Saturday, April 4, 2009

I Know I Said

Inmate in cell

that I would not post the news article about what happened at our school. You see, it's just like I told my principal, I must be THE most obtuse person in the whole world. I seem to go blithely through my life trying to see the best in everyone. I'm friendly with people from work and I truly believe that this is the best school I've ever worked for. We have wonderful hardworking teachers and I honestly believe that the majority of them are professionals who care about the students and their educational success.

This is why when the email from Dr. Evans came alluding to the "incident" that happened the Friday before break I honestly was clueless. What is he talking about? What incident? I turned to the Internet and I was shocked. I was shocked not just at the allegations but also about the person against whom the allegations had been made. This was an instructor who seemed to have a natural energy in the classroom and went the extra mile for his students. I feel I can say this because this was my impression and the impression of so many who knew him.

I very seldom get shown off to visitors from colleges but I know it's a privilege and an honor. This is a teacher who was always on the MUST SEE list. When I read the first article I actually cried because it was almost as if a friend had died. I had no clue who had brought forth the allegations and I really didn't understand why. It honestly seemed so out of character. Again, this is not a person who I spent every free moment with but it was someone I spoke to a few times a week. We generally spoke about smart boards, computers, creating a wiki, you know computer stuff.

We all want to believe that we can sense that a person is bad. Sometimes this is true but no where near always. We want to believe that we can look at someone and know that they do bad things. If only we could. There is a public service commercial I have seen recently. A woman, a man, and a little girl are riding in the elevator. The man seems like a loving father who is holding his daughter's hand. He chats amiably with the woman. The little girl is silent, almost sullen. As he leaves the elevator he bids the woman a cheery goodbye. Then you see the back of his t-shirt and it says child abuser. The commercial says "If only it was this easy to spot a child abuser." Still I berated myself because I either missed the fact that this man was capable of such a thing and at the same time I wanted to yell "This is CRAZY there's no way HE could have done such a thing."

As a rape survivor my thoughts then went to the alleged victim. This is high school after all. There will be talk. The victim will not have the ability to deal with this in his own way. EVERYONE will want to find out what he has to say and the kids will either pony up with him or against him. My heart went out to the child whose name was not mentioned.

What I didn't know until Thursday was that the teacher was still in jail until his bail hearing on Friday. I just didn't realize he was still in jail. All this from an allegation. If it was true then he belongs there. If it is false then his career as a teacher is over.

This morning, after reading the bail hearing, I decided to post a link to the article. Sodomy charge stands in Rome High School teacher case; evidence showed he had pictures of former students, police said

The article rocks me to my very core. Things I thought I knew for certain have been challenged. An unplugged Web camera in the classroom led investigators to the confiscation of Lee’s computers. The investigation showed Lee had pictures of several male students not wearing shirts on his desktop computer, Hill-Hudson said.

“Some are former and some are now Rome High School students,” she said.

They found other pictures on the computer too. Pictures that shock the sensibilities.

OMG it just doesn't make sense. It just doesn't make sense. The photo of my colleague sitting in a courtroom in an orange jumpsuit handcuffed just doesn't make sense.

Mr. Lee's bail was set at $60,000 with multiple conditions after hearing testimony from friends, family members and colleagues. He was released from the Floyd County Jail late Friday.

He will be restricted to his home and cannot leave without the permission of the court. He also cannot have Internet access, is restricted from text messaging and cannot have any contact with any present or former student of Rome High School.

So now you know everything I know. The papers tell a different story about a man I thought I knew. It's all so surreal.

After Darryl came down a news alert came on to say another mass shooting happened today. This time in Pittsburgh. Three police officers were killed. Friends said he had been upset recently about losing his job and that he feared the Obama administration was poised to ban guns. Poplawski once had an Internet talk show but that it wasn't successful. Vire said Poplawski had an AK-47 rifle and several powerful handguns, including a .357 Magnum.

I think things like this cause me to sweep because I can try to do something mindless and avoid thinking about what is going on. Sort of the ostrich lifestyle. I keep looking for that something good that will happen. Like today i received one of the pairs of glasses I got from eyebuydirect and i received my sweepsheet magazine. So I focus on that and my sweeps and not all this other absolute craziness.

Here are the sweepstakes I entered.

Prizes (5): Autographed River of Soul CD or Marcome discography in mp3 format.

Prize: EarCheck ear infection detector (ARV $49).

Prize: Set of three Little Pim Mandarin Chinese Language DVD (ARV $49.95).

Prize: Mystic Wonders Laundry Ball and two Dryer Balls (ARV $49.95).

Prize: Windex All-In-One Window Cleaning Tool starter kit.

Option 1: Registration to attend BlogHer '09 July 23-25, 2009 in Chicago, IL; includes airline and hotel vouchers (ARV $1,000).
Option 2: $1,000 Visa gift card.

Prizes (5): Copy of Urban Italian: Simple Recipes and True Stories from a Life in Food by Andrew Carmellini.

Prize: NeatReceipts or NeatReceipts for Mac (ARV $199.94).

Prize: Large assortment of Tootsie Roll traditional or Easter-themed candies.

Prize: SweetPea3 music player.

Prizes (3): 8" fresh water pearl bracelet with silver heart charm from Cheerios (ARV $65).

Prize: 16lbs of Tootsie Roll candies.

Prize: One large buttercream and six chocolate truffle Easter eggs from Cladnestinearts.

Prize: 14 pounds of Easter-themed Candy from Tootsie Roll Brands, including Tootsie Pops, Blow Pops, Dubble Bubble Gum, Andes Mints, and Tootsie Rolls.

Prize: Winner's choice of Slanket.

Prize: Secrets of the Furious Five DVD.

Prize: 1-Year Subscription to FlexJobs telecommuting job listing service (ARV $49.95).

Prize: Excalibur 3500 food dehydrator (ARV $189.95).

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