When I went to Hillsborough High School in late Forties and early Fifties, I had a friend named Mary Chastain, who lived in a tumble- down house at 50th Street and Broadway with her father and sister, Agnes.
Mr. Chastain’s wife had taken off with some bucko and left him to raise their two daughters.
The absconding wife must have been a beauty because Mary and Agnes were beautiful.
That they didn’t get their looks from their faithful father was plain to see.
Mr. Chastain had a nose the size of a fire hydrant, bushy eyebrows that overhung his eyes so that it was hard to tell whether he had eyes at all, and a paucity of teeth that featured a gap in front with two large yellow incisors framing a vacancy of gums.
One inferred that Mr. Chastain’s unprepossessing appearance could explain why the girls’ mother eloped with another guy. Maybe Romeo had teeth.
Agnes graduated with a secretarial major the previous year from Hillsborough High and got a job as Hillsborough County school superintendent’s secretary. I don’t remember the rascal’s name, but you have the years he occupied the office if curiosity overcomes you.
It turned out that 18-year-old beautiful, dewy Agnes was having an affair with the 60-or-so-year-old geezer superintendent.
Agnes’s situation was my introduction to power’s using its clout to obtain sexual access. Usually such sordid situations involve an old-and-powerful man such as a school superintendent and his youthful and beautiful quarry such as his secretary.
Mary’s telling me of Agnes’s affair with the superintendent acquainted me at sixteen with the sexual politics of exploitation practiced in the world in general and the school-board’s locale in particular. This knowledge of such exploitation disillusioned me. It took the romance out of romance. I recall it as the beginning of my education in the seamy side of the world.
After graduation, Mary went to Tampa General’s School of Nursing while I left for North Carolina and school there. I saw neither Mary nor Agnes ever again. I heard that Mary married an undertaker. Years later I spotted her name in the list of late classmates at a Hillsborough High reunion.
Mary’s obituary evoked the story of the family’s tumble-down 50th Street house, their mother’s abandonment of them, their father’s giant yellow incisors’ framing his front gums, and the exploitation of 18-year-old Agnes by the vile geezer satyr who sat in the superintendent’s chair of the county school system.
I don’t know what ever happened to Agnes. I am sure her sexual exploitation by the school superintendent did not enhance her life. What his taking advantage of a girl as young and inexperienced as Agnes and as damaged by her mother’s desertion left her did for this old-goat superintendent is unknown as well. I hope it seals his berth in the hottest part of hell.
Consider the following version of turnabout sexual exploitation as a Bay Area outback National Inquirer tale.
Sexual politics do not always feature a man in power’s taking advantage of a woman less powerful. I judge the case of Jennifer Faliero’s exploiting ROSSAC’s Public Affairs head Marc Hart in an adultery she initiated in the ROSSAC environs to be a case of female-on-male sexual exploitation. It presents, I believe, a woman’s taking advantage of her power over a subordinate male in the school hierarchy.
Had Mr. Hart come to me in the years that I was NOW’s employment-discrimination chair, I would have encouraged him to file a Title VII charge against the school board when it fired him on a trumped-up charge to protect Ms. Faliero’s image with the voters. Ms. Elia wanted to keep Ms. Faliero on the board as a reliable rubberstamp for Ms. Elia’s policies.
Mr. Hart was rare ROSSAC administrator with a credible degree from an excellent university. He graduated magna cum laude from Loyola. Married with two children, he was and is a fervent Catholic. He and I had some run-ins when I first began to ask for public information. Not many citizens did, and Mr. Hart was resistant. I recall asking him once why he should get such a lavish salary because teachers did not. He said he needed the money because he and his wife were traditional parents who believed the wife should stay home with their children.
Not until later did I learn that both Mr. Hart and his wife were alcoholics. Mr. Hart told me that he was a binge drinker and was on the wagon until his affair with Faliero began. Guilt racks him for this adultery. He said the church had forgiven him the sin but that he could not forgive himself.
Mr. Hart had called me and asked to come out to see me at the beach, where I now live. We sat on my balcony with the seagulls as auditors, and he told me about the affair.
The man looks in sad shape. He says his heart is broken and that he still loves ROSSAC’s La Belle Dame sans Merci Faliero.
Men’s enslavement to trashy women is always a source of wonder to me. Remember Dmetri’s deserting Katerina for Grushenka in The Brothers Karamozov? Grushenka’s trump card was that she was no better than she should be. Think of all the women with hearts of gold—a world-class anatomical-displacement euphemism—who have been men’s dream girls since our ancestors picked fleas off each other in the caves. The saying is that good girls go to heaven while bad girls go everywhere. That’s a sentiment women must take in to account when they chart their lives’ course.
The feminist gloss on men’s doting on bad girls is that they confirm men’s negative opinion of women and thus allow men to oppress women on the grounds that they are all daughters of Eve and hussies. That’s what all the church fathers—those old sexist farts—say. Augustine never tires of the subject of how evil women are. Aquinas is in there pitching women’s imperfections. Wherever these two old misogynist toads now reside--heaven or hell, Dante's 9th Circle if the latter--may cow dung be rained on their sexist pates.
The pornography industry bases its degradation of women on their putative worthlessness to echo men’s tendencies to deem them so. As long as this politic holds sway, men will feel justified in discriminating against women—those “occasions to sin” the Catholic church never tires of citing—because they are the snares that trap good men into bad behavior. This belief system keeps men in charge of most of the good jobs in the world not to mention all the other goodies. Oppression of women puts money in men's pockets because it cuts down the competition for the world's good things.
Women should bethink themselves before they join the trashy side of the Freudian whore-Madonna equation, however. The longer they play men’s game of fulfilling the negative perception of women the longer it will take women to achieve equality. Thus speaks member in good standing of the The Sisterhood.
But women may embody the evil stereotype. I judge Faliero to so do.
Hart suspected the Faliero press-reported move out of her district to South Tampa involved a new relationship with another guy. This suspicion hurts him. I bet his intuition is right.
After La Faliero jerked her two girls out of school in Brandon and enrolled them at Plant with Ms. Elia’s assistance, one infers, the press found out and reported the move out of her district. Leaving her district violated the Florida statutes. Faleiro lied to the press at first about the move; then said she had wanted to “keep it under the radar”; then admitted to the move when the press cornered her; then moved back to Brandon, dragging her two hapless jerked-around children after her. La Jennifer is nothing if not frenetic.
Faliera’s conduct suggests she is a less-than-premium specimen of morality to sit as role model for students on the public school board and to have garnered the votes of board colleagues Candy Olson, Doretha Edgecomb, April Griffin, Jack Lamb, SusanValdes, and Carol Kurdell to bestow on her the honor of the chairship of the board when every one of them knew about her affair. I would bet my best frock on their knowledge of it no matter how many times they claim shock, shock at the revelation.
Teachers in even distant-from-ROSSAC schools knew about the Faliero affair and that her school-employed coach husband was divorcing her. Comment on a teacher blog was source of my first intimation of the Faliero ROSSAC-sited adultery in progress at the time. Then a teacher friend confirmed the widespread rumor. You can’t hide illicit sex. People smell it.
I told Mr. Hart to get over his liaison with La Faliero; I said that she is a narcissistic adventuress who engages in affairs even with married fathers for kicks. and that she doesn’t give a damn whom her behavior harms. I added that she is manipulative, untrustworthy, and without sexual morals. I said he should forget this school-board homewrecker, get a job somehow after the administration kicked him out to cover up for board-chair Jezebel Faliero, and keep in close contact with his children, something he said he had every intention of doing. I cited all the psychological studies that show that parents’ breaking up harms children their lives long.
Faliero’s two children can’t have benefited from their mother’s untoward frolics either, poor things. What a role model Faliero provides these unfortunate girls.
I got the impression Mr. Hart told me the truth. I don’t know why he came to me. His tale engendered in me deep contempt for School Board Chair Faliero and the administration and board that covered up her sleazy pastime while punishing her victim. That hellish ethics rule the school board and administration was my conclusion.
Hart was victim in my opinion—stupid, complicit victim but victim nonetheless. Faliero, he said, became almost a fixture in the Public Affairs Office, which he headed. Faliero’s frequent visits were, according to her, so that Hart could “mentor” her in her job on the board. I recall Faliero’s telling me that she had a public-relations job in her resume, so this “mentoring” ploy was nothing but the vehicle to lure Hart into an affair. Of course, he finally succumbed. It seems to me that Catholic boys grow up especially vulnerable to illicit sex because the priests who teach them sex education make backstreet sex sound too sinfully alluring to resist.
Even the phlegmatic Dr. Lennard told Falliero to stop bothering Hart. Faliero ignored this advice and continued diligent in her seduction of Hart, whose flame she finally lit. The rest is sad and gaudy history in the annals of the county school administration’s ongoing on-site stories of lust, exploitation, and casting-room-couch paths to promotion. Such behavior, alas, is one of the unnamed perquisites of power in ROSSAC. It’s ongoing.
I wish Hart well. I wish Faliero off the board. She does not have the right stuff to deal with the wellbeing of the county’s children.
The above gives context to my email below to Ms. Faliero.
Don’t interrupt me to say that I am not adhering to the topic when I address the board. You lack intellectual capacity to make such judgments. You announce in your preamble that people who come to the podium may speak on “only matters referring to the Hillsborough County schools.” Both times that you interrupted me, I was speaking on matters referring to the HC schools.” At a minimum, you should be able to determine whether a speaker’s comments refer to the schools. Inability to make that distinction should remove you from the chair’s seat with a replacement that has a sharper intellect.
And don’t say, as you did, that I should not “go off tangent.” Idiom dictates “go off on a tangent.”
The Constitution gives you no right to shut up a citizen who wants to express grievances to an elected body. Nor do you dictate the language in which the citizen speaks. It’s hands-off on a citizen’s free-speech rights for a person in your position.
You are a public servant, not a queen. Keep that fact in mind when you have an urge to interrupt a citizen at the podium.
You violate the Constitution as well with that prissy lecture on civility that you bore people to death with at the opening of the board ceremonies when you delineate the chaste linguistic conduct the board requires of a petitioning citizen. Piffle, pure piffle. I don’t care what the piney-woods solons pass as Florida education rules. The Constitution trumps them.
You forbid “abusive,” “harassing,” “offensive,” and “inappropriate” language. I bet you could not define these terms to save your life. Any moderately talented lawyer could tear that list to shreds in a courtroom if a citizen brought a case against the board for violation of free speech.
In your tirade about the contractor’s low compensation to the schools for his building’s falling in, you violate your own rules by saying that he can “take that money and stuff it.” I am a language expert, ma’am. Take my professional word that you gave vent to vulgar language that violates the list of no-no’s that you cited at the beginning of the meeting.
You are an inappropriate person to judge decorous behavior with your own flouting of the moral laws of society in your adulterous conduct on school premises. Nobody wants to acknowledge your vile behavior. The administration and board think it’s OK to engage in adultery on site just so nobody mentions it. The press is mum on this subject as well from a parallel prissiness. The board and administration as well as the press have stonewalled when it comes to your adultery on the job. The press's refusal to print the truth about such things as your affair with Hart and its impact on the administration's actions does not advance newspapers' claims of writing about what the public needs to know.
I protest that you have disgraced the board on which you sit. If April Griffin possessed a shred of moxie, she would not have fled the workshop and slammed the door after her when you told her to resign if she couldn’t fall in with Ms. Elia’s directions on everything, Griffin should have stood her ground and shot back, “Hold it, Ms. Motel Breath. I’m working for the voters, not to propitiate Ms. Elia so that she will cover up my adultery. Resign yourself for your disgraceful conduct in the ROSSAC building.” Thuggery deserves resistance, not acquiescence.
You gaveled me down once when I tried to ask a question about the status of your ROSSAC-based adultery with a school administrator. You were out of line. The complicit school-board attorney from Thompson, Sizemore & Gonzalez did not correct you. Had he done his duty as an officer of the court, he would have advised you that any citizen may ask a question as a Constitutional right. The citizens pay his salary, not you.
This is just one more reason why the board should fire Gonzalez after his company’s feeding at the public trough for its non-advertised appointment to the board sinecure fourteen years ago. Then the board should follow its equal-opportunity mantra for a tardy change of behavior and advertise the attorney slot so that all the legal community hereabouts can apply for it. I bet its members are all still wroth with the board and Gonzalez for the discrimination practiced in that 14-year-old-appointment. The board’s giving Gonzalez the board job without advertising wasn’t fair and violated Title VII, a law in which Gonzalez is supposed to be expert since he is a labor attorney. He did wrong to accept the unadvertised job, and knew he did wrong to snap it up without demur.
Your behavior as chair transcended lousy decorum in scrambling to hide your adultery on school premises and moved into despicable suppression of free speech with your gaveling a petitioner down. You can’t legally shut up a citizen who wants to ask questions or convey information to elected officials even if that information is about adultery or worse. The Constitution protects the right of free speech, and it is an absolute right.
If you interrupt and harry me again at the podium, I shall ask the governor to remove you from office for moral turpitude. The administration and board may think it’s OK for you to chair the school board after you have disgraced your office by on-site adultery that you initiated by haunting Mr. Hart’s office under the guise of seeking “mentoring” from him; but the governor may take a less indulgent view. I believe citizens when they find out about your adultery activity will kick you out of office.
The administration with its double standard in full force has fired your adultery partner on the trumped-up charge of drunkenness. You stalked this married, devout-Catholic guy with two young children. You did an evil thing in luring the poor fish into adultery. The administration got rid of your quarry to protect your image. Even so, you followed him to Arizona in your on-again off-again pursuit before throwing him on the slag heap of eviscerated victims. Have you no shame or mercy, ma’am?
Your victim is now out of a job, near bankruptcy, and can’t find employment. Your homewrecker escapade has caused divorce for him and his wife. He says that his two innocent children are suffering acutely from your incontinent narcissism.
Anybody with your slipshod sense of responsibility to children has no business on a school board. I have the greatest contempt for you, Ms. Faliero, for the misery you introduced into these poor children’s lives. I include your own children.
You should be fasting and praying, not nattering at a citizen at the dais and gaveling her down for wanting you to explain your conduct. A citizen has the right to ask or tell anything to the board that she wants to.
The paper recently reported that the administration jumped on a band-leader fellow for phone calls to a student. God knows what the ROSSAC double-standard sadists have cooked up for this guy. The administration practices a wicked double standard when it comes to teacher misconduct—even when the misconduct is inferred, not proved as was the case of the band leader The administration with board collusion tolerated and covered up without a peep on-site adultery of a board member and fired her partner to nail down the cover-up to keep the community in the dark. Then it jumps on a band leader for making phone calls to a student the subject of which calls it has no clue but assumes sex to be at the root.
The administration has a conflicted attitude toward sex on the job. What attitude does the bizarre actions by the administration on such sexual issues as your adultery and the band-leader phone calls suggest? A double standard that is punitive to teachers, indulgent to board members and administrators is the answer.
And, given your taste for adultery, how do you explain your opposition to sex education in the schools? In your bizarre value system, is it OK for you to engage in on-site adultery but not for the students to learn about contraception? Lord knows how you justify this weird fetish of keeping the students ignorant about sex while you conduct an adulterous affair on school property.
There abounds a malignant prissiness about mentioning sex in the administration and board—not about engaging in it but in mentioning it. People recently read in the paper that the administration has punished a very young girl student for reporting a teacher’s molesting a student but tolerates a board member’s on-site adultery with an administrator.
Nobody can convince me that adults did not detect this molestation; but knowing the administration’s pathology about mentioning sex, they looked the other way. People with such an illogical sense of morality lose all right to tell others how to act. Their own morals are messed up. They should be attending sex therapy, not dishing out disparate punishments willy nilly for sexual infractions real or imagined.
If you want to shut up this citizen at the mike, sic school-board attorney Gonzalez on me as your champion. I welcome the contest. Let this hired legal gun paid with tax money threaten me with more than the extortion accusation that he finds in my saying that if the board doesn’t stop the cronyism in ROSSAC hiring, I will ask the federal government to conduct a compliance review.
In other words, the tax-paid board attorney has said with a straight face that if a citizen wants the federal law carried out by the Hillsborough County School Board, she engages in extortion. And a gutless board sits on its hands and doesn’t defend the necessity of the schools’ administration and the board to obey the federal laws and the right of a citizen to ask for that behavior. Not one interrupted Mr. Gonzalez's extortion charge with, "Hold on a minute, Mr. Gonzalez. Are you saying that the board does not have to obey the federal law?"
I observed from the citizen-mike vantage you flirting with board attorney Gonzalez when you batted your eyelashes at the without-a-clue targeted legal dupe from your board throne. You simpered to Le Gonzalez that he should not frown about having to attend a board powwow. Your smirk signaled you would be there to help him wile away the boredom
I fear for this poor chump. Master Tom should be leery but is probably too obtuse to be. If he has no better sense than to accuse a citizen of extortion for asking for the laws to be carried out, he may be as helpless as a babe in arms when confronted by a piney-woods Jezebel and knock-off man-eater. The boy lacks judgment. May the Lord have mercy on him, ignorant legal lout that he be.
If you manage to add Tom and the beauteous Dr. Otero, who held the door for me as I entered the board room, to your conquests, you will have achieved a ROSSAC-condoned trifecta.
You have turned your life into a juke-box Motel 6 honky-tonk operetta cataloging a tale of lust and betrayal, passion and passion spent, furtive trysts even on school property, having the backing of an administration that pimped your seedy behavior by tolerating and covering it up until it panicked at the prospect of the adultery's becoming public, which danger prompted this Pandarus administration to fire your victim on a cooked-up charge.
The person who chooses such a life is not of the caliber to sit as guardian of the community’s children’s educational wellbeing as the chair of the school board of Hillsborough County.
Pray accept my abiding contempt, Ms. Faliero. As member of the school board, your behavior ranks unspeakable. Mr. Hart has come away from this affair heartbroken and contrite. You reign triumphant and shameless as Hillsborough County School Board chair.
Had you a shred of shame and decency, you will resign from the board.
lee drury de cesare