Saturday, February 23, 2013

Incident with wrestler points to other problems

According to the Journal, link, an APS student was suspended for three days for taking money from another student and then slapping him across the face.  The Journal reports the incident was witnessed by a Bernalillo County Sheriff's deputy.  They also report, previously;
"... the deputy saw Chavez hit the smaller student’s lunch tray out of his hands, but did not intervene.
More about that later.

The bully? has been charged with battery and larceny. The 195 pound Raven, denied any "malice" either in taking the smaller student's (lunch)money or in slapping him so hard he has been charged with battery. He, like every bully  defending their bulling, insists "we" were just "messing around".  Since when are a perpetrator and his unwilling victim, "we"?

Not surprisingly, the victim would rather the whole thing be forgotten.  He says he wasn't injured.

He was bitch slapped by a bully in front of a cafeteria full of his friends and classmates.  He was hit so hard the guy that hit him has been charged with a crime. By what reasonable standard was he not injured?  Why is whether he was injured even on the table?  And what other choice does he have, but to rather that whole thing be forgotten?

Why is a bully slapping the lunch tray out of the hands of another student in a cafeteria, not reason enough to intervene?  Where is the line, in high school cafeterias, between the behavior we permit and therefore tacitly condone, and the behavior we will not permit?  Its a fair question and one which the leadership of the APS will not answer.

The Journal conflated two stories in their report;

  1. the student and the APS and, 
  2. the influence of powerful politicians and public servants over the administration of the APS.
Remember grade-gate, link, remember the effect of powerful politicians insinuating themselves inappropriately in the administration of the APS.  Then look for any policy change or any other evidence of steps taken to prevent further inappropriate interference by powerful people with conflicted interests.  You will find no steps taken.

Hence the opportunity for inappropriate interference of Bernalillo County Commissioner Art De La Cruz and State Senator Michael Padilla.  They still have the opportunity to take the power entrusted to them, to improperly influence other public servants and their public service. De La Cruz and Padilla were way out of line.

Whether APS' rules and procedures, the ones that disqualified the alleged bully and robber from competition in the state wrestling tournament, are the right rules and procedures is moot.  They are the rules and procedures and nobody outside the administration of the APS has any business in circumventing them, in-especially because the perpetrator is so far "undefeated".

School board member Analee Maestas used her power as a school board member to inappropriately influence APS Supt Winston Brooks.  School board policy and statutes are clear about the authority of school board members, in particular when they are acting as individuals.

Incredibly, though Maestas admits;
... she learned most of the facts of the case from De La Cruz, ...
she told the Journal that APS had "overreacted".  She also reported that based on based on De La Cruz input, there was only “horseplay” and “not serious.”

If we can agree that the battery was not just "horseplay", then did De La Cruz mislead Maestas?

Again, according to the Journal, Maestas insisted on a more thorough investigation of the incident but did not specify what, exactly, still needs to be investigated.

Padilla also insisted upon a thorough investigation, also without specification of what was not already, thoroughly investigated.

There is at least one thing still to be investigated.  It is the inappropriate interference in the administration of the APS, by school board members and politicians.  That would be up to the Journal.

In any case, De La Cruz called Maestas with conflicted interests, as a county commission and as a part time coach in Rio Grande's wrestling program.

I wonder if De La Cruz had been slapped that hard and under those circumstances, if he would report it as "horseplay and nothing serious".  I wonder if he would report the arrest of his batterer as an "overreaction".

Finally, it will be interesting to see if the incident is logged by APS as a "bullying" incident.  I wonder, only because APS is busy hiding statistics about bullying, chronically disruptive students, and about student discipline problems in general.  They hide data completely, or in weird places, to keep it from being understood.

It is the deliberate decision of the leadership of the APS, to hide the truth about student discipline in the APS from stakeholders.

You will have to accept as proof of the validity of that allegation, the absence of their record in administering the district's discipline policies.  The leadership of the APS either cannot or will not tell the truth about student discipline and chronically disruptive students.

You have to ask yourself why a million dollars worth of capital and human resources in APS' Communications Department, cannot or will not put together a simple PowerPoint presentation on student discipline in the APS, link.

Ask yourself as well, why isn't the Journal investigating and reporting upon student discipline problems in the APS, if only to report they exist only in my mind?

De La Cruz photo
Maestas Mark Bralley 

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