Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Empowered by comments from a silent minority.

After reading your blog and comments for many months, I am inspired to finally respond. With this entry today, you are once again misleading blog readers with your fabricated ideas about what "might be happening” at the district. [I watched it happen, asked for evidence from the District to the contrary and received nothing.]

You are suffering from sour grapes when it comes to your former position at the district and the saintly ways you went about your job functions. But you seem to only want to point out things that are untrue at many levels. [With all due respect, inserting a few examples here would be helpful.]

No doubt you have a following with your blog, but people are like sheep and believe most anything in writing. [The same is frequently said about the literary offerings of the District.]

How come people get all fired up about the negative but are so passive about the positive? Mark, you could find something wrong with the actions of the late Mother Teresa in your blog and construe the facts so that others have the same negative opinion if it served your purpose. [Posting a photograph of Mother Teresa along with one of Nick's paycheck letters was probably unfair to her.]

Good people abound at the district but it seems so easy for you and others to point a finger at a person or group and tell outright lies about things about which you can only speculate. [Again, the blog offers many examples, inserting even one example that strengthens your argument would help make your point.]

Many people I have spoken with over the months have simply stopped reading the blog because it is such a downer. [My numbers suggest otherwise.] Although you ask for positive feedback about the district, the only thing anyone wants to belabor is negative aspects. [I am not deleting positive comments, in fact, I am even posting them as full-blown entries.] Those attacked in the blog have done things in their life they can be proud about just like you and me. They have worked hard, helped the community, volunteered their time, played with their kids, and so on. [Examples would strengthen your argument.] It is easier to demonize people than to think they are just like you and me. [Perhaps we are demons, too.] They have hopes and dreams. [Hope to get their hands on more public money and dream of not getting caught.] They cry when they are hurt; red blood pumps through their veins and they put their pants on one leg at a time just like you and me.

The only thing your blog and the comments of your readers show is that you and your readers/supporters need to judge others. [The lack of effective assessment will permit unacceptable behavior to continue.]

But of course, it's all a matter of interpretation. I only read the blog to gain insight on how people interpret different situations. It saddens me that no one has spoken up specifically about all the good people and the good work being done. [Again, and I am begging now, an example would be helpful to make your point. We want to believe. Give us a morsel, please.]

"All that you are against weakens you; all that you are for empowers you." [I am not up against much, so thank you for the inspirational thought for the day.]


Anonymous said...

The expression "might be happening" appears no other place in this blog, other than this entry. Type the expression (in quotes) into the search window and check for yourself.

Anonymous said...

There are things in this district that need to change. One example would be someone gaining $11,000 from an office "reconfiguration" that should have cost about $500.00. The money spent was money that should have done directly to helping students. That's what this blog is all about--changes that need to be made.

Anonymous said...

If the author of this article was taking the Writing WASL he/she clearly would have failed. The directions clearly state: Write a multi-paragraph persuasive letter to the Director of the Blog. State your opinion as to the effectiveness of the Blog and give examples, reasons, and/or anecdotes supporting that opinion.

Anonymous said...

I intend no sarcasm; I am speaking from the heart.

Yes, I can understand how you might think that such goings on as described in the blog just can't be happening, not here; how could anybody in a position of such authority do such unwise or unprofessional things? It is very difficult to believe, for example, that a principal would methodically set out to eliminate older teachers from his staff and have his methods repeatedly approved by his superiors. Honest people, the people we trust with our children, would not do that, would they? That is a very hard thought to come to grips with. We were living it and it was hard to realize.

Tell you what. Here's my cell phone number. 425-773-4900 (I didn't change it even though we have moved to Richland; that way westside folks can call and it's generally not long distance). Call me Saturday or Sunday; I have lots of weekend minutes I can burn (though with church and rehersals on Sunday, I'm not exactly sitting at home idle). Be prepared, it takes about 4 hours to give a fairly complete accounting of what happened at Meadowdale Middle from 2003-2008. (The District has heard less than 2 hours worth.) I'll pull out my two 2" three-ring binders and go over with you the 250 documents that I managed to keep that detail our treatment. You can be the judge. Are all of the teachers (6 or 8 of them) who were pushed around and pushed out paranoid, or was there actually collusion among administrators and their minions to purge the building of older teachers? I doubt that is just coincidence that the main bullies in the story moved on to other jobs after I made public their treatment of the staff. That just proves the allegation; the district was finally put in a position where they HAD to do something.

Sour grapes? Off-target analogy. That phrase comes from a fable where the grapes can never be attained so we rationalize that we didn't want them anyway. We HAD the grapes; we taught children. It was a fulfilling career; we were successful and working to improve our skills. But the principal decided that he didn't want older teachers in his building and proceeded to make life miserable for us while simultaneously telling us that if we didn't like it here, we could go someplace else.

Sue? Remember, the laws are made to favor those in power, which in this case means the employer. You only think that the laws protect you but they really don't.

I know that it is easier to discount unpleasant stories; trusted people don't behave like that, do they? Just remember that there ARE people out there who are living through and trying to survive this situation. THEY HAVE to keep their mouths shut because they have seen what can happen to people like us and Mark. If I stand up for what is right and get my head cut off, are YOU going to risk the same?

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
Edmund Burke-attributed

Anonymous said...

Who is the source of "All tht you are against weakens you. All you are for empowers you."?

People define their ethics by what they are for and against. For myself, I am against physical and mental abuse of children and others, date rape, dictatorship, limiting rights for others which we hold as US citizens, etc.
I am for honoring and admiring others for their achievements and acts of generousity and kindness. I am for speaking the truth as I observed it. I am for open admiration and empowerment towards others. I am for apologizing when I am wrong, or when I have hurt someone. I am for open discussion.
People may be like sheep, but they are able to get beyond that point if they choose. You are a person, therefore you may choose to follow the flock of your choice.
If you look at "In The Classroom" section of the blog, you will find writings celebrating wonderful events in my classroom. Students amazed by what they and their classmates have accomplished. "I am sad" too. Sad for the principal or teachers, children or adults who are unwilling or unable to be joyful about the accomplishments of others. And for those who cannot accept the pain of others.
Only the omnipotent know what is a lie. You were not present at the events you profess to judge.
But other people were. In one case, an administrator asked a deeply person question of a teacher who had a congenital health condition over the microphone in front of 700 students at a school assembly. Just to pass time while we were waiting to begin. She simply declined to comment. This was not an abuse of intent. It was an act of ignorance and thoughtlessness. That is my opinion and I identify it as such.
It is perfectly natural to not want to believe ugly and harmful behavior is going on in the schools. It is natural to distance yourself from the problem. That's survival instinct.

Down through time there have been people who faced evil and adverse conditions with courage. People who hid the Jews during the Holocaust, doctors without borders, missionaries, civil rights workers. Abuse of power and bullying are huge problems. This may not be your path to travel. But it is one we feel we must walk. The hardest part of retiring and leaving my school was knowing I could not stay and protect my children.

Anonymous said...

Fortunately there are many good people performing the tasks of angels daily within the District; how else could it survive?

Reporting all the good is not the reason for this blog. The negative must be stated and attention must be brought to bear against it if there is to be any positive change. Anyone can walk away from a job and forget about all those that have been left behind. It obviously takes someone and something special to compel anyone to invest the time to care about helping to right these wrongs that have now become such an overwhelming part of the seemingly acceptable culture that permeates so many parts of the District.

I hope that we all share in a common goal that this dialog must continue and these issues continue to be brought up and not forgotten. Not until there is some satisfactory conclusion which benefits the District and all those who serve as an example of what the world of adults should be for all the students that we are responsible for teaching.

Anonymous said...

I would like to ask Richard Reuther what the result was for he and his wife with regard to the bullying and being forced out of their jobs; what changes were made within the District in the aftermath; if they received any compensation for the additional stress that was meted out to them; did they receive any restitution for the personal, financial and emotional damage this mistreatment may have caused?

Anonymous said...

It is rumored that 3 of the members of the Property Management staff now accommodating the newly (costly) reconfigured department may actually be relocated to another site. This would be typical of the lack of foresight and waste of money that seems typifies the "new regime".

Anonymous said...

They will be at the warehouse. I guess the guys over there are going to be babysat come hell or high water. Funny that the 4 heading over there look so stupid compared to the 4 warehouse drivers. Useless or useful? You make the call!

Anonymous said...

We would prefer to answer the question off the blog. You can ask Mark for contact information.

Anonymous said...

At least 3 of those positions should have been part of the budget cuts. we don't need custodial supervisors so guess the district is looking for work for them. Is the warehouse where we send the employee we don't know what else to do with them. I love the warehouse guys, oh not duck or is the uck, but all the others they are hard works.