search
top

UPDATE: Analyzing Cumberland Superintendent William Harrison’s Response on Partisan Teacher and Bully

william harrison, superintendent of cumberland county schools

In case you were wondering, “Ed.D.” also stands for “Educrat Dolt.”

Apparently Ms. Harris teaches in Fayetteville, not Asheville, in the Cumberland County system. Not that it matters to me – I don’t care which city or state she’s in. She’s an awful, destructive teacher.

Dr. William Harrison, Cumberland County Schools Superintendent, released an obnoxious yawner of a video statement today about the taped incident. As usual, this school official thinks you’re an idiot. He expects you to swallow his tripe uncritically.

Not today, Dr. Harrison – and not tomorrow, either.

Here’s the video with a transcript, courtesy of Michelle Malkin:

I was shocked when I saw the clip of an interaction between a Cumberland County Schools teacher and her students as posted on YouTube. While neutral discussion of the political process is appropriate, at no time, particularly with elementary students, should a teacher infuse his/her political views into the discussion. Most disconcerting was the military slant that made its way into this discussion. We are a military community, serving over 15,000 military students and their families. We value the sacrifices, not only of the military parents but also those of their families.

We believe that military children are our children, military spouses are many of our employees, and military service men and women are our heroes. We proudly serve our military children and have received national awards for our support of military families.

I was particularly disturbed to see the uncomfortable position in which our children were placed due to the inappropriate actions of one of our teachers. Please be assured that the actions exhibited in this video are not consistent with the vision of the CCS. Moreover, the actions of one teacher do not represent the 7000 employees in our organization.

Once the video was brought to my attention, I immediately launched an investigation. Personnel laws prevent me from releasing information regarding individual employees and personnel action taken. I can assure you that upon completion of the investigation, I will take appropriate action.

Dr. William Harrison
CCS’ Superintendent

Standard stuff here – we’re sorry, it’s an isolated incident, we’d love to tell you more, but we can’t. I’m going to parse his statement.

“I was shocked when I saw the clip of an interaction between a Cumberland County Schools teacher and her students as posted on YouTube. While neutral discussion of the political process is appropriate, at no time, particularly with elementary students, should a teacher infuse his/her political views into the discussion.”

Dr. Harrison, you were shocked because you don’t have a damn clue what goes on in your school district. Get your fingers on the pulse of your schools and teachers, or start delegating properly so your underlings can do it for you.

I understand that Harrison has a large system in Cumberland County and it isn’t practical to know what every teacher does every day. But he’s also got a series of principals, assistants, team leaders, etc. who need to know what’s going on a bit better than they do now. Admit that and fix it – don’t patronize me, taxpayers, parents and other interested parties with some third-rate statement written by someone who may have taken PR 101.

And personal politics? Dr. Harrison, you’ve got it all wrong. One can discuss personal politics – even in a K-12 classroom – while doing it fairly, responsibly and respectfully. Because you and Ms. Harris don’t know how to do it doesn’t mean that others don’t.

I’ve got a ‘Contact’ tab on this site – feel free to use it if you’d like to learn. Lucky for you, I charge less than Vanderbilt did for that useless Ed.D. your attendance and tuition earned.

“Most disconcerting was the military slant that made its way into this discussion. We are a military community, serving over 15,000 military students and their families. We value the sacrifices, not only of the military parents but also those of their families.”

No, that wasn’t what was “most disconcerting.” That Harris’ tirade against the military occurred in a ‘military community’ has no bearing on how awful it was – it’s just a detail.

Most of the conflicts I get into involve defending the dignity of the US military or our government. I’ll be damned if I’ll let some edu-dolt hide behind that dignity to avoid being accountable for his poor administration.

“We believe that military children are our children, military spouses are many of our employees, and military service men and women are our heroes. We proudly serve our military children and have received national awards for our support of military families.”

Really, stop this – it does a disservice to that military you claim to respect.

“I was particularly disturbed to see the uncomfortable position in which our children were placed due to the inappropriate actions of one of our teachers.”

You’re a bad writer, too.

“Please be assured that the actions exhibited in this video are not consistent with the vision of the CCS.”

If the actions of CCS employees fail to be consistent with the ‘vision’ of your district, then there’s a problem fulfilling that mission. You’ve just admitted your own administrative failure, Dr. Harrison, and I hope Cumberland County realizes that.

“Moreover, the actions of one teacher do not represent the 7000 employees in our organization.”

Dr. Harrison and others – let me introduce you to the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect. In short, you read something patently false/inaccurate, then turn the page and revert to trusting the content. Harrison has outlined his system’s total failure regarding Ms. Harrison, then assures us that the failure isn’t repeated 7,000 times over.

It’s a logical mismatch.

I’m not suggesting that all 7,000 CCS employees are clones of Ms. Harris – that’s ridiculous. But do I believe for a second that Dr. Harrison and his staff have a handle on the CCS climate? Not for a second.

“Once the video was brought to my attention, I immediately launched an investigation.”

I’ll rephrase: “Once my professional irresponsibility was exposed, I decided to release a statement in which I pretend to have done my job and in which I commit to the most basic functions of my professional contract.”

“I can assure you that upon completion of the investigation, I will take appropriate action.”

I don’t think you’re capable of it, but I encourage you to surprise me. I’ll believe that ‘appropriate action’ was taken when there’s proof of it.

Good luck and God bless, Cumberland County.

Other takes:

  1. A Small Corner of Sanity – An Online Oasis for Conservative Thought
  2. Solomonia
  3. Bookworm Room » Indoctrinating the new brownshirts *UPDATED*
  4. I Almost Feel Bad For This Woman, But the Uninformed Get What they Deserve « Trust, But Verify
  5. Without Objection: WO’s Daily Roundup
  6. Hot Air » Blog Archive » Superintendent: “Appropriate action” will be taken against teacher who lectured serviceman’s daughter
  7. Reason 142 to Homeschool: Obama Teachers Won’t Bully Kids Who Support McCain « Mcnorman’s Weblog
  8. UPDATE on “The Beast of Cumberland County” « Mark Epstein
  9. And it begins… Barack Obama wants to Indoctrinate America’s Children…. : P.U.M.A

9 Responses to “UPDATE: Analyzing Cumberland Superintendent William Harrison’s Response on Partisan Teacher and Bully”

  1. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Teachers MUST be politically NEUTRAL in the classroom. When I taught in Houston in 1996, my dept. head wore a Clinton/Gore button every day. It totally pissed me off because it indoctrinated the students way too much. Let’s teach the kids how to think for themselves.

    And as for this woman- she should be tarred, feathered, and fired.

  2. Richard says:

    Teachers like Ms. Harris are in almost every school in America. There are some who flout professional standards, as though they are entitled to do as they please and however they please.

    The spineless administrators, who fear for their jobs, are allowing this to proliferate.

    American Education is at a crossroad. The very safety of our children are at stake.

    This Diantha Harris was willing to intimidate and bully a young girl, with lies, as the child sat helpless. I will wait to see if this spinless superintendent will take action against this totally unprofessional and mean spirited teachers.

    Ms. Harris should be dismissed immediately. She is a threat to children and should not be allowed to teach the young. She is what you would expect to find in a “worse nightmare classroom.” It is unbelievable.

  3. Les says:

    When I was in the fifth grade, I had a teacher a lot like this one. Mr. Walker, who used to put up newspaper clippings found in The National Enquirer, frequently spouted his personal belief systems at the class and bullied any who disagreed with him. It was creepy being in that class with no avenue of relief or hope from it.
    Fortunately, enough parents found out what this man with dreams of indoctrination was saying in his class and filed a suit against the school. Last I heard, Mr. Walker was going door to door selling insurance policies. This was back in the early 80′s I have little faith that a similar fate awaits Ms. Harris. Today’s system seems content to pay lip service to try and cover up it’s failings. I can’t quite bring myself to believe that any “appropriate action” will be taken against this teacher(term used reluctantly). The video evidence was overwhelming. An investigation shouldn’t be necessary here. She should be fired and her teaching license suspended until she can be re-trained to be a fair and impartial teacher. Personally, I doubt anyone that senseless and shameless could change enough to be a good teacher. I hope she ends up doing a job that more accurately suits her abilities-perhaps servicing septic tanks or selling fertilizer.

  4. Michelle,

    I maintain that anyone can facilitate a responsible discussion in a classroom even if they use their own opinions. It isn’t easy, mostly because it takes so much knowledge on the topic, but it’s possible. If a teacher has the information and understands that it isn’t about them, they can move ahead without a problem.

    I consider political buttons on teachers to be classless. The UFT couldn’t have been more wrong when they filed suit against the DoE re: buttons.

  5. Richard,

    Let’s think about what happened here. A county school system and one of its individual schools gave full permission to a camera crew to film parts of a documentary in their building and with their staff. Then Harris gave a performance that got her famous.

    If anyone thinks that situation/result demonstrates common sense and effective leadership of a school and its staff, they’re crazy.

    Harris blew it, Harrison blew it, and so did the administrators in between. This wasn’t a hidden camera or a surprise visit.

  6. Les,

    Yet another reason why I dislike Harrison’s statement – “full investigation” really means something like “long, drawn out process in which we kowtow to the union and cumbersome terms of our collective bargaining agreement, after 18 months of which we might be able to dismiss her with a year’s pay.”

    Shameless. Shameless, shameless, shameless.

    And Dr. Harrison appears to be handling the “investigation” with all the strength of overcooked spaghetti.

  7. Hube says:

    Great stuff here, Matthew! Made my night! :-)

  8. Betty Ann says:

    You almost hit the point I wanted to make. This film crew was there with permission and in all probability Ms. Harris and her class were chosen to be representative of the school. Someone, I would guess an administrator, directed the film crew to Ms. Harris. Someone thinks she is among their best teachers.

    The 100 year statement, is just one example of inappropriate statements by Ms. Harris. But by the time I finish detailing all of it, it will probably be a multiple page letter to Dr. Harrison.

  9. KGS says:

    Hi Matthew, as the person who started this whole ball rolling, I would like to thank you for your insights on the PR statement by Harrison. You’ve obviously have your finger on the pulse of the larger issues at hand in this story.

    I was willing to put things to rest, and call the case closed, but since Diantha Harris is claiming that the Tundra Tabloids has doctored the video clip, and that I put it on the internet because I’m a disgruntled conservative bitter about Obama winning the election, I have thus kept the fire burning.

    Your words only prove that there is more to be gleaned from this whole mess than meets the eye. That I’m being slandered as a ‘sour grapes’ loser is laughable on its face, I posted the story at the Tundra Tabloids and the video on You Tube almost two days in advance of the election results, on finding out who won on Wedneday morning.

    That the person who made the documentary from which I took three minutes from that showed the berating of the child, is now defending the teacher, and is slinging the smear that the right-wing blogosphere (The Tundra Tabloids by default since I broke the story) produced this video due to bitterness…is laughable on its face.

    Thanks for bringing you observations to the discussion table, I will be uploading it entirely on the next post. Best regards,
    Kenneth Sikorski
    http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Politics in the Classroom: How Not to Do It, Courtesy of Diantha Harris of Asheville, North Carolina — Education for the Aughts - American School Issues and Analysis - [...] For an update from Cumberland County Schools Superintendent William Harrison - and for analysis of his statement - check ...
  2. Hold the phone! Is Diantha Harris making false accusations in her video? « Mark Epstein - [...] Tundra Tabloids, you may want to check out Matthew Tabor’s “smack down” of Dr. Harrison’s statement. Ouch! Possibly related ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

top