Board Chair Doretha Edgcomb; Riverview Principal Robert Heilmann;
Riverview Vice Principal Kevin Massena
Overheard patter by an under- the-podium free-lance elf of those supposed to
be minding the store:
DORETHA EDGECOMB, BOARD CHAIR: “LET’S MOVE THE CONSENT AGENDA WITHOUT EXAMINING IT SO THAT I CAN GET HOME IN TIME TO WATCH THE LAWRENCE WELK RE-RUN”; RIVERVIEW PRINCIPAL ROBERT HEILMAN: “GET OFF MY SCHOOL GROUNDS!” TO RENEE ANDERSON: I’VE GOT TO GO AS REF A GAME.” KENNETH MASSENA: "WHERE'S THE GRUB?"
Doretha Edgecomb, Principal Robert Heilmann, and Kenneth Massena and other school leaders cooperated in the suspension of student Renee Anderson. They ignored the suspension rules in the policy handbook.
Never forget the details of Renee Anderson’s crucifixion during her expulsion. They are these:
--Principal Heilmann chased her across the parking lot of Riverview School, yelling at her, “Get off my school grounds! Get off my school grounds!’ --Renee got no chance to tell her side of the story: that she was trying to break up a fight between two friends.
--The 240 pound vice principal Massena immured Renee in his office, barring the door with his bulk. He prattled to the cops that Renee had committed “aggravated assault” on him as she brushed past to go home as her mother had told her to do in a cell-phone call;
--That Heilmann had called the cops before he left his office, presupposing Renee’s guilt and alerting them to arrest Renee;
--That Principal Heilmann stood by while the cops arrested Renee and cuffed her. forgetting his principal's duty to protect a student and see that she gets due process;
---That Renee spent the night in lock-up without anybody’s bothering to hear her side of the story;
---That Mr. Kenneth Otero, assistant superintendent, claimed he was unable to deliver a notice of the board hearing of Renee’s case because it did not occur to this highly paid, long-serving vice superintendent that the Waltons had left their forwarding address at the post office when they moved to another city so that Renee could have a more wholesome environment in which to finish her high school degree;
--That the board did not bother to ensure that the Waltons and Renee would appear at a hearing that the protocol expulsion procedure guarantees a student; nor did the board do a follow-up when the Waltons and Renee did not appear at the board hearing.
--That Ms. Edgecomb, the board’s only black member, is especially guilty of the abuse of a black child whom she should have insured got fair treatment because she knew that black children are one and one-half times more likely to be suspended than white children;
--that the board treated Renee’s tragedy as just one more consent-agenda item to punch the green button for during the board meeting with no board member’s--especially Ms. Edgecomb--bothering to ask where Renee and her parents were for the hearing because board printed board protocols says they are to be at the hearing;
--that when Renee returned to school after her ordeal, having done community service, the board and administration offered no follow-up counseling to Renee but instead told her that she would go to an alternative school and could not apply for scholarships for college.
The below comment by a Casting-room Couch reader adds another dimension to the discussion of board louche performance.
Edgecomb has one goal and that is to not make trouble for her daughter who is an Assistant Principal or maybe now a Principal. Whenever someone does or doesn't do something, it is usually for personal gain. In this case, she is protecting her daughter. Supposedly, her daughter worked under a principal who got arrested for drugs on campus. Word on the street is that Edgecomb's daughter knew about this and should have reported it but didn't. Corruption lives on!
This information suggests that the major reason Ms. Edgecomb ran for the board was to protect her daughter’s career. It certainly wasn’t her goal to help black children as the Renee Anderson case and Ms. Edgecombe’s record of silence on the protection of this black child’s rights demonstrates.
Edgecomb should have protested the Gates grant‘s use for scrutiny of teachers’ classroom performance as if pedagogical style were quantifiable. The data from this Gates exercise will find use as another of the administration’s weapons against teachers--another way to threaten their jobs if they don’t shut up and never criticize the administration and board. The board has stripped teachers of their free-speech rights by threatening their jobs if they exercise these rights.
The Gates exercise will not help teachers be better in the classroom but will assist the board and administration’s joint efforts to shut them up and make them ciphers in the system. The Gates grant should have addressed the pathology of ubiquitous discrimination against black children and its solution. Or it should have concentrated on the status of free speech in the schools.
Nor only does Edgecomb ignore black children's needs in her board position but also ignores making her community a factor in the school system. I have never heard Edgecomb in the over two years that I monitored the board suggest a school be named for a black person, which means that the schools get the names of mediocre white guys who can't make their subjects and verbs agree--usually coaches.
Had Edgecomb cared that black children in the schools get suspended at higher rates than white children, are more likely to be labeled retarded, are less likely to earn honors, and less likely to graduate on time than white students, she would have insisted that the Gates grant go to investigating and curing this pathology. But Ms. Edgecomb is content to be the board resident Aunt Tom, never acknowledging that minority children need her attention and support.
Jack Lamb also has a daughter in the school system administration that he hedges round with his board status and considerable bulk. Candy Olson is reputed to arrange jobs for people.
Mr. Lamb sits in morose composure on the board dais. The only time he came alive in my memory was when I spoke against his using school board secretarial help and board stationery to ask the mayor to lower his condo‘s water bill. He came off his seat and would have vaulted the desk to throttle me had he not been too fat for the maneuver. He had to content himself with telling me to “Stay across the bay [I live on the Gulf of Mexico] and don’t come over here any more.”
Le Jack made it sound as if I were a wet back swimming to the US from South America.
I should have asked “Dr.” Lamb for a copy of his doctoral dissertation. I suspect that a poor graduate student ghosted it. It I want to do a forensics examination on this soi-disant dissertation to prove he did not write it but bought and paid for it.
An incredible hiring scam ranks one of the perquisites of the board and superintendent job: it consists of hiring no-talent relatives, buddies, and assorted empty-headed ding dongs usually for pricey administrative sinecures for which they have not a scintilla of preparation or relevant education.
And then there is the scam of creating jobs at taxpayer expense. Prime example: Elia hired the former assistant superintendent Jim Hamilton after he retired to rev up his consulting firm to milk schools with which he had been in contact in his years of mooching off taxpayers as a high-level administrator despite never having learned the difference between “your” and “you’re.” The marginally literate Hamilton got his recent Hillsborough County schools lobbying slot without Elia’s justifying it with a needs study.
God forbid that the board cared enough to demand a needs study for one of these superfluous buddy jobs that soak taxpayers. But a few respirations past entering ROSSAC, board members’ coming into office roll over and assume board automaton group think.
Elia’s word is law to these board androids. I heard that “you’re”-“your” Hamilton’s lobby-lord pay clocks in at between $64,000 and $94,000 a year. That’s buddy pay. It doesn’t come out of Ms. Elia’s or the board’s pockets but the pockets of taxpayers. So why should they care? The board never thinks to ask for a needs study for any of Ms. Elia’s jobs-program positions. They just press the green button and let the good times roll.
Hamilton’s wife divorced him several years ago because he pushed past qualified candidates then-doxie Connie Mileto’s ascension to the Tallahassee position of Chief Government Relations Officer' Her credentials: kindergarten teacher. This romance got attention school wide. Everybody knew about it. Janitors vetted its status by swapping latest tidbits in mop closets; groundskeepers traded data whilst leveling clods; lunchroom workers explored the fine points during lunch preparations.
The Hamilton-Mileto tale was one of those baleful There’s-no-fool-like-an-old-fool sagas, with Ms. Mileto's triumphing by having in addition to her kindergarten certificate a PH.D. in bamboozling an old fool to climb the ladder to a job for which she lacked credentials.
A candidate with a political degree or a history degree should have gotten that job. Now, thanks to Ms. Elia’s hiring You’re-Your Hamilton with no competition for the unneeded extra lobbying job, which Mileto’s job should encompass anyway, Hamilton and Mileto are back in Tallahassee as lobbying pas de deux.
I guess this meet-up in Tallahassee means his poor wife, who had remarried the old goat incredibly enough when Mileto espied younger swains in Tallahassee and dumped him. Now the put-upon wife will have to divorce this Your-you're swain again.
Did the board intervene in this quaint tale of concupiscence and ambition? Not on your life. They liked trading the latest hot tidbits on the story on the board dais instead of attending to the the dull business of the schools. As a matter of record, at one meeting I went to, the board chorused "ta ta to somebody going to Tallahassee. Several even sang out, "Be sure to tell Jim and Connie 'hello.'"
The mystery of this bizarre tale that remains for me is how Hamilton was able to attract any woman, even given his aphrodisac of power in inserting a candidate into a job that she was not qualified for. Hamilton shuffles around looking like an unmade bed; his clothes are rumpled; his pants are rump-sprung, bag low, and contain nothing, and one intuits that Your-you're Hamilton's hygiene is woefully deficient. Go figure.
This delectation of on-site concupiscence explains why the board and administration tolerated the affair that Motel Breath Falliero carried on with Community Affairs head Marc Hart for two administrations. When it finally seeped out, Ms. Elia directed Buchenwald alumnus Ken Otero to fire Hart for drinking on the job. Fornicating on the job: no problem. Drinking on the job: hideous immorality and out the door.
Mata Hari Motel Breath Falliero lost her seat in the recent election. I hope I contributed to that outcome by writing fundamentalist churches in Falliero's district and apprising them of the board Jezebel's activities in vivid language.
Exposure is always the answer to these situations. I come from a small Georgia town whose church populations in the ladies guilds who make all the potato salad for the church hoedowns do not brook fornication especially when it injures four children as was the case in the Falliero-Hart situation.
Falliero once had me kicked out of the board room in payback for my exposing her adultery after Marc Hart came to my home and showed me relevant depositions. She had cooked up a scene with the hulking head of Security to evict me. This gallant law officer snarled at me in the lobby that he was going to have the police come and arrest me. I said, "Go ahead, buster." I would have loved to have sat in jail in the cause of public-office decency. My ten grandchildren would have gone wild with delight if their granny went to jail; my husband of 55 years would have brought me my medications whilst complaining that he was starving to death because he can't boil water. My adventure would have been ritually recited for the next hundred years at all family Thanksgiving summits.
Ms. Elia’s job-creation lock down recently resulted in a job created for the principal Smith featured in the Alafia brouhaha. The Alafia parents refused to have Smith principal any more, and even Elia’s promising them that she would send both Smith and her vice principal to Eckerd for a personality lobotomy at $4500 a pop of tax money if they would keep Smith did not propitiate them. Hence, because the administration and board couldn’t stand the bad Alafia publicity’s being printed by the usually somnolent press.
Elia sent Lie-about-educational-credentials GED Griffin and former board member Motel-breath Jennifer Falliero skulking out to Alafia to a secret rendezvous with Smith to lure her to resign her job with the understanding that Elia would create an empty job but at full principal pay and benefits as compensation.
GED Griffin suffers the delusion that she is a superior diplomat and that this diplomatic mission to Smith was just one more illustration of how Bismarck should roll over in his grave in envy of her diplomatic acumen. She would also impugn the political skills of Disraeli and Gladstone if she knew who they were.
What Griffin engaged in was not diplomacy. It was sneaking, lying, and sticking the taxpayers whom she is supposed to serve with another manufactured, empty job to solve a political problem for the board and Elia. The SPT interviewed La Griffin over the Christmas holiday. Not only did it report that she lied to the SPT about her education but also had cheated the state out of the fees she left on the HCC books when she exited several years ago. This latter contrtemps ticked me off because I had been a professor at HCC for twenty-eight years before retiring and felt some concern for its financial status.
Stealing money from the taxpayers who pay La Motel Breath a bloated salary for sitting on the dais during monthly meetings is bad enough. But stiffing a community college that runs on tax funds is out-and-out theft. Therefore, if GED Griffin does not want to have “thief” added to her resume of “liar,” she must pay this tax money to HCC, or some future intrepid opponent will sock the thief-liar sobriquet on her in a future campaign. Stacy White, the guy who unseated Falliero in the immediately preceding campaign, was not forceful enough to level those accurate charges. But we forgive Stacy because he has an adorable dimple, something sorely needed on a board not noted for its beauty.
Griffin should get her degree. My laid-back grandson just got his. If he can, she can. Thousands of working people tuck in classes around their schedules and finally make it. I used to have these turn up constantly when I taught. These go-getters were inevitably among my best students. With two universities and a community college available, GED Griffin could earn a degree if she buckled down and stopped blaming her mother’s multiple marriages for her failure to have the get up and go to earn her degree. Past 40 as is April, you must stop blaming your parents for your adult failures.
Grown-ups don’t blame their parent for not getting a degree or anything else the person is responsible for.
Harsh reader comments on the SPT article in Tampa Bay Online blog on Griffin’s lying about her meager education show this scam did not please the public. Some wrote to say they it shocked them that a school board member lacked a college degree.
There are many things one without a college education can do, but board member of a school system is not one of them. Griffin’s unedited history shows she should not be on a school board because if she does not value her own education, she doesn’t value that of the county’s students. Griffin dropped out of high school and later got a GED. A GED is better than nothing. But is it good for students that Griffin, who should be a role model for them, dropped out of high school, that she did not bestir herself to go part-time and get her degree, that she lied to the press about her education when she ran for office, and that she stiffed a state-supported community college which she attended briefly? No and no and no and no.
Then when Griffin lies her way onto the board, she showed her ethics to be lacking when she pitched in to help Elia pull off a covert scam that soaks taxpayers to diminish bad publicity for Elia and board members so that they can keep the public in the dark and retain their power over the tax money that pours into ROSSAC and retain such perks as handing out jobs to unqualified relatives, best buds, and peripatetic n’er do wells so that unqualified, lackadaisical people bestrew ROSSAC. When these deficient souls can’t do their tasks (recall the bus crisis) because of lack of smarts and/or lack of relevant education, they must have pricey tax-paid consultants fly in and teach them their jobs with flash cards.
You will recall that in the bus saga after the situation forced Elia to hire an outside manager, the two replaced incompetents didn't face firing. Elia moved them to another office and continued their pay and benefits at the same rate. Such was the behavior of the financial whiz that Governor Edwards recently invited to help him review such things as school budgets.
Taxpayers unknowingly fund this on-the-job training for the unfit in positions with bloated pay without the skills to justify it. The Public Affairs Laundromat sanitizes all information going out on the schools, and Elia and the board fire anybody--especially teachers--who out the dark deeds behind the ROSSAC moat.
When the administration hires a person, that person should be qualified. The false job offer that GED Griffin and Motel Breath Falliero peddled to Alafia Smith worked. Smith got the pretend job that Elia pulled out of the dirty-tricks hat and is probably sitting somewhere in the book depository now paring her nails.
I asked for the job’s description as public information. After about two weeks had given personnel honcho Valdez the time to fake one, I got a copy of the job description. Then I asked who inhabited the job before Smith: no answer.
QED: it is an out-of-thin-air job devised by Elia at taxpayer expense to solve a bad-publicity problem. The board has endowed Elia with this create-jobs perquisite as part of the superintendent’s under-the-table benefits. Board members don’t care enough about taxpayers to stop the Board Consent Agenda's rolling belt, lift off a new job, and ask for a needs study and other justification for it.
Any board member who did ask for a job's justificationwould need the moxie to withstand the pounding that GED Griffin got from Carol Kurdell and Candy Olson when Griffin, in the throes of idealism after she first joined the board, asked that a non-bid contract come off the Consent Agenda for scrutiny.
This request raised the hackles of the board’s two wild-heath Macbeth cronettes, who guard the venerable methods of wrongdoing that comprises what Ms. Edgecomb in a rhetorical flight into the nut region of the stratosphere calls “institutional memory.” They gave Griffin a tongue-lashing, accusing her of “being disloyal to the staff.”
Griffin, not the brightest crayon in the GED box, lacked the wit and spunk to tell Olson and Kurdell that she served the public, not the staff. So distressed did this Kurdell-Olson onslaught make Griffin that she curled up into a fetal ball and has never unwound since except to do Ms. Elia’s bidding.
This contemptible rollover occurs in every new board member and the public bedamned. We’re talking among other things about what the board and administration consider taxpayer play money that the board and administration use to make up jobs and pass them out to relatives, hangers-on, and sycophants to preen their power by abusing their control of tax monies.
One would say this behavior is unethical and perhaps criminal. But the unspoken rule is that administrators never get punished no matter what they do. But if a teacher had been discovered to know about drug activities of another school employee as was the case alleged about Ms. Edgcomb’s daughter and if a teacher had failed to report the situation, that teacher would be the object of a lightening-fast Professional Standards Gestapo shake down and would be out the door on unemployment compensation before you could say “administrative perks.”
The Edgecomb offspring had not only the tradition of never punishing administrators to rely on in the not-reporting drug situation but also enjoyed the protection of being a child of a board member.
Board attorney Tom Gonzalez would have temporarily ceased slurping soda and chomping chips on the podium under the "No food or beverages in this area" and hied to dip into his mouthpiece bag of tricks to construct a footnote to a footnote to make Elia’s daughter not only guiltless for covering up a dangerous drug situation but also worthy of being beatified to boot, not to mention a first Nobel recommendation signed by all the board and administration, who have only recently learned what a Nobel is.
One significant way that the board and administration keep teachers oppressed is the tactic of job threats via the Professional Standards gauntlet. I asked for files on teachers’ Professional Standards charges: I got a stack. I asked for administrator files with Professional Standards charged lodged against them: zilch. Thus the board and administration have the power to keep teachers silent with a targeted program of Professional Standards charges making them fear losing their jobs.
This sicko sadistic power gives the board and administration the control of teachers’ ability to earn a livelihood. This power renders teachers silent.
The heads of Professional Standards is Linda Kipley, whom I have observed wearing see-through plastic baby dolls on the job. These babydolls are for sure an objective correlative. Ask T.S. Elliot about the metaphysical aura of plastic see-through babydolls.
Kiply was principal at Hillsborough High, but she was so unprofessional that teachers refused to go into a conference with her unless equipped with a recorder so likely is Kiplely to lie and manufacture things that have not occurred in an interview. So bad the situation got at Hillsborough that the superintendent and his thugs switched Kipley into the head of Professional Standards slot, a move that validates teachers‘ motto of “If you mess up, you move up.”
The superintendent then was Earl the Pearl Lennard. He had emerged from the dungeons where he was vo-tec head to lead the schools. His competitors greatly outranked him in degrees and experience as did Elia's, but Earl the Pearl was the choice because he was on-site and had made venerable stair-well arrangements to mop up the floor with the qualified candidates. There's another thesis I want to do a forensics assessment of. If Lennard wrote his thesis, it would be a bigger miracle than the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
Linda Kipley has a home-ec degree. Such sexist diplomas sunsetted in the Pleistocene Era in the legitimate academic world. Yet Kipley occupies a vital, extravagantly paid position that should require a psychology or criminal justice degree or at least some degree with more academic heft than a home ec certificate. The job description says head of professional standards indeed ranks a master’s-degree job, but Ms. Elia ignored the standard for a creature she could manipulate to file empty charges against teachers to keep them mum. Elia later rewarded Kipley for her serivtude by gifting Kipley's husband with an accounting slot for which he had no credentials beyond a high school degree. I reviewed the applicants' application files. At least four had accounting degrees and the cited experience. What they did not have was Linda Kiple as spouse and resident cooker-upper of fake charges against teachers to keep the terrified and mute.
That was the genus of the maneuver Kipley pulled off on my friend Bart Birdsall. He spoke out in the community against the strictures put on gays’ use of the county libraries passed by the Hillsborough County Commission under the urging of homophobic Rhonda Storms.
The board and administration aim to keep hush-hush the schools’ employing gays to keep pacified the legions of restive fringe folk at the edge of the civilized world hunkered down in the fens and bogs that ring rural fastnesses such as Seffner and Turkey Creek.
Besides, Ms. Elia can overrule any education prerequisite. If she really puts her mind to it, Ms. Elia can rewrite basic scientific formulae or cancel the laws of gravity. What’s Newton’s heft compared to that of the superintendent of the Hillsborough County public schools? Zeus is a pantywaist in comparison. People crawl out on all fours when leaving La Elia’s office so potent is the position she owns and so unfailingly does she use its power in not only telling school employees what to do but also in telling her pusillanimous board bosses where to get off that one shrinks back in terror.
It’s a stirring spectacle. Cecil B. Deville needs to record it.
Well known is that board members all have the guts of a butterfly and don‘t let out a peep of rebuke to Ms. Elia. If one did, the other six would flay the wretch alive and make the skin strips into lamp shades as the Nazis used to do at their more than a hundred death camps during WW II. I would not be a bit surprised if Elia did not propose a school-board death camp for any teacher blabbermouths who turned up. The board go-alongs would green-light the proposal stat.
The Professional Standards head job got no advertising despite the board mantra stamped on any surface whatever that blazons, “We are an equal-employment-opportunity employer.” This lack of competition for job hiring violates Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and violates as well the federal contracts that the school has that all require affirmative action plans for disabled people and equal-opportunity protocols.
But Tom Gonzalez, against whom I have filed two ethics charges so far with no penalty from the legal priesthood that occupy the office and protect its own, pulls down $275,000 per annum for such services as assuring the board that the federal laws on nondiscrimination in employment do not apply to the Hillsborough County school board. They didn’t apply to his getting a job that violated federal statute to be sure. So that explains his no-application advocy. He even left out teachers of the bullying law's protection to shield the board from law suits that involved its turning back complaints by teachers because they could use bullying lawsuits to vitiate the Professional Standards cooked-up charges against teachers. So there’s no use to tell the board that the federal statutes on discrimination do indeed apply to the schools because Gonzalez has given the answer they want, and they are sticking by it.
But what are puny federal laws when pitted against the gigantic powers and hypertrophied egos of the Hillsborough County School Board and administration quidnuncs? Laws are mere thistles in the wind before the gigantic tornado of amour proper that surrounds ROSSAC denizens. Indeed, delusions of grandeur burgeon in the ROSSAC office suites, a side affliction to which the board and administration inevitably succumb, exacerbated by their occupation of the nether regions of the Stanford Binet.
We are talking here about a well-known phenomenon: little people who acquire a little power don’t know how to handle it and go gaga. It’s Alice in Wonderland big time all the time in ROSSAC country on the other side of the looking glass, east of the sun and west of the moon. ldd
The following email came in response to mine to her in which I praised the power of her appeals brief:
Law Offices of Doris Landis Raskin, P.A.
Legal Experience: 23 years
9957 Moorings Drive, Suite 502
JACKSONVILLE, FL 32257
OverviewFrom: Doris Landis Raskin [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, November 14, 2010 11:16 AM
Appellate attorney Doris Raskin writes the following in response to my email to her praising her appellate appeal’s strength:
Appeallate Attorney Raskin says:
Renee's case is concluded unjustly and unfairly. The appellate court found a completely new fact, i.e., that the board had offered Renee an alternative placement. If that were true, we would never have filed a case.
When a case is decided at the appellate level, the only thing left is an appeal to the Supreme Court. There is no jurisdictional issue for the Supreme Court. The appellate court tanked it by finding a fact not in evidence.
Thank you for your kind words. I am not proud of the writing, but I am proud of the content. Cases are not decided on how well the brief is written, but the legal issues, the application of the facts to the issues, and the rule of law.
In Renee's case, I believe it was decided on personalities. Susan Bucklew, a favorite of the appellate court, and a former high school English teacher in the defendant school system who had to know all of the good old boys involved, should have recused herself, but didn't.
I didn't know about her until I read her wild hair of a decision and did some research. Doris Landis Raskin email@example.com
About Doris Landis Raskin
B. A. in English and Political Science, University of Tennessee, 1964
M.S. in Diagnostic/Prescriptive Teaching, Special Education, Florida International University, 1977.
J.D. Nova Center for the Study of Law, k.n.a. Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 1987.
Practice concentrated in Education Law and Civil Rights. Extensive Experience in Criminal Defense.
Licensed to practice in Florida and Southern District of Florida, Middle District of Florida and 11th Circuit Federal Courts.
Sole Practitioner, Law Offices of Doris Landis Raskin, P.A.
Sole practitioner in Jacksonville, FL
Sole Practitioner, Law Offices of Doris Landis Raskin, P.A.
Sole practitioner in Stuart, Florida
Staff Attorney, Office of Public Defender Martin County, Florida
Staff Attorney, Office of Public Defender Brevard County
Jessica Green Foundation
Florida Bar Education Law Committee
ARC of Martin County
Member, Florida State Bar
The scary thing about the Raskin comments is that they suggest that even the local judiciary harbous elements of corruption and that Tom Gonzalez's $275,000 highest- pay-in-the-state board job rests in part on his participation in that corrupt system, which circumstance impacts some board-and-administration court decisions such as
Renee's. Ms. Raskin's comments suggest that such as Tom Gonzalez and corhorts benefit from partaking of this behind-the-scenes-buddy situation by winning cases such as Renee's appeal that they would have lost in a fair system. People have a strong belirf in the probity of the courts so that these indications of corruption articulated by Raskin, a lawyer with a more priviledged vantage than those of us on the outside ot the legal apparatus, say this citizen faith is misplaced. For the average person, the specter of the public schools' leadership's particpating in a corruption of democracy frightens and dismays. Doing the research on this blog entry that resulted in this information dismays me.