I felt sorry for you when I first wrote; now your hypocrisy makes me sick. The only one worth even an ounce of sympathy is your daughter, who I’m sure is dying a thousand deaths inside as a result of your campaign. Go read Rick Green’s column for a reality check. How did it make you feel?
Personally, I think the parents in this case are hysterical, over-reacting idiots.
Frank thinks that it was all a put-up job on the part of the parents:
If I were a heads-up insurance fraud investigator I would look at a case like this and salivate at the opportunity to question witnesses, examine phone records, time-date stamps, family relationships, due process violations, and so on. Fisher never knew what hit him nor did the school but we're much closer to knowing that now and it isn't pretty.
Below the fold: what Nate Fisher's students think of him, and other parents enthusiastic endorsement of his skills as a teacher.
From an article in The Shore Line Times , by Robert C. Pollack:
But Loren Sterman, a licensed, clinical social worker for a New London Private school, whose daughter, Amanda, was in Fisher's freshman English class last year, had a different story to tell.
"I met with Mr. Fisher during a parent-teacher conference last year and was concerned because Amanda was not an inspired reader," she said. "I talked with him about how he could help her to read and become interested in reading and to develop her writing skills as well.
"He did all three. He listened to her and was sensitive to her needs. It didn't faze him when she said she didn't like to read. He just kept at it and kept looking for books she would like to read until he found them.
"What troubles me most of all about this is students have to read and teachers have to find a way to get them to do so. I went on line and looked at the book - Eightball #22 by Daniel Clowes. It's one of a series of books about a mythical town and the town's kooky characters, done in comic strip style. Daniel Clowes is a highly respected, award winning author.
"Clearly, Mr. Fisher made a mistake in that it was not an appropriate referral for this ninth grader. But it was not a malicious or lascivious one and should not have led to his suspension and subsequent resignation. In my view, he is a gifted teacher and our students are poorer for his departure. He was Amanda's favorite teacher."
She went on to say she is not being critical of the school administration, but added: "I think there has been a lack of communication and am convinced a horrible mistake has been made."
She pointed out that kids are exposed to "disgusting images" on the Internet, on television and in the movies all the time.
"This was an honest mistake Mr. Fisher is willing to take full responsibility for. I would like to see him reinstated, with some other appropriate penalty. And hope a number of other parents feel the same way. To me, this is clearly a case of overkill."
Her daughter, Amy, agreed. She said Fisher had not only inspired her but had helped her reach the point where she really likes to read.
"He gave, me 'The Lovely Bones' by Alice Sebold and I loved it. And in class, he got all of us to read aloud the parts in Romeo and Juliet and made us relate to it and appreciate it.
"As to talk that he is some kind of a sleaze, that is absolutely ridiculous. He would never do anything inappropriate with us. He just made a mistake in that case and should not have been forced to resign."
Rachele Black, 15, who was also member of Fisher's English class last year, said much the same thing. She said of course Fisher would ask any student to tell him how they feel about a book he gave them to read. "He is an English teacher, so of course he would want to know that."
Black added that "giving this girl this particular book was clearly a mistake, but not one that should take him away from his students.
"Why should this one particular incident overshadow his one year of teaching when he had done nothing wrong until then and was clearly a gifted teacher? I think his permanent departure would a very big loss and I would hate to see him leave the teaching profession."
Guilford Courier September 24, 2007
The Beat (Comics Culture) September 20 2007
Minivan Diaries September 24 2007
Minivan Diaries September 25 2007
Eric Reynolds September 25 2007
The Beat (Comics Culture) September 26 2007
The Comics Reporter September 27 2007
New Haven Advocate September 27 2007
Region 19 BOE Gazette September 30 2007 -- note has chronology