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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:27 PM
Original message
Teen Sues Teacher For Calling Her Ugly
Source: NBC San Diego

SAN DIEGO -- A Spring Valley teenager said she was humiliated when a teacher allegedly called her ugly in front of classmates and booted the girl from class with a swift kick to the buttocks.

The Mount Miguel High School freshman has filed a $75,000 lawsuit in San Diego County Superior Court against the teacher. The suit claims that she wanted to join the school choir as they delivered singing grams on Valentine's Day. But teacher Heather Hargett called the 14-year-old "ugly" and a "brat" and kicked her after ordering from the room, the suit alleges.

The district declined comment.

Read more: http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/16966483/detail.html?rs...



Time to make some money.
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ckramer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:29 PM
Response to Original message
1. Good - so someone can use their foulmouth less
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. who's foul mouth?
the teacher's or the student's?
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ckramer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. What do you think?
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SemiCharmedQuark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:29 PM
Response to Original message
2. I'd think her case hinges on the kick, more than the name.
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Zuiderelle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:31 PM
Response to Original message
3. Headline should be: Teen Sues Teacher For Calling Her Ugly and Kicking Her
I guess they are trying to draw people in by making it seem trivial, with just "Calling Her Ugly" in the headline. The kicking is most likely the reason she's suing, but both are reprehensible.

Good luck to her. I hope she wins. (If it's true)

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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. you do realize that ugly can refer to more than appearance??
If I said you were being ugly than what would that mean to you? I was not there, but I can bet that this kick would be more of a mocking jesture than an actual blow. We shall see. Still don't see how anyone can justify getting 75K for this. In the old days, the parents would just meet with the principal.
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Zuiderelle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. If the kick was actually a kick, and if the ugly was about her appearance, then she should win.
Yes, I "do realize that ugly can refer to more than appearance" :shrug: I already qualified my response by saying "(If it's true)."

I think a kick in the ass warrants more than the parents meeting with the principal. And though I agree that $75K is a bit high, it's possible that it's only that high to cover expenses of the suit, and the real purpose is to pressure the teacher to resign, or the school to get rid of her. Sounds reasonable to me.
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Agreed...
but i think that FIRST you meet with the principal.
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Zuiderelle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Maybe she did already.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. If she had, the teacher would be suspended for sure
California schools have zero tolerance for allegations of criminal activity by teachers.
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Zuiderelle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. Maybe the schools do, but maybe the principal didn't believe her..
or maybe she didn't go to the principal because she was too ashamed or too upset. Or maybe the whole thing is a farce. At this point there's absolutely no way to tell what actually happened since the school won't comment, and since the story has no details.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. Agreed on all counts
We don't know what actually happened, and will probably never know.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. If there was actually a kick, the police should have been involved
And the teacher charged with assault.

I think a kick in the ass warrants more than the parents meeting with the principal.

Here in California, it warrants jail time.

The fact that nothing is said about criminal charges casts a lot of doubt on the story from my POV. A criminal conviction would make the civil suit a slam-dunk. Without that, all of the alleged facts are subject to question.
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Zuiderelle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Maybe she didn't know that she could call the police.
Maybe she went to the police after all this when she realized that she should have gone to them right away. The story is WAY to light on details to make any determination about what actually happened.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. Any kid who knows she can sue a teacher for calling her ugly knows damn well she can call the police
Teenagers are pretty savvy about making reports to law enforcement, CPS, etc. to make life difficult for adults they have some kind of beef with.
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Zuiderelle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. Why would you assume that she knew that she could sue right after she was kicked?
Why do you think all teenagers are savvy?
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #26
30. Yes, perhaps she was advised by an adult later that she could sue
But why is there nothing in the story about criminal charges?

A teacher assaulting a student is a very serious matter in California.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #18
41. The school principal should have called the police.
Edited on Wed Jul-23-08 04:18 PM by pnwmom
It is the principal's job whenever there is an issue of assault. It is not up to the principal, but to the police to decide whether there is a case or not.

The fact that the principal chose not to do that doesn't really say anything about the validity of the case.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. Maybe the principal screwed up, maybe she was trying to cover the teacher
Edited on Wed Jul-23-08 04:17 PM by slackmaster
In my experience, principals are quick to involve law enforcement any time a violent crime of any kind on campus is alleged. They have their own butts to cover.
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RedShoes Donating Member (658 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #9
40. do YOU realize that teachers are there BUILD our children up, not knock them down, or kick
as the case may be? A teacher call ing a student ugly is inappropriate under ANY circumstances.
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aspergris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #3
45. I hope she loses
Suing somebody for something so petty is like using a howitzer to swat a fly.

75k?

Shoots brah! Call me ugly, and kick me in the rump please!!!

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AmyCamus Donating Member (371 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
4. Time for silly lawyer trick season.
One of these 'kid says ____, teacher sued' stories hits the wire every hour.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #4
28. "Silly lawyer trick"? It sounds more like a nasty teacher trick to me.
Fortunately, there was a class full of witnesses to what went on. Time will tell.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #28
31. My knee-jerk reaction is "nasty vengeful teenager trick", but that's based on my experience
Teachers are extremely patient people (or they get fired), and kids can do some very nasty things.

I'm very interested to see how this one turns out. Maybe the teacher really lost it. That does happen.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #31
36. It doesn't seem right to require students to buy a $15 t-shirt
in order to participate in a morale boosting event.

It will be interesting to turn out what really happened.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #31
38. Also, in my experience, tenured teachers rarely get fired
whether they are patient people or not.

For example, my son had a public school teacher who routinely gave out what were (in effect) demerits (I don't remember what he called them) to students who asked questions to which he THOUGHT they should already know the answer. Two of these demerits meant that you had to miss recess. One day, he gave these things to 13 girls in math class, because he thought they had asked stupid questions.

I know this for a fact. I discussed this with the principal after my son came home and told me. This teacher ended up being transferred within the district, but he's still teaching.
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Gidney N Cloyd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:33 PM
Response to Original message
5. Stay classy, San Diego. nt
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harmonicon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #5
12. HA-HA!
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #5
21. Mount Miguel High School is not in San Diego
It's in Spring Valley, a separate municipality.
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Gidney N Cloyd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #21
48. So when Ron Burgandy said that on the air, the station signal stopped at the city limits?
C'mon, man, it's what we call a 'joke.'

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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #48
53. As a San Diegan I consider that kind of "joke" to be offensive
:hi:
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Tikki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
6. I had a teacher call me a....
'hood'...I don't know what term is the equivalent today?!!..trouble maker

I blinked and then I called him a drunk...Also, chorus, also, I was 14.

He was more of a drunk than I was a 'hoodette'.

He was gone the next year and I did great in High School
Chorus.

Tikki
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #6
34. The best thing I ever got called in school was "Heathen hippie whoremonger"
But that was Holy Hubert Lindsey the preacher, not a teacher.

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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 09:35 AM
Response to Reply #6
52. "Hood" short of for Hoodlum
Main Entry: hoodlum
Pronunciation: \ˈhd-ləm, ˈhu̇d-\
Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps from German dialect (Swabia) hudelum disorderly
Date: 1871
1: thug; especially : one who commits acts of violence
2: a young ruffian
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tularetom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
8. My teacher threatened to kick my ass. Can I sue?
This was 50 years ago and he was pissed because a few of us were carrying on a conversation in his boring class. He later became principal and croaked prematurely in a car accident and they named a school after him.
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. See a lawyer!!
Today!! May be money in his estate. :sarcasm:
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Zuiderelle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:01 PM
Response to Original message
14. I was hit by a teacher, and I wish I could have sued.
But since it was called "corporal punishment" and teachers were allowed to hit children with boards back then, there was little I could do.

If this girl was actually kicked, I think suing makes sense. No teacher has a right to hit a child.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
17. I would love to know what transpired immediately before the alleged incident
:popcorn:
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #17
29. Here's more.
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/education/20080723-9...

It was Valentine's Day and freshman Jade Ray wanted to join her classmates in the Mount Miguel High School choir as they delivered singing grams.

SNIP

She has never returned to that school and now wants more than $75,000 for the pain and humiliation she suffered, her attorney John Gomez said. Both Hargett and the Grossmont Union High School District, which oversees the Spring Valley school, were named in the lawsuit. It was filed July 9 in San Diego Superior Court.

SNIP

According to the lawsuit, Hargett had picked several groups of students to deliver the singing grams and intentionally excluded Jade. The 14-year-old asked why, and Hargett answered that she looked bad and had no choir T-shirt.

Jade asked whether the T-shirt really cost $15, and Hargett told her to leave the class, the lawsuit said. When Jade asked if she was serious, Hargett said that if she couldn't afford a T-shirt, she had to leave. The teacher called Jade a brat and ugly and kicked her, the lawsuit said. The kick landed on her buttocks, Gomez said.

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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #29
33. And Channel 10's site has a photo that (at least by implication) is Jade, the plaintiff
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Radical Activist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #29
37. I hope this lawsuit teaches her a lesson.
How can we expect students to learn to respect others when teachers act that way?
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my2sense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:28 PM
Response to Original message
22. If True I hope the student wins
The teacher was out of order. Surely she has better conflict management skills than this. If a teacher kicked my child in the butt - there would be hell to pay.
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AmyCamus Donating Member (371 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #22
51. If not true, I hope the judge calls her lawyer ugly and kicks him in the ass.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:37 PM
Response to Original message
27. Here are some more details, from a local paper.
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/education/20080723-9...

It was Valentine's Day and freshman Jade Ray wanted to join her classmates in the Mount Miguel High School choir as they delivered singing grams.

SNIP

She has never returned to that school and now wants more than $75,000 for the pain and humiliation she suffered, her attorney John Gomez said. Both Hargett and the Grossmont Union High School District, which oversees the Spring Valley school, were named in the lawsuit. It was filed July 9 in San Diego Superior Court.

SNIP

According to the lawsuit, Hargett had picked several groups of students to deliver the singing grams and intentionally excluded Jade. The 14-year-old asked why, and Hargett answered that she looked bad and had no choir T-shirt.

Jade asked whether the T-shirt really cost $15, and Hargett told her to leave the class, the lawsuit said. When Jade asked if she was serious, Hargett said that if she couldn't afford a T-shirt, she had to leave. The teacher called Jade a brat and ugly and kicked her, the lawsuit said. The kick landed on her buttocks, Gomez said.

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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #27
32. Yet another, slightly different version from another local news source
A local high school student is suing the Grossmont School District and a teacher, claiming she was physically and verbally abused.

Fourteen-year-old Jade Ray used to attend Mount Miguel High School. But she says in February she was humiliated and psychologically scarred after her choir teacher, Heather Hargett, allegedly called her a poor, ugly brat then proceeded to physically kick her in the rear end out of class.

"She kicked me out the door. And I said 'did you just kick me', and she said 'yeah', I said 'why', she said 'because you weren't moving fast enough,' then she slammed the door in my face," said Ray....

...The attorney for the Ray family says the district rejected a $75,000 settlement request....


The teacher allegedly called her poor as well as an ugly brat, and the school district evidently thinks $75 K is excessive for whatever actually happened.

http://www.cbs8.com/stories/story.135282.html
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Nevernose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:59 PM
Response to Original message
35. I don't see what the big deal is about the kick
The odds are almost certainly that the kick was playful, a "swift kick in the behind." I see teachers do it all the time. The alternative is that a choir teacher, in a fit of anger at someone's ugliness, assaulted that student with a kung fu kick. Ridiculous. The kid was told to leave, didn't leave, and the teacher tried to handle it with a joke -- which is actually pretty good classroom management at the high school level. It keeps things from escalating.

The unforgivable thing, in my opinion, was in calling the girl "ugly" (assuming that is what actually happened). Even in jest, calling a kid names like that, especially if the kid is already insecure like 99% of adolescents already are, can screw someone up for life. Most teachers have no idea what kind of power they have, specifically what kind of power their words have.

Should the teacher lose his job? I'd say no, assuming that this is the first complaint for something like that. People make mistakes, and most people learn from them. We've all said things at our place of work that we've later regretted, and I've never met a teacher with more than five or ten years experience who haven't had any student complaints lodged against them. Not one. If he shows a history or pattern of abusive language towards students, though, he should be hung out to dry.

As both a a teacher and a parent, though, I've got fifty bucks that says that this all REALLY started with the administration. The parents went in to complain, they were treated like shit by an assistant principal in CYA-mode, and that's when they hired the lawyer.
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Radical Activist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #35
39. I think you underestimate the psychological effects of being physically hit
even if it doesn't hurt, especially in front of other students. You should apply what you wrote about being called ugly to the kick as well. Its the same affect.

This person has no business being in a classroom.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #39
44. Right. The girl was so traumatized she switched schools.
She clearly felt deeply humiliated.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #35
43. No, it's NOT good classroom management, it's very POOR classroom
management, and if you see teachers doing this all the time you should be reporting them.

Subjecting children to ridicule -- which is what this name-calling and kicking appears to be about (the girl was too embarrassed to return to the school) is never good classroom management.

I agree with you that the administration probably handled this thing very poorly. I'm really surprised that they didn't settle.
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Nevernose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #43
49. I'm referring specifically to the use of humor
Which has been studied extensively and shown to be a common element among teachers with effective classroom management. Of course I don't see teachers calling students names and play-kicking them in their behinds all the time, but I do see teachers clowning to deescalate situations.

I agree wholeheartedly with you about ridicule being wrong. It's not funny; it's just plain mean and bullying. I'm working under the assumption that the "kick" was an attempt at using humor, whereas calling her ugly crossed the line into cruelty.

I, too, wondered why they didn't settle. I wondered if the student has a history of truancy and is using this as an excuse (which is more likely than you think), or if the district is one of those that automatically fights everything so as not to encourage others (most likely). There's also the distinct possibility that this was investigated and there's a radically different interpretation of what really happened that we just haven't heard yet.
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Oeditpus Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:10 PM
Response to Original message
46. You do all realize
that we've gotten only one side of this story.



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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #46
47. Yes, and that is good reason to be very skeptical about all of the allegations
:hi:
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AmyCamus Donating Member (371 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #46
50. Yeah, but it's against a teacher, so the teacher must be guilty.
Teachers, guilty even if proven innocent.
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Sequoia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 10:41 AM
Response to Original message
54. You guys ought to check out the DVD of "Strangers With Candy"
Steven Colbert is a teacher and tells Jerri Blank (a 52 year old woman who'd been in the slammer for years gets out and starts her life over by going back to high school, that she is too fat and ugly to be on the debate team. That show will have you rolling on the floor.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-01-08 02:56 AM
Response to Reply #54
55. I used to love that show. It was sick.
:)
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