Dignity Deserved

I am often contacted when a situation has arisen due to my ability to dig until I find the rock bottom of the issue i.e. the facts before I put out an article with my take on it. Sometimes I will put out a feeler post which allows my readers to know that I am looking into a situation, so I can get sources which I did in this instance. I felt as though I had been handed a jigsaw puzzle, with the expectation of being able to put it all together… only having been handed 4 pieces, while the box says 5000 pieces on the side. I am appreciated for what I do by half of the area while the other half hates me as they either prefer to remain willfully ignorant or to keep others in the dark, which I have no idea. The ruffling of feathers is now something of which I have grown entirely accustomed.
 

 Caleb’s Deserved Dignity

As I watched the video for the third and fourth time, I noticed several things that have not yet been mentioned as I have browsed about the various well-known sites. In true to BeingFranc nature, I will do such fiercely and with the support of my strongest supporters. I recognize that this entire scenario is no-win for all involved due to how this was approached. Those of you who have made up your mind will not waiver in their opinion and I respect you but expect the same in return… it is a free country after all.
 
1. Heading straight to social media as a first option instead of Nutter Fort Primary was not a logical option that I can easily grasp if you were angry about your son being embarrassed. In fact, that is probably the polar opposite message I took from it when I first watched that 17-second clip with over 20K views. The teacher who did this wasn’t Caleb’s why not approach his full-time teacher? Why was this decision made to bypass her entirely without so much as a phone call? … it certainly feels to me as though it was made at Caleb’s expense.
Now, allow me to explain. I hear from parents regularly how they wish they could find a teacher that both cares and has the ability to connect with their child. After this event has been made so public with such a bombastic reaction that has since gone global, do you truly feel that just any teacher will feel secure working with Caleb without a concern in the back of her mind?
 
These are the considerations that no one has brought to the forefront, I hope to do just that.
 
2. I fully recognize my mother would have NEVER handled this situation as this young teacher did. However, my mom has 3 decades in the education field, while this teacher is only in her “2nd” year… you learn as you go as you do in ANY job.
 
3. If you notice as you are watching, there are two boys that were misbehaving during the play, definitely adding to the stress of the student/teacher dynamic and given that Caleb had already gone up to the mic twice the teacher felt that was more than enough for him to be sated with his performance given he had not been signed up for this play until that day.
((check the sources))
 
4. If you listen, you can hear someone talking in the background as he goes up, you can hear someone speaking and criticizing him during his other talking parts. This is obviously nothing you would have heard mentioned in the 17-second clip as it was but a blink into the glimpse of their play. If you are already that loud & criticizing, why not step up to correct the behavior of all the children on stage? De-escalate the painful tension that had been building? You are already being disruptive! Go big or go home!! Chances are, that would have saved everyone a lot of stress if you had!
 
5. The genuine reaction of all of the children when she does so is striking to me… as is the crowds. While I understand initially Caleb’s reaction is nearly that of a cartoon character because he is so genuine- bigger than life, the moment it became obvious that he was upset and this was not part of the show… the circumstances changed, yet no one tried to remedy that situation. His own parents didn’t step up for him to address the storm of emotions he was withstanding… not another teacher, not even the principal.
 
That is a question that needs to be asked by our Superintendent, Manchin. Now that was something that I did find UNPROFESSIONAL… or thoughtless should you consider it including the parents as well.
 
The group #GobbleGobble had a woman who asked this very same question, I screenshot it and will be adding it below.
screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-6-24-11-pm
 
6. I think the fact that he made his Native American costume into a turkey and came up to mic 3 times and said things without anyone making him stop shows compassion on the part of the teacher. Given that is what has been told to me by an array of parents in the audience at this point.
 
not-turkey
 
7. Inclusion is so widely appreciated across the nation, yet when it is implemented with a special needs child it creates instant outrage when they are treated equally as any other child would be treated. This is something that we as a society need to take a good hard look in the mirror about. Are we adult enough to handle this?
 
8. I went into the FB group, #gobblegobble believing that I would find a group of encouragement and kindness within. While there were a select few posts that were AMAZINGLY encouraging and kind… there were terrible and hateful posts in that group that encouraged harassing the teacher, posting the school and email address as well as posting a petition to have her fired. I found one post in particular that really said it all; it was a woman who suggested that the teacher not go back to work until she had further training to better understand those on the Autism spectrum… then immediately it went dark.
 
Another woman plunged it into a bottomless void where light dare not trek, saying something like, “oh no, we can’t let her off that easy, she has to pay.” Yeah, great to see hope lives, guys.
 
Petty people raise petty children and then they grow up to make lousy adults!! Can we all please try a bit harder on living with compassion!! Isn’t that what we are all aiming for?? That is the endgame here, YES??!!
 
9. Those on the autistic spectrum can bounce back better than we can. We fail to give them credit where credit is due!! I sincerely feel this in my heart of hearts. I have friends who are Autistic and their ability to adapt supersedes my own. They are NOT their condition, they can and do rise far above expectations of a label. So stop making them some frail label!!
 
As always, I provide 100% confidentiality to my sources.
I have heard from reliable sources;

“They’ve tried this before with another teacher previously. Only now, they went straight to social media, so people are sending him Christmas gifts and cards, parents are loving it. This teacher is very kind and yes she could have handled it differently, but good lord this is terrible. Teachers are being instructed to be quiet!!!!!!! I can tell you all regularly in this county teachers are being made out to be villains! Unacceptable! We deal with raising kids that parents don’t give a hoot about and then we deal with this!!!!” -Source Thursday PM

“The child didn’t have a permission slip to participate, then showed up that evening, and his parents demanded that he be able to participate. He didn’t practice. There was no turkey in the play… ever.” -Source Friday AM

With that being the case, why is it that Superintendent Manchin cannot simply state the truth instead of that statement he made about there being “no malice” with the actions taken by the teacher, which has only served to make the teacher look worse. Speak the truth, it is FAR better for all involved!!

But then, he is a Manchin, I suppose facts rolling off the tongue isn’t natural. *cough*

“No permission slip was filled out for Caleb to participate, he attended no practices. We had no idea he would even be attending the show, let alone participating. He showed up last minute and was given an Indian costume. Zero lines were assigned to him because of this. Never a part for a turkey, he was never to say “gobble gobble.” The play was over, despite his reaction. Children were not permitted outside at school today because the First Grade teacher and her children had their lives threatened due to this getting global attention. Manchin has put a gag order on all teachers!!” -Source Friday PM

OK, look!! You don’t like what happened, FINE.
You don’t like the teacher, FINE. You want her fired, UNDERSTOOD.
But, the moment you threaten a woman and her children’s lives you cross a line that is WAY beyond redemption.

This is my home, it may live in a state that finds itself the butt of many jokes. But this is my community, the one I have fought like hell to protect. We may have words with one another as many small towns do, might have political discord … but when it comes down to it, the hearts of most of the locals are worth their weight in gold… the others are simply lost. So, the scum that is harassing, threatening, and causing more hurt to my community – You are UNWELCOME! Your words are hurtful and inappropriate. Take your vicious & foul energies back to whence it came. BeGONE! 
 

Clucking Hens

 
As for these clucking & cackling hens, they acted as if they were there with their larger than life caustic opinions! Long before now, my father and I learned we have no respect for them nor their unsolicited opinions! They know nothing of true burdens carried by blue collar workers as those who reside in the Appalachia! They spend more on their clothes in one month than we spend on the mortgage in a year. I ask you all legitimately, have any of these women ever been to West Virginia as a destination other than a possible pit stop, let alone Clarksburg? They only feed into outrage addiction that stretches across our society like a sickness. Do they truly care about this little boy Caleb or anyone in our state for that matter? My guess is no, this was something that topped out on the right side of FB as a “Trending” story so they recognized it would solicit a large following.
 
No more, no less. Feigned concern thus feigned outrage.
 
 
Now, remember this teacher has only been teaching for “2” years, which means half of her paycheck goes back into her classroom for supplies and needed items for her students’ education, she is still paying her student debt, and she spends way too much time working as she is trying to learn her profession. Those in the education profession are so under-appreciated and the idea that this teacher is now fencing death threats is beyond my scope of comprehension. This is why we have so many who are painfully undereducated in our country… we cannot keep those who want to be teachers in the field of education because of situations like this, as unfortunate as they are…this child was not gravely injured, he left that evening with all of his digits intact, has laughed since and will continue to thankfully.
 
 
So, what do you say we all slow down with the pitchforks and torches? I am certain that every single one of you has had an off day in your lives, I know I certainly have and will again.
 
 
There is a reason Jesus said ye without sin cast the first stone. Good people make mistakes all the time, it doesn’t make that person bad, it simply means that person did badly. We all have bad days. For a “supposedly” Christian nation we sure do suck at turning the other cheek, let alone forgiving.
 
 
Let’s try harder as a species, shall we?
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2 thoughts on “Dignity Deserved

  1. First off I want to say that I appreciate your mother for doing the job she has done for 30+ years… Now I would like to address the issue of one of your comments when you said that Nutter Fort was the best school in the county for a student with special needs… I have plenty of friends and family who have children with all types of special needs and none of them would not put their child there… I’m sure your mother does and amazing job at what she does, however this is not the school for a child with special needs… It is over populated and has the highest student per teacher ratio… This is no fault of Ms. Lindsey’s by no means… This is the fault of our BOE… They have always passed the buck when something goes wrong and they want to save money anyway they can… Even if it’s not in the best intrerest of our children… You have talked about the “good ol boys” on here before and that is no different for our BOE… It’s all in who you know here and you know that as well as I do… They need to have training for all teachers in this county because 1 in every 4 children will have some type of autism… So for a growing condition we have to evolve and not stay in the 1950’s like our city/county likes to do… As far as Ms. Lindsey getting death threats that is so uncalled for… That has nothing to do with the parents or what they want… I know this family personally and was one of the first ones to comment on the 12 minute video… The mother was just asking for advise from her friends… It’s not her fault that people began to share it and she even said to me “this has blown up and that’s not why I put it on Facebook.” The BOE could have fixed this in the very beginning by telling the family they were sorry and having he teacher apologize. (Even if she did nothing wrong) Working with the public means just that you have to gain their trust and keep it… The parents are right when they say if she is going to do this in front of us what is she doing when we are not there… Any concern a parent would have, so like I said you have to gain and keep trust… I work with kids and I’m not saying I haven’t had a bad day however I do apologize and I try and make it right… This family has never done anything like this before, I know you didn’t say it but a lot of comments are saying it… They have done everything the school has asked them to do concerning their son… They didn’t want this to blow up as big as it has gotten nor did Ms. Lindsey… I feel for both sides… I do know however that my son did this same exact play at West Milford when he was in kindergarten and I do know for sure that the turkey said “gobble, gobble” and the only reason I know that is because my son played the turkey there, and like I said it was the same exact play… maybe Ms. Lindsey forgot that he came it was happy with the ending however an apology goes a long way… The letter that the BOE sent to the family was a tongue and cheek letter that basically said they were sorry that they felt the way they did but they seen nothing wrong with it… Just say we are sorry and move on… I know that they have enough to deal with having a child with autism they don’t want to be the center of attention… and like I said they wanted the opinions of their friends is why it was on Facebook… and all these parents now saying that their child was in social media and they are upset, well I know that you have to sign a release form to have your child’s picture taken and put on Facebook and the school has to make arrangements for the children who are exempt… again no fault of the parents… Society has made this into a mountain… If the BOE would have included the parents in the “meeting” they had with the principal and the teacher then they could have expressed their concerns… And for public knowledge the family has gone to the teachers and the principal about other things that was never resolved… again that’s because you have 25+ kids in one classroom with one teacher… again no fault of the teachers or parents… This is not one of the family’s who sends their kid to school because it’s a “free babysitter” or ones that don’t take care of their child… They just want to make sure their son is not mistreated… I know that I would never send my kids to that school for the reasons I stated above and because of that first grader who was found wondering around at Rite Aid… I know things happen and kids will be kids however their responsibility first and foremost are the children and their education… I’m not saying being a teacher is easy (never has been, never will be) but these educators have chosen that career (such as I did) and were told how hard it was from everyone… People are always gonna be overprotective of their children it’s human nature… I pray that everyone finds peace and he BOE changes for the better!

    • I would very much enjoy speaking with you privately. As you said, this has been made into a MOUNTAIN – when I say much of that has been in the hands of Manchin, not the Board of Education, please believe that. Some people hinge everything upon their personal ego, not what is right or even what is good.

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