Thursday, January 26, 2006

Jeff Fraser "Closed door hearing" tonight

First things first. Jon Zimney at WOWO interviewed my for comments on the Jeff Fraser resolution tonight. Listen to WOWO tomorrow to hear the sound bites they play from it. This will be the recurring news segment that airs several times throughout the day.

I could not attend the "closed door" hearing. I asked Doug Horner to attend it and let me know how it went. Thanks for going Doug!

About 50 people were present and waited for the hearing to end... They waited 40 minutes and then got a sound bite, a press release (The press release is on Tracey Warner's Blog at <http://blogs.fortwayne.com/Tracy_Warner/>, and the meeting was dismissed. The crowd was NOT ALLOWED to comment. Shameful...

At the end of the "closed door" hearing Superintendent Yager issued a pre-written press release. The pre-written press release basically mirrors exactly what Nathan Gotsch has been reporting over at Fort Wayne Observed <http://www.fwmn.blogspot.com/>.

The most interesting thing in the press release is a statement that "No further legal action, criminal, or civil, will be pursued or initiated by the parties, and the Parties shall take all reasonable action to ensure any criminal charges shall be dismissed." This tells me that Carroll had charged Fraser with CRIMINAL charges in this event. I had heard rumors to this effect; but, this is confirmation... How shameful... Not only was he expelled, he had criminal charges pressed against him...

It is a disappointing ending to a violation of a Carroll High School student's freedom of speech rights. As I have said many times; the school SHOULD have punished the student for writing the "satire"; however, expelling him for the year and pressing criminal charges was completely unwarranted.

I do not know why Jeff Fraser, his parents, or his attorney (Steve Shine of all people) decided to agree to this resolution; but, they did. If this happened to one of my children you can rest assured that I would not have agreed to it.

There are two things that really bother me about this:

1. The secret meeting that Nathan Gotsch reported occurred before the announced "Closed school board meeting" tonight. I believe that the secret meeting may have been illegal; but, I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY. If it is legal, it is still not the way this situation should have been handled.

2. The original expulsion was approved by FOUR individuals involved with the Carroll High School Administration. This was upheld by our "independent" School Board. How on earth can this many people agree to a punishment that is so unfitting?

I plan on replacing one person on the School Board on May 2nd. I am looking forward to it.

I hope that other concerned parents in NACS decide to run for School Board as well. I think we need several new members...

Mike Sylvester

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was out of town when I read this and my knee jerk reaction was to leave the kid alone. I tend to like satire because it often has a sense of perspective. I like to see students question authority. This student was thinking creatively. The writing was crude but it had potential. Too often, students are taught to be sponges. They memorize information without analyzing it. The student was trying to go beyond that point. Expulsion is way over the line. The fact that criminal charges were originally filed shows that all sense of perspective was lost. It was satire. Perhaps I am not thin skinned enough, but I don’t understand how that book could have gotten a group professional adults so upset. I also don’t understand why the hearing was closed. What ever happened to transparency?

Anonymous said...

You are correct, NACS needs a new school board. but you have a lot to learn about open door laws versus privacy of a student in an expulsion case. they could not legally have had an open meeting in this issue. Good luck with your campaign. Unfortunately, it is quite hard to turn this horse in the right direction, and I should know. The first thing to be done is to get rid of Yager and Neumeyer. in that order. This is just one example of how he deals with anyone who disagrees with him.