Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Riots Go on in Iran; the Teachers Get Punished by the School Board

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Bart and Tim's dog, Hannah, named for the last hur...":

As I was watching the news it occurred to me that the Iranian government reminds me of the school board in Hillsborough County. No matter how the masses of people protest, the government sets its course on being unethical and circumventing democracy.

This icy indifference to the will of citizens is similar to that anyone who appears before the School Board feels. Board members look at you as if you had just dropped in from the planet Krypton and spoke in a foreign tongue.

This indifference and hostility to public opinion is how the school board is. No matter how much criticism it gets, it continues to stay the course and keep doing things behind the scenes, never letting any discussion go on in front of voters on the podium.

The school board members hold Star Chamber meetings where they all talk about issues and decide them, totally ignoring the Government in the Sunshine laws.lee

I agree with this reader below. I stay up until past midnight to read the NYT assessment of the Iranian situation and how those poor people are making out.

The newspapers have videos sent by Twitter (or Tweeter) from the Iranian citizens because the Iranian government thugs have shut down newspapers and kicked journalists out of the country and told the few that remain not to come out into the streets.. The scenes are heart rendering that the citizens send on Tweeter..

Shutting down all the media, newspapers, and blogs would be just ducky for the administration and the board. Ms. Elia is Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, supreme leader. Ms. Kurdell is Mahmoud Ahmadinjad, crazed president elected by distorting the vote count. The board is the Revolutionary Guard that decides whether elections are legitimate. Tom Gonzales is the riot police with sticks and guns--called the Basij. These ride motorcycles. I was pleased to read that three fell of their motorcycles, and the students set fire to the bikes.

The power structure seems to have a particular hatred of university students. They have killed seven already. They threw some out of windows. I think the power thugs hate the students because they are enlightened and know how democracy works and want it for their country.

The editorial comment passim says Ahmadinjad is the darling of the peasants and the ignorant, poor dumb things.
It's the same in the United States in many places.

The above reader comments on the board's lack of ethics. I don't think board members know what ethics is. I doubt they can spell or define the word. I think they believe that telling unpleasant truths in what they consider prettified political language is ethics.

I think the Elia administration would perform acts of violence if its thugs thought they could get away with it. I often get the sense when I am at the podium haranguing the the ROSSAC gods that they would like to kill me. Ms. Olson hates me with a particular venom.

I can't figure out why but suspect it's because I lived in Beach Park for twenty years before moving to our beach condo for retirement. She can't impress me with the fact that she lives in and represents on the board South Tampa's la-de-da neighborhood because I lived there too and saw that the people were like people were everywhere. They were not aristocrats. After talking to them, I guessed that a good many were only two or three generations away from dirt farming. lee

Posted by Anonymous to Lee Drury De Cesare's Casting-Room Couch at 10:13 AM

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post " This Newsweek list of the best high schools (Hill...":

Newsweek certainly does need to do a story on the school board and how it thumbs its nose at democracy and how unethical some of the individual board members are.

Posted by Anonymous to Lee Drury De Cesare's Casting-Room Couch at 10:15 AM

Friday, June 19, 2009

Bart and Tim's dog, Hannah, named for the last hurricaine

Ms. Cobbe: Dr. James Hamilton retired last year. At the time of his retirement, Ms. Elia created a transition job for him with a fancy title and a $140,000 pay rate. A clerk told me his name was on the job before it even went on the books.

I would like this public information about this job:

1, the job description;

2. its salary;

3. the ads placed and in what venues for this job and how long they ran; if there were no ads, please say "none." If they were, cite those and give me the applications of the people who applied for the job in competition with Dr. Hamilton;

4. the length of time Dr. Hamilton held this ad hoc bridge job and what total salary the state paid him for his incumbency in the job;

5. whether Ms. Elia did away with this job when Dr. Hamilton quit to retire and any reasons she cited for abolishing the position;

6. the date that Ms. Elia via the board created the current lobbyist job that she awarded to Dr. Hamilton. The job description of this job;

7. the ads and their venues for this lobbyist job that Dr. Hamilton now holds if any and how long the ads ran if the job were advertised; if there was no advertising for the job, say "none";

8, a copy of any applicants' applications for the lobbying job if it were advertised;

9. the salary for the lobbying job when it was awarded to Dr. Hamilton;

10. whether the rumor is true that Dr. Hamilton has received a boost in the salary for this job to $96,000.

11. notes of discussion that the board held off the board podium in conference with the administration about the creation of both the Hamilton bridge job and also his current lobbying job and the salaries each job garnered initially for Dr. Hamilton;

12. whether the board attorney reviewed these hires of Dr. Hamilton and approved of them; any notes the board attorney made on his decisions relating to these hires;

13. the attorney general cites 48 hours for a citizen to receive requested public information. Since you are on summer schedule, let the information requested have twice that amount of hours on working days for you to send me these data.

Thank you.

lee drury de cesare
15316 Gulf Boulevard 802
Madeira Beach, FL 33708

Thursday, June 18, 2009

This Newsweek list of the best high schools (Hillsborough 34, Plant 76 in Newsweek's rankings) leaves out a key element: How well does the administration treat the teachers?

In the Hillsborough County schools, the administration and board use the Professional Standards office as a gulag to either make up charges against teachers whole cloth or take a trifle and turn it into a felony. The teachers must be non-committal about the administration and must not have a blog that tells the truth about the administration, or the administration files a Professional Standards charge to threaten their jobs.

The board looks the other way and allows the outrages against teachers to go on. The head of the Professional Standards is a woman with a home-ec degree who doesn't know how to punctuate; the administration just hired her husband, who has a high school degree. for an accounting position that required a bachelor's degree and experience. which four of the applicants have. This was payoff for all the dirty work the Professional Standards head has done for the superintendent and board, one infers.

The board and administration want to keep the teachers quiet because the board and administration want to waste public money and hire sycophants, buddies, and no-talent relatives with nobody's complaining or reporting them to Tallahassee.

All the highly paid administration jobs go to collaborators. The board has given superintendent MaryEllen Elia a franchise to hire and fire on her personal whims and pathologies. Teachers and students have no place on the board agenda. The board and administration refuses to give them one. I asked the two newest members of the board, April Griffin and Susan Valdes, to sponsor a spot for teachers and students on the board. They didn't even deign to answer my email.

Teachers are treated like field hands who supply the body count that gets state tax money for the board and administration to pretend to be great powers in the community and to waste the money on personal trifles and handing out no-bid contracts to chums. One of the board spent $50,000 on travel in one year.

See for a history of the board's and the administration's misdeeds that harm education and diminish teacher free speech and dignity. Of the outrages perpetrated on teachers, the most recent is suspending for a year a special-ed teacher for a cooked-up charge of felony child abuse because he had a blog.

The sheriff threw out the charge, but the administration kept the teacher on suspension for over a year to torture him into giving up his blog. Thank the lord, he didn't. But the board did not lay a finger on the guilty administrators for practices that augment child abuse and dilute child safety. Administrators always get away with murder. Teachers get sadistic punishment for trifles or made-up offenses.

Newsweek's education division needs to do an investigative story on how well administrations and boards treat teachers. Start with Hillsborough County, Florida.

lee drury de cesare

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Turn About Is Fair Play

Mr. Valdez: Please consider this a formal professional-standards complaint against Linda Kipley, Director of Professional Standards. Somebody else must guide this case rather than Ms. Kipley because she is the subject of the charge. I debated whether to send the complaint directly to the office of the Secretary of State to the committees of Professional Practices and Ethics but decided to send it to you first to see if as director of personnel you can deal with my charges--this one against Ms. Kipley and the one I filed on February 2, 2009, against three special-ed administrators.

I believe most people are of the opinion that only teachers are liable for professional standards charges. That is the attitude that the Hillsborough County Board and administration convey.

The Secretary of Education's Web pages say that not only teachers but also administrators are liable and that either category can lose his or her teaching license be the charge serious enough.

The ROSSAC Community Affairs office informed me that one must have standing to file a charge and that I did not have standing.

This stranding restriction did not appear in any of the requested data that the Community Affairs office sent me on the operation of Professional Standards.

The Secretary of Education's site features no mention of restrictive standing to file a charge that I could discover. In fact, I found no impediments listed in the Department of Education's Web site
to a citizen's filing a charge for professional or ethical lapses of administrative or teaching personnel.

I therefore charge Ms. Kipley with unprofessional conduct in her treatment of my charge against Mr. Smiley, Ms. Morris, and Ms. Sosa of the Special Needs Children's Division. I charge that she failed to acknowledge the charge and failed to process the case.

Beyond the unfair punishment of Mr. Kemp by the three administrators, there is an extension of their behavior that encompasses the offense of child abuse because not only did this trio of administrators punish Mr. Kemp undeservedly, but they also behaved in ways that threatened children's safety.

By extension, Ms. Kipley's refusal to process my charge or even acknowledge that she had gotten it includes collusion in ignoring the safety of the children involved.
Ms. Kipley's failure to notify me that she had received my charge prevented my immediately filing the charge with the office of the Secretary of Education.

The Secretary of Education's site says that anyone who knows of child abuse should report it.

I thought Ms. Kipley's failure to acknowledge my charge against Smiley, Sosa, and Morris unorthodox, but I inferred that she would do her duty that taxpayers pay her to do and investigate and assess my charge.

But when three months had elapsed and I had heard nothing, I emailed Ms. Kipley at least twice for the status of the charges:

5/4/09 I request that you send me your findings on the unprofessional conduct of the three administrators involved in dereliction of duty in the Kemp set-up case to scare him into giving up his education blog and to frighten all other teachers in the school system with Kemp's example so that they will not dare criticize the administration.

I asked Ms. Cobbe to find out the status of the charge when I didn't hear from Ms. Kipley.

-----Original Message----- From: lee [] Sent: Wednesday, May 13, 2009 9:21 PM To: 'Linda Kipley' Cc: 'MaryEllen Elia'; 'Candy Olson'; 'carol.kurdell@sdhc.k12.fl'; ''; 'Jack Lamb'; 'Susan Valdes'; 'April Griffin'; ''; ''; ''; ''; 'Linda Cobbe'; 'Ken Otero'; 'Dan Valdez'; 'Lewis Brinson'; 'Gretchen Saunders'; 'Wynne Tye'; 'Cathy Valdes'; 'Connie.'; 'David Steele'; ''; 'Stephen Hegarty'; 'William Birdsall'; ''

Subject: RE: professional standards charges against Smiley, Sosa, and Morris

Referring to Ms. Kipley's distorted response below, Ms. Cobbe told me that Ms. Kipley did not have the information I asked for. She apparently did not read my email to Ms. Kipley.

I wrote Cobbe: I emailed it directly to Linda Kipley, Ms. Cobbe. If she says that she didn't get the charges, she is as usual lying. I cc'd people.

I know the last name of the top administrator: it was Smiley. I cannot recall the names of the principal and lower-level administrator involved.

Their names should be on the child-abuse charge that Ms. Kipley and Ms. Elia filed against Steve Kemp. Please send me those three names and the job descriptions of each one so that I can refile the charges.

And don't tell me I have run out the clock. I filed in a timely fashion, and somebody found it convenient to lose charges against administrators instead of teachers. Lee Drury De Cesare

5/14/09 Ms. Cobbe: Please provide me with a list of Linda Kipley's emails from 2/9/09 to 2/15/09. ldd

5/28/09 Ms. Kipley: Please render your decision in my complaint against the three administrators involved in the Steve Kemp case. Lee Drury De Cesare

Ms. Kipley: Pray substitute this Professional Standards charge for the one you said you lost. Please note that I have changed one of the names because I got it wrong on the original charge. lee drury de cesare

Ms. Kipley finally returned this enigmatic reply that took a phrase out of context from my 5/4 email:
Dear Ms. DeCesare:
In response to your request for this office's "findings on the unprofessional conduct of the three administrators involved in the dereliction of duty" in the "Kemp-case," no such records exist.

This is where the administration's hiring a home-ec teacher for an executive position that appears on the school stationery with the board's and superintendent's names reveals itself unwise.

Ms. Kipley quotes a piece of my sentence. An ethical, educated writer knows to put ellipsis marks before "findings" and after "duty." Ms. Kipley's not doing so is deliberate distortion of the sentence's original meaning.

Ms. Kipley's is not only unprofessional but ignorant: she demonstrates ignorance of the basic protocols of punctuation. Such people don't merit executive positions in school administrations. I wonder who in the world hired her.

Mr. Kipley's not thinking of the children's welfare exacerbates her unprofessional, unethical conduct. The three administrators against whom she did not accept or investigate charges threatened the profoundly retarded children in their care. Their conduct trumps the "abuse" by Mr. Kemp.

Ms. Kipley knew that the three administrators against whom I filed charges were not only guilty of sadistic treatment of Mr. Kemp but also culpable for indifference to the safety of retarded children in their care by assigning an untrained teacher as their teacher and by making their classroom a junk-filled room with the walls filled with unstable, heavy material that could topple over and injure them when they tried to investigate the material as Mr. Kemp says they did.

Administrators Smiley, Sosa, and Morris have no excuse for their behavior. They had extensive training and incumbency in the field; they were versed in the laws and rules that apply to teaching Profoundly Mentally Handicapped students. Yet they placed in the classroom of these children, an apparent junk room with hazardous piles of material on the walls, an untrained teacher and gave him not a word of orientation.

Mr. Kemp was not even minimally trained to care for such children. He knew none of the intricacies of working with some of the most severely challenged students the schools have. He had to learn or guess on his own from the time he stepped into the classroom.
These administrators were well versed in restraint law; Mr. Kemp did not know it even existed.

And I have never had an explanation of how hooking one child to a desk with his in-place restraint, one infers from the bus ride, to chase another child--a big fellow weighing 175 pounds--who was trying to get out of the room is child abuse. If it's not child abuse to restrain a child on the bus, why is hooking the restraint to a chair in a classroom emergency child abuse worthy of filing a felony charge with the Sheriff's Department, especially since Mr. Kemp got no briefing from the administrators on restraint protocol?

The administrators placed Mr. Kemp into an environment without any prior notification nor any special training. The highly trained responsible administrators are more culpable than Mr. Kemp for their dereliction of duties to ensure the children's safety and not to make inappropriate instructional assignments. Then one ponders the significance of waiting six days before reporting the alleged felony child abuse to the sheriff.

The report should have cited the three highly trained and experienced administrators who waited six days before reporting it. Irrational too is their keeping Mr. Kemp in the same classroom for the ensuing six days despite their labeling him a "child abuser."
These administrators' behavior shows to be unprofessional, reckless, and indifferent to the children's safety or Mr. Kemp's professional right not to be expected to function a classroom of profoundly retarded children when he was unacquainted with the protocols of the children's care. __________________________________________________________________________ To: Linda Kipley, Professional Standards From: Lee Drury De Cesare, citizen 2/11/09

Please consider this a formal complaint against Mr. Ron Smiley, head of Section 5 of Special Ed.
In the matter of the case of Steve Kemp’s alleged child-abuse charge filed by Mr. Smiley at the Sheriff’s Department, I protest its validity on the grounds that Mr. Smiley himself bears guilt in the situation for his not rendering to Mr. Kemp the help that Mr. Smiley’s job description clearly outlines:

• Help teachers develop a strategy for the instruction and assessment of the subject area curriculum so that every student develops to his maximum potential;
• Be responsible for assisting the administration in monitoring absences and arranging coverage of classes when no substitute is present;
• To insure dissemination of information and subject area supervisors to all members of the department and to insure understanding of all directives issued;
• To assist the Principal and Assistant Principal for Curriculum for evaluation of teachers within the department and, when necessary, work with teachers to improve instruction;
• To become a trained classroom observer eligible to serve on Preparing New Educator Teams.
• To work with teachers within the department to produce the highest standards of teaching (This includes visiting classrooms, making helpful suggestions for improving lesson plans, counseling with teachers within the department, and coordinating the work of the group to achieve departmental standards.

Although Mr. Smiley visited Mr. Kemp’s classroom, he spoke not a word to Mr. Kemp in accordance with Mr. Smiley's job description. Instead after the lapse of a week, he went to the Sheriff’s Department and filed felony child-abuse charges against Mr. Kemp after the administration had kept him in the class with these children six days after they had observed the "child abuse."

The sheriff’s office dismissed the felony charge, but the administration continues its baseless charge against Mr. Kemp when it is the supervisory people like Mr. Smiley who should be cited for abuse of Professional Standards.

_ To: Linda Kipley, Professional Standards From: Lee Drury De Cesare, citizen 2/11/09

Professional Standards charge against Principal Sharon Morris of Special Ed

Please consider this a formal complaint against Principal Marion Morris of the Special Ed division. In the matter of the case of Steve Kemp’s alleged child-abuse charge filed by Mr. Smiley. District 5 head, at the Sheriff’s Department, I protest its validity on the grounds that Ms. Morris along with Mr. Smiley and Ms Sosa bear guilt in the situation for their not rendering to Mr. Kemp the help that the three’s job description clearly outlines:

Ms. Morriss’s Job Description:
• Proactivity: Demonstrates readiness to initiate action and take responsibility for leading and enabling others to improve the circumstances being faced or anticipated;
• Organizational Sensitivity: Is aware of the effects of his/her behavior and decisions on all stakeholders both inside and outside the organization;
• Oversees and is responsible for school’s instructional program…and its results;
• Oversees and is responsible for the safety and discipline of the school’s students;
• Oversees and is responsible for the accuracy and timeliness of school’s records and reports.

Ms. Ross gave Steve Kemp no assistance that coincides with the above duties of her job in this case. The only thing she said when she entered the room with Mr. Smiley and a physical therapist was that she “didn’t want to lose her job for child abuse.” She gave no guidelines to Steve Kemp before she threw him into a classroom of severely retarded children.

Steve had no education in or training to serve this student population. Ms. Ross gave Steve no advice or orientation to help him do the job right. In this lack Ms. Ross was derelict in her duties as a principal; thus I file Professional Standards charges against her.

To: Linda Kipley, Professional Standards From: Lee De Cesare, citizen Date: 2/11/09

Please consider this a formal complain of breech of professional standards by Supervisor Sosa in the Special Ed division. This charge is a refutation of the charge of child abuse against teacher Steve Kemp. Ms. Sosa assigned Steve to the substitute duty of teaching profoundly retarded children without ascertaining his training.

Mr. Kemp has no academic credentials in caring for profoundly retarded children. His education is in teaching children who have trouble reading to read. • Ms. Sosa’s job description says that her duties include the following;
• Provide support for ESE teachers at assigned school;
• Assist teachers in monitoring the effectiveness of curriculum and materials used in the classroom;
• Assist teachers in the pre-referral process of intervention strategies, observations, and conferences;
• Provide in-service for general education teachers as needed; • Provide program-specific orientation and training for newly hired teachers;
• Assist in developing intervention strategies in regard to behavior management and school discipline; Provide support for parents and function as a liaison to the school, parents, and community agencies.

Supervisor Sosa was derelict in these duties when she and Principal Ross threw Steve as a substitute in a room the population of which was profoundly retarded children. Neither she nor Ms. Ross gave Mr. Kemp any orientation or comments on his conducting this unfamiliar client base, not a word. This is dereliction of Supervisor Ross’s written duties, and I protest her behavior and ask that she be subject to a Professional Standards charge.

Mr. Smiley was the Judas who had turned in Steve to the Sheriff’s Office; thankfully, the felony charge of child abuse went poof in the sheriff’s hands. He didn’t buy it. What sensible person not living in the alternative reality of the ROSSAC denizens would?

I request that my cases against the Special-ed administrators be continued and that Ms. Kipley's violation of her duties as head of Professional Standards, which are her contribution to the endangerment of the Special-ed children's safety from the unprofessional and reckless behavior of Smiley, Sosa, and Morris, her unprofessional, juvenile behavior in not responding to my queries, and her violation of academic standards by taking a piece of one of my sentences and not indicating elisions in order to return to me what she considered a witty and subversive answer to my legitimate queries. These offenses constitute unprofessional behavior and child abuse.

Attorney Gonzalez said at the board meeting at which I brought up the Kemp case for a second time that "lawyers dealt with that [the Kemp case] months ago." So determined is he to distance himself from the case that Mr. Gonzalez puts the activity of settling the case in which he participated in the third person. Mr. Keep says his impression is that his lawyer talked to Mr. Gonzalez weeks, not months, ago. The mystery is why Mr. Gonzalez wants to divorce himself from the case. Does he sense a quagmire if he has to defend the board's behavior in court? And when and where did you, Mr. Valdez, learn that Mr. Kemp was "pleased with the outcome"? Did you talk to him? If so, why didn't you say, "Mr. Kemp told me that he was pleased with the settlement of the case"? Somebody must step up to the plate and take responsibility of this year-long display of administrative and board sadism, irrationality, and bungling. This false charge against teacher Kemp is an administrative, professional, and ethical mess, and the board and administration made it and can't now walk away and bury it in oblivion.

Please email me that you have received this charge; please tell me as soon as possible whether you will investigate it as a Professional Standards charge.

Lee Drury De Cesare

15316 Gulf Boulevard 802
Madeira Beach, FL 33708


Monday, June 15, 2009

Goader Responds to John D

Goader has left a new comment on your post "Postcards from the Edge":


The three administrators were highly trained and well versed in the laws and rules that apply to teaching Severely/Profoundly Mentally Handicapped students.

I, on the other hand, was not and knew none of the intricacies of working with some of the most severely challenged students we have. Whereas they knew everything from day one I had to learn on the fly day by day. For example, they were well versed in restraint law, I did not know it even existed.

Is the one placed into an environment without any prior notification nor any special training more culpable than the three highly trained individuals who placed him there? Is the one placed in the environment culpable at all when he has no prior knowledge?

Then there is the matter of waiting six days before reporting the alleged felony child abuse to the authorities. Who is more culpable in that situation? Is it the three highly trained and experienced administrators who waited six days before reporting it or the untrained teacher’s aid simply doing what he is told?

Publish this comment.

Reject this comment.

Moderate comments for this blog.

Posted by Goader to Lee Drury De Cesare's Casting-Room Couch at 4:32 AM

Bart Birdsall weighs in on Goader's blog about how it feels to be targeted by the Professional Standards office for a manufactured offense.

One Response to “Shock and Ambivalence”

  1. Bart on June 15th, 2009 8:03 am

    I think this is a normal way to feel. People who have not experienced an investigation do not understand. This type of thing changes your life completely. You suddenly realize there are people in the world who are willing to ruin your life without a care in the world. They want to squash you like a bug. Philosophically, you know there are people like that in the world, but when it hits home and you literally experience it first hand it is still shocking.

    It is doubly shocking how many people in positions of power stay silent and do nothing when they see this happening. Often it only takes one single solitary person to say, “Hey, guys….this is a bit much to do to this teacher….let’s cut it out…” and the bullies would slink away. But there is no one single solitary person who speaks up on the board or in administration it seems. I don’t understand it.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Postcards from the Edge

Gentle Readers: Here is another anti-lee specimen that makes AntiGrammargrinch look like one of the seraphim. I attract the strangest people. lee

-----Original Message----- From: John__D [] Sent: Sunday, June 14, 2009 8:58 AM To: Subject: [Lee Drury De Cesare's Casting-Room Couch] New comment on I Nevcr Take the Fifth. John__D has left a new comment on your post "I Nevcr Take the Fifth": >

I know in all senses that the three administrators named allowed, even promoted, child abuse of the severely retarded children.<
____________________________________________________- John D wades in:

This is a strong call about what you know. As for my protecting child abusers, you infer too much. I think you're doing Steve Kemp more harm than good. You write that his was "an innocent mistake by [what I presume is] an uninformed teacher" and also that the three administrators were guilty of abuse by putting disabled children in a room with junk lining the walls. Good. You got angled parentheses around an editorial comment in a quote right.

All Steve has to do is tell me so, and I will stop. I think keeping his case in the limelight has made the ROSSAC thugs deal with it a fairer way than they would have had nobody knew about it and had everything gone on behind closed doors as is the usual mode.

I believe that if Steve's case had not been publicized, he would be fired by now and trying to scare up a way to make a living to feed himself and keep a roof over his head.

Lack of attention to the thuggeries of ROSSAC when it wants to get rid of somebody was Mr. Erwin's problem. Nobody knew his case was going on and how the administration and board colluded to shut him up about crime on school grounds that various higher ups probably profited from and shut him down by firing him and depriving him of his pension.

I wish I had been doing Mr. E's PR. People would have known what a dirty deal the administration and board were pulling off in plain view with no audience but poor Mr. Erwin, the victim. I am glad he finally gave up on the system and took the ROSSAC thugs and the board to court and won his Whistleblower suit because the jury did not believe the board's and administration's lies. Nobody would if they heard them. The taxpayers paid $165,000 for board and administration crime.

That "innocent mistake" was abuse, wasn't it? I'll be honest and admit that all I know is what I've read on blogs - but if someone specifically trained for the job had done the same thing that Steve Kemp had innocently done,
they Pronoun-antecedent disagreement would have been child abusers in your eyes, wouldn't they?

It's a contingency question. I would need to know all the data. One could say that this is another instance of the administration's and board's dopey management skills. It is OK for the boys to be restrained on the bus but not in the classroom. I'd like somebody to try to justify that disparity.

And one of these "boys," the one Goader was chasing while he hooked the lighter one to a chair while he chased the big fellow to try to keep him from escaping into the hall, weighed 175 pounds.

The administrators left the disabled children in a junk-filled room? So did Steve Kemp, didn't he?

No, he stayed in there with the retarded children and tried to keep them from pulling the stuff down on their or other people's heads and tried to conduct a class in whatever the retarded children do in class.

I don't believe that this fact is disputed by any party, is it?

I don't dispute it, but I would insist on giving it context.

It's a despicable situation, but Steve Kemp was there doing his best as a teacher while letting disabled children stay in that junk-filled room and, by your standards, abusing them.

Steve is not litigious. I am. I would have screamed bloody murder and perhaps called the cops if I had thought of it.

Now, you've written that any citizen can file a complaint if they (he or she knows) know of abuse, (no comma: You separate coordinate subordinate "that' noun clauses.) and also that most child abuse is inferred (comma for contrasting element) not known.

That's right. I got an email recently from a fellow who says an administrator in one of the schools lures boys into his office to have them take off their shoes so that he can play with their feet. He asked me what to tell the mother to do, that he is afraid the administration would cover it up if he told her to bring it to ROSSAC. They would: the guy is percipient.
I told him to help the mother bring this issue straight to the State Education Committee's Professional Standards and Ethics Committees. I told the fellow (a teacher) to stick with the mother to buck her up and not to let her waiver.

This foot-fetish administrator is not a genital pedophile, but he may be working up to it. How do I know? I infer it. I am a nurse and have read a bazillion psychiatric case histories and every word Freud has written on pedophilic fetishes among all the other pathologies people suffer. I am afraid this guy will get away with this preliminary activity with the boys' feet and amp up his pedophilia.

Look what hideous things happened to the children in the Irish schools for poor children run by Christian Brothers and Sisters of Mercy. The Christian Brothers taught my husband in high school. The Sisters of Mercy ran the hospital where I trained as a nurse.

Foot fetishism has a long sexist history. The foot-binding practices of the Orient come under this fetish. The men didn't want the women to be able to run away if they wanted to rape them. Answer: bind the girls' feet when they are babies so that the foot doesn't grow normally and cripple the girls' locomotion.

Don't try to pull another Sgt. Joe Friday again on me and grill me. I will post your emails but will not answer them. I won't answer you or anybody on this foot case.

Would you therefore support someone who saw Kemp keeping those retarded children in a junk-filled room, inferred from the available evidence that abuse was occurring, and filed a complaint?

I would not. Steve had the situation thrust upon him; he did not create it. The ones who put the classroom for the retarded children in a dangerous, junk-filled room are guilty of directed child abuse.

I welcome feedback on these comments from you or your readers. I will stand corrected on anything I have misconstrued, but I think (know?) that I'm on the money. If you want administrators' heads to roll, Steve Kemp as the actual doer of the action will have to watch his head roll too if you get your way.

No, he won't, sugarbritches. Not as long as I can stand on a podium and squawk and pull myself up to a CRT screen and compose stirring defenses of him to the state bureaucracy.
I shall flail away until Steve says he no longer wants my help.

Your case is one of hunger for attention. I infer--bordering on knowing--that you did not get enough attention as a child. So you want Granny Lee's attention now. Do I know this for sure? No, but I am betting on my intuition.

I will bet my three best pairs of Manola Blahniks that I am onto your personality disorder. Don't disesteem intuition. It is the inchoate intelligence we all have but can't attach analytic terms to. It's the gut feelings of our innards telling us what's really going on outside. Women have intuitive skills more than men because women are lucky enough not to take themselves as seriously as guys do, and women take care of people all their lives from babies to dying parents and grandparents.
Women are at home in emotion mine fields.

I want as many people as possible to have blogs about the school system--especially teacher blogs because teachers see the schools from the inside. The schools are now run by a bunch of thugs and need as much attention trained on the thugs as possible.

You should have your own blog and come to the school board meetings and watch the board, ask for public-information documents from the Public Affairs Office, and speak out. Don't try to make me your Charlie McCarthy. I won't play that role again. lee

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Moderate comments for this blog. Posted by John__D to Lee Drury De Cesare's Casting-Room Couch at 5:57 AM

Mr. Scott @NYT:

I am printing out your column on "The Taking of Pelham" because it sounds like my husband's kind of movie.

I shall give him your review and hope for a movie date.

I think this column is the best writing I have seen you do. The pace and tone and diction are suave. All capture the NYC smart-ass ethos to a T.

In addition, one has the sense that here is a guy who knows movies backwards and forwards.

I regret to report one set of comma errors:

...habits and the durability of a native ethical instinct, embodied in the flawed, diffident Walter Garber, that somehow survives...

The past participial phrase is restrictive. It modifies "a...instinct."

But this retired English teacher awards the composition an A minus, which means you can attach it to the fridge with the rest of the children's star performances.

Lee Drury De Cesare

Madeira Beach, FL