The Guerilla Teacher's Handbook Part 4 by Espiritu Makiguchi

Discrimination Harassment.jpg

(Mensaje se repite en Español)

(For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post)

The Protocol

LAUSD, during the ill-fated Brewer administration, had an administrator by the name of Rune.  He had sexual relations with a student at his school.  LAUSD, in it's characteristic "culture of silence"  found out about this behavior and proceeded to slap Mr. Rune on the hand,  but made him transfer to another school.  To everyone's shock and amazement, he had sexual relations with another student!  He was arrested and now sits in jail.  As a result of this incident, Brewer developed a "protocol" for dealing with these situations.  In his typical far sweeping knee jerk reaction he opened the flood gates in 2008 for a record 200% percent increase in the number of allegations by administrators against teachers.  Our office had only 2 teachers.  That increased to 24 within 2 months.  It was also at a time when Brewer sent out a memo that everyone should jump ship because LAUSD was going to go bankrupt and not make payroll due to their enormous funding deficit.  In other words, the "economic downsizing" had begun.

Once you have been removed from the classroom, the witch hunt begins.  If you are completely innocent, your presence in teacher jail is a testimony to your educational leadership.  In my four years in teacher jail, I have seen a definite pattern to the people who arrive here.  By far, 99%, are male.  They tend to be outspoken critics of the educational system.  They are highly intelligent individuals, with tremendous talents and gifts for teaching students (which is proof that LAUSD does not value highly qualified or highly effective teachers.  They only value "those who follow authority blindly.").  Teacher jail occupants tend to be veteran teachers who are close to retirement.  This is how the LAUSD thanks its tenured and hard working veteran teachers who dare to advance an agenda of Public Education Reform.   Many of these individuals are close to receiving life-time medical benefits (something the district hopes they can take away so as to avoid going even further in debt then they already are with $13 billion in already vested lifetime health benefits).  These people are being constructively forced to retire, take early retirement, or resign.  If you want to avoid the rubber room all you have to do is resign.  They will make everything go away, and they might even make you a monetary offer in exchange for your resignation.  Getting rid of employees this way is part of their "economic downsizing."

The cruel (abusive) part of "Teacher Jail" is that teachers are not psychologically prepared for the shock, trauma, denial, anger, and eventual acceptance of the whole ordeal.  It really tests your mental fortitude.  If you are the kind of personality that is pessimistic, you will not last in the "Rubber Room."  That's why they first called it a rubber room because it is like the padded cells at County hospital where they put mental patients so they don't hurt themselves.    Teachers come in everyday without any duties.  In such an environment, if you don't have students, you become your own student.  If you don't make use of the time in a value creating manner, it can become a very boring experience.  Just like in a prison culture, it is good to exchange information and piece together as much knowledge as you can so as to get a better understanding of your ordeal and all its procedures.  This document is based on approximately 5 years total experience in teacher jail on 3 different occasions.  The knowledge contained can empower you and alleviate your concerns.

Next, you will have a meeting with your principal.  They will have formal written charges and you will sign that you received the document (your signature does not mean you agree to the contents--this should be printed under your signature).  There is nothing you can say that will help the situation.  They have their mind made up.  You didn't know it, but your outspoken behavior or desire to improve things put a huge target on your back.  In the economic downsizing, principals get target practice.  They find a way to formally remove you from the classroom and if they can, charge you with immoral conduct to skip over your collective bargaining rights to grievance and arbitration.

You will then wait until you hear from the district again regarding your Skelly hearing.  This is a dog and pony show put on by the district to once again give you the semblance of a fair hearing.  But it is made up of district personnel who already have their minds made up about getting rid of old, expensive you.  So you don't get a fair hearing here either.  This is also the last stop for Union representation.  After this it is important that you retain an education attorney who can help present your defense at the Office of Administrative hearings (OAH).

My recommendation would be Ron Lapekas, who brings 30 years of employment law experience to the job of being your real advocate. But even more valuable than his lawyering experience is the fact that he was a teacher for 8 years for LAUSD and needs no convincing about the insane LAUSD reality that is targeting you, which civilians think cannot be true:

Ron Lapekas
(213) 342-8560 skype #
Atty@lapekas.net

The next step is mailing you a letter which outlines that the district is going to recommend your dismissal and forward that recommendation to the school board. 

The school board, in its ineptitude, rubber stamps the recommendation and you get placed on "unpaid status."  Here is where your attorney can go into aggressive mode.  You now have 30 days to appeal the decision that was rubber stamped by the board of education.  You are also entitled to unemployment benefits.  Apply online as soon as you get notification that you are on "unpaid status."  By law, you are entitled to a hearing within 60 days of going on "unpaid status."  Hopefully, you don't get an attorney like Trygstad & Schwab who are currently allowing the district 8 to 10 month continuances and in effect, starving teachers out for a year.  Get representation that can defend your case within the 60 day guidelines of California Education Code Section 44944.  The OAH determines whether you go back to the classroom or get terminated.  If you get terminated, you lose everything, including your right to ever work for the district again.  If you win, you get to go back to the classroom, get all your back pay, get all your back medical, and your legal fees will be paid by the district.  However, don't be surprised, you still have a target on your back or if LAUSD administrator appeal the OAH decision in your favor to Superior Court and beyond. After all, it's not their money.

(Para una visión nacional de la reforma de la educación pública ver el final de esta entrada del blog)

El Protocolo de

LAUSD, durante el gobierno de Brewer malograda, tenía un administrador con el nombre de la Runa.   Tuvo relaciones sexuales con un estudiante en su escuela.   LAUSD, en la que es característica de la "cultura del silencio"   se enteró de este comportamiento y procedió a golpear el Sr. Runa en la mano,   pero le hizo trasladarse a otra escuela.   Para sorpresa de todos y asombro, que tenía relaciones sexuales con otro estudiante!   Fue detenido y ahora está en la cárcel.   Como resultado de este incidente, Brewer desarrollado un "protocolo" para hacer frente a estas situaciones.   En su reacción típica de la rodilla hasta barrer tirón abrió las puertas de la inundación en 2008 por un aumento récord del 200 por ciento% en el número de denuncias por los administradores contra los maestros.   Nuestra oficina sólo contaba con dos profesores.   Eso aumentó a 24 el plazo de 2 meses.   Fue también en un momento en que Brewer envió una nota que todo el mundo debería abandonar el barco, porque el LAUSD se iba a ir a la quiebra y no pagar la nómina, debido a su enorme déficit de financiación.   En otras palabras, la "reducción económica" había comenzado.

Una vez que haya sido retirado del salón de clases, comienza la caza de brujas.   Si usted es completamente inocente, su presencia en la cárcel profesor es un testimonio de su liderazgo educativo.   En mis cuatro años de cárcel maestro, he visto un patrón definido a las personas que llegan aquí.   Con mucho, el 99%, son varones.   Tienden a ser críticos abiertos del sistema educativo.   Son personas muy inteligentes, con tremendos talentos y regalos para los estudiantes de enseñanza (lo cual es prueba de que el LAUSD no se valora a los maestros altamente calificados y altamente eficaz.   Ellos sólo valoran "los que siguen ciegamente la autoridad.").   Los ocupantes de los maestros de cárcel tienden a ser los maestros veteranos que están cerca de la jubilación.   Así es como el LAUSD agradece a sus titulares y el duro trabajo de los maestros veteranos que se atreven a avanzar en una agenda de reforma de la educación pública.    Muchas de estas personas están a punto de recibir durante la vida útil de Seguros Médicos (algo que el distrito espera que puedan llevar con el fin de evitar ir aún más lejos en la deuda de lo que ya son con $ 13 mil millones en beneficios para la salud ya creados de por vida).   Estas personas están siendo obligados a retirarse de manera constructiva, la jubilación anticipada, o renunciar.   Si usted quiere evitar el cuarto de goma todo lo que tienes que hacer es dimitir.   Ellos harán todo lo que voy, y que incluso podría hacerle una oferta monetaria a cambio de su renuncia.   Deshacerse de los empleados de esta manera es parte de su "recortes económicos".

La cruel (abusivo) parte de la "Cárcel del Maestro" es que los maestros no están psicológicamente preparados para el choque, trauma, la negación, la ira, y la aceptación final de la prueba entera.   Realmente pone a prueba su fortaleza mental.   Si usted es el tipo de personalidad que es pesimista, no va a durar en el "Rubber Room".   Es por eso que primero lo calificó como un cuarto de goma, porque es como las celdas acolchadas en el Condado de hospital, donde ponen a los pacientes mentales para que no se lastimen.     Los profesores vienen en la vida cotidiana sin ningún tipo de funciones.   En ese entorno, si no que los estudiantes, te conviertes en tu propio alumno.   Si usted no hace uso del tiempo en la creación de un valor de forma, puede llegar a ser una experiencia muy aburrido.   Al igual que en una cultura de la prisión, es bueno para intercambiar información y unir tanto conocimiento como pueda para que conseguir una mejor comprensión de su terrible experiencia y todos sus procedimientos.   Este documento se basa en unos 5 años de experiencia total en la cárcel docente en 3 ocasiones diferentes.   El conocimiento contenido puede potenciar y aliviar sus preocupaciones.

A continuación, tendrá una reunión con el director.   Tendrán formales cargos por escrito y tendrá que firmar que ha recibido el documento (su firma no significa que usted está de acuerdo con el contenido - esto debe ser impresa en su firma).   No hay nada que puedas decir que ayudará a la situación.   Ellos han formado su mente.   Usted no lo sabía, pero su comportamiento pelos en la lengua o el deseo de mejorar las cosas se ponen un gran blanco en su espalda.   En la reducción del tamaño económico, los directores de conseguir prácticas de tiro.   Encuentran una manera de quitar formal de las aulas y, si pueden, te cobran con la conducta inmoral para saltar sobre sus derechos de negociación colectiva a quejas y arbitraje.

A continuación, espere hasta que escuche del distrito de nuevo con respecto a su audiencia Skelly.   Esta es una demostración de perro y caballo montado por el distrito, una vez más le dan la apariencia de un juicio justo.   Sin embargo, está formado por personal del distrito que ya tienen sus mentes formadas acerca de cómo deshacerse de los viejos, caros usted.   Así que usted no recibe un juicio justo aquí tampoco.   Esta es también la última parada de la representación sindical.   Después de esto, es importante que usted contrate a un abogado la educación que puede ayudar a presentar su defensa en la Oficina de Audiencias Administrativas (OAH).

Mi recomendación sería Ron Lapekas, que lleva 30 años de experiencia en derecho laboral a la tarea de ser su defensor real. Pero aún más valioso que su experiencia la abogacía es el hecho de que él era un profesor durante 8 años para el LAUSD y no necesita ninguna convincente acerca de la locura la realidad del LAUSD que le está dirigida, que los civiles que no puede ser verdad:

Ron Lapekas
(213) 342-8560 skype #
Atty@lapekas.net

El siguiente paso es que enviar una carta que describe que el distrito va a recomendar su destitución y hacia adelante que la recomendación a la junta escolar.  

El consejo escolar, en su ineptitud, caucho sellos de la recomendación y se coloca en "el estado no remunerado."   Aquí es donde su abogado le puede pasar al modo agresivo.   Ahora tiene 30 días para apelar la decisión de que era el sello de goma de la junta de educación.   Usted también tiene derecho a prestaciones por desempleo.   Aplicar en línea tan pronto como se recibe la notificación de que se encuentra en "estado de no remunerado".   Por ley, usted tiene derecho a una audiencia dentro de 60 días de salir a la "situación no remunerado."   Con suerte, usted no consigue un abogado como Trygstad Schwab y que actualmente están permitiendo a los distritos de 8 a 10 meses de aplazamientos y, en efecto, privando a los maestros a cabo durante un año.   Obtener la representación que pueda defender su caso dentro de las pautas para los días 60 de Educación de California Sección 44944 del Código .   La OAH determina si usted vuelve a la sala de clases o terminado se.   Si se termina, se pierde todo, incluyendo su derecho a trabajar nunca para el distrito de nuevo.   Si usted gana, usted consigue volver a la sala de clases, obtener toda su pago retroactivo, obtener toda la espalda médica, y los honorarios legales serán pagados por el distrito.   Sin embargo, no se sorprenda, usted todavía tiene un objetivo en la espalda o si el LAUSD administrador de apelar la decisión de la OAH en su favor ante el Tribunal Superior y más allá. Después de todo, no es su dinero

NATIONAL EDUCATION REFORMERS


LA Progressive

Dick Price and Sharon Kyle
http://www.laprogressive.com/
Dick and Sharon dick_and_sharon@yahoo.com
Dick and Sharon are a pair of citizen journalists and information activists who were fed up with
mainstream media. Rather than just kvetch about the media, they decided to try to become the media. So, together they founded the LA Progressive. Dick is the editor and Sharon is the publisher and webmaster, handling all technical aspects of the site.

This site was launched in March 2008, with Dick and Sharon doing most of the writing. Today, a host of gifted writers contribute to the LA Progressive's daily offering which typically amounts to about 45 articles a week. Dick and Sharon continue to write for as well as edit and publish the LA Progressive and distribute its daily e-news each morning.


J
o Scott Coe Riverside, California
Jo.Scott-Coe@rcc.edu
www.joscottcoe.com
Excellent Video Interview about Professor Coe
http://vodpod.com/watch/4959969-jo-scott-coe-teacher-at-point-blank

Assistant Professor of English at Riverside Community College and former high school English teacher. She is the author of Teacher at Point Blank and has been a teacher of English and literature in California since 1991. Her writing on intersections of gender, violence, and education has appeared in the Los Angeles Times as well as literary venues including Hotel Amerika, Fourth Genre, River Teeth, Ninth Letter, Memoir(and), Bitter Oleander, and Green Mountains Review. Her essay, "Recovering Teacher," won the NCTE 2009 Donald Murray Prize, and other selections of her work have received a Pushcart Special Mention as well as Notable listings in Best American Essays 2009 and 2010. As an independent researcher, Jo authored and published the most extensive study to-date of Adams v. LAUSD, a nearly 10-year legal case of student-on-teacher sexual harassment, in (Re)Interpretations: The Shapes of Justice in Women's Experience (Cambridge Scholars Press). Jo values the aesthetic, political, and socially transformative powers of literary narrative--especially to dispel unhealthy silences and witness cultural blindspots. She works currently as an assistant professor of English at Riverside Community College in SoCal, and her book, Teacher at Point Blank (Aunt Lute 2010), has been selected as a Great Read for Fall 2010 by Ms. Magazine. Punk rock? Yes. Hockey games? Yes. Coffee? Always black. Find Jo on the web at joscottcoe.com and on Twitter @joscottcoe.

Betsy Combier New York, New York
betsy.combier@gmail.com
Betsy Combier's blog http://www.parentadvocates.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=article&articleID=488
is a jewel that chronicles the corruption in NYC's Dept of Educations (DOE)  . She has accomplished a wonderful piece of journalism, and created one of the rare places where corrupt educational governance is chronicled and revealed

Professor Samuel Culbert Los Angeles, California
<nobull2u@gmail.com>
is a professor at the UCLA Andersen School of Business who also teaches in the Education Department's Principals' Leadership Institute. Check out the following 3 minutes on ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/conversation-performance-review-11126992

Stuart Goldurs Los Angeles, Califonia
StuartComputers@gmail.com
Don't send LAUSD Librarians to the Inquisition, send the downtown bureaucrats
Tests, What Are They Good For? Absolutely Nothing!

LAUSD students to attend school on contaminated land, again!
Some schools teach only to the tests, so how are the students being prepared for the next grade and for life?
New LAUSD superintendent adds six-figure positions to management team

http://www.examiner.com/public-education-in-los-angeles/lausd-test-scores-up-to-failure-levels-what-are-the-students-learning

Has been a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District for 30 years. He is greatly aware of the district waste, large bureaucracy, and other major issues of the time. He started his blog with the sole purpose of informing the world about the truths of education in LAUSD. E-mail him at: StuartComputers@gmail.com.

LAUSD has selected a new Superintendent of Schools

Karen Horwitz Chicago, Illinois

wccbook@gmail.com

Former award winning teacher who co-founded NAPTA, National Association for the Prevention of Teacher Abuse, and wrote the book White Chalk Crime: The REAL Reason Schools Fail to expose how teacher harassment and terrorization maintains a system of deeply hidden corruption. Disposing of dedicated teachers forms the core of the White Chalk Criminal's agenda since dedication and white collar crime do not mix. Given that all agree that good teachers are essential to good teaching, a system that cannot tolerate good teachers is worthless. This is what we have in place. With Bernie Madoff-like leaders - he was as much about investing as our school leaders are about educating - anointed with unlimited power, including the ability to fill the airwaves with propaganda, education is no longer about education. It is about money and power for those who play a very corrupt game and with an agenda of privatizing schools so their power will increase. (Privatization may have merits. NAPTA does not take a position on that. But privatizing a system that is rotten to its core - where quality teaching cannot survive, where a cover up of pretense that they do not know this despite so many of us reporting these truths prevails - documents that those advocating privatization cannot be trusted! It shows they want our schools for their own interests, not the children, nor the community.)  NAPTA welcomes parents, teachers, students, citizens or anyone who understands that without a real system of education, we no longer have a democracy. Membership is free. Go to: EndTeacherAbuse.org  or WhiteChalkCrime.com. Become educated about what is going on. 


Jerry Mintz Director
Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO)
417 Roslyn Rd., Roslyn Hts., NY  11577

For those of you who cannot wait for corrupt public education to be turned around, AERO offers an excellent source to get connected with viable alternatives right now.

www.EducationRevolution.org
info@EducationRevolution.org
            800-769-4171       (domestic)
            516-621-2195       (international)

Susan Ohanian Charlotte, Vermont
susano@gmavt.net
http://www.susanohanian.org
She is a longtime public school teacher who, after 20 years, became staff writer for a teacher magazine and then went freelance. I've maintained a website of activism for nearly 9 years--ever since the passage of NCLB. People can subscribe to the website and then they get updates about new content. I answer all the mail I get through the website and with the answer, people have my e-mail.  I also try to stir things up on Twitter, though I find this medium frustrating. I have a Facebook page--just so people can find me. I don't initiate anything on it, The website keeps me busy.
http://susanohanian.org/show_atrocities.php?id=9593

Susan Lee Schwartz Suffern, New York

Susan studied literacy education, English literature, and fine arts and holds a BA ('63) and MS ('65) from Brooklyn College, and has the equivalent of two master's degrees, earned in graduate studies of literacy, arts and education. She taught literacy skills and art, for four decades in NYC in elementary and secondary school.  In 1998 she won the New York State English Council (NYSEC) Educator of Excellence Award  for her successful teacher practice, studied by Harvard  and the LRDC at the University of Pittsburgh for the New Standards research. At the end of her research, her unique curriculum was selected by the LRDC to be used in their national staff development seminars for school superintendents. She was among six teachers -- from among the thousands across the nation-- observed during the research project, and her teaching practice met all the  principles of learning. In the nineties, she rose to prominence in national educational circles, while teaching at a new magnet school, East Side Middle School. The reading scores of her seventh grade students were at the top of the city, and on the first ELA, which two thirds of city students failed, her former students (then in the eight grade) were TENTH IN THE STATE.

 She writes often about what she learned about the genuine standards for learning, in an attempt to begin a national conversation about the authentic standards, so that there can be genuine reform. Her experience that ended her fine career in the NYC Public Schools has led her to write about the process that removed the top educators, silencing the voices of the classroom practitioners who would not accept anti-learning policies. Her essay here on Perdaily,  is one that describes this process. Read more as she talks about education, literacy  and learning on her site, from the perspective of the experienced teacher-practitioner of pedagogy. She is the voice of dedicated and talented classroom teachers who know why the schools are failing.

Her website is: 

http://www.speakingasateacher.com/Susan_Lee_Schwartz_(Steiner)_/index.html


Joel Shatzky: Brooklyn, New York
Joel.Shatzky@cortland.edu
Professor of English Emeritus--SUNY, College at Cortland (1968-2005)
Adjunct instructor-Kingsborough CC (CUNY) 2006--   )
Regular contributor to the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/searchS/?q=Joel+Shatzky
Author of "The Thinking Crisis" with Ellen Hill (Authors Choice Press: New York, 2001)
Numerous articles on education in Jewish Currents.
Script-writer for three YouTube satires on educational "reform."
 "The Lessons": www.youtube.com/watch?v=D712J1V2Jsg&feature=player_embedded
"Numbers Lie": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57BRNLviVTQ
"The Charter Starters": www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnrrw5CV3Gw<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnrrw5CV3Gw>

Here's Joel's latest post about the low percentage of "college ready" high school graduates. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joel-shatzky/educating-for-democracy-t_2_b_821410.html



Lorna Stremcha Havre, Montana
<lornastremcha@yahoo.com>
http://www.endteacherabuse.org/Stremcha.html
http://twitter.com/lornapstremcha

lornastremcha.com

callmescarlet.blogspot.com

facebook


HER STORY:
"I know first hand the financial, personal, emotional and physical damage that can result when school administrators, the Montana Education Association and the National Education Association put their own interests above the students, teachers and the taxpayers of the State of Montana My files contain mountains of paperwork including depositions, declarations of truth, notarized documents and exhibits resulting from an arduous legal process that finally ended when the Havre (Montana) School District settled two lawsuits - a Federal suit and one filed in State District Court. These documents also include a letter from a union representative stating, " This is nothing more than a witch hunt." Yet the union continued to allow the school administration to harass, bully and bring harm to me.
These two lawsuits resulted from a single incident that, had it been handled differently and under the light of public scrutiny, would not have snowballed into awards of more than $200,000 worth of damages. Funds that eventually came from the taxpayers' pockets. Ironically, as a taxpayer in Hill County, my family and I are helping to pay for the damages awarded to me. This covered the attorneys' fees. The settlement did not include my attorney fees, however the district, insurance and taxpayers paid the defendants attorney bills, which exceeded mine. The settlement was made on March 2, 2006."
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dr-Jim-Taylor/125893225652

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dr-Jim-Taylor/125893225652
http://twitter.com/search?q=DrJimTaylor

Lois Weiner Jersey City, New Jersey
Professor, Elementary and Secondary Education
New Jersey City University
2039 Kennedy Blvd.
Jersey City, New Jersey 07305
drweinerlo@gmail.com
Blog
http://newpolitics.mayfirst.org/blog/5
Democracy Now
http://www.democracynow.org/2010/9/3/educators_push_back_against_obamas_business
RESEARCH INTERESTS
Impact of urban school characteristics on teachers' classroom practice
How race, class, and gender mediate academic achievement
Teachers' work and the school as a workplace. Effects of changes in global political economy on teaching, teachers, and schools
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03 2012

5 Comments

What a great article. Thanks and keep up the great work.

Great article. I'm presently experiencing some of these matters too.

It must be hell being trapped in limbo in the Rubber Room. There is nothing worse for an intelligent person than being inactive and uncertain of one's future and all because of an unproven, unverified accusation. Rene gives good advice in her first few lines - if you can bring yourself to, get busy and use the time for learning and self-improvement

Interesting , I wonder what the statistics are on your first point there

It is important to be productive. They should learn a new language, work on a degree for a new career. Write a book. I am surprised so few do this. They act like miscreants in detention.
I urge the rubber room inmates to familiarize themselves with Ed codes, the CBA and the many insightful resources available on line, particularly perdaily which comes right at where they are and what they face. Many ignore me. I am the only one suffering from a Joan of Arc complex. With the a skngle exception and potentiallynone more-- a new guy--everyone just wants tossve himself. I rarely hear anyone lament the impact all this is having on students.
I note that unlike you, my experience has been that less than half are actually guilty of what they are accused of. We have 3 women--though many pass through for brief stays then quit. There are 10 men.only one is white, and that dude is guilty by his own admission and into guns. Woohoo. Going postal will be trumped by going school district.
The stress and inactivity betray who is who, and you soon see behavior that enlightens you about the others in the RR. Teachers aren't all noble, and few are brave.
I am compulsive in my quest for information and have successfully armed my self with the codes. My union rep ( tile) has betrayed me and everyone else housed in LD8.
As soon as the union's indifference sinks in, many come to me to get guidance. We actually have two union reps with us. Both readily admit UTLA has forsaken everyone in the rubber room, but seem to believe they will be an exception to that rule.
Then they realize they're not. The rage and and fear conspire with inactivity and they become bullies.
The RR is such a perilous place to be, I wake up , realize I must go there and cannot breathe. The employees that are there to actually work ( the dont do much) spy on us and given the fabricated charges that I have been housed for , I was really not surprised when the suits decided that I was a dope fiend, then crazy because the people I was seated near reported that I had fallen to sleep one day. Usually I busied myself with editing a book I was finally able to publish and creating art, which is a source of solace. But I have profound anxiety coupled with crippling back pain ( stress makes the spasms kick in and being seated all day in broken chairs is a recipe for disaster) night, so I need meds from time to time.
One day I was in the RR , isolated ( as I preferred--unknown to the warden) and in pain. My doctor had switched my Vicodin to Morphine. I took one as prescribed and fell off to sleep as inmates do when conversations with one another get redundant. But I am the one they enforce the rules with--, though sleeping is not banned to my knowledge. I only sleep 3 hours a night now. I had never had morphine . It was like being kicked in the head.
Next thing I knew I was sent downtown to be cleared by Dr. Mercardo. She and I chatted, and she was very nice--she cleared me to go back to work. This implied as a teacher in the documents, but I knew that was a pipe dream the moment I handed the director these forms. He could not disguise his disappointment.
The next day he decided to Stull me. Me alone in my cubicle. The first bad evaluation was surely a given and the second would Follow. They'd have a real reason to fire me then.
By then I had met Lenny and had started to network with teachers in our predicament. P. Jaackson, a smart cookie and a great teacher, wrote my response in the night there was to prepare.
I had codes glorious codes so it no longer mattered, my rep was as usual, passive.
Nothing can describe my sense of accomplishment and gratitude as I told him he was well past the deadline to do my Stull. He read as I chastised him for other errors, his constant references to me as an aggressive harpy capable of "reprisals" . The calm letter PJ forwarded to Deasy and the board must have caught his eye. He crumbled. I thought he wet his slacks. After he crawled off, I wanted to ask my rep why he hadn't deferred to the codes. But by then I knew the answer.
I am not always so confident. PJ armed me, but one day there may be no way to counter it. I guess the code mention in recent posts and the one sited now as my offense is it.
No, I am not a communist, but I fail to see whose business this is. In my mind capitalists posing as philanthropists are the present public menace.
Not a big drinker or an addict. But it would be understandable, given what I am being put through.
Moral turpitude is the ironic one. Of course I have been less than perfect. I came of age in 1980, I am an artist, a progressive thinker. I like punk rock. Well, I used to. But nothing I did in my youth was close to the criminal malice and the fraud I have seen in the leadership at this district. Nothing I will ever do or did caused others the kind of harm the suits do daily.
Crazy? Mercardo says no, but I admit, she is not qualified to make the call after 15 minutes of chatter. Shehad a pediatric practice I believe.but she is now in the uncomfortable position of stamping us sane or not.
I am no more crazy than these educRAT$ ...
But i am damn near agoraphobic now. Me, a woman who once plunged face first in the moshnpit and broke up brawls between 300 lb bruisers when i was teaching. I wish II could bring myself to face the rubber room every morning, but it's just too hard. I asked for leave with my doctors' agreement that it would help me do therapy .t He district held my FMLA forms. Lost them twice. Refused to sign them. I have not been paid much for monthes. I just can't wait for the crazy man tonmake good on his threat to mow down the place with a gun or the Instructional Leaders to collude with the director in an effort to paint me as a communist threat. Impaired. Violent. Or simply Bat shit crazy.
But I must go back now. I need the money and my fellow detainees, now growing in number, need me. I have to admit reading the zen of rubber rooming here has enlightened me somewhat. I will stick close to the inmates I can trust so I am less vulnerable and work on perdaily posts, which Lenny wants from the straaight jacket. There's poetry and painting. I have my teaching memoir catching it's momentum now. Teacher memoirs sell, and this one is more than feel good formula. I don't know what it will be but I have my fingers crossed that David will bring down Goliath.
We need to aim our slingshot just so.

Thank you, sir.

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