This Aggression Will Not Stand

Ah, the public schools:

A Batavia High School teacher’s fans are rallying to support him as he faces possible discipline for advising students of their Constitutional rights before taking a school survey on their behavior.

They’ve been collecting signatures on an online petition, passing the word on Facebook, sending letters to the school board, and planning to speak at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

Students and parents have praised his ability to interest reluctant students in history and current affairs.

Dryden, a social studies teacher, told some of his students April 18 that they had a 5th Amendment right to not incriminate themselves by answering questions on the survey, which had each student’s name printed on it.

The survey asked about drug, alcohol and tobacco use, and emotions, according to Brad Newkirk, chief academic officer.

The results were to be reviewed by school officials, including social workers, counselors and psychologists.

The survey was not a diagnostic tool, but a “screener” to figure out which students might need specific help, Newkirk said.

The school is considering a “letter of remedy”. This has the potential to result in any level of discipline, up to firing.

The school’s position, which is not completely unreasonable, is that this survey was not going to be shared with police but was going to be used to identify students with problems and Dryden may have interfered with students getting some needed counseling. Dryden’s position, however, is that writing your name on a piece of paper and saying you’ve used drugs or alcohol is just asking for legal trouble. Is it really that hard to imagine the path from “we’ll give you help if you want it” to “you’re going to get help, wether you want it or not” to “enjoy juvie, sucker”? And is not that unreasonable for a social studies teacher to use this an example of what the Fifth Amendment means?

This does seem like bit of an over-reaction by the school. There’s a part of me that wonders if the school’s problem isn’t so much that he interfered with the survey but that he taught them a lesson in their Fifth Amendment rights. School administrators love things like locker searches, drug tests and student searches. They have routinely chafed against the very modest legal requirement of “reasonable suspicion”. Politicians and “educators” at all levels aren’t terrifically fond of any of our liberties really (James Taranto recently wrote about his experiences with censorship in college).

If you teach student to exercise their fifth amendment rights, they might start escalating to thinking about their fourth and first amendement rights as well. They might even start wondering about — the horror — their second amendment rights! And we can’t have that.

(In case you’re wondering about the title of this post, check out the picture of Dryden at the linked article and tell me he doesn’t look like the Dude.)

Comments are closed.

  1. Thrill

    I’m a bit torn on this one. It seems like every single person involved had good intentions and yet was wrong somehow.

    Basically, the teacher got in the way of the administration’s attempt to Do Something for the Sake of the Children. As we all know, those crusades frequently end up targeting children pretty ruthlessly.

    The teacher was trying to protect his kids from the school’s attempts to…protect them. It’s a conundrum.

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  2. hist_ed

    I often see both sides in debates about stuff like this. I am all for locker searches for the merest hint of a problem. This is idiocy. Telling student what they could learn from reading the Constitution-and what they would know if previous teachers had done their job-should not result in any problems for this guy. Might write the damn school board my self.

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  3. Thrill

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  4. Hal_10000 *

    A good point, Thrill. I do think the school had the right intentions with the surveys. But I also think there is a danger in putting that information out there, especially given the Zero Tolerance tendencies of our public schools.

    I should have mentioned in the post how this came about. The teacher himself said that had he gotten more notice he would have gone to the Administration with his concerns. I think that would have defused the mess very quickly.

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  5. Thrill

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  6. Xetrov

    If I were the teacher, and I had misgivings about the survey, I would have held off giving it to the class, and asked the Administration about it. If that wasn’t an option, I don’t have a problem with what he did. I wouldn’t want my minor child signing anything that could be used to incriminate him/her without my prior knowledge, and written consent.

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  7. Mississippi Yankee

    Thrill,

    Information is leaked from the highest level of our society yet you believe that a Batavia High School (outskirts of Chicago BTW) would treat these ‘signed confessions’ as if they were Krypto Top Secret documents? What are you drinking, smoking, injecting dude?

    Were you home schooled? Have you ever been inside of a public high school gulag? If Nixon or Obumbler could use tax records to get rid of their enemies what do you suppose a high school principal might do to any and all disruptors of his/her fiefdom? In my day they might “drop a dime”.

    Sorry but sometimes ‘open-mindedness’ can cause one’s brains to fall out the other side.

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  8. InsipiD

    Dryden’s position, however, is that writing your name on a piece of paper and saying you’ve used drugs or alcohol is just asking for legal trouble. Is it really that hard to imagine the path from “we’ll give you help if you want it” to “you’re going to get help, wether you want it or not” to “enjoy juvie, sucker”? And is not that unreasonable for a social studies teacher to use this an example of what the Fifth Amendment means?

    This, this, and this. The school level of Constitutional rights is what they’re aiming for in the case of the rest of us anyway. I don’t think that he did anything inappropriate as far as the students go. Should he have mentioned his concerns to the administration first? Sure. If they had gone forward with it, and you know they would have, he had little choice but to do what he did for his own feelings.

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  9. Thrill

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  10. Seattle Outcast

    And where were the parents while the school made attempts to create a file on each student that contained information other than academic records? A file that they had no control over, might contain damaging information, and would certainly be put in a government database?

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  11. richtaylor365

    The school’s position, which is not completely unreasonable

    I disagree. This “fishing expedition” was administered under the guise of collecting data to better combat the rash of recent suicides, this could have just as easily been handled without requiring the students to attach their names (would not students be more open and freer in their comments if they were written anonymously?) and without the need to incriminate themselves in any criminal activity. And if I was a parent of one of these kids, I would be fuming at this one of many examples of the education system (like big government) sticking their nose in areas beyond their purview. It matters not one bit that they promised they would not share this info. with the cops. Things get left out in public view, how long will they keeps these self admissions under file? Will other teachers be able to go over them? That’s perfect, my kid (hypothetically) admits to smoking dope a few times, then matures, and gets his act together because he wants to play sports. But the following year he takes an important AP class (needed to get into a good college) but the teacher has already perused this form, labels him a stoner from the outset, and he starts the class with 2 strikes against him.

    School administrators love things like locker searches, drug tests and student searches.

    Apples and oranges. All school grounds are clearly marked with signs about every 15 feet, that those entering these grounds (themselves, their lockers and their vehicles, this goes for the parents too) are subject to search. But you can avoid this be staying off the grounds, period.

    Before I give this teacher a pass (which I am inclined to do now) I would like to know exactly what was said to the students. Hearsay from some other teacher is inadmissible.

    There is a fine line between questioning authority, and rolling over and exposing your belly to anyone (the government, cops, teachers, other adults) who wields authority over you. Yes, it is important for students to understand their rights, but it is equally important to know when those rights apply and when they can be invoked.

    Big government and the education system are two sides of the same coin, they both push themselves into areas beyond their design and purpose because it is in their interest to do so. Get back to educating the kids, you seems to have all you can handle just with that, and leave the “raising” to the parents. I would prefer that teachers understand the subject they are teaching and stay the hell out of student psycho analysis.

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  12. Thrill

    This “fishing expedition” was administered under the guise of collecting data to better combat the rash of recent suicides, this could have just as easily been handled without requiring the students to attach their names (would not students be more open and freer in their comments if they were written anonymously?) and without the need to incriminate themselves in any criminal activity.

    Without the names, what would have been the point of doing the surveys? The whole idea was to get qualified intervention to students who may have needed it, not to take a poll.

    And the students and their parents were given the opportunity to opt out of the survey and avoid incriminating themselves, as has been noted. Dryden flouted the deadline the administration provided.

    Before I give this teacher a pass (which I am inclined to do now) I would like to know exactly what was said to the students. Hearsay from some other teacher is inadmissible.

    It doesn’t matter what his exact words were. He absolutely discouraged the students from providing information that he himself would be required to report to the administrators if he had become aware of it. That’s inappropriate. He does not have that kind of discretion.

    His school district has determined that teachers serve the interests of their student by diverting them to appropriate agencies when needed, not trying to function as their criminal counsel.

    If the Dryden wants to be a lawyer, he can certainly go do that. If he wants to continue being a teacher, he’d better follow the district’s policies or else risk termination.

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  13. AlexInCT

    Without the names, what would have been the point of doing the surveys? The whole idea was to get qualified intervention to students who may have needed it, not to take a poll.

    I think the important distinction is that we are unclear whether the school asked for parental permission, after divulging the collection of sensitive and potentially incriminating information, or just went ahead and did this. I however suspect that if they asked for parental permission, and let me stress that just askign wasn’t enoug, but that they had made clear what they were doing, then I am not sure this teacher would have felt compelled to do what was done.

    Considering the abuses of power by the left these days, and nobody will try to argue that these schools are anything but lefty indoctrination centers, especially if they are publlic schools, I would never allow my child to participate in anything like this, no matter what assurances, guranteesm, or promisses are made. Period. I do not trust these fucking tyrannical bastards, and anyone that does deserves the ass rape that is sure to follow. And if, as I suspect, the teacher did this because the parents were likely misinformed, then he should get a fucking medal.

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  14. Thrill

    I would never allow my child to participate in anything like this, no matter what assurances, guranteesm, or promisses are made. Period.

    Neither would I. However, if one of my kids tried to discuss a serious personal problem with a teacher, counselor, or administrator and he refused to hear it or report it because he decided to play schoolhouse Constitutional lawyer in violation of his own school’s policies, I’d be pretty pissed.

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  15. richtaylor365

    Without the names, what would have been the point of doing the surveys?

    We really don’t know what the point of the survey was, do we? Sure, they told us they were concerned about a recent rash of suicides, but why the questions about past criminality, isn’t this a red flag for you? Do you know what questions were asked, how they were worded? Do they ask about sexual practices or home life? TBH, I don’t think any of this is the schools business, no matter how altruistic they come off. A general (anonymous) survey about different stresses or pressures kids feel, and what in the kids view the school could do to help with these pressures, this would have been far better than snooping into their personal lives.

    And the students and their parents were given the opportunity to opt out of the survey and avoid incriminating themselves, as has been noted. Dryden flouted the deadline the administration provided

    This does not get them off the hook. An email sent to the parents advising them that the school is going to start prying into the personal lives of their kids, this does not make it OK. It should not be left up to the parents to tell the school NOT to be doing stuff that it really none of their business anyway. Some emails get lost in cyberspace, others go to spam folder. Public schools love to play the “In Loco Parentis” card whenever it suits them, they should praise this teacher for abiding by the party line.

    It doesn’t matter what his exact words were.

    It does to me. This would have been OK ,”In a minute I am going to be passing out a questionnaire created by the school to help students with any problems they might be having. The information that we collect is confidential, it will give us a better understanding of what we as educators can do to make the school environment more conducive to learning. It will also help us address any individual problems you might have. Some of the questions involve prior alcohol and drug use. Last week we talked about the 5th Amendment and how we are protected from self incrimination. If you feel that these questions are too personal or would rather not answer them, that would be fine with me. Just answer the once you feel comfortable answering”. If what he said to the kids was anything remotely like that, then he gets a pass with me.

    His school district has determined that teachers serve the interests of their student by diverting them to appropriate agencies when needed, not trying to function as their criminal counsel.

    And they can do that now, without intrusive and incriminating statements of past criminality. Do you honestly think that a kid who is unhappy/disturbed/despondent/or suicidal is going to admit as much on a survey that he has no idea where it is going to get disseminated? No kid is going to admit to wanting to kill himself on a school form with his name on it, ridiculous. All teachers go through enough training anyway to refer a student who approached them in private with a problem, where to refer that student. We are more inclined to seek help with a problem if we know it will be handled confidentially, a signed admission linking us to that problem floating around for the whole world to see, nobody wants that.

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  16. RonK

    to start

    chief academic officer

    what the hell is that??

    these kids are with the teachers 5 to 6 hours a day, and the teacher are unable to evaluate by observations what student need help, both academically and emotionally maybe it time to evaluate the teachers and find ones that will observe the children.

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  17. Thrill

    We really don’t know what the point of the survey was, do we?

    Actually, we do. The school district sets “objectives for addressing the needs of students for social and emotional development through the educational programs” because Illinois state law requires it.

    These surveys were the school’s attempt to come into compliance with that law (which you can read here). Dryden was therefore interfering with the school’s attempt to comply with state law. Are you surprised now that they’re coming down on him?

    All teachers go through enough training anyway to refer a student who approached them in private with a problem, where to refer that student.

    And a big question I have is whether or not Dryden actually understands that he is obligated to do so. I’m not 100% convinced that he gets it, because of the way he handled this situation.

    The administration needs to take disciplinary action to ensure that he understands his proper role is to refer students with mental health/criminal/substance abuse problems to the administration/counselor/law enforcement/family services/etc, not to provide legal aid. Something tells me that this is already being made very clear to him as I write this.

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  18. richtaylor365

    Actually, we do. The school district sets “objectives for addressing the needs of students for social and emotional development through the educational programs” because Illinois state law requires it.

    The school can easily comply with this edict and meet every one of its objectives without snooping/prying into the private lives of the students or requiring them to rat themselves out wrt past criminal activity. It’s the method I got a problem with, not the objective.

    Are you surprised now that they’re coming down on him?

    No, I’m not a bit surprised (get in the way of the nanny state and there will be hell to pay), but I’m not convinced it is warranted. As I said before, I need to know more about exactly what he said to his students. Simply reminding the students that they have a Constitutional right to not incriminate themselves in past criminal activity does not in my mind declare him chief underminer or interferer with the school’s attempt to comply with law.

    And a big question I have is whether or not Dryden actually understands that he is obligated to do so.

    What makes you think he doesn’t? Nothing in this whole story tells me that he does not care about kids or does not take his teaching position seriously. Everything we have read here suggests that the kids like him and think he is a good teacher.

    The administration needs to take disciplinary action to ensure that he understands his proper role is to refer students with mental health/criminal/substance abuse problems to the administration/counselor/law enforcement/family services/etc, not to provide legal aid. Something tells me that this is already being made very clear to him as I write this

    .

    I guess we will just have to agree to disagree. You went from there (advising students that they don’t have to admit to past criminal activity if they don’t want to) to there (This teacher obviously does not understand his role as a teacher and doesn’t get the proper referral procedure if he comes in contact with a student who needs help, so he needs to be smacked down) and honestly I don’t see the path you took. No evidence that I read suggests he does not understand the referral process.

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  19. Thrill

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  20. richtaylor365

    Uh, the fact that he actively dissuaded his students from answering a voluntary survey that was being conducted to help promote early intervention toward reducing suicide and other problems, as directed by the laws of the State of Illinois, his employer.

    He did not do that. He did not say (speculating since no one has a copy of the survey or taped him when he discussed it with his students) ,”You guys don’t have to answer ANY of these questions, it’s all crap and really nobody’s business anyway, just leave everything blank”. Only those questions (which have zero to do with feelings or suicide anyway) that pertained to past criminal activity, which was probably a small percentage of the actual survey anyway.

    If he noticed that a student was experiencing depression or other issues, would he question that student or would he worry about violating their 5th Amendment rights?

    How is depression linked to past criminal activity? Are you suggesting that any kid that exhibits depression must be a criminal or has indulged in past criminal activity. The two are not related. Again, nowhere in this whole story does it suggest this teacher would not help an obviously troubled or depressed student, far from it.

    You have to understand that these are matters of serious liability for the school.

    I get liability, believe me, worked with it my whole life and if anything he might have limited the schools liability when they started prying into areas that the parents would not like and be apt to sue over. Requiring students to list past criminal activities for the schools records, outrageous, they got no business even asking such a thing.

    I feel like you (and others) are missing the point that this teacher has no real good reason for dissuading students from reporting these issues.

    What issues are you talking about? Did the teacher tell all the students to not answer any of the questions? It sounds like that is what you believe. Issues of depression, feelings and personal problems were all addressed, nowhere does it state that he was telling the kids to not comply with the survey.

    He is required to assist students who are experiencing problems by directing them to the appropriate agencies, not advising them to refuse to disclose potential problems to the school’s administrators simply because he disagrees with the state-mandated screening process.

    Again, that is not what he did. He never told them to not disclose personal problems, nor do you have any evidence that he would turn a blind eye to this type of conduct if he witnessed it in his class room. All he did was remind these kids that they do not have to incriminate themselves wrt past criminal activity if they don’t want to. And what evidence do you have that he “disagrees with the state-mandated screening process”? Did he trash them to tell the kids to just skip it, did he not comply with state law by handing out the surveys?

    Why are you all having such a hard time comprehending this?

    I guess I don’t understand why you can’t comprehend that asking kids to document past criminal activity (and allowing the school to hold onto these confessions for what ever purpose they think appropriate) has got nothing to do with the prior suicides, smacks to me of a fishing expedition designed to get dirt on students for some future leverage, violates the students Constitutional rights of self incrimination, and violates each parents right of privacy since they are responsible for their kids. This was a bad idea all the way around and I think the school district is punishing this teacher because they know it was bad implementation, but as usual, are too cowardly to admit it.

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  21. Thrill

    He did not do that

    He did. Read his statement:

    I am charged with unprofessional conduct for telling my students they had a Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate themselves when answering an in-class survey. Students’ names were pre-printed on the survey. The survey asked the students to self-report on “emotional and at-risk behavior” such as whether or not they had used alcohol or drugs. Because the survey was generated by Student Services, which handles student discipline, I advised my students to consider their answers on the survey.

    On to my next point:

    How is depression linked to past criminal activity?

    There is absolutely a variety of correlations between depression, alcohol and drug abuse, teen suicide, and juvenile delinquency. I invite you to compare studies attempting to disprove that any one of these do not strongly indicate the presence of another. I’ll go first.

    Even controlling for socioeconomic status, mildly to
    moderately depressed girls were more likely to commit
    property crimes and crimes against other people than their
    nondepressed counterparts. There were also no racial or
    ethnic differences with respect to mild to moderate depression.
    From this, researchers can hypothesize that racial
    and ethnic differences in antisocial behavior do not reflect
    variations in depression by race and ethnicity.
    Overall, these preliminary findings suggest mildly to
    moderately depressed girls may be at risk of engaging
    in antisocial behavior. Treating depression may have a
    twofold benefit: undermining the development and maintenance
    of antisocial behavior as well as reducing depression.

    Depression and criminal activity are related, according to this study. Your move.

    Requiring students to list past criminal activities for the schools records, outrageous, they got no business even asking such a thing.

    Yes, they do. Thanks to the state government the parents voted for.

    And what evidence do you have that he “disagrees with the state-mandated screening process”?

    His own statement again:

    “I have asked people (the supporters) to talk about the survey. I think I am a sideshow,” he said. “This (the survey) was rushed and it wasn’t vetted.”

    And his attempt to warn students about answering the questions was clearly an attempt to undermine the administration’s attempt to comply with the law and the school district’s directives.

    He deserves no sympathy.

    Take note: He could have raised the issue with an adminstrator prior to 1st period and at least gotten some indication of whether or not it was acceptable to invoke the 5th Amendment. He didn’t. He made up his own mind that he needed to play Super Teacher Attorney and warn the students about answering questions on the survey that he was told to administer.

    He could have gone to visit an administrator before 2nd period and asked for clarification, given that he had had plenty of time to review the surveys. He didn’t. He warned another class about the surveys.

    He could have made the trip to the office or called an administrator before the tests were to be taken in 3rd period. Oh, he didn’t. He again did whatever the hell he wanted to do.

    Oddly enough, another teacher had plenty of time to go see an administrator first and say, “Hey, the hippie guy was telling his students all day that they don’t have to answer the questions on the survey and they were giving me grief about it. You might want to talk to him.”

    After all was said and done, he finally went to the administration.

    Dryden was unprofessional and downright divisive. He stepped into a role that wasn’t his to take, ignored any kind of process that might have shown any respect for his administration or peers, and may even have harmed the school’s efforts to perform these interventions. He’s no hero. In fact, the evidence is piling up that he’s probably a bit of a dumbass.

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  22. richtaylor365

    I advised my students to consider their answers on the survey

    Wow, string him up, that usurper of authority. All this stink over advice to “consider their answers on the survey”.

    I’ll go first.

    That’s all, well, nice, but nowhere anywhere can it be proven that those depressed students are depressed because they committed some crime in their past. Nowhere can it be proven that past criminal activity causes depression, and nowhere can it be proven that whatever suicides happened in that school district was precipitated by depression caused by prior criminal activity. Linking the two is just fallacious. The school could just as easily asked all those pertinent questions about feelings and depression without broaching the subject of past criminal activity, it was not necessary and it was this violation of privacy that caused this big rhubarb.

    Yes, they do. Thanks to the state government the parents voted for.

    So, when the schools (or government) does something that you think goes beyond their scope and authority, you are just going to roll over and take it because, well, the people voted them in? I seriously doubt it.

    “This (the survey) was rushed and it wasn’t vetted.”

    I agree with him 100 percent, but this is not evidence that he disagrees with the state mandated screening process (just some of the questions on this particular survey)

    And his attempt to warn students about answering the questions was clearly an attempt to undermine the administration’s attempt to comply with the law and the school district’s directives.

    I don’t see it that way. If he failed to distribute the survey then I would agree. And again, it was only those questions about past criminal activity that got the warning.

    I get that you want the teacher drawn and quartered, and I think if he had it to do all over again, he would have done things differently, but the parts of this survey that asks the students to rat themselves out on their past crimes was just stupid. Maybe he did not have time between periods to run over to the administrator, teachers can get busy sometimes, but the survey was rushed, was not well thought out, and was a gross violation of the kids and the parents privacy. I am sure he will take his punishment like a man, after all, he embarrassed the school in their attempt to nanny state, to go where it does not belong, to gain confessions for whatever future purposes. Sorry, but this had nothing to do with addressing the emotional needs of the students.

    Unlike some here, I don’t have the stamina or the inclination to go round and round for days on end. I believe I’ve stated my position, you can have the last word :)

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  23. Thrill

    No, I think I’ll just bask in this glorious, rare moment of me vs everyone else on the World Wide Web on a meaningless issue that people feel strongly about.

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  24. Xetrov

    I feel like you (and others) are missing the point that this teacher has no real good reason for dissuading students from reporting these issues. None.

    How about he legitimately cares about his students, and doesn’t want to see the potential for them being thrown in prison because they were duped into signing what is legally an admission of committing a crime without legal representation, or (potentially) parental consent. Sounds like a mighty fine reason to me.

    I fail to see any real good reason for a school to be asking for that type of information from all students to begin with.

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  25. Mississippi Yankee

    Looks like the schoolboard backed down and will not discipline him.

    Not from what I’m seeing on Twitter.

    NANNY FIGHT!!!!

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  26. Thrill

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  27. Mississippi Yankee

    Yep. Don’t worry. I forgive all of you.

    Yeah, because neither you nor any public school board has ever erred in judgement.

    Smells more like uncontrolled tyranny on their part, and just another example of blind faith in the omnipotent power of the ‘state’ wafting off of you.

    Lenin woulda loved ya Thrill. He even had a pet name for y’all…

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  28. Thrill

    Believing that school boards have a responsibility to discipline teachers for unprofessional and divisive behavior: now a tenet a Marxist-Leninism.

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  29. Mississippi Yankee

    Believing that school boards have a responsibility to discipline teachers for unprofessional and divisive behavior: now a tenet a Marxist-Leninism.

    Believing that a teacher was displaying “unprofessional and divisive behavior” deserving of punishment for educating his pupils about the 5th amendment and incriminating themselves just MIGHT be a tenet a Marxist-Leninism. Comrade.

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  30. Thrill

    The 5th Amendment didn’t apply here. The funniest part is that the Superintendent had to patiently explain it to this supposedly brilliant social studies teacher who is totally an expert on the Bill of Rights, maaaaaaan.

    Barshinger said there was no Fifth Amendment issue, for several reasons. Once students’ names were on them, he said, they would have become student records and subject to student privacy laws. And students cannot incriminate themselves because, even if the district shared the information with police, police can’t prosecute based on that, he said. They are only allowed to arrest students if they are harming other students, such as in a fight, or if the student is in possession of drugs or alcohol, Barshinger said.

    Dryden ran his mouth to his students when he had no business doing so, besmirched his colleagues and administration, and was even fucking factually wrong about the 5th Amendment’s applicability to boot. But I guess we choose those heroes who best represent us, eh, MY?

    Short version: You don’t get to talk shit about your employer and then hide behind the Constitution, MY. My suspicion that this guy is a dumbass may have been spot-on.

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  31. Thrill

    And before anyone can come in with any more crap, allow me to present the school board’s side of the argument since most of you have obviously been getting all of your information from emotion-driven dolts on dumber blogs than this one.

    During a regularly scheduled Batavia Public School District 101 board meeting this evening (Tuesday), the Board of Education approved a Resolution Authorizing a Notice of Remediation to a Batavia High School teacher.

    A notice to remedy is a written warning issued by a school board that warns the employee of improper conduct and the possible consequences thereof. Much of the information that was discussed in closed session is confidential and cannot be shared. Please rest assured that during the review of this employee matter, the Board of Education was given all of the facts, which may or may not be the same as information you may have read in the newspaper or on social media websites.

    That said, there is some context that I feel would be appropriate to share.

    In this case, District teachers, social workers, guidance counselors, psychologists and others worked together for over a year to select a data-gathering instrument that could be used to determine what social or emotional issues our high school students are experiencing, and whether individual students could benefit from new or increased supportive intervention by our staff. These purposes were shared with our parents and our teachers.

    The issue before the Board (Tuesday night) was whether one employee has the right to mischaracterize the efforts of our teachers, counselors, social workers and others; and tell our students, in effect, that the adults are not here to help, but that they are trying to get you to “incriminate” yourselves.

    Disagreement with District initiatives has happened before and it will happen again. What the BPS101 Board does not, and will not support, is any employee giving students false impressions about the motivations of those who come here every day to try to improve the lives of the students entrusted to our care. At no time was student discipline discussed or contemplated as a response to disclosures made by our students.

    I understand that some people feel we could have done a better job explaining our goals and a better job working hand in hand with parents on these sensitive issues, and we will. The Board has asked my administration to take steps in the future to increase parental awareness and transparency when gathering data about sensitive issues such as mental health or substance abuse issues. When a plan of action is developed, we have agreed to share those details with our community.

    We understand and appreciate the concern shown by our parents and our staff members for the welfare of our students. In all things we do, the best interests of the students must, and will, always come first.

    Sincerely, Dr. Jack Barshinger
    Superintendent

    That’s exactly it. Dryden, who is apparently a paranoid buffoon, basically accused his employer and his co-workers of plotting some nefarious shit with the student’s surveys–and then got surprised to find they were offended by him doing that. Meanwhile, other paranoid buffoons all over the country and the Internet (yeah) have also managed to convince themselves that the school district was out to get these kids for some weird, unexplained reason. Also, they’re trying to destroy the Constitution, apparently.

    Holy shit. Lack of knowledge about the Constitution is not what’s destroying civics in this country. Paranoid, misinformed idiocy is doing just fine by itself.

    Hot! Thumb up 3

  32. Biggie G

    He was, I believe, “being an Irresponsible White Person”, to use one term.

    Is it bad that all I got from this whole thing is a desire to watch clips of The Boondocks on YouTube?

    Thumb up 4

  33. Thrill

    Is it bad that all I got from this whole thing is a desire to watch clips of The Boondocks on YouTube?

    Thank God. I was afraid that one would go wholly unnoticed. It really works for this story, doesn’t it?

    Thumb up 1

  34. Mississippi Yankee

    But I guess we choose those heroes who best represent us, eh, MY?

    That certainly seems to be the case as far as your heros go Thrill.

    But your next comment calling all who disagree with you and the petty tyrants “paranoid buffoons” is really priceless Comrade

    Meanwhile, other paranoid buffoons all over the country and the Internet (yeah) have also managed to convince themselves that the school district was out to get these kids for some weird, unexplained reason. Also, they’re trying to destroy the Constitution, apparently.

    Holy shit. Lack of knowledge about the Constitution is not what’s destroying civics in this country. Paranoid, misinformed idiocy is doing just fine by itself.

    After you are done high-fiving your mirror can you, slowly and with lots of pictures, explain what the 5th amendment really says and means? We “paranoid buffoons” want to better ourselves.

    Thumb up 6

  35. Thrill

    That certainly seems to be the case as far as your heros go Thrill.

    Yeah. Commie thugs like Abraham Lincoln. Every May Day, I put on my brightest red shirt, roll up a copy of the US Constitution into a doob, and masturbate furiously as my audiobook copy of Das Kapital plays in the background, read aloud by Sean Penn.

    After you are done high-fiving your mirror can you, slowly and with lots of pictures, explain what the 5th amendment really says and means?

    Sure, it says:

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    It means quite a few things, but most applicable to this is that you can’t be forced to incriminate yourself in a criminal case. I’m not a lawyer, or even a paranoid nutter of a social studies teacher, but I don’t see how this applies to the surveys that the Batavia school district distributed to the students.

    I’m sure that the school board took the time to consult with legal counsel to determine the constitutionality at some time prior to resolving this (but not, regrettably, with Dryden who knows it all). From what I know of the Constitution and have read of Illinois statutes regarding schools over the past couple of days, I see that the Superintendent’s statement regarding the absence of self-incrimination is correct.

    Whatever admissions the students may have made on these surveys are actually better protected than they would be by the 5th Amendment alone, believe it or not, being protected by the state’s laws regarding confidentiality .

    I’m calling you paranoid because it is obvious that Dryden pissed off the school board because he told (implied, suggested, whatever you want to call it) his students that the administration was not looking out for their best interests and instead could potentially be looking to incriminate them and you think he was being a serious person.

    It really is that simple.

    You are acting like the Establishment is just horrified that these students might have been tricked into being distracted away from the approved curriculum of reading about the contributions of handicapped, black lesbians to society and accidentally end up learning that they have this Constitution thing that protects them from Obama and the IRS. Wow.

    Damn you, Professor Dude! Foiling our Glorious Nanny State with your advanced knowledge of jurisprudence.

    You know what the big takeaway is from this? If you’re going to publicly shit on your employer and use the Bill of Rights as your defense, you’d best make damn sure you know what you’re talking about.

    Dryden showed lousy judgment. That is why he was disciplined.

    Thumb up 1

  36. Thrill

    Hey, you can’t downvote me in a comment where I blockquote the Bill of Rights. You’re downvoting the Constitution, Mr. Traitor.

    Thumb up 1

  37. Mook

    Yeah. Commie thugs like Abraham Lincoln. Every May Day, I put on my brightest red shirt, roll up a copy of the US Constitution into a doob, and masturbate furiously as my audiobook copy of Das Kapital plays in the background, read aloud by Sean Penn.

    THAT is seriously funny! And brilliant.

    Thrill, you may be right in your assessment, but I think you’re turning a blind eye to some valid arguments: 1) would students answer those questions truthfully with their name on the survey? My hunch is NOT LIKELY. If not, then their usefulness is nothing like what you have asserted 2) Were the parents consulted? That would seem to be a CRUCIAL fact to know before declaring Dryden or anyone else commenting on his actions to be a “paranoid buffoon”, yet you dismiss this concern as if it’s unimportant. Perhaps a ‘rush to judgment’ on your part? If the parents were consulted and approved, then I agree you’re right.

    The district may have had good intentions, but is a non-anonymous survey likely to yield honest admissions from students that the administration (and you?) think that will happen? I see your perspective that this teacher is possibly some overzealous constitutional end-is-near fanatic prepper or something similar.. But given what we don’t know, is it reasonable for you to make that leap?

    Thumb up 3

  38. Thrill

    1) would students answer those questions truthfully with their name on the survey?

    I can’t say for sure one way or the other. The administration claimed that they did discuss some survey results with students, so I have to assume that some chose to. In my opinion, they’re as likely to answer the questions on the surveys as they are to directly approach a teacher with a personal problem. The latter does happen quite a bit, from what my public school teacher wife tells me. When someone is depressed and needs help, they may find the opportunity to put it down on paper easier to do than initiating the “cry for help” face-to-face with an authority figure.

    Different strokes for different folks, perhaps?

    2) Were the parents consulted?

    Check the superintendent’s statements above. He says yes, the school did notify parents that some sort of assessment was taking place and that they could opt their children out, BUT also acknowledges that they may not have done a good job of communicating exactly what they were trying to learn from it. It appears that they intend to keep doing the surveys but will improve the communication to parents, at this time.

    The district may have had good intentions, but is a non-anonymous survey likely to yield honest admissions from students that the administration (and you?) think that will happen?

    Well, the goal of the surveys was to specifically identify specific students and give them the direct support that they may have needed. An anonymous survey might have gotten more honest answers (even that’s not a given. As a young and mischievous Thrill-ling, I used to enjoy skewing the results by admitting the most awful options the anonymous surveys gave me.) but it would not have accomplished the school’s objective.

    I see your perspective that this teacher is possibly some overzealous constitutional end-is-near fanatic prepper or something similar.. But given what we don’t know, is it reasonable for you to make that leap?

    No, it’s not reasonable. If you look at my early comments on the thread, I tried to be even-handed and fair to him. When I started getting blowback, I decided to go Full Andy Kaufman with it and play the villain. I’ve been doing it on here for years and people like MY love it.

    My personal attacks on Dryden are just for theatre, in the finest tradition of this blog.

    What is true is that I agree with the school board that Dryden’s advisement to the students did amount to an implication that the administrators were not trying to serve the best interests of the students. They simply cannot allow any teacher to do that. I don’t know of any school district that would allow it.

    It’s extremely harmful for a teacher to drive a wedge between the student body and the school staff. It’s unprofessional and harmful to a stable learning environment. He should have discussed his objections with Administration privately, regardless of whether he thought he had time or not.

    Thumb up 1

  39. Mississippi Yankee

    Let me see if I’ve finally got this thing straight.

    Your entire comment in answer to Mook’s questions was, and I’m para-phrasing here, ‘I’m a humorless shit’, and shame on you for missing that.

    And your sentence

    My personal attacks on Dryden are just for theatre, in the finest tradition of this blog.

    Is your useing the famous “Popeye” defense, yanno the “I yam wot I yam and dat’s all that I yam”
    Got it.

    Oh, one more thing, in the broad interpretation of the 5th amendment (which you correctly quoted btw) you seem to ignore grammar and punctuation, much like gun-grabbers do with the 2nd amendment.
    As an example: “A well regulated Militia…” does not preclude “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms…”
    Just as Capital or infamous crime does not preclude self incrimination.

    Now I don’t pretend to read Dryden’s mind but I do believe his actions were based on this portion of the 5th

    ” …nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

    Thumb up 3

  40. Mook

    What is true is that I agree with the school board that Dryden’s advisement to the students did amount to an implication that the administrators were not trying to serve the best interests of the students. They simply cannot allow any teacher to do that.

    Well, while I appreciate some of the humor from your full-on “villain” posture (I may cite and footnote your Das Kapital read by Sean Penn rant sometime), I am struck by your unquestioning belief that a school administration is always necessarily driven to serve the best interests of their students. Seriously? If that was the case, they would relinquish their often-lavish pay and benefits “for the children”, would they not? In Milwaukee during the public employee riots there a couple of years back, it came out that the AVERAGE (age 34-ish?) Milwaukee school teacher back then was making over $100k including benefits.. more than architects or mechanical engineers their age. They do not always hire the ‘best and the brightest’ who could help the children most, instead they hire by skin color and political connections.

    I have an eighth grader in public school who has yet to be taught geography or anything other than cursory mention of the Constitution (other than what he learns at home), yet “well meaning” teachers and administrators have seen fit to make him sit through watching the movie “Spanglish” to demonstrate cultural awareness.. Let’s not pretend that relatively unaccountable public school administrators or teachers’ union members always have the best interest of the children at heart. Often times they do, but many times they are severe liberal and/or whitey-hating assholes who do not. Here is an example of self absorbed school administrators -Girls Told to ask for lesbian kiss at school

    I agree with you that if that if that teacher created paranoia among his students unnecessarily, then he deserved reprimand. But contrary to your characterization of the superintendent’s comments, it is not “clear” that parents were notified about the survey.. He did not say they were notified, and in fact he admits a “transparency” problem (Barack?), he only said that parental communication would need to be improved. Perhaps he neglected to mention the survey to the parents at all initially until the spotlight was shined on the what was happening..

    Thumb up 3

  41. Thrill

    ‘I’m a humorless shit’, and shame on you for missing that.

    I’ve definitely been completely unfunny on this thread. Worst thread ever.

    Is your useing the famous “Popeye” defense, yanno the “I yam wot I yam and dat’s all that I yam”

    That’s me saying that I enjoy playing your emotions like Kaitlyn Hunt plays an underage girl’s vagina in a school house shitter, yes.

    Oh, one more thing, in the broad interpretation of the 5th amendment (which you correctly quoted btw) you seem to ignore grammar and punctuation, much like gun-grabbers do with the 2nd amendment.

    I lay all blame on Wikipedia, from whom I shamelessly copy-and-pasted.

    Just as Capital or infamous crime does not preclude self incrimination.

    Ah, but not all of the 5th Amendment has been incorporated. The entire amendment doesn’t apply to the states, in other words. The infamous crimes portion does but the Grand Jury clause doesn’t. Assuming that Wikipedia is more accurate on that than it is grammar and punctuation, I should say. So your attempt to say that I’m somehow selectively quoting is pretty weak beer.

    ” …nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

    Great. And as the Superintendent pointed out, there was nothing in the surveys that even could lead to a criminal case even if the school decided to reveal a student’s confidential record. Again: the student’s have even more protection under their state laws than they do even under the 5th Amendment.

    Unless you have something that shows that the Superintendent is wrong about his school district’s inability to prosecute students for the answers they provide on these surveys, you have no choice but to admit that I’m right. Not only about this issue, but that Steel Panther is better than Jackyl.

    Thumb up 1

  42. CM

    Hey, you can’t downvote me in a comment where I blockquote the Bill of Rights. You’re downvoting the Constitution, Mr. Traitor.

    Pffffft I can say ‘good morning’ and automatically get three downvotes. You’re nothing but an amateur.

    Thumb up 2

  43. Thrill

    I am struck by your unquestioning belief that a school administration is always necessarily driven to serve the best interests of their students.

    I didn’t say I believed it. But the school district is certainly expected to place the best interests of the student’s above all else, they profess it to be true, and they definitely need the students to believe it.

    The pay and benefits issue is different when we’re talking about the school board. They’re management, not labor. WHOLE different set of bullshit for a different day, my friend.

    He did not say they were notified, and in fact he admits a “transparency” problem (Barack?), he only said that parental communication would need to be improved. Perhaps he neglected to mention the survey to the parents at all initially until the spotlight was shined on the what was happening..

    Maybe. I have not been able to locate a copy of the notice that the school sent out anywhere online. Rich Taylor seems to have been correct when he said that the implementation was bungled. It definitely squares with what the Superintendent is saying.

    I give the guy credit for admitting that they may have dropped the ball on communication and transparency. It still does not excuse Dryden’s actions.

    But to your central point: No, I don’t believe that school boards/schools/administrators/teachers are just automatically good and dedicated to serving the best interests of their students. Some of them completely suck. And you know what? Districts that have that lack the perception that they hold that commitment are probably completely horrible and failing.

    Note that earlier in the thread, I even said that I wouldn’t allow my kids to take one of these surveys. That still doesn’t mean that I want a teacher trying to be their lawyer and undermining the entire administration in the process.

    Thumb up 1

  44. Pingback: Hey Mr DJ: Culture Clash Edition » Right Thinking

  45. Mississippi Yankee

    but that Steel Panther is better than Jackyl.

    Oh c’mon now, Steel Panther ios crude just for the sake of being crude. At least Jackyl had a few good songs on their first album.

    Even “Liquor and Whores” by Bubbles and the Trailer Park Boys tells a story… a parable if you will. Yet nothing by that ‘rusty panther piss’ group has any redeeming quality.

    BTW, I noticed you had to reach, well stretch really, waaay back to,

    That’s me saying that I enjoy playing your emotions like Kaitlyn Hunt plays an underage girl’s vagina in a school house shitter

    An issue that you and I agreed on, with very few commentators seeing that point of view. How droll, especially coming from Mr. Humorless ;-)

    Thumb up 0

  46. hist_ed

    Holy shit, gotta check in more often. So, I am running down comments and answering before reading the whole thread so others may havee said the same or similar things. Here goes:

    Thrill:

    He is required to report it and the consequences are what they are. Before you sneer, a lot of cases of abuse at home are brought to the attention of police because some teacher hears about it and takes the crucial follow-up that nobody else will.

    School counselors and principals are mandatory reporters too. Mandatory reporting requirements vary by state, but some kids’ responses scould get them reported to CPS and/or the police.

    And your scenario:

    Can you imagine this scenario:

    “Mr. Dryden, I’m really pissed off and I’m thinking of…”

    “Whoa, whoa, whoa. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. So what were you going to tell me?”

    “Uhhhhhh, nothing. See you later.”

    As part of the start to the year, I review what a mandatory reporter is and what it means with all my classes. I have been Mr Dryden in your scenario above. Last year I had a former student ask if she could come talk to me every once in while. I told her it was fine with me but let her know what I would have to report (and that the door to my room would be open the entire time).

    Without the names, what would have been the point of doing the surveys?

    my district has a similar survey, but it is anonymous. I’m not even allowed to touch them after I hand them out to students. An envelope is passed around, the last kid seals it and someone comes to my room to collect it. The district uses it to allocate some counseling resources and to let us know about general trends (“hey we have a lot more potheads this year, we better keep our eyes out and increase drug dog visits.”) Oh and we don’t ask parent permission. Every student is handed a survey but hey don’t have to answer any questions if they don’t want to.

    these kids are with the teachers 5 to 6 hours a day, and the teacher are unable to evaluate by observations what student need help, both academically and emotionally maybe it time to evaluate the teachers and find ones that will observe the children.

    This is a high school. These kids are with each teacher 50 or 55 minutes a day. Each teacher probably sees 150 or more kids a day. Each teacher has a curriculum to deliver and not enough time (180 hours or so) to do it. Each teacher has obvious discipline problems to deal with and is supposed to deliver “individualized differentiated instruction” to 150 or so kids. You really think that they have the time or training to be counselors? Yeah, if a kids walks in reeking of pot or with two black eyes, they get referred to someone. If we took notice of all the “little signs” of problems in a bunch of teenagers, that would be all we would get to do.

    All teachers go through enough training anyway to refer a student who approached them in private with a problem, where to refer that student.

    Guess how much training I’ve had in this? About five minutes, 8 years ago. It was part of the most boring video I have ever seen-a lawyer going over every point in education law that we teachers are supposed to know. The mandatory reporting thing was about five minutes (the majority of the time was spent telling us how to behave appropriately with students and a near endless list of things NOT TO DO. For example,it actually warned us not to have wet t shirt contests with students.).

    OK I am going to split this up into multiple posts

    Thumb up 4

  47. hist_ed

    rap, just one more:

    Take note: He could have raised the issue with an adminstrator prior to 1st period and at least gotten some indication of whether or not it was acceptable to invoke the 5th Amendment. He didn’t. He made up his own mind that he needed to play Super Teacher Attorney and warn the students about answering questions on the survey that he was told to administer.

    He could have gone to visit an administrator before 2nd period and asked for clarification, given that he had had plenty of time to review the surveys. He didn’t. He warned another class about the surveys.

    He could have made the trip to the office or called an administrator before the tests were to be taken in 3rd period. Oh, he didn’t. He again did whatever the hell he wanted to do.

    Oddly enough, another teacher had plenty of time to go see an administrator first and say, “Hey, the hippie guy was telling his students all day that they don’t have to answer the questions on the survey and they were giving me grief about it. You might want to talk to him.”

    I have four minutes between my classes. Passing period is the worst time for student behavior so I don’t exactly get to wander away to talk to my admin between period. If I did, more often than not I would find them meeting with someone else or not in their office. And if I called and said “Hey I have an issues with this survey can we talk” unless its a very slow day, the answer is going to be “after school or on your prep period”

    Shit, wife want to watch Game of Thrones (hmm, me too). Gotta go

    Thumb up 3

  48. Thrill

    And if I called and said “Hey I have an issues with this survey can we talk” unless its a very slow day, the answer is going to be “after school or on your prep period”

    He had time to stand there and warn the students about self-incrimination. He couldn’t have them read or something while stepping out? Couldn’t call an administrator or somebody to the classroom and stand just outside to at least discuss what he should say? Nothing?

    Keep in mind that challenging this survey was the most important thing ever and he just had to make a judgment call right then and there. Three times, that is.

    He could have done this right, but he chose not to.

    Before you go any deeper with this, was the punishment he received appropriate or not?

    Thumb up 1

  49. Mook

    By coincidence, a brief interview with Dryden and one of the other teachers at this school was played on talk radio here. Dryden did not seem to be a “dumbass” at all or partisan.. judging by his photo (which is of course, unfair), I admit my first impression was that this guy was likely the type to role-play with his sword collection. Turns out he seems to be well spoken with a calm demeanor.

    The more that comes out the more it becomes clear Dryden did not “publicly shit on his employer”, he simply told his students after having just read the contents of the survey himself that morning (no heads-up warning was given to the teachers as to the controversial questions in the survey), that they had better be careful in how they answer the survey questions. Dryden suspects that administrators found out about his warning to students not because he “went public”, but because another teacher notified them due to difficulties he/she was having in getting students to answer. From what I’ve read and heard so far, it looks like Dryden is a good guy who was looking after his kids’ best interest, and that the administration was in the wrong going on an unjustified fishing expedition. The survey as it turns out, was not limited to questions to indicate suicide, it asked students about other crimes they have committed. Also, from this article:

    But Dryden doesn’t want this seen as him vs. the administrators. He said he knows they were acting in what they thought was the best interests of the students.

    “These are good, professional, smart people on the other side who want to do what is right by kids,” he said.

    These are not the words of a flamethrowing yahoo trying to “shit” on the administration. He seems sincerely and legitimately concerned for his kids.. And he appears to have been concerned for good reason.

    Dryden had 100+ supporters come to his defense at a school board meeting earlier this week, most of them reportedly parents and some fellow teachers. One of the teachers who spoke at the board meeting on Dryden’s behalf said that the survey, in her opinion, was ineffective because her kids told her that they weren’t going to admit to anything that might make them look suspect if their name was on the paper.. EXACTLY the point raised on this thread.

    The school says that they notified parents by email of the survey, but there is a question as to whether they included the survey questions in the email. Teachers said that they didn’t know about the contents of the survey until they saw it in their inbox at school. Oh, and no instructions informing the teachers whether the survey was options or mandatory. School admin dropped the ball.

    It’s looking more and more like Dryden was unfairly docked in pay by school administrators who overreacted to what the man told his students. Sounds like the school administrators who made that decision need their pay docked instead.

    Anyway, I asked my kid whether or not he had been asked to take surveys in 8th grade that asked about whether or not the students were involved in wrongdoing. Turns out the answer was “yes”. Everyone was given a survey asking about use of electronic devices during school hours AND whether or not they had stolen from the school or from another student. The school never sent notice to us about the survey. Interesting part is that my son’s teacher who passed out the surveys instructed the class they didn’t have to answer if they didn’t want to… same as Dryden, but without the 5th amendment bonus lesson.

    Thumb up 4

  50. Thrill

    Mook, I already discussed the personal attacks I made on Dryden. No need to discuss any further.

    I am also not going to debate the effectiveness of the surveys themselves. The school district chose to use them as part of their student mental health program that state law requires them to have. Whether the surveys work or not, the school district is doing nothing more than trying to comply with the law and I give them the benefit of the doubt that they’re doing it on good faith.

    You can tell me all day long that these surveys don’t work or that they’re unfair, I don’t care. It’s beyond the scope of this discussion as far as I’m concerned. And the Superintendent himself acknowledged that the communication to parents was lacking and agreed to initiatite a plan of action to improve that going forward.

    All of the above has already been hashed out and we don’t need to waste any more time on it.

    Now that this has been more or less resolved and the disciplinary action handed down, the only question is whether or not Dryden “mischaracterized” what the administrators were trying to accomplish with the surveys.

    To me, it is clear that he did mischaracterize their intentions and goals. The school board stated that:

    1. They were only going to refer students who may have needed counseling to appropriate professionals, not go looking for prosecutions.

    2. They were bound by student confidentiality rules that protected the privacy of the students.

    3. The police would have refused to charge for anything that the surveys were going to reveal, in any case. Illinois state law specifies that students may be arrested for possessing drugs on school property or committing acts of violence on school property.

    Dryden effectively said, “Hey, if you answer these questions truthfully, you could incriminate yourself and the administration could have you jailed. They’re not saying that, but it’s true.”

    This is different from saying something responsible like, “You don’t have to answer anything that you’re not comfortable answering.” Dryden absolutely did tell the students that the administration could not be trusted when it said that it was looking out for their interests (as it is required to do) and that it may have been fishing for a reason to have them prosecuted.

    That is wrong. A teacher has no right to turn the student body against school administration by assigning ulterior motives to the administration.

    By now, the only issue remaining is whether you agree with the school board’s finding that Dryden mischaracterized the goals of the administration in handing out the surveys or you don’t. I say that the administration has the same obligation to see to the best interests of the students that Dryden does and that he overstepped his bounds by suggesting that they weren’t holding to it. It is divisive and inappropriate, as I keep saying. He could have encouraged the students to exercise discretion without accusing the administration of going on a criminal fishing expedition. He decided not to.

    If you think Dryden did not mischaracterize the administration, then you pretty much believe that the school board was acting on bad faith, wanted to sic law enforcement on the students, and (very importantly) had the ability to do so under state law. If that’s what you believe, then support your position by demonstrating any evidence at all that the administration had the motive or the legal authority to do what Dryden accused them of potentially wanting to do.

    Dryden could not and that is why he received punishment.

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  51. balthazar

    If you think Dryden did not mischaracterize the administration, then you pretty much believe that the school board was acting on bad faith, wanted to sic law enforcement on the students, and (very importantly) had the ability to do so under state law. If that’s what you believe, then support your position by demonstrating any evidence at all that the administration had the motive or the legal authority to do what Dryden accused them of potentially wanting to do.

    Why do you keep ignoring the “must report” laws?

    YES they are obligated to report.

    So yes, I do belive the school board was acting in bad faith.

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  52. Mook

    I am also not going to debate the effectiveness of the surveys themselves. The school district chose to use them as part of their student mental health program that state law requires them to have

    The objection is not to “all” mental health surveys, the objection is to this one, which was rushed and not vetted. School admin is totally at fault.

    That is wrong. A teacher has no right to turn the student body against school administration by assigning ulterior motives to the administration

    That’s a wild-ass exaggerated characterization of what Dryden did.. almost as exaggerated as your claim that Dryden “publicly shit on his employer” when there was nothing of the sort. He wasn’t trying to turn his students against the administration as you suggest. He was warning them, justifiably and calmly, over ONE fucking intrusive survey. And your explanation that you were making exaggerated personal attacks on him for theatrical effect doesn’t explain everything. There was too much anger and bitterness in your attacks on him to explain it ALL away by claiming you were just pulling MY’s strings. Admit it, that caricatured image of Dryden in your head biases every conclusion that you’re making about him.

    School district administrations and school teachers are not perfect, and sometime they really do have screwed up programs and motivations, just as the IRS had ugly motivations in demanding to know what was kind of prayers religious groups were making. Nothing wrong with a teacher or parent or anyone else telling students to watch their back when answering unnecessarily intrusive surveys just like it’s not “treason” to warn Tea Party groups over IRS investigations. Again, contrary to your characterization, he was not impugning the motives of the school administration by warning students of possible dangers in answer that survey, and the administration was wrong to find him guilty of that.. especially given their own culpability in the situation.

    You gleefully excuse the mistakes made by the school board, even going to far as to compliment them for acknowledging that they need to improve communication. Yet the administrators dropped the ball in several areas in communication with both parents and teachers and not properly vetting the survey to unnecessarily put teachers and students in that bad situation.

    Thumb up 2

  53. Thrill

    Why do you keep ignoring the “must report” laws?

    I’m not ignoring them. I just happen to know exactly what they are and why they don’t apply to this situation.

    Under IL law, school staff is legally required to report only two instances that I can find:

    1. Child abuse-related crimes

    2. Possession of drugs on or near school property or bus stops or buses and

    Unless there were questions asking “Have you been abusing any children” or “Do you have any drugs on you right now?” then the “must report” laws don’t apply. If you know for sure that the survey asked those questions and have a link to that information, then please let me know.

    Dryden said that there were questions that asked about student drug and alcohol use, but neither of these circumstances obligates the administration to report to law enforcement and the Superintendent says that the police would not charge anyway. Can you prove him wrong by pointing to an example of where this has been done in that state?

    In fact, the high school has it written into their own policies that students who do admit to using alcohol and drugs who are involved in school activities will receive assistance and are not referred to law enforcement.

    The implication that the school administration is out to prosecute students is unfounded.

    Thumb up 2

  54. richtaylor365

    a meaningless issue

    And yet 3 days later you are still trying to defend an untenable position.

    What has baffled me through out this entire exchange is your willingness, your zeal to defend a survey which you really know nothing about since you did not read it, none of us have. Yet here is a teacher who did read the survey, every question on the survey, then had the temerity to warn his students, kids he cares about that they just might want to consider their answers first.

    We know that on this survey there were questions about past criminal activity, were there also questions about their sexual activity? I can invision a whole slew of personal questions about their family, their home life, their relationship with their siblings, many questions that would be totally out of bounds, but you are willing to give the school board a pass on any possible intrusions because you believe their motivations are pure.

    And look at the depths at which you will malign this guy, he is blatantly trying to undermine his bosses, he does not care about their commitment to the kids’ mental health, he does not take his referral responsibilities seriously, he does not care about the survey, oh, and he is only trying to impress his students by masquerading as a shithouse lawyer.

    1. They were only going to refer students who may have needed counseling to appropriate professionals, not go looking for prosecutions.

    You are missing the point, the school does not need to know anything about past criminal activity in order to comply with the law, the motives behind the survey and their ability to address student mental health could be served without these probing questions. You said it yourself, you would not want your school district asking these questions to your kids, don’t these parents and these kids get the same rights?

    Dryden effectively said, “Hey, if you answer these questions truthfully, you could incriminate yourself and the administration could have you jailed. They’re not saying that, but it’s true.”

    Thrill, that is just so outrageous of you to accuse him of that, you have zero evidence to substantiate such a claim, you were not in the room, you do not know what he said to his students, as you have admitted already.

    This is different from saying something responsible like, “You don’t have to answer anything that you’re not comfortable answering.”

    How on earth do you know that he did not say exactly that?

    He could have encouraged the students to exercise discretion without accusing the administration of going on a criminal fishing expedition. He decided not to.

    You have no evidence of this claim.

    If you think Dryden did not mischaracterize the administration, then you pretty much believe that the school board was acting on bad faith,

    Nope, I think the school {probably} acted in good faith ( we have seen many instances in the past where school boards did no exercised good judgment in their ever over reaching attempt to foist beliefs onto students and their parents, but I have no proof that this school had ulterior motives, not yet anyway) but this survey was rushed out, was not vetted properly, and grossly infringed on the rights of both the students and their parents, this teacher saw that and warned his students accordingly.

    One of the re occurring themes of this blog is the danger of government out of control, government that over reaches, over steps what it can legally do, government that infringes on the rights of the governed, and government even under the auspices of altruistic motives that believes it knows better than we do, then does an end around to subvert what the folks want. School boards are no better, we all know that. Any parent can testify to the left leaning agenda of the nanny state, schools that want more and more influence on your kid, how he is raised, and how he will develop as a good little soldier who will toe the party line. If the price of liberty is eternal vigilance, then exercising some vigilance and keeping an eye on the schools is also a damn good idea. In this instance, with this survey, they were wrong, hopefully all the attention now given to them will make them see where they went wrong.

    Thumb up 3

  55. Thrill

    And yet 3 days later you are still trying to defend an untenable position.

    My position is not untenable. It happens to perfectly mesh with the findings of the school board who examined all of the evidence in this matter and voted to punish Dryden based on it. You certainly know less facts of the matter than they do. Why would you assume my position is untenable.

    What has baffled me through out this entire exchange is your willingness, your zeal to defend a survey which you really know nothing about since you did not read it, none of us have.

    Wrong. I am not defending the survey, zealously or otherwise. I have twice said that I would not allow my children to take such a survey. I’ve also noted that the school board has determined that it is required by state law to complete this sort of assessment. I don’t see how you believe I’m defending the survey. I just correctly noted that the school board is doing what they’ve been mandated to.

    I can invision a whole slew of personal questions about their family, their home life, their relationship with their siblings, many questions that would be totally out of bounds, but you are willing to give the school board a pass on any possible intrusions because you believe their motivations are pure.

    That’s up to you whether you agree or not. But this is an employment matter between Dryden and the school board. They believe that he behaved unprofessionally within their policies and wishes, regardless of the nature of the survey.

    And look at the depths at which you will malign this guy

    See:

    Thrill says: May 31, 2013 1:28 pm at 1:28 pm (UTC -4)

    You are missing the point, the school does not need to know anything about past criminal activity in order to comply with the law,

    See:

    Thrill says: May 31, 2013 1:28 pm at 1:28 pm (UTC -4)

    Next,

    Thrill, that is just so outrageous of you to accuse him of that, you have zero evidence to substantiate such a claim, you were not in the room, you do not know what he said to his students, as you have admitted already.

    That is what the school board determined and Dryden does not deny advising the students that truthfully answering the questions could potentially result in self-incrimination. The school district says he is wrong and the fact that he said so was a mischaracterization of what they were trying to do. Why is this so complicated?

    You have no evidence of this claim.

    Seriously? That’s been the focus of this entire story. He DID advise his students that the administration may have been trying to get them to incriminate themselves without reporting his concerns to administration before doing so. This isn’t debatable.

    this teacher saw that and warned his students accordingly

    He did it wrong.

    One of the re occurring themes of this blog is the danger of government out of control, government that over reaches, over steps what it can legally do, government that infringes on the rights of the governed, and government even under the auspices of altruistic motives that believes it knows better than we do, then does an end around to subvert what the folks want. School boards are no better, we all know that. Any parent can testify to the left leaning agenda of the nanny state, schools that want more and more influence on your kid, how he is raised, and how he will develop as a good little soldier who will toe the party line. If the price of liberty is eternal vigilance, then exercising some vigilance and keeping an eye on the schools is also a damn good idea. In this instance, with this survey, they were wrong, hopefully all the attention now given to them will make them see where they went wrong.

    See:

    Thrill says: May 31, 2013 1:28 pm at 1:28 pm (UTC -4)

    Thumb up 1

  56. Thrill

    You’re so focused on the exact quote, Rich. Well, here it is in his own words:

    “I advised my students that they had a Fifth Amendment right not incriminate themselves,” John Dryden, a social studies teacher at Batavia High School, told The Kane County Chronicle on Tuesday. “It was not my intention for them not to take the survey.”

    The school board’s response:

    “The issue before the board was whether one employee had the right to mischaracterize the efforts of teachers, counselors, social workers and others and tell students in effect that the adults are not here to help but they are trying to get you to incriminate yourself,” he said in a statement after a closed session

    That’s what he said and the administration took offense to it. You can go for your grand anti-nanny stating rants, condemnations of attacks on the Bill of Rights, and discussion about the best way to identify at-risk youth all you like. I really do not care.

    This was a personnel matter in which a teacher stated to his students that the administration was asking questions on a survey that could incriminate themselves. The school board disapproved of him making that claim because they regarded it as a mischaracterization of their efforts (and so do I, but most of you clearly disagree).

    The school board even noted that he was factually wrong about the possibility of self-incrimination and that further strengthens their position (and mine) that what he said was indeed a mischaracterization.

    Not one of you who is arguing with me has even tried to show that the Superintendent is wrong about the inability of the school to prosecute any student based on their survey responses. If the Superintendent is right, then there could be no self-incrimination and Dryden was therefore wrong. Period.

    Quit trying to make this into something grander than it is and focus on the issue: Was the Superintendent right or wrong when he said that the school could not have the students prosecuted based on answers to the survey’s questions? This really is what it all comes down to.

    If he is right, then Dryden did mischaracterize the administration. Show me some evidence that the Superintendent was wrong. I implore you.

    Thumb up 1

  57. Thrill

    Not ignoring you, Mook, but I think my last two answers to Rich are suitable responses to your last comment.

    And I would like to take a moment to observe that I am the only person on this thread who is actually using any facts to support his arguments. During the thread, I have cited the Illinois law, the school’s policy, and even a medical study that correlates depression, criminal activity, and suicide.

    Not that anybody cares, I just enjoy pointing things like that out.

    Thumb up 1

  58. Miguelito

    If the Superintendent is right, then there could be no self-incrimination and Dryden was therefore wrong. Period.

    Since the Superintendent claimed there would be no self-incrimination, then lo it was so and all should bow before his almighty power I guess.

    Me? I wouldn’t trust a bunch of bureaucrats simply because they’re working in schools. You honestly believe that if someone had written something like they were bullied, fed up, and really wanted to get back at everyone, that he wouldn’t have contact authorities? Really?

    OT, WTF is up with the end of this page? It looks like an HTML tag wasn’t closed somewhere and the next post is sorta mixed in… I’m seeing:
    Hey Mr DJ: Culture Clash Edition » Right Thinking says:
    unless there was a looped in trackback somehow.

    Thumb up 2

  59. Thrill

    Since the Superintendent claimed there would be no self-incrimination, then lo it was so and all should bow before his almighty power I guess.

    Thank you for that fact-free reply. I always appreciate it when people help me make my point, intentionally or not.

    OT, WTF is up with the end of this page? It looks like an HTML tag wasn’t closed somewhere and the next post is sorta mixed in… I’m seeing:
    Hey Mr DJ: Culture Clash Edition » Right Thinking says:
    unless there was a looped in trackback somehow.

    Oh, that’s just a trackback link to the DJ thread. I was bitching about all the downvotes on here.

    Pricks.

    Thumb up 2

  60. richtaylor365

    And I would like to take a moment to observe that I am the only person on this thread who is actually using any facts

    And yet you are still resoundingly losing the argument.

    And I would like to take a moment to observe that I am the only person on this thread who is actually using any facts

    Of course many of the “facts” you are using aren’t really facts at all, just wild speculations on your part, such as;

    Dryden effectively said, “Hey, if you answer these questions truthfully, you could incriminate yourself and the administration could have you jailed. They’re not saying that, but it’s true.”
    And his attempt to warn students about answering the questions was clearly an attempt to undermine the administration’s attempt to comply with the law and the school district’s directives.
    Dryden was unprofessional and downright divisive. He stepped into a role that wasn’t his to take, ignored any kind of process that might have shown any respect for his administration or peers, and may even have harmed the school’s efforts to perform these interventions. He’s no hero. In fact, the evidence is piling up that he’s probably a bit of a dumbass.
    Dryden ran his mouth to his students when he had no business doing so, besmirched his colleagues and administration, and was even fucking factually wrong about the 5th Amendment’s applicability to boot.
    Dryden, who is apparently a paranoid buffoon, basically accused his employer and his co-workers of plotting some nefarious shit with the student’s surveys–and then got surprised to find they were offended by him doing that

    . He DID advise his students that the administration may have been trying to get them to incriminate themselves without reporting his concerns to administration before doing so. This isn’t debatable.

    Yet here we are, debating it. This is clearly where you and the school board are giving him the bum rush. Telling his students that they have the right to not incriminate themselves does not mean that the school board was seeking incrimination (and there fore was the motivation for the survey in the first place) when they developed the survey, what nonsense. At no point did he mention the motives of the survey to his students and he certainly never said that the school was doing this to get dirt on them, he only mentions their rights. Both you and the school are wrong on this issue.

    This was a personnel matter in which a teacher stated to his students that the administration was asking questions on a survey that could incriminate themselves.

    This part is correct, the answers given could be incriminating, but it’s not like the school was actively seeking incrimination, can you see the difference?

    The school board disapproved of him making that claim because they regarded it as a mischaracterization of their efforts (and so do I, but most of you clearly disagree).

    Yes, I do disagree, the teacher said nothing about what the school plans to do with the info. or why they would ask such questions, he was not impugning the school or their motives.

    Not one of you who is arguing with me has even tried to show that the Superintendent is wrong about the inability of the school to prosecute any student based on their survey responses. If the Superintendent is right, then there could be no self-incrimination and Dryden was therefore wrong. Period.

    Not so fast, your semantical gymnastics notwithstanding, regardless of any promises of immunity (which is essentially what the school board offered) admitting to any crime (or any bad deed for that matter) is self incrimination., by definition it is “The act of implicating oneself in a crime”. Naturally you will retort that there is no threat of criminal prosecution and in this matter I would agree, but is it not still self implication? And just because the threat of criminal prosecution is removed, what about all the other bad shit that could happen? Where are all these signed self incriminating confessions going to held? Who will have access to them? Will any teacher, those authoritarian figures that could prosecute students in any number of ways, have access to them? Make no mistake here, regardless of blandishments of immunity, these signed confessions could very easily come back to bite the students right in the ass. The teacher said , ” I advised my students to consider their answers on the survey”, you don’t think this is a good practice wrt to anything written down with your name attached to it?

    Show me some evidence that the Superintendent was wrong. I implore you.

    Seems to me that you, as the prosecution, have all the burden of proof and TBH, if I was the judge I would throw this case out for lack of evidence.

    Thumb up 3

  61. Thrill

    And yet you are still resoundingly losing the argument.

    Dryden lost the argument. This discussion here is one of my better recent performances, I believe.

    Yet here we are, debating it. This is clearly where you and the school board are giving him the bum rush. Telling his students that they have the right to not incriminate themselves does not mean that the school board was seeking incrimination (and there fore was the motivation for the survey in the first place) when they developed the survey, what nonsense. At no point did he mention the motives of the survey to his students and he certainly never said that the school was doing this to get dirt on them, he only mentions their rights. Both you and the school are wrong on this issue.

    If I met a woman who could physically contort herself the way you just did with reason in that argument, I’d dump my wife on the spot for her instantly. Wow. That was impressive.

    There was no self-incrimination. That is one aspect of my arguments that you cannot touch so you’re trying to pretend that Dryden said something that he didn’t say. I can’t believe you just jumped on me for speculating and then pretended to know what Dryden was thinking.

    You know better than this. Come on.

    Yes, I do disagree, the teacher said nothing about what the school plans to do with the info. or why they would ask such questions, he was not impugning the school or their motives.

    So either the school was going to give the information to the police or they were going to misuse it in some other way? Like they can’t be trusted to handle confidential information? You think that implication is somehow better for Dryden to make?

    I guess in your version, it’s okay for Dryden to suggest that the Administration is incapable of protecting student records, as long as he doesn’t suggest that they might use the info to report crimes to the police. Got it.

    And just because the threat of criminal prosecution is removed, what about all the other bad shit that could happen. Were are all these signed self incriminating confessions going to held? Who will have access to them?

    Well, I suppose I could get some information from Illinois state law regarding confidentiality of school records…but since you wouldn’t give a shit, I won’t bother.

    Seems to me that you, as the prosecution, have all the burden of proof and TBH, if I was the judge I would throw this case out for lack of evidence.

    Good thing we’re not in a courtroom then. What is it with you and Dryden thinking everything is a criminal case?

    I don’t know what else to tell you, Rich. If I am losing the argument, as you say, then I must be pretty bad at this blog debate stuff since all of the sourced facts that have been shared on this thread are on my side.

    Thumb up 1

  62. richtaylor365

    If I met a woman who could physically contort herself the way you just did with reason in that argument, I’d dump my wife on the spot for her instantly. Wow. That was impressive.

    I think when you make a statement like , “He DID advise his students that the administration may have been trying to get them to incriminate themselves “, you should be required to back it up. “Trying to get them to incriminate themselves” suggests some duplicity, that the school had exhibited some malevolence in the manufacture of the survey. You used the word “Trying”, what does that suggest to you? What proof do you or the school board have that the teacher told the students that the survey was intended (to try) to get dirt on them? I just don’t see it. The logic in my argument was clear, pointing out the hazards of complete disclosure on a survey does not mean that the survey was intended or written for the purpose of intentionally trapping those students, clearly you can see this.

    There was no self-incrimination. That is one aspect of my arguments that you cannot touch so you’re trying to pretend that Dryden said something that he didn’t say.

    I am pretending no such thing since I have admitted several times that neither I (nor you) was in the room when he talked to his students, we don’t know what he said. But what is obvious is that we don’t need the specter of criminal prosecution in warning against self incrimination since prosecutions can manifest themselves in other ways, especially in a school environment where authority figures have access to that information.

    So either the school was going to give the information to the police or they were going to misuse it in some other way? Like they can’t be trusted to handle confidential information? You think that implication is somehow better for Dryden to make?

    Tell you what, if you want to trust the government or the school system to always do the right thing, have at it. No, I don’t think they planned on turning over the signed confessions to the cops, but how do you know they won’t “misuse” this information in other ways, like some the ways I already mentioned. For the umpteenth time, they don’t need signed confessions wrt past criminal activity to do their jobs. The intention of this survey, to assist students with whatever mental health issues they might have, could just as easily have been served without prying into areas of past criminality.

    I guess in your version, it’s okay for Dryden to suggest that the Administration is incapable of protecting student records, as long as he doesn’t suggest that they might use the info to report crimes to the police. Got it.

    Not what I said. Nowhere did I say or suggest that he believed or told his students that the administration was incapable of “protecting” records, I just don’t see the wisdom in divulging this information in the first place. Where were these records going to be “protected”, who was going to have access to them? How long where they going to be on file? This is all important stuff that I as a parent would want to know.

    I don’t know what else to tell you, Rich. If I am losing the argument, as you say, then I must be pretty bad at this blog debate stuff since all of the sourced facts that have been shared on this thread are on my side.

    No, I think you are a damn good debater, but on this issue you keep digging yourself deeper and deeper. Tell you what, wait a few days then reread this whole thread, I think you might have a different perspective.

    But it is always a pleasure to debate with a gentleman, the simple fact that I stuck around so long speaks highly of the company.

    Thumb up 4

  63. Thrill

    The logic in my argument was clear, pointing out the hazards of complete disclosure on a survey does not mean that the survey was intended or written for the purpose of intentionally trapping those students, clearly you can see this.

    Again: Even if he meant it that way, he is STILL casting aspersions on the Administration by suggesting that they can’t be trusted. There’s no way you can spin this.

    The intention of this survey, to assist students with whatever mental health issues they might have, could just as easily have been served without prying into areas of past criminality.

    Dryden mentioned the alcohol and drug use questions being somehow problematic. It is worth noting that alcohol and drug abuse are both factors in suicide. It’s not out of line to ask those if you’re looking for suicide risks, and it would almost be foolish NOT to ask about it.

    Last thing: Before you go too far lionizing this guy, it appears that this is part of a pattern of misconduct on his part.

    According to the letter of remedy, the district says Dryden did more than that. It says a student told an unspecified person that Dryden said he himself would not take the survey if he were a student; and that Dryden told students the surveys would be sent down to Student Services and “that students should remember that when filling out the surveys.”

    In a previous interview, Dryden said he only reminded students of their Fifth Amendment rights, and did not advise them whether to take the survey.

    The letter says teachers were made aware of the purpose of the survey “in advance,” although it does not say how many days beforehand, and that Dryden did not raise objections beforehand. Dryden said he saw the contents of the survey just 10 minutes before his first class.

    Because of his actions, the school may not know about all students who need emotional or social intervention, because some may have heeded his advice, the letter states.

    The letter says the April 18 incident is “part of a pattern of inappropriate and unprofessional statements to students that you have exhibited over the last few years.” It cites an October 2011 event in which Dryden told a student, “Put those coins away or I will shove them up your (buttocks).” According to the letter, Dryden admitted the comment, saying he lost his temper.

    On April 25, 2012, he is accused of telling a noise-making student, “What, did you mix your drugs this morning?” and to another student, “I’m surprised your father hasn’t drowned you yet.” It turned out the first student’s family had a history of substance abuse, and the second student’s father was dead.

    He received letters of reprimand for both incidents.

    Yeah. Keep telling yourself that I’m wrong about this. But of course this is all about the Constitution, right?

    Thumb up 2

  64. Mississippi Yankee

    Ah Thrill, the new CM

    On April 25, 2012, he is accused of telling a noise-making student, “What, did you mix your drugs this morning?” and to another student, “I’m surprised your father hasn’t drowned you yet.” It turned out the first student’s family had a history of substance abuse, and the second student’s father was dead.

    Alinsky Rules for Radicals # 11
    Rule 11: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it. Don’t try to attack abstract corporations or bureaucracies. Identify a responsible individual. Ignore attempts to shift or spread the blame.

    Thumb up 1

  65. Thrill

    That’s almost worthy of a slow clap, MY.

    Alinsky’s Rules are about destroying institutions, not taking their side. I’m raging for the machine here.

    Thumb up 0

  66. Mississippi Yankee

    Alinsky’s Rules are about destroying institutions, not taking their side. I’m raging for the machine here.

    Alinsky’s roles have always worked just fine on individuals too. Very much like how you apply #11 to Dryden.

    Because of your inability to even consider the other side of the debate (and your disregard for the Constitution) I’m demanding a DNA test be done on you and CM ;-P

    Oh I see you have considered the other point of view you wouldn’t allow your kids to take this survey. So it seems you have reverted to the elitist stand of “Rule for thee but not for Me”

    /golf clap/

    Thumb up 3

  67. Mississippi Yankee

    When MY writes crazy medicated rants like that,

    I need some medication, all this Gulf moisture that’s on it’s way to Oklahoma is making me feel like a fat girl is sitting on my chest.

    Thumb up 0

  68. CM

    Because of your inability to even consider the other side of the debate (and your disregard for the Constitution) I’m demanding a DNA test be done on you and CM ;-P

    Is it opposite day? I’m one of the few here that do consider both sides. My very existence here is sorta testament to that (I don’t seek out echo chambers). I’ve been criticised heavily and often in the past for being on the fence all the time (I’m often not, it’s just that I see good arguments made on both sides).

    Ah Thrill, the new CM

    I demand that you take that back. I’m barely qualified to lick that man’s shoes.

    Thumb up 2

  69. Thrill

    Is it opposite day? I’m one of the few here that do consider both sides. My very existence here is sorta testament to that (I don’t seek out echo chambers).

    Ideology trumps reason these days. In my very first comment on this thread, I said:

    I’m a bit torn on this one. It seems like every single person involved had good intentions and yet was wrong somehow.

    Basically, the teacher got in the way of the administration’s attempt to Do Something for the Sake of the Children. As we all know, those crusades frequently end up targeting children pretty ruthlessly.

    The teacher was trying to protect his kids from the school’s attempts to…protect them. It’s a conundrum.

    My initial response was the same as everyone else’s: Damn bureaucrats. But then I started thinking about it. It took me, oh, an hour and a half to post that I felt Dryden should get written up.

    I did look at both sides of the issue and I actually thought about it. Unfortunately, thinking about it and looking for the truth led me to reject the majority opinion on here. And they didn’t like it.

    Ah Thrill, the new CM

    It would seem so. I have a new respect for CM, given that I’ve been treated like him (minus the more aggressive personal attacks) throughout this thread. I routinely see CM get criticized and downvoted on every single thread he posts on no matter how solid and fact-based his arguments are. That’s a shame.

    Anyway, it has been quite an eye-opener.

    Thumb up 3

  70. Thrill

    WHY ARE YOU FIGHTING AMONGST YOURSELVES !! :(

    Because everyone is trying to foil my efforts to destroy Dryden. The man is a menace with his attempts to stop the massive liberal education-government complex for which I secretly yearn.

    Indeed, I have been trying to ruin him since 2011, when the documentation of his apparent inability to control his impulsive knack for making inappropriate statements began. All because I knew that he would one day present a danger to my evil plot.

    Now it is bearing fruit and I will no longer have to worry about students in Illinois knowing about the Constitution. Plus, I get the added benefit of ruining their lives with the information in these surveys that I love so much.

    Now if you guys would quit arguing with me, that would be great.

    Thumb up 3

  71. Poosh

    Oddly enough, I finished Daybreak parts 1,2 and 3 last week.

    And I have been pretty depressed ever since…..

    Frak you Ronald D. Moore. You literally ruined one of the greatest shows ever made.

    Thumb up 1

  72. Thrill

    Ah, I can finally revisit this:

    Thrill says:
    November 8, 2012 3:53 pm at 3:53 pm (UTC -4) | Edit comment

    Anyway, I think the REAL problem was that the writers were basically told in Season 3 that they were getting shut down after Season 4. My own sense is that they felt that they just had to shut it down and they just really didn’t give a shit.

    Now, the 3rd and 4th Seasons went against the (very excellent) first two seasons. All along, we were told the Cylons “have a plan” but in Season 3, it turned out that they did NOT. They were exterminating humans all through the first two seasons and then suddenly they decided to try peaceful co-existence on New Caprica. WHHHHHYYYY????

    Next thing you know, half the Cylons become religious nuts and start a Cylon Civil War over the Final Five….but how in the hell did this factor into the plan we were told they had at the beginning of the credits for the first two seasons? It doesn’t.

    So right there, they blew the premise.

    Season 4 bothered me because the ENTIRE THING was a literal Deus ex Machina (to reference another thread. Hope I’m not overusing the term). The events of the entire series were manipulated by angels. What?

    Starbuck? Her whole character arc from her re-emergence meant nothing. She was…make believe? Tyler Durden? A figment of someone’s imagination? Another angel?

    If the SyFy executives hadn’t killed it (they really are the worst sort of people) and let it run for a few more years, I think it would have been great throughout. But I can’t forgive the Hand of God Season 4 magic wand waving. Might as well have made it “just a dream” of someone in the Caprica series and started THAT series from that.

    Now, I will say that there were EXCEPTIONALLY GOOD episodes throughout the series and the final battle in the 4th Season was awesome, but I hated the way it all panned out.

    Sounds like you found it to be so.

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  73. Poosh

    Ha ha yeah that’s basically it. I DO however thing 4 seasons was enough and that after 4 seasons it would have been too much. They had plenty of time to finish everything but simply failed at the last hurdle.

    I would have done things differently but let’s pretend we’re stuck with all of season 3 and 4 apart from Daybreak. Daybreak just wasn’t smart writing (they even put flashbacks in… some of which were out of character).

    Nothing was solved, relationships and issues were left dead. Roslin never got her pay off as “THE person who brought them to earth”. Starbuck and No.2 I believe never resolved their perverted relationship.

    Head Six and Head Baltar make NO sense at all to be Angels, if you watch the series. It makes no sense. Head Six is CLEARLY a Cylon but with her own agenda.

    The entire show sets up the Cylons Plan – they want to repopulate Caprica etc with halfbreeds, which is why they have the farms. Then we’re told they gave up their plan….

    The entire show was gearing towards Adama etc taking their place as future Gods for the people they find on the new earth, Adama is even called Zeus at one point (mirroring the Lords of Kobol – who walked amongst the people note). Baltar was being set up as a Jesus like character. It was all so set for a perfect finale. Baltar was meant to finally say “frak you!” to Head Six. But no. I’m happy for a “God did it” answer, but not in such a manner than makes no sense. The opera house dreams turn out to be just people being in the right place at the right time …. and then leading to nothing of consequence.

    The entire show now seems like a complete waste of time. And No.1 who spends most of his time telling us how he wants to be the perfect machine and how he wants to live and experience everything… shoots himself at the first sign of trouble? … even worse, all that brilliant tension between Cavill and Ellen (STUPID choice to make the 5th btw)…. no closure on that.

    Terrible writing, terrible end. I could have done better easily.

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  74. Thrill

    Ah, finally. Here is the Letter of Remedy.

    As you can see, the school board did not over-react. Rather, this decision was based on prior incidents and an application of progressive discipline.

    I love how it mentions in the letter that Dryden said the kids needed some “lawyering” and the school board dryly reminded him that he is not a lawyer. That’s very Charlie Kelly of him.

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  75. Mississippi Yankee

    I demand that you take that back. I’m barely qualified to lick that man’s shoes.

    The fact that you want to is quite disturbing itself CM

    And since you “see” both sides of an argument please discuss BOTH side of the Israeli Palestinian. conflict.

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  76. richtaylor365

    How very classy that they threaten him with dismissal if he doesn’t roll over and take his medicine. Silly school board, don’t they realize that it is nigh impossible to fire a teacher. Hell, if he was smart he would expose his middle finger to all of them. He would be placed on PAID leave, a free vacation, then when they realized how bad they effed up, he would get his job back. Maybe a nice little wrongful termination suit could also be in the offing.

    And how even more classy they laid this squarely on his lap, that because of his advice it was possible (they have no proof of this, mind you) that some students who might be in need of intervention and who did not answer some of the questions, will now not get that help. Any more suicides and it is the teachers fault, well played, school board.

    As I said before, they had to punish him, he embarrassed their poorly implemented 8 thousand dollar fishing expedition of a survey, and brought unwanted attention to their snooping. This shall not stand and an example must be made.

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  77. CM

    And since you “see” both sides of an argument please discuss BOTH side of the Israeli Palestinian. conflict.

    I’ve acknowledged that there are two sides more than once. Which is more than most can do. Most here discuss only one side.

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  78. Thrill

    Maybe a nice little wrongful termination suit could also be in the offing.

    He would have no case. Two previous letters of reprimand prior to this? Both related to his inability to improve on his professional bearing when speaking to his students? He’s clearly working himself out of a job. I know the type.

    Any more suicides and it is the teachers fault, well played, school board.

    Well, yeah. That’s why it’s a liability when a teacher starts pretending he’s a criminal defense attorney.

    As I said before, they had to punish him, he embarrassed their poorly implemented 8 thousand dollar fishing expedition of a survey, and brought unwanted attention to their snooping.

    That’s just ridiculous.

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  79. richtaylor365

    Well, yeah. That’s why it’s a liability when a teacher starts pretending he’s a criminal defense attorney.

    Except that he only “cautioned” students to consider their answers wrt past criminal acts. No where have you proven that he interfered with troubled at risk or despondent students, no proof that he told those students that might benefit from intervention due to their own situation not to respond to the survey and alert someone. And for the school board (and you) to “go there” is probably the most outrageous act in this whole affair, to pin future suicides on him, despicable. Furthermore, If I was him, this alone would be a deal breaker for me, I would tell them all to get screwed.

    That’s just ridiculous.

    Nope, I am dead on.

    You seem to think that I am lionizing this teacher for his “heroic act” so for the better part of your last 25 posts you go out of your way to attack the teacher, this no doubt is what MY was referring to his Salinski comment. Maligning his character does nothing to bolster your defense of this survey or its implementation, the school was wrong in their snooping. I was never going to nominate him for teacher of the year, but you seem to think that if you bring up past acts of him yelling at a student, this must mean that he really did not care about his kids at all and must have some selfish motives for what he did.

    I firmly believe that his intervention here saved the school board a gaggle of lawsuits (or one big class action suit) against the school for invasion of privacy. I can easily picture this exchange:

    Mom ….,”Hi Johnny, Hi Suzy, how was your day?”

    Kids….,”Kinda weird today, the school passed out this survey with our names attached, and on the survey it asked all kinds of personal questions, some about any crimes that we had committed in the past”

    “They did WHAT!!!!!?”

    “Yeah, and there was more, there were questions on there about you guys, they asked if you guys smoke pot or drink too much, let us drink or smoke pot in front of you,they asked if we thought your sex life was weird, or if dad watches porn, they asked if he ever gave me a bath when I was young or if he has ever leered at me or made me feel uncomfortable in some way. They even asked if you guys ever talked about anything unethical, like cheating on your taxes, or any past indiscretions. They prefaced all this by telling us that the purpose is only to find out if we are sad. The usual questions about sex were also on there, whether I am on the pill and how many boyfriends have I slept with. They told us that would “protect” our signed confessions, only allowing teachers and trained personnel to look at them, of course they didn’t tell us how they would do that, but hey, I’m sure we can trust the school to always do the right thing”.

    “And the school MADE you fill out this survey?”

    “Of course, they made no mention that it was optional, if the school gives it to you, you have to comply. We heard that in Mr. Dryden’s class, that he talked to his students before hand and warned them ahead of time that some questions might be too personal for them to answer honestly and that they should consider their answers on any signed confession. It made sense to us but now we hear that he is in real trouble with the school, too bad”.

    And don’t forget, you can’t scoff at any of this since none of us here know what questions were asked on that survey. The avalanche of lawsuits would bury that school, and you can bet that the majority of those parents that went to the board meeting in support of this teacher no doubt gave them an earful concerning the unwanted snooping and invasion of privacy they tried with this survey.

    I think we have beat this horse pretty much to death, but I am amazed at your tenacity (some would call it obstinacy ) at your determination to justify the actions of the school board by character assassination. This was probably the best outcome for them, they got to smack down a teacher who stepped out of line, and suffered minimal fallout from a survey you can bet they will re think.

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  80. Thrill

    Except that he only “cautioned” students to consider their answers wrt past criminal acts.

    Read the document. He sent an email prior to meeting with administrators that referred to him saying the kids needed some “lawyering.” He also told them that the surveys would be sent to the disciplinary wing of administration (Student Services) and that he wouldn’t take the survey at all if he were them.

    I can’t believe you’re still downplaying what he did when I have a primary source document right there.

    You seem to think that I am lionizing this teacher for his “heroic act” so for the better part of your last 25 posts you go out of your way to attack the teacher, this no doubt is what MY was referring to his Salinski comment

    I figure you must be lionizing Dryden because you can’t seem to find any fault with him when it’s clear that the school has had to deal with him repeatedly over the last two years for his conduct. This isn’t about this single incident.

    In my opinion, the guy probably really is a great teacher (even if his knowledge of the 5th Amendment as it pertains to his job is flawed) but he is a difficult employee. His good qualities are probably why they didn’t shitcan him years ago. Of course, I’d be surprised if he’s still there in three years.

    Maligning his character does nothing to bolster your defense of this survey or its implementation, the school was wrong in their snooping.

    The school was not wrong or “snooping”. They were complying with a state law-mandated program as I’ve said a dozen times. They are going to continue administering these surveys. Dryden accomplished nothing except bringing himself one step closer to early retirement.

    but you seem to think that if you bring up past acts of him yelling at a student, this must mean that he really did not care about his kids at all and must have some selfish motives for what he did.

    I don’t know what you’re basing that on. The past acts show his pattern of unprofessional behavior and statements. Those of you who keep saying that the school board is over-reacting or doing this as revenge have nothing to stand on. Dryden received this action because he keeps doing things that the school district keeps warning him that he will be fired for if he doesn’t stop doing it.

    It doesn’t mean that he doesn’t care about the kids (funny, I thought liberals only judged the worth of people by how much they care instead of their ideas, abilities, or competence), it just means that he has to stop doing certain things if he wants to keep his job.

    This part here is just hysterical:

    I firmly believe that his intervention here saved the school board a gaggle of lawsuits (or one big class action suit) against the school for invasion of privacy.

    Followed by:

    And don’t forget, you can’t scoff at any of this since none of us here know what questions were asked on that survey.

    Translation: Rich is convinced that the school would get sued even though he has no idea why.

    I think we have beat this horse pretty much to death, but I am amazed at your tenacity (some would call it obstinacy ) at your determination to justify the actions of the school board by character assassination.

    What character assassination?

    I noted repeatedly that Dryden pretended to be a lawyer. The Notice of Remedy confirms that he did state that the kids need some “lawyering” in an email.

    I pointed out that Dryden has a documented history of causing problems for the school by saying things to students that are, shall we say, not exactly well thought out or professional.

    I showed that he is factually wrong that the Administration was even capable of using the surveys to incriminate the students in a criminal case and even showed that the school’s policy demonstrates enormous leniency for students who self-report alcohol and drug abuse.

    All of this is a matter of factual record. Since when is accurately describing events and circumstances “character assassination?” You made up your mind pretty early that Dryden was standing up for the student’s civil rights and that nothing bad should have happened to him regardless of any fact of the matter. You think that what he did was great and that this well-intentioned excuses him from his employer’s workplace rules even if it was completely wrongheaded, unprofessional, and misinformed.

    You are wrong. Quit with the conspiracy theories and stop taking The Blaze seriously. This was an unprofessional act on the part of a teacher who has an ongoing history of problematic behavior. His employer disciplined him for it. That’s all there is to it.

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  81. Pingback: John Dryden Day » Right Thinking

  82. hist_ed

    He had time to stand there and warn the students about self-incrimination. He couldn’t have them read or something while stepping out? Couldn’t call an administrator or somebody to the classroom and stand just outside to at least discuss what he should say? Nothing?

    Keep in mind that challenging this survey was the most important thing ever and he just had to make a judgment call right then and there. Three times, that is.

    He could have done this right, but he chose not to.

    Before you go any deeper with this, was the punishment he received appropriate or not?

    I swear this thread is eating my posts. I have answered this twice and it ain’t up there. Trying again (I am ignoring the other thread),

    Recreating my masterful first reply will be difficult, so this one will be short.

    First, as I alluded to somewhere up there, you don’t “step out” of a classroom full of kids. That’s a good way to get on the evening news and/or fired.

    Second, no the punishment was not appropriate. If I understand correctly, he made a brief statement that was factually correct. If he went on a 20 minute rant about the district’s motives, then I’d have a problem. Merely reminding his students of their rights, nope.

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  83. Thrill

    I swear this thread is eating my posts. I have answered this twice and it ain’t up there. Trying again (I am ignoring the other thread),

    You might hit up Hal on PM and see if he can check the moderation queue. I don’t see any of your comments in there, but maybe he can find them. That happened to me on a different thread over the past weekend.

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