were three students, all were severely or profoundly mentally handicapped. They were unresponsive, uncommunicative, and inattentive to just about everything. The only activity possible was to interact with them and stimulate their senses. Academic instruction was of no use, so we mostly acted for the students, who rarely paid attention to us.

Two of the students were males and had grown to adult size, although their mental capacity was that of a toddler. The room we were in was a storage area for large tables, stacks of chairs, a large filing cabinet, and various other items. Everything was pushed against two walls. Both male students tried to pull down some of the stored items and were constantly trying to escape into the hall. We spent much of the day chasing them around the room.

One day the teacher and another aide took one of the students to the restroom leaving me with both male students. Not knowing how I was going to keep both in the room I used a restraint harness one of the students always wore to secure him to a desk. That way I could concentrate on the other student and the one remained safely in his seat.

Six days later the principal called me to her office and said I was under investigation for felony child abuse for securing the student to the desk. I was summarily suspended and sent home. It is now over four months later and the district has recommended that I be terminated.

I imagine it is rather anticlimactic, but those are the facts and that is what happened. As for why the district is attempting to terminate me I cannot say. I am left In the wings waiting with the ominous warning, “Don’t even try to fool yourself into thinking that you haven’t been in the cross-hairs of the administration ever since you have been shining a light on the inner workings of the district.”

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Comments

10 Responses to “I’m a Fool for Freedom of Speech-Felony Pt15”

1. Motel Special Ed on November 18th, 2008 3:27 pm

Goader:

I wonder if the educational setting you were in had these provisions under state law:

IDEA - Building The Legacy of IDEA 2004: “(i) in the case of a child whose behavior impedes the child’s learning or that of others, consider the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports, and other strategies, to address that behavior;”

Were you ever informed of the behavior plan that the IEP had developed for these recurring challenging behaviors?

Were you ever instructed in the results of the assessment or how to to implement the devised behavior plan?

2. Motel Special Ed on November 18th, 2008 3:31 pm

Regarding my previous post, that would be a Federal law resource, which has a heck of lot more authority than State law and local SP&P’s.

3. Goader on November 18th, 2008 3:57 pm

Ed—

I was given no information whatsoever.

4. Cable Guy on November 18th, 2008 5:02 pm

Goader,

How can you say that?

I remember posters (elequentmind? Suzie creamcheese? somebody.) telling you to watch out.

Hopefully you paid attention about your lawyer.

Now kick ass!

5. Thomas Vaughan on November 18th, 2008 6:30 pm

That was it? Why did the student have a harness on him if it wan not to be used? Doesnt the person who left you in an unfamiliar room, with students you were unprepared to work with somehow culpable?

Why you? What were you supposed to do given the prior behaviors you described?

Was the young man injured?

WHO complained?

Richard, you are more familiar with this, what is your take on it assuming Goader is describing this accurately?

Goader, no offense intended, ok?

6. Goader on November 18th, 2008 11:13 pm

Thomas—

You are very astute to have picked up on every single important point in my case.

You ask, “That was it?” Yes, that was it.

Why did the student have on the harness? I did not know it at the time but the student was not supposed to wear the harness while in class. He was supposed to wear it to secure him on the bus only. Of course, having no experience with students with such a severe level of disability, I knew nothing about the proper protocol for the harness.

You ask about the culpability of others who left me in an unfamiliar class. The culpability of others that left me in a class very unfamiliar to me is the crux of my defense.

Why me you ask. That leaves me only with the warning from In the wings waiting, “Don’t even try to fool yourself into thinking that you haven’t been in the cross-hairs of the administration ever since you have been shining a light on the inner workings of the district.”

What was I supposed to do given the circumstances? I don’t know as no one offered me any training to work with these students.

The young man was not injured in any way.

I cannot tell you who complained because of confidentiality laws regarding those who report suspected child abuse.

Richard has been instrumental in helping me understand what I did not know at the time.

7. Thomas Vaughan on November 19th, 2008 5:56 am

“I cannot tell you who complained because of confidentiality laws regarding those who report suspected child abuse.”

That may be but you have a right to due process. Do the state confidentiality laws trump your constitutional right to due process? I doubt it. I suspect you didn’t dispute the facts as you didn’t know you did anything wrong. The state didn’t prosecute you so they didn’t think you did anything wrong.

What the hell do they think they have on you? They failed to adequately train you for your assignment and thereby put YOU in jeopardy.

Perhaps you have an actionable cause against THEM!

Something doesn’t add up here.

If they ARE reading your blog, maybe I am next.

8. lee drury de cesare on November 19th, 2008 8:05 am

Goader, I went to the board meeting yesterday only to discover when I got there from the baach that the board meeting had been delayed until five. I came home because I have to attend to my husband, who’s not well, so couldn’t wait the two hours until the board began. I had a notion that your case might be on the agenda.

I went to help you fight these thugs. Giving in to them just encourages them to up the ante. Your case is why I advise teachers to forego the union’s in-bed performance and bank the fees to hire a lawyer.

I have written to Valdes and Griffin to attend your meeting with Kipley. They are not good about fighting for teachers, but they are the best we have.

Let me come. I will then do everything I can to use the information to advertise the administration’s reputation for mistreating teachers and running a Professional Standards snitch racket to build false cases against their teacher targets to fire outspoken teachers.

Don’t ever give in to the thugs. It will make it even harder for the next teacher. Fight in every way you can. lee

9. Goader on November 19th, 2008 12:17 pm

Thomas—

Fate shone its face upon me and allowed me to know who called the abuse hotline. As it turned out when I secured my copy of the police report, the censor neglected to redact that information. It was clearly an oversight by the sheriff’s department as that information is supposed to be confidential to you and me.

Therefore, even though I know who the reporter was I did not want to perpetuate the oversight by revealing that person here. When I wrote about confidentiality, I meant that it prevented me from saying here who it was. I am sure you understand that I want to play by the rules of civil procedure.

“What the hell do they think they have on you? They failed to adequately train you for your assignment and thereby put YOU in jeopardy.”

I do not know what they think they have on me since I have not seen their report yet. Not offering me training and putting me in jeopardy is the crux of my defense.

“Perhaps you have an actionable cause against THEM!”

Perhaps I do.

“Something doesn’t add up here.”

I too am scratching my head because something doesn’t add up.

“If they ARE reading your blog, maybe I am next”

I hope not. The stress of your livelihood being on the line is gut wrenching and causes one much emotional distress.

10. Goader on November 19th, 2008 12:48 pm

lee drury de cesare—

You certainly champion the underdog. Thank you for going out of your way for my case.

This board meeting was a bit too soon to have my case, perhaps the next one will.

So far, I have no complaints with CTA’s representation of my case. They have provided me with everything I have needed. My representatives have been high caliber and well prepared. As for the representation CTA has provided, so far it deserves two thumbs up from me.

You are welcome to come with me anywhere you like. I intend for my case to be completely transparent and for all to witness.

I use my right to free speech here to give my opinions. Sometimes those opinions are critical of others in the public realm. Critical thinking skills are highly regarded within academic circles. The district gives plenty of lip service to the public that it provides its students with critical thinking skills. It is through its teachers that they can accomplish this. I am happy to be one of the teachers who practices what he preaches.

I will not give up. I realize that I can help lay the foundation on which others will traverse. I want that foundation to be one of freedom, not fear.

Thank you for your tireless efforts to stand up for others and me. The Greater Tampa Bay area is a much better place because you are part of it.

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2 comments:

Goader said...

Lee—

You hit the nail on the head when you said:

It looks like to me from his desciption [sic] that Goader got no training in this area. The ones in charge just threw him into the environment that required awareness and training. The supervisors started the chain of events by not training a novice participant like Goader.

Anonymous said...

I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
And you et an account on Twitter?