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  #41  
Old 12-19-2012, 8:03 AM
Lives_In_Fresno Lives_In_Fresno is offline
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It seems to me that if the teacher was really upset about the sweatshirt and what was written on it, and also if the teacher knew it was against policy, the teacher would have sent the girl to the principal's office.

Sending her to a storage room instead suggests that he knew he was wrong.
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  #42  
Old 12-19-2012, 8:25 AM
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clothing logos are dangerous.

I can see someone getting a corneal scratch by removing it too quickly with their eyes open or something.

Be careful out there, people.
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  #43  
Old 12-19-2012, 8:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carsgunsandchics View Post
It's not fabricated. It's my wife, and one of my 3 daughters that's involved.
Nail that teachers nuts to the wall. Don't settle for anything less then his job.

Even if you are pulling the child, he still needs to apologize in front of the class to show the other students that his actions were wrong. Anything less is not fair to your kid, and gives the wrong impression on the other children.

Sent from my Incredible 2
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  #44  
Old 12-19-2012, 4:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lives_In_Fresno View Post
It seems to me that if the teacher was really upset about the sweatshirt and what was written on it, and also if the teacher knew it was against policy, the teacher would have sent the girl to the principal's office.

Sending her to a storage room instead suggests that he knew he was wrong.
Very good point. If I were a teacher and a student broke the rules, I wouldn't argue about it. I would send that student to the Principal's office and let him handle it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MonkeyGrrl View Post
You are right, we weren't there. Our daughter's words were "he humiliated me in class and after class" and "he sent me out of class to the storage closet to finish my work". She told this to me and to the assistant principal.

We only wanted an apology, in front of the class. When I talked to SBR about the incident - since it was their sweatshirt she was wearing, and they are our friends - they posted the blog link on their page and this whole thing blew up.

Do I think it will go to the Supreme Court? No. Do I think that people need to be aware that bullying is happening between teachers and students in the public school setting? Yes.

*shrug*
Well, I hope it all works out for you and yours.
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  #45  
Old 12-19-2012, 4:43 PM
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I think you've been way too "nice" in your handling of the issue.

If it had been my daughter, the school district would have been hearing from my attorney. Teachers are hired to teach - not bully or humiliate students whose clothing they may not like. This teacher should be placed on a suspension and fired if he repeats the offense in the future.

I neglected to mention that withdrawing your daughter from that school was an excellent response as they will ultimately "feel" a reduction in their funding. If they comment to you further on your daughter's withdrawal - tell them where they can pound sand.
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  #46  
Old 12-19-2012, 5:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Kurus214 View Post
I am so sorry for what your daughter and you have to through.
An experienced teacher should have not acted in that manner, the shirt was not profane nor offensive.

On the other hand I'm sure many of us can recount things that a teacher did to us that were not remotely fair and in many cases unethical.

My college profs made no bones about being manipulative, and demanding you bend to their ideology or face a failing grade.
Yeah I remember having to write a paper in high school regarding whether or not you believed in the death penalty. Up until then I pulled good grades on all my papers, once I said I supported the death penalty, welcome to C ville.
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  #47  
Old 12-19-2012, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by FourT6and2 View Post
Please read more critically.

I never said what the teacher did was NOT wrong. I simply said his actions did not seem to violate the girl's CIVIL RIGHTS. Big difference.

And words like "storage closet" and "publicly ridiculed" are deliberate pejoratives meant to increase the negativity of the situation. You and I weren't there. We don't know the true severity of the situation enough to say either way. I'm just playing devil's advocate. I'm not one to hop on a bandwagon and start pointing my finger before thinking about a situation. It's obvious, though, that due to the recent events in CT, this teacher blew this situation with the shirt out of proportion. And that was wrong of him. If you or other people want to make a Supreme Court Civil Rights case out of it, go ahead. That's your right.
Actually, the teacher DID violate her civil rights. See Tinker. And in case you didn't notice, Tinker was a Supreme Court case.

The School, by not properly interfering and demanding an apology from the teacher, also violated the student's civil rights.

There are further steps to be taken, here.
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  #48  
Old 12-19-2012, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by jdberger View Post
Actually, the teacher DID violate her civil rights. See Tinker. And in case you didn't notice, Tinker was a Supreme Court case.

The School, by not properly interfering and demanding an apology from the teacher, also violated the student's civil rights.

There are further steps to be taken, here.
It would be a stretch to assume a court would find a promotional sweatshirt from a local business to be protected political speech...but you never know.

Wonder how many hundred thousands it would cost the OP to find out?
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  #49  
Old 12-19-2012, 11:39 PM
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While I completely concur that the teacher totally mishandled the situation, likely violated school policy and completely let his personal feeling interfere with his professional duties, his actions are not contractually grounds for dismissal nor should they be.

If everyone who mishandled an interpersonal encounter such as this was fired, there would not be any teachers, cops or other people entrusted with oversight left. They would all be jobless. Judging an individual's fitness for duty based on a single, event such as this is inappropriate and unrealistic.

People make mistakes, become emotional and speak "out of turn". This guy surely did. Does that single event make him a poor teacher worthy of losing his livelihood and potentially depriving students of what may be a Good Teacher when he is not having a Really Bad Moment? Termination for 15 minutes or an hour (?) of poor judgment during an verbal interaction with a group of 15 year olds over a sweatshirt? Get real.

He should have kept his personal opinions to himself, even if it was the worst day if his life. He should have sent the kid to the Administrator if he believed a school policy was violated by the clothing. He definitely owes the child a public apology.

Getting everyone (teacher, kid, parent, administrator) in a room to discuss this face-to-face like adults would help the situation immensely. E-mail is a poor mode of discussing/resolving difficult issues.

Sitting down with the teacher and having your child look him in the eye, and declaring how the teacher made her feel and then firmly but politely asking for an apology could be an amazing and transforming event for the girl. Kids do not magically become resilient, confident adults; it is learned. How about using this opportunity to help your child to grow emotionally and giving the teacher an opportunity to make amends for his error?

Pulling your kid from school for this single reason is a big mistake and an overreaction. The child will learn that when confronted with interpersonal conflict the solution is to run away. Is this what you want your daughter to do for the rest of her life when someone treats her poorly? Run Away? How about using this event as a lesson in dealing with personal conflict in a positive manner? If you bail, there will be no closure. Teacher will not be held accountable. Admin is not held accountable. The Kid's eduction is hampered by mid-year displacement. School is deprived of concerned, proactive parents who are critical to making public education work.

Good Things could come of this event should you choose to make it so. I hope it works out for all of you - including the teacher.

Last edited by markgrubb; 12-19-2012 at 11:41 PM..
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  #50  
Old 12-19-2012, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by markgrubb View Post
While I completely concur that the teacher totally mishandled the situation, likely violated school policy and completely let his personal feeling interfere with his professional duties, his actions are not contractually grounds for dismissal nor should they be.

If everyone who mishandled an interpersonal encounter such as this was fired, there would not be any teachers, cops or other people entrusted with oversight left. They would all be jobless. Judging an individual's fitness for duty based on a single, event such as this is inappropriate and unrealistic.

People make mistakes, become emotional and speak "out of turn". This guy surely did. Does that single event make him a poor teacher worthy of losing his livelihood and potentially depriving students of what may be a Good Teacher when he is not having a Really Bad Moment? Termination for 15 minutes or an hour (?) of poor judgment during an verbal interaction with a group of 15 year olds over a sweatshirt? Get real.

He should have kept his personal opinions to himself, even if it was the worst day if his life. He should have sent the kid to the Administrator if he believed a school policy was violated by the clothing. He definitely owes the child a public apology.

Getting everyone (teacher, kid, parent, administrator) in a room to discuss this face-to-face like adults would help the situation immensely. E-mail is a poor mode of discussing/resolving difficult issues.

Sitting down with the teacher and having your child look this teacher in the eye, and declaring how the teacher made her feel and then firmly but politely asking for an apology could be an amazing and transforming event for the girl. Kids do not magically become resilient, confident adults; it is learned. How about using this opportunity to help your child to grow emotionally and giving the teacher to make amends for his error?

Pulling your kid from school for this single reason is a big mistake and an overreaction. The child will learn that when confronted with interpersonal conflict the solution is to run away. Is this what you want your daughter to do for the rest of her life when someone treats her poorly? Run Away? How about using this event as a lesson in dealing with personal conflict in a positive manner?

If you bail, there will be no closure. Teacher will not be held accountable. Admin is not held accountable. Kid's eduction is hampered by mid-year displacement. School is deprived of concerned, proactive parents who are critical to making public education work.

Good Things could come of this event should you choose to make it so.

I hope it works out for all of you - including the teacher.
Wow..Very solid post. Thank you.
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  #51  
Old 12-19-2012, 11:42 PM
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Au contrair...

If it was SBR wearing the shirt, it would be commercial speech (which still enjoys some protections). But it wasn't. It was a student who was wearing a shirt which expressed some of her beliefs.

In any event, we'll see where this leads.
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  #52  
Old 12-19-2012, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by jdberger View Post
Au contrair...

If it was SBR wearing the shirt, it would be commercial speech (which still enjoys some protections). But it wasn't. It was a student who was wearing a shirt which expressed some of her beliefs.

In any event, we'll see where this leads.
It won't lead anywhere mon frere...

Unless someone ponys up major $$$ to try and make a point in court.

Who is in?
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  #53  
Old 12-19-2012, 11:51 PM
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I knew a lot of teachers like this when I was a kid. They bully the crap out of me because I did not fit in and I was an easy target. The way teachers bullied me made playground bullies like it was vacation. Even the class bullies in the class told me after class "what the teacher said, thats f'ed up" and padded me on the back. Those teachers and their own damn agenda's
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  #54  
Old 12-20-2012, 1:36 AM
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It won't lead anywhere mon frere...

Unless someone ponys up major $$$ to try and make a point in court.

Who is in?
You're right. Persuing basic civil rights is simply too time consuming, too difficult and too expensive.

Maybe I should reconsider the work I do for gun-rights, too.....
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  #55  
Old 12-21-2012, 2:12 PM
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For those interested ---

jdberger drafted a letter, my husband and I reviewed and edited it, and I have sent it to the school staff - Principal, two assistant principals, the teacher, and the superintendent.

It reads as follows:

Dear Principal Jordan,

As you are well aware, on December 17, 2012, my daughter, Megan Smith, was singled out and humiliated by her History teacher, Peter Graham, for wearing a sweatshirt which had a viewpoint with which he disagreed.

First, Mr. Graham questioned her about the events on Friday, December 14th, then told her to remove the sweatshirt or turn it inside out. When she did neither because she was cold and because the sweatshirt is not against school policy, Mr. Graham told her she had to finish her work in a storage room. After the class period concluded, Mr. Graham continued to berate and belittle my daughter for the message he thought her sweatshirt sending. None of this has been disputed by Mr. Graham.

When contacted by me by email, Mr. Graham stated that he, “could not look at a sweatshirt that had a weapon on it that was similar to that used on Friday that was used to fire multiple bullets into five-year-olds.” Further, Mr. Graham stated, “[I]f you want to make this a case about her right to wear the shirt I will not change my position.”

According to page 28 of the Student Cougar Planner 2011 - 2012 (http://www.centerusd.k12.ca.us/cusd/...%20Planner.pdf) “students have the right to full use of class time for receiving instruction and for learning and the right to fair, consistent, and respectful treatment by staff members and other students.” Placing a 15 year old student in a closet for any part of the class period and then berating them as they leave in front of other students satisfies neither guarantee.

It is unfortunate that Center High School sees fit to employ a History teacher who doesn't seem able to grasp that the First Amendment protects the right of students to express their opinions. Students don't give up their right to express opinions on matters of public importance once they enter school. Schools are not speech-free zones. Viewpoint-specific speech restrictions are a violation of the First Amendment [see Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 393 US 503 (1969)]. Though Mr. Graham’s feelings about the tragic incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut are understandable, they don’t give him leave to violate the First Amendment rights of his students.

With the exception of the disruptive and inappropriate actions by Mr. Graham, there doesn't appear to be any evidence that the sweatshirt in question created any disturbance or disruption in the school, and there doesn't appear to be any basis for Mr. Graham’s discomfort other than his assertion that the sweatshirt conveyed an unpopular political message.

Courts have emphasized that students benefit when school officials (including teachers) provide an environment where they can openly express their diverging viewpoints and when they learn to tolerate the opinions of others. Segregating students to a closet over a sweatshirt doesn't seem to be encouraging diverse viewpoints.

Mr. Graham needs to atone for his actions. We would like to see the following happen:

1) Since my daughter no longer attends Center High School, Mr. Graham needs to write a sincere letter of apology to my daughter for his actions on December 17.

2) Mr. Graham needs to make a sincere public apology to the History class for his actions on December 17. We will know this has happened, because my daughter still has friends in the classroom.

Please also know that we will reserve the right to file a formal complaint with the Superintendent of Instruction in accordance with 5 CCR 4630 alleging discrimination and failure to comply with state and federal laws.

Hopefully, Mr. Graham will make amends and we can all move past this event, becoming better, more tolerant and more knowledgeable in the process.

With best regards,



Cc: Sarah Wetteland, Assistant Principal
Steve Jackson, Assistant Principal
Peter Graham
Scott Loehr, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Like I told jdberger, we are not going to the media with this because we don't want it to go from a child wearing a sweatshirt to a potential copycat killer. It's Christmas, we don't need that. If it ends up in the media, we will roll with it. We have heard from various sources that the media - Fox News and local radio station 98 Rock - and Calguns, etc are interested in pursuing this further, but we haven't heard anything from them. I'm not saying that's good or bad, it just is. We are ok, regardless.

Our daughter is better for knowing she is supported and in a place where her schooling is important, not the clothing she is wearing.

Again, thank you for the support you have shown her. I never expected this situation to get so big. Wow. lol
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  #56  
Old 12-21-2012, 2:51 PM
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Good for you and good luck.
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  #57  
Old 12-21-2012, 3:16 PM
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so if someone had a picture of a luger on their clothes it was a gun used by the nazis you must be a nazi
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  #58  
Old 12-21-2012, 4:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdberger View Post
Actually, the teacher DID violate her civil rights. See Tinker. And in case you didn't notice, Tinker was a Supreme Court case.

The School, by not properly interfering and demanding an apology from the teacher, also violated the student's civil rights.

There are further steps to be taken, here.
I don't think a picture of a firearm on a shirt that promotes a club or a commercial entity qualifies as free speech. But I could be wrong. And Tinker was about free political speech. The students were protesting a war. Again, I'm not arguing that what this teacher did was right. I'm just thinking out loud

Quote:
Originally Posted by keenkeen View Post
It would be a stretch to assume a court would find a promotional sweatshirt from a local business to be protected political speech...but you never know.

Wonder how many hundred thousands it would cost the OP to find out?
Yep, pretty much.
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  #59  
Old 12-21-2012, 5:56 PM
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Carschicsandguns and MonkeyGrrl I just want to commend you on good parenting and demanding that this teacher atone for his actions.
Going on close to 10 years ago when I was a freshman in HS the exact same incident occured to me. I was wearing a shirt that had a logo from a local youth shooting league team that I was a member of and I was humilitated infront of a class and threatened with suspension from the school. Somehow, my family and I were put in contact with some sort of NRA or NSSF attorney ( I cant remember which). For free of charge we sued the district for violation of 1A rights forcing the district to rewrite their policies. If you would like to PM me, im pretty sure that I still have the contact info for the attorney, and I can offer an article written about me to substantiant that I am not a liar Keep up the pressure, and put the school in its place.
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  #60  
Old 12-21-2012, 7:52 PM
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Is there any way for us to help out?
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  #61  
Old 12-23-2012, 1:56 AM
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With such a focus on bullying these days, one would think that the teacher would have more sense... Not only so that he wouldnt have put himself in this ridiculous situation, but that he would use what happened as fuel for self reflection. Like all of our mishaps in life, this situation could have been used as a teaching moment for himself and all the students if he were to apologize to everyone involved in front of the class, as you requested. There are times like this when I am embarrassed to be a teacher... There are *edit- special people* in every profession, I guess.

Last edited by liberallyloaded; 12-23-2012 at 2:00 AM.. Reason: ... Political Correctness...
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Old 12-23-2012, 12:01 PM
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Uh, where's the ACLU? Shouldn't they be all over a First Amendment issue?







Oh, never mind....
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  #63  
Old 12-23-2012, 6:44 PM
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the teacher should be in trouble unless

"Mr. Graham told her she had to finish her work in a storage room."

is accepted policy

also get the fire marshal involved if the room had a lock on the door(it doesnt have to be locked) and shut with no window they will fine the school
i'm sure the storage room does not have an occupancy rating
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Old 12-23-2012, 7:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teacher
I was not going to leave her sitting there with a sweatshirt that for my 26 years at High School has been against school policy. If such a change has been made, it has never been made public and if it was the faculty at this school would not support such a policy. If you want to make this a case about her right to wear the shirt I will not change my position.
After learning from the Assistant Principal that the sweatshirt is not against policy I would tell that teacher that she's going to either change her position....or stfu.
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  #65  
Old 12-23-2012, 8:31 PM
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Colt- the psychic for the ACLU is on Winter Solstice break. Please feel free to reach out and contact the Sacramento chapter.

Thanks (in advance) for getting involved.
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  #66  
Old 12-23-2012, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdberger View Post
Colt- the psychic for the ACLU is on Winter Solstice break. Please feel free to reach out and contact the Sacramento chapter.

Thanks (in advance) for getting involved.
Thanks for the head's up - I completely forgot about the psychic's union getting winter solstice break for the rank and file...
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  #67  
Old 12-24-2012, 1:04 AM
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Sad. Glad to read that your daughter and family are OK. Teacher needs to be reprimanded to the fullest extent.
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  #68  
Old 12-24-2012, 1:22 AM
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Originally Posted by FourT6and2 View Post
I don't think a picture of a firearm on a shirt that promotes a club or a commercial entity qualifies as free speech. But I could be wrong. And Tinker was about free political speech. The students were protesting a war. Again, I'm not arguing that what this teacher did was right. I'm just thinking out loud
meh.

cites, please.

So, if I wore a t-shirt with SBR's logo to a pro-gun rally at the state capitol, said nothing, carried no sign, and was arrested, I'd have no 1A claim? 'Cause it was a 'commercial' t-shirt?

What if the flag I burn was made by Bob's Flags (and was so labeled, prominently)?

******

Fight fight fight for your rights.... or don't.

But if you do not choose to do so, please don't discourage others by exclaiming that their cause is lost, the battle is too difficult, too expensive.
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  #69  
Old 01-05-2013, 9:52 AM
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Things like this are why I home school my child. That and the fact that one teacher with 30 kids just can't compete with one on one instruction. Nice to see others here that are of like mind. Not everyone has the time it takes to home school, but from personal experience, I have no regrets or reservations. We involve our child in many activities outside the home, but day to day instruction comes from us, the parents, who love them the most. I applaud your decision to home school.
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Old 03-08-2013, 1:24 PM
Wang Lung Wang Lung is offline
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Is there an update on this? Did the guy ever apologize?
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  #71  
Old 03-10-2013, 4:32 PM
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Is there an update on this? Did the guy ever apologize?
X2,
Any update?
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Old 03-10-2013, 5:47 PM
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Not a thing from the school, maybe they didn't like it when we put my daughter in home schooling.
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Old 03-10-2013, 6:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colt View Post
Uh, where's the ACLU? Shouldn't they be all over a First Amendment issue?







Oh, never mind....
Right to the point. 2A isn't supported by liberal politiians and liberal millionaires. So, the ACLU won't support it. the ACLU isn't about fighting for the freedoms and rights of Americans. They are the attack dogs for liberal/progressive agenda.
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Old 03-10-2013, 6:59 PM
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You handled that with a lot more tact than I would have given the circumstances. Hopefully I am wrong in that. But, had that been my child, that school would have had one hell of a big problem on their hands.
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Old 03-10-2013, 7:11 PM
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I myself never went to the school for the purpose of staying out of jail. My wife informed them it would be a bad idea for me to step foot in an office with this teacher.
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Old 03-10-2013, 7:49 PM
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Home school - difficult but all the effort is worth the reward.
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Old 03-10-2013, 7:53 PM
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Home school - difficult but all the effort is worth the reward.
This was her second year back from being homeschooled, but she along with her younger brothers are all homeschooled once again.
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Old 03-10-2013, 8:37 PM
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I myself never went to the school for the purpose of staying out of jail. My wife informed them it would be a bad idea for me to step foot in an office with this teacher.
The email reply made the teacher out to be a pompous ***. Is the teacher male or female?
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Old 03-10-2013, 8:42 PM
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The email reply made the teacher out to be a pompous ***. Is the teacher male or female?
The teacher was a Douche of the male variety.
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