Re: Glenn's suspension
- Subject: Re: Glenn's suspension
- From: "George N. Schmidt" <Csubstance@AOL.COM>
- Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2000 09:06:27 EDT
- Reply-to: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
- Sender: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
June 9, 2000
Sorry I've fallen behind on these posts. We should try to share the details
of these Gestapo things, including the anecdotes about the venality of the
unions, the cowardice of some of our colleagues, and the self-serving
duplicity of those in power.
I agree with Bonnie that the South has no monopoly on police state nastiness.
Here in the unionized North, the unions are often junior partners in that
nastiness, so the difference between sections evades my consciousness at this
point in history.
In a message dated 6/6/00 6:48:30 PM, bonnie.blustein@WORLDNET.ATT.NET writes:
<< Mind you, I
had been at school all the previous week, and it is not customary in any
case for the Board of Ed to hand-deliver messages (they certainly don't
hand-deliver anyone's paycheck) >>
As Malcolm X used to say, "The Mason Dixon line? That's the Canadian border."
The City of Chicago is more racially segregated than any state in the South
(268 all-black schools this school year, if 90 percent or more black is your
definition of "segregated"), and a lot more hypocritical.
My knock on the door came just after dark on February 1, 1999, in Chicago. I
had been in my classroom at Bowen High School all day. Yet the school board
sent out a process server to do the job in the dark at the front door of my
home. I haven't been back in that classroom since. For four weeks they had me
in the central administrative offices, then they convened a kangaroo court
and suspended me.
Two weeks after the process server arrived, the school board got the Chicago
Sun-Times to publish a major slander against me.
The day after that, the President of the Chicago Board of Education announced
(at a meeting broadcast on Cable TV) that they were hiring an "investigator"
to check on "additional charges" against me.
The Chicago Board of Education spent $35,000 on that "investigator." He went
through my entire classroom, interviewed all of my students and colleagues,
and even stripped everything off the hard disk of the computer I had in my
classroom. The investigation turned up nothing. The report went to the school
board in November at a cost of $35,000. They sealed it and are refusing to
provide it to me under the Freedom of Information Act or under court
They've also spent $150,000 on high-priced blue ribbon lawyers (downtown law
firms with office high in the skyscrapers of Chicago's Loop) to sue me (and
Substance) for $1 million in federal court for "copyright infringement".
They've also spent God-knows-how-much trying to fire me at an administrative
hearing before a State of Illinois hearing officer. So far, they've had seven
different lawyers from their own law department in on that one.
That hearing is now at the stage of closing arguments, which will be held in
the Chicago Board of Education's chambers at 125 S. Clark St. at 10:00 a.m.
on June 23, by the way. It's public because I had to insist (over threats
from one of my attorneys) that it be public or I would not enter the hearing
I've been suspended without pay since March 5, 1999. I once helped put a
rapist (who was also the powerful principal of a public high school) in
prison here. The school board suspended him with pay for three years while he
fought the criminal charges against him. But James Moffat had political clout
and had dirt on some of Chicago's most powerful people. (You can see a
strange version of the Moffat story on cable in the movie "Betrayed by
Trust", which is based on that story).
And the Chicago Teachers Union (Local 1, American Federation of Teachers,
AFL-CIO) refuses to accept my union dues unless I accept a voluntary break in
service which would make be ineligible to run for union office for three
The Chicago Teachers Union also refused to help me if I also had independent
counsel. Since their lawyers have lost every major lawsuit on behalf of
teachers since their political boss Mayor Richard Daley and their buddy Paul
Vallas took over the schools five years ago (especially the case of Shegog
et. al. v. Chicago School Reform Board of Trustees, which you can find on the
U.S. court Website for Northern District of Illinois, Judge Zagle), I was not
about to have them represent me solo and watch them take a dive on behalf of
their political buddies with my career on the line.
It's going to take some time and hard work before this thing turns around.
Let's help out Theresa and Lisa -- and everyone we don't know about who is
being jumped and mugged in the dark. At least here we aren't facing the
"Night and Fog" of the Standardistos without some record coming across.
We also need to get together from time to time. Maybe we can help a few
people (Theresa and Lisa) get to the Education Summit in Detroit. I have the
feeling things may be lonely at times in rural North Carolina or suburban
Things even get lonely here in Chicago, where you'd think more people would
be cool. Example: I just couldn't bring myself to socialize with a group of
our "liberal" union friends Wednesday night. My mind kept asking how many of
their students had "failed" the Iowa test after they proved their cowardice
by administering it without protest four weeks ago.
The attacks on us will grow. The cowardice of our colleagues will continue to
distress us. The venality of our union will continue to disgrace the decent
parts of its history.
And this is only the beginning.
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