Wednesday March 4, 2015
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It happened in Gig Harbor, Washington.
Fortunately, a video made by students all the way back in February has finally made it public.
Without that video it may never have come to light.
The video not only shows a 13 year old middle school student being bullied. It shows the TEACHER joining in!
The story is not yet complete. I feel sure we are going to hear a lot more. For example, exactly how this came about is still not clear.
Here's what we do know:
John Rosi, whose teaching area is not yet clear, but who has been teaching for 18 years and has stated that he has been teaching wrestling at the school for 14 years (what that has to do with anything I do not know), was in the choir room. Why? Was he there with his class? Who knows? Not stated.
The incident "involved other boys wrestling with one another." Other than who? Don't know. Not stated. In a letter, Rosi said he viewed the incident as "harmless childhood horse play and a chance for the kids to take a break from the daily grind."
Here are some of the things that happened:
(CNN) "The cell phone video, as seen on the website of CNN affiliate KIRO, depicts the teacher putting the boy into a headlock and driving him into the floor and, in another instance, pulling the boy up from the floor by his feet -- all while in the classroom surrounded by other students."
(NPR) "The teacher poked (the boy) in the belly, the teacher turned around and put his bottom up in his face and said he felt gassy.... (The boy) had a pillow placed on his face where he couldn't breathe for several seconds. He had his own socks shoved into his mouth."
Needless to say, the youngster and his family "have been traumatized by what happened under a teacher's watch." The boy has not been able to return to class after the incident. He has switched schools and is undergoing psychiatric treatment.
But here are the most startling facts of all:
(NPR) "Acting Superintendent Chuck Cuzzetto said the teacher in the incident, John Rosi, made a mistake but that it was an isolated, horrific incident in an 18-year career that the district dealt with appropriately."
What does "appropriately" mean?
Quote: "We immediately placed the teacher on leave."
Quote: "After an internal investigation, Rosi was suspended for 10 days, reassigned as a substitute teacher for the rest of the school year, given new classroom management training and assigned to a different middle school for this fall."
Quote: "We took what we think is pretty significant disciplinary action against the teacher," Cuzzetto said.
The incident has now been turned over to the people who should have gotten it in the first place--the police.
Detective Lynelle Anderson of Pierce County Sheriff's Department said investigators interviewed the boy and are now waiting for more information from the school system.
Unless the victim was on the teacher's wrestling team, and the teacher was demonstrating a wrestling hold, I would think that this would be considered assault. Isn't any unwanted touching disallowed? Not only in schools, but everywhere?
If it was indeed "harmless childhood horse play and a chance for the kids to take a break from the daily grind.", then not only should the teacher have stopped it, but he should NEVER have joined in. That action brought it from "childhood horseplay" to child abuse, perpetrated by an adult on a child.
I hope that this man goes to prison, and I hope that the victim and his family sue the school district. I am not normally a litigious person, but this is heinous.
I agree with Kim. However, I believe that if it is brought to trial, the guy will get off with probation or possibly house arrest with having to wear that ankle thing a ma jig.
It takes only one incident to kill someone of have them commit suicide.
Fire the teacher, make sure he is never able to have a job around kids, and maybe some jail time.
I agree with you, Kim. You too, Bernice.
I cannot believe that the man was not fired on the spot, and the incident immediately turned over to the police. I can tell you this much: The law in Arizona not only would have jailed this creep; it would also have jailed anyone--including the super--who did not turn him in.
You're right, Pat. That kid will remember that incident for the rest of his life. What it it were you, or me, or anyone? Would you ever forget that? Would I? Would anyone? That is THE worst incident of bullying I have ever seen or heard of. It's obvious what its purpose was, to make that kid feel like the worse piece of s--t on the planet.
Not only that, but the CNN report on this contains the sentence, "Det. Lynelle Anderson of Pierce County Sheriff's Department said investigators interviewed the boy and are now awaiting on redacted information from the school system."
Definition of redacted: edited for publication.
Why would any police agency have to wait for "edited" information? Something is very wrong about this whole thing.
If you think you can handle it, I have found a link where you can view the actual video of the incident and make up your own mind. I haven't seen it, but I have seen a couple of stills, and what really surprised me is the fact that there were both girls and boys involved in the bullying.
Here's the link:
I think the kids should be charged with assault. Might make the parents of them change thier way of parenting and other kids parents find out what thier kids are doing.
There is no question about it, both the teacher and the kids are guilty of assault and battery. In fact, in some states what they did would be classified as extreme assault because of the fact that they interfered with his breathing.
Did anyone look at that video?
I have made it a policy to NEVER look at videos on the net, but in this case I made the one exception I will probably ever make. When I saw the kid--and apparently the way the whole thing started, though I could be wrong--I got the shock of my life.
The kid was a skinny little runt, with spindly arms and legs, who bared came up to the middle of the teacher's chest. If I am interpreting the video correctly, and I find it hard to see it any other way, it starts with this little tiny kid coming at the teacher with his hands out to push him. That suggests that (a) the teacher is lying, and (b) the teacher did something which provoked the whole thing. Go see the video and come back and tell me if you agree with this:
My take on what happened:
There was NO horseplay going on before the incident as the teacher claims, unless by "horseplay" he means a bunch of kids--or him--picked on the small, spindly boy.
The boy charged at the teacher because he had been insulted, or belittled, or hurt in some way.
The "taking down" of the kid was then done by the teacher, who is four times the weight of the kid and a wrestling coach,
The rest of what happened was revenge, a situation where the teacher encouraged the kids to help him "get" the kid.
C'mon. Look at that video and tell me what you think. It takes interpretation because they do not show it in sequence, but I can't see how the kid could have been fully dressed at the end instead of at the beginning.
Update on this story:
I'll just quickly remind you that this string involves a video that shows a 13-year-old student screaming in pain as several kids taunt him and pin him underneath a number of chairs. Also involved was John Rosi, a teacher, who later said the incident was nothing more than "horseplay."
The only thing that has been done to the teacher so far is to place him on administrative leave, but parents of children in the school district have been demanding that he be charged with a crime.
Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist has stated that the middle school teacher accused of bullying one of his students on camera will not be charged with a crime. Here's his logic:
"In the Prosecutor's Office, we seek justice," Lindquist said. "Sometimes justice requires vigorous prosecution of a case. Sometimes justice requires that we decline to prosecute. While this is unacceptable conduct in a classroom, it's not criminal conduct under the law."
"The actions of (the teen) and his parents indicate that they did not believe a crime was committed as they did not report the matter to law enforcement. Only after consulting with a civil attorney, more than five months after the incident, was the matter reported to law enforcement."
How assault and battery by an adult on a child is not "criminal conduct" he did not explain. If this had happened in Arizona he would be on his way to prison, if not for battery at least for violation of bullying laws, or for failure to report bullying to the school officials.
Anyway, here's the very latest, as of 12:05 am today, as given in the Gig Harbor, Washington, local press:
John Rosi remains on paid administrative leave, according to acting Peninsula School District Superintendent Chuck Cuzzetto.
The School Board of Directors will make a decision on Rosi’s status, Cuzzetto said last week, although he did not offer a specific timeline for when that will occur.
The board, he said, has been occupied with selecting someone to fill the vacant District 4 seat on the board. The vacancy occurred due to the resignation of Jill Uddenberg.
The board will hold a second round of interviews for the top four candidates at 5:30 p.m., on Nov. 29, at the district office.
Looks like we just get to wait some more.
I'll keep you posted.
Tell me, though; is there any way you see this man ever again working as a teacher?
One more question about this. This happened on Sep 5, 2012. At least that was the day it became big news. The incident actually happened four months before that. The question is is this school board is dragging its feet hoping that this will go away? And why? What could conceivably have taken 90 days since the news hit the papers? What are they trying to hide? What relationship in there between this clown and the board? And why did the superintendent of schools do nothing more than he did in the first place?
And when will people realize that the coverup is always worse than the original problem?
I'm a little surprised whenever you post on arrticles such as this. Are you still the eternal optomist when it comes to human behavior? The moral decline of those in this nation and elsewhere along with their inability to discern right from wrong, began decades ago. Getting all surprised by such events, or even more, trying to do something about them, is like jousting windmills. Perhaps a new title for Mr. Garrett, "the Man from La Mancha ".
Merry Christmas Tom.
"Are you still the eternal optomist when it comes to human behavior?"
What I am, among other things, is someone who believes in the power of public opinion. Someone who sees too much apathy and is willing to lift the cover off a barrel of cockroaches in hopes that they get stomped.
I would accept the "Man from La Mancha" title, though. It fits. Better to go down swimming with one arm, than give up and die without a fight. I was there once. It worked.
Something I always keep in mind is this true story:
Coming in on a small passenger aircraft over a lake near Boston's Logan Airport, I think it was, at about 5,000 feet, a stewardess saw that the rear door of the aircraft was not sealed properly. She reached out and turned the lock, intending to secure it, but the windstream and pressure differential yanked the door open and flung her out the door. As she fell, obviously doomed, she deliberately turned over onto her back with her arms and legs streaming, forming a v-shape, knowing that it was the safest way to hit water from a height. She landed in the lake, and because of her position she survived almost without injury after a drop of almost a mile.
I tell you what, it may make no sense, but if ever I am in an elevator that loses its cable and autolock and drops 80 floors, I'm going to be the guy who jumps up just before it hits. Might as well die trying. :-)
"Someone who sees too much apathy and is willing to lift the cover off a barrel of cockroaches in hopes that they get stomped." That view goes to the point I made in some other post. For too long it seems, we the "Silent majority" have simply been that. Not too quick to jump into the socio/political arena even though there were issues therein that we are very passionate about. Just content to go along, raising our families, plying our trades or careers, abiding by the law, worshipping as we chose,etc. Not any longer! I have not taken it upon myself as a personal crusade to make up for all those years of "apathy" but I am dead certain I will now make my voice heard in that arena and stomp some of those cockroaches myself. It was our current president that challeged his followers to "Get in their faces" regarding ideological differences. Well that's precisely what I intend to do, "Get in their faces".
And as I wade into that swamp I have already learned that the "other side", not used to having someone disagree or talk back to them, are none too happy with what I bring to the table. As a matter of fact, they want to ammend the First Amendment regarding free speech to prohibit me from saying things that are factual and truthful but don't exactly tickle their ears.
Do appreciate your ability top stay calm,collected and civil through the discussions on some pretty touchy subjects. One of those "touchy subjects" is your use of "Merry Xmas" in your closing of that last post. Have an issue with "Christ"? I do believe He is the reason we even have this national holiday. But then I could be wrong.
I usually don't agree with you, as you know, but the Merry Xmas was very good.
How about the stores and ads with Season's Greetings or Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas?
I am waiting for some idiots to change the date every year so there will be another 3 day holiday.
"Have an issue with "Christ"? I do believe He is the reason we even have this national holiday. But then I could be wrong."
Nope. No issue. Just a rare departure from my usual habit of saying Merry Christmas. I guess I see "Xmas" so often I'm getting as used to using it as most people. I don't think there anything wrong with Xmas, though. In other words, I don't think there is some conspiracy to avoid using Christ's name. I could go look that up, but maybe it would be fun for someone else to research it and come back and tell us where it started.
It's an interesting question. It could go back to the tradition in some religions of never saying the name of God (knowing the secret name of God was supposed to give you control over Him in some religions). We don't use it, for example.
"Ron, I usually don't agree with you, as you know, but the Merry Xmas was very good."
Congratulate yourself, Ron. It's a rare thing that Pat comes on with such a wholehearted endorsement of anything. :-)
Pat, don't be too hard on people who use terms like "Season's Greetings or Happy Holidays." It's not intended to be an insult to Christianity; it's intended to be a way of being inclusive, of bringing other people into the holidays, especially Jews, who celebrate Hanukkah at about the same time (it's a movable holiday).
I once went over to a friend's house back in New London. He was Jewish, and there was a Christmas tree--a beautiful one too.
"Morris!" I said. "What are you doing with a Christmas tree?"
He grinned and said, "It's a Hanukkah Bush."
The thing that troubles me is when I see cities and towns backing away from displaying Christmas decorations because they worry about lawsuits. It's a mistake. The attitude a city or town should take is that we--we being all Americans--have an inherent right to celebrate any traditional event as a recognition of our wholeness as a people, and our recognition of the fact that this was the first land in the world to formalize in law the most fundamental of all freedoms--freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Sooner or later, if we hold the line by continuing to do what we always have done, the Supreme Court will realize that celebrating who we are is not the same as fostering any or all religions, but is a simple recognition that in this land we celebrate our freedoms. Displaying, for example, a nativity scene is--for a city or town--is a simple recognition of our heritage. We have celebrated Christmas since the day the first settlers landed here. It is a tradition. Okay, so it is a tradition that it associated with religion. So what? Who was it that said that a tradition can be banned if it is associated with religion? That is taking the First Amendment, which was intended to protect a freedom, and using it to endanger that freedom.
Many Supreme Court decisions apply to this subject. I'll put up just part of one.
I used to teach school law. Here's a small portion of McCollum v. Board of Education, which had to do with release time for students to attend religious instruction. It shows that our laws are intended to avoid forcing religion upon people, but that they never intended the state to be hostile to religion, and never intended the state to ignore the traditions of the people.
"The prohibition of enactments respecting the establishment of religion do not bar every friendly gesture between church and state. It is not an absolute prohibition against every conceivable situation where the two may work together, any more than the other provisions of the First Amendment -- free speech, free press -- are absolutes."
"The Constitution should not be stretched to forbid national customs in the way courts act to reach arrangements to avoid federal taxation. Devotion to the great principle of religious liberty should not lead us into a rigid interpretation of the constitutional guarantee that conflicts with accepted habits of our people."
The Court then gives some examples:
"The practices of the federal government offer many examples of this kind of "aid" by the state to religion. The Congress of the United States has a chaplain for each House who daily invokes divine blessings and guidance for the proceedings. The armed forces have commissioned chaplains from early days. They conduct the public services in accordance with the liturgical requirements of their respective faiths, ashore and afloat, employing for the purpose property belonging to the United States and dedicated to the services of religion. Under the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, eligible veterans may receive training at government expense for the ministry in denominational schools. The schools of the District of Columbia have opening exercises which 'include a reading from the Bible without note or comment, and the Lord's prayer.'"
There is also a decision--I'll dig it out when I have time--which points out that there can be no absolute separation between church and state. For example, we give fire and police protection to churches, and help them in many other ways. I'm not saying it as well as they did, of course. As I said, I'll try to dig it up. It's not always easy.
Merry Christmas! I hope you recieve blessings beyond measure.
I agree with your point on the use of Happy Holidays or Season's Greetings. One of the realities, and the beauty for some of us, about America is our welcoming of ALL people and their faiths or absence of faith. As a staunch Evangelical, I do not "push" my faith on anyone. I make people aware of my views, but I make no attempt to "share the Gospel of Jesus Christ" unless they actually ask for my thoughts on the subject. Then, and only then will I put "The Great Commission" into practice. To me, to do otherwise is simply a foolish undertaking. As scripture admonishes us, "Do not cast your pearls before swine". No, that does not mean "unbelievers" or those of other faiths are swine. It's a metaphor of sorts. In other words, save your breath for those who have a willing ear. Heck, I have the eternal struggle of keeping my feet on the path set before me and walking my Christian walk to the best of my ability. I certinly could not sit in judgement of where others might be in that respect.
Don't know if you recieved my email to you yesterday. I didn't get a response so will accept that you were occupied and missed it. Anyway, I know you are limited in getting out due to your wife's health, so if there is ever anything I can do to be of assistance, give me a call. Trip to Payson, snagging groceries, etc. Just give me a heads up.
Peace on Earth!
Thanks a lot. I didn't do my e-mail until quite late yesterday. Lot of things going on. It gets that way around here sometimes. But thanks again.
As to the question of "pushing" beliefs, I agree, as I'm sure most people do. When people are ready to hear something they have a way of letting you know it. Besides, I've been around part of the world and seen a lot of religions. Most of them have one thing in common, something rather obvious.
What troubles me about all this is that there is one category of people who seem to be unable to let others alone to believe as they please. Some of them--not all, but too many--aren't happy just believing what they believe; they want everyone to believe the same thing.
I'll bet that no one reading this has guessed what category that is. It's an odd thing that no one ever seems to think of "beliefs" this way, but it is the correct way to think of it. Suppose you did something regarding what you believe and a Baptist, or Methodist, or Catholic, or someone, took you to court over it because it did not comply with his beliefs? You'd be shocked, wouldn't you? You'd wonder where the guy was when the First Amendment was written. You'd wonder if he understood the meaning of free choice.
Having thought about that, consider those groups of militant atheists whose stated aim is not just to level the playing field, which is fair enough, but to dig a hole in that field and bury all religions in it. I sometimes wonder if they really understand that "neutral" means neutral, not anti.
I would think that "live and let live" would be easy for anyone to understand.
By the way, there's a story connected with that old saying you mentioned. Might give everyone a chuckle.
Back in the 1930's, two women were well known for disliking either other: Dorothy Parker and Clare Boothe. One time over in England in 1938 they both happened to arrive at the door to a society party at the same time.
Boothe stood aside and waved a hand. "Age before beauty."
Luce went in. "Pearls before swine."
Why can't I ever think of something like that?
Merry Christmas to you, and all the rest of the people who post on here or just read it.
May we all be healthy and happy and play nice in the coming year.
I wish the same. Merry Christmas to you, too.
I'll tell you a little secret. If people could learn that being a "Christian" means being a person who is a believer in not just Jesus Christ, but in His teachings, in other words being a person who does what Christ would have done in any given situation, 99% of the world's problems would evaporate in six months.
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