Plein Air

Ash Wednesday "discrimination" is a Tempest in a Teapot

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Just now, unixknight said:

"Your honor, the defendant smashed my Corvette with a bat!"

"Alright, present your evidence."

"Well, your Honor, I don't see why it's my responsibility to present the evidence.  I can't find it anyway, but you should just take my word for it because I don't have time to spend looking."

"I see your point.  Okay, judgement for the plaintiff!"

Seems legit.

Sigh, I DON’T FREAKING CARE!

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29 minutes ago, Emmanuel Goldstein said:

No, I am portraying how it is being perceived by the media and the social media minions. My irritation stems from people demanding that I provide proof other than my word that I read what I read. Nothing more. I have no vested interest in the story other than to point out how easy it is to demonize one teacher when she really did nothing wrong. Perhaps my way of saying it came across wrong and I apologize if it offended you. I was trying to be ironic, it looks like I failed.

The thing is - you stated that the grandmother is an uber Catholic trying to get oppression points - something we don't see any support for - then you claimed the teacher's career is in jeopardy - something we don't see any support for.  An administrative leave doesn't end teachers careers.  The way I see it, it seems like both are exaggerations stemming from your own bias.  Wanna know how tempest starts in teapots?  Exactly this.

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4 hours ago, anatess2 said:

The thing is - you stated that the grandmother is an uber Catholic trying to get oppression points - something we don't see any support for - then you claimed the teacher's career is in jeopardy - something we don't see any support for.  An administrative leave doesn't end teachers careers.  The way I see it, it seems like both are exaggerations stemming from your own bias.  Wanna know how tempest starts in teapots?  Exactly this.

I can see how my comment can come across that way, but that was not the intent.

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I've now taken the time to read many reports that all show a slightly different quote from the boy.  I tend to believe both of them.  Let me give you some personal background.

I had heard the names "Mardi Gras", "Ash Wednesday", and "Lent" all my life.  But I had no idea what they were, and I didn't know they were linked until well into adulthood.  I only found out a couple of years ago that Lent ended on Easter.  So, I'm looking at it through that lens, and I'm assuming the teacher was doing so as well.

The differences in quotes from the boy are interesting:

Quote

At first William explained that he couldn’t remove it because it was important for the beginning of Easter but eventually obliged...

https://www.apnews.com/bf38649028f44f60a32b264e8a5e9a75

This was not a quote from the boy, but a paraphrase from the grandmother.  I'm imagining that I hear a kid with dirt on his forehead saying it was "important for the beginning of Easter." I'd have to wonder what something over a month away has anything to do with a spot of dirt on his head.  I'd think the kid was trying to make a joke or something.

Quote

A lot of students asked me what it is, I said I'm Catholic its the first day of lent, it's Ash Wednesday

...

The teacher walked over and said, like, 'What is that?' and I was like, 'It's Ash Wednesday, and I'm Catholic, it's the first day of lent...

https://www.nbc-2.com/story/40084749/utah-fourth-grader-forced-to-remove-ash-wednesday-cross-from-forehead

These are his actual quotes.  So, this time, nothing to do with Easter.  Again, a person who may have never heard of "Ash Wednesday" being linked to Lent or even Catholicism would just see a smudge of dirt.  I knew Lent was some religious observance.  But, what in Elvis' blue suede shoes does "Ash Wednesday" have to do with that?  And why on earth would someone put a spot of dirt, rather, I guess ash, on his head for this?

Honestly, if I saw this on an older kid, a teen, I'd think it was something akin to a tattoo -- a sign of rebellion.  As a teacher, I wouldn't be interested in a "so called" explanation. 

Additionally, I've personally seen children take some "label" and deciding all on their own that they need to something rather unusual because of it.  You've all seen the joke where someone makes "finger snacks" because he thought the snacks were supposed to be in the shape of a finger?  If this were an honest kid, I'd assume he determined this on his own, not as part of a religious system.  And I'll say it again, if I saw this in today's climate, I'd be concerned about someone complaining about a kid with blackface.  And I let him continue.  There's no way to win here.  People are just too touchy.

Now, looking at it from the Catholic perspective, I certainly understand why they're upset.  I really do.  But I would hope that they'd understand an honest mistake when it was made by someone who simply didn't know any better.  There was never any malice here. And that is what I believe to be the important thing.

It may be that they simply made some statements early on when emotions were still high.  I'd hope that after things cooled down that they realized it was just an honest mistake and that everyone should just move forward.

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35 minutes ago, Mores said:

It may be that they simply made some statements early on when emotions were still high.  I'd hope that after things cooled down that they realized it was just an honest mistake and that everyone should just move forward.

Nobody, at least not in this thread, is saying that this is not an honest mistake.  We've accepted that from the beginning.  The issue we discussed is the CONSEQUENCE of the honest mistake.  Some said a 2 week administrative leave (with pay as I understand it) with "sensitivity training" (whatever that means) for the teacher is unnecessary castigation and the teacher's apology is enough.  I took the opposite position - those consequences are the "mercy consequences" for her honest mistake as a government employee that just stepped on 1st amendment protections and is the appropriate response by the school administration.

 

Edited by anatess2

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1 hour ago, anatess2 said:

Nobody, at least not in this thread, is saying that this is not an honest mistake.  We've accepted that from the beginning.  The issue we discussed is the CONSEQUENCE of the honest mistake.  Some said a 2 week administrative leave (with pay as I understand it) with "sensitivity training" (whatever that means) for the teacher is unnecessary castigation and the teacher's apology is enough.  I took the opposite position - those consequences are the "mercy consequences" for her honest mistake as a government employee that just stepped on 1st amendment protections and is the appropriate response by the school administration.

 

I was referring to the boy's family.  The grandmother said she was (IIRC) "not ready to forgive" the teacher.  

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13 minutes ago, Mores said:

I was referring to the boy's family.  The grandmother said she was (IIRC) "not ready to forgive" the teacher.  

He's a child who was the recipient of a teacher's honest mistake.  The grandmother can forgive when she's ready.

Edited by anatess2

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2 hours ago, Mores said:

Now, looking at it from the Catholic perspective, I certainly understand why they're upset.  I really do.  But I would hope that they'd understand an honest mistake when it was made by someone who simply didn't know any better.  There was never any malice here. And that is what I believe to be the important thing.

Quote

Karen Fisher, William's grandmother, said she's not quite ready to accept the apology because Patterson pressed the boy to remove the symbol even after he explained its significance twice. "It's kind of hard to swallow, a little, for me," she said.

https://www.standard.net/news/education/bountiful-teacher-apologizes-for-ash-wednesday-incident/article_c90e54fe-36a3-59cb-ae1e-fee379d39be8.html 

Edited by Emmanuel Goldstein

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Just now, anatess2 said:

He's a child who was the recipient of a teacher's honest mistake.  He can forgive when he's ready.

The boy seemed to have already forgiven her.

12 minutes ago, Mores said:

I was referring to the boy's family.  The grandmother said she was (IIRC) "not ready to forgive" the teacher.  

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Just now, Mores said:

The boy seemed to have already forgiven her.

I realized I misspoke and edited my comment but you were quicker.  Mama bears, including grandma bears, are allowed their protective instincts that take a while to soften.

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1 minute ago, anatess2 said:

I realized I misspoke and edited my comment but you were quicker.  Mama bears, including grandma bears, are allowed their protective instincts that take a while to soften.

If you must have the last word.  Go ahead.

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Just now, Mores said:

If you must have the last word.  Go ahead.

Oh great!  Thanks!

Here's a tip:  When people feel that what they said was understood then they won't feel the need to have to respond and explain some more.

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2 minutes ago, Mores said:

The boy seemed to have already forgiven her.

I don't think there is anything to forgive her for. She did not do anything wrong if she did not know what the smudge was or the student did not clearly tell her what it was for. "It is for the start of Easter" is not the same as saying "it is a holy symbol of my religion."

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1 minute ago, anatess2 said:

Oh great!  Thanks!

Here's a tip:  When people feel that what they said was understood then they won't feel the need to have to respond and explain some more.

You're welcome.

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2 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

Mama bears, including grandma bears, are allowed their protective instincts that take a while to soften.

Maybe, but I'm not sure I agree with that. I can't speak for mama bears, but mama humans are expected to model charity and other virtues for their children. If in fact the child didn't inform the teacher that the ash was a religious mark until after he had wiped it off, then that's a pretty important point (important in the perspective of this teapot tempest). Grandma should be among the first to be telling her grandson that it was an honest mistake and not to blame the teacher for messing up, especially when she immediately apologized and sought to rectify the situation.

Given that it appeared to have been an honest mistake caused in large part by a lack of communication, I think that all parties should quickly drop hostilities and finger-pointing unless life, limb, or property had been threatened. None of those were. So Grandma "bear" should chill out and lead by example.

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1 minute ago, Emmanuel Goldstein said:

I don't think there is anything to forgive her for. She did not do anything wrong if she did not know what the smudge was or the student did not clearly tell her what it was for. "It is for the start of Easter" is not the same as saying "it is a holy symbol of my religion."

If I'm cleaning my room and throw away a dirty cloth because it is too worn and stained to be of use, I don't believe I did anything wrong.  Then I find out that my wife had been saving that piece of cloth because it was to be a decoration in an art project she was planning on starting soon.

I would say I'm sorry.  And she would cry for a while, and then forgive me.

There is an apology, and forgiveness.

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1 minute ago, Mores said:

If I'm cleaning my room and throw away a dirty cloth because it is too worn and stained to be of use, I don't believe I did anything wrong.  Then I find out that my wife had been saving that piece of cloth because it was to be a decoration in an art project she was planning on starting soon.

I would say I'm sorry.  And she would cry for a while, and then forgive me.

There is an apology, and forgiveness.

It says a lot about the integrity of the teacher that when the boy explained what it had been that she asked if there was some way to reapply it. That alone is apology enough. The school even had an ordained deacon come down and do just that. So that should have been the end of it.

Having her placed on leave was totally unnecessary.

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10 minutes ago, Emmanuel Goldstein said:

I don't think there is anything to forgive her for. She did not do anything wrong if she did not know what the smudge was or the student did not clearly tell her what it was for. "It is for the start of Easter" is not the same as saying "it is a holy symbol of my religion."

Of course there is something to forgive her for.  The teacher made a mistake.  Honest or not, it is a mistake.  This mistake is something the kid and his loved ones will have to forgive the teacher for. 

When you hit somebody with your suitcase, you still need to apologize even if the reason you hit the guy is because you honestly didn't see him sitting on that chair over there so you swung your suitcase over the chair.  You may feel you didn't do anything wrong, but you still swung your suitcase over a chair and ended up hurting somebody. 

"I'm Catholic and It is for the start of Easter" should give a government employee pause on the implications of the 1st Amendment.

Edited by anatess2

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1 minute ago, Emmanuel Goldstein said:

It says a lot about the integrity of the teacher that when the boy explained what it had been that she asked if there was some way to reapply it. That alone is apology enough. The school even had an ordained deacon come down and do just that. So that should have been the end of it.

Having her placed on leave was totally unnecessary.

Agreed.

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4 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

Of course there is something to forgive her for.  The teacher made a mistake.  Honest or not, it is a mistake.  This mistake is something the kid and his loved ones will have to forgive the teacher for. 

When you hit somebody with your suitcase, you still need to apologize even if the reason you hit the guy is because you honestly didn't see him sitting on that chair over there so you swung your suitcase over the chair.  You may feel you didn't do anything wrong, but you still ended up hurting somebody.  In legalese, ignorance of the law is not exculpatory in court.

 

 

Not sure that is a very good analogy. Maybe if she had slapped the kid, but she didn't, she gave him a wet wipe. This whole thing is an overblown nothing.

Edited by Emmanuel Goldstein

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2 minutes ago, Emmanuel Goldstein said:

Not sure that is a very good analogy. Maybe if she had slapped the kid, but she didn't, she gave him a wet wipe. This whole thing is an overblown nothing.

And this here is the issue.  YOU, a Mormon, thinks it's an overblown nothing.  This is not an overblown nothing for Catholics.  That's why there's a 1st Amendment to prevent Mormons from minimizing Catholics.

Edited by anatess2

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2 minutes ago, Emmanuel Goldstein said:

I am not a Mormon. Thank you very much.

 

Well, unless you're a Catholic, the comment stands.  And just so you understand that I'm not just pulling stuff out of thin air, I was Catholic.

Edited by anatess2

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4 minutes ago, Emmanuel Goldstein said:

I find this whole thing kind of funny in a way.

In some communities they have issues with students bringing weapons to school.

In Bountiful they have issues with teachers making sure kids faces are clean.

LOL

There is nothing LOL about infringement of Constitutional rights by Public School teachers.

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