Washblog

Tukwila schools nix walkout; Impeachment snippets; Romney intimidates judge; Horsesass plagarized

Tukwila School Board puts teacher on leave and considers disciplinary action against 5 other teachers and 150 high school students after protest against recruiters and occupation*
See more below, including information on who organized the walkout and on a planned protest tonight at a regularly scheduled board meeting.

Impeachment snippets
Most readers will know that Linda Boyd, Director of Washington for Impeachment, had a front page piece in the Seattle PI this weekend: If not now, when?. Today, Boyd appeared on the Dave Ross Show. When House Republicans voted to prevent the tabling of Kucinich's articles of impeachment on November 6, they were probably hoping to tangle up the Democrats' legislative agenda and make them look bad in a presidential election year. Maybe this will backfire and result in impeachment and the proper investigation of the crimes of this administration - a step absolutely necessary for preserving this democracy.

Bears Repeating
Identical posts at McCranium, Peace Tree Farm, HorsesAss, OntheRoadto2008, and Washington Outsiders today. In transparent attempts to hide the plagarism, no doubt, small changes were made to the titles:
Discovery Institute: Thieves and Liars!
Discovery Institute: Theft and Lies
Discovery Institute: Thieves and Liars
Discovery Institute: Liars and Thieves
Discovery Institute: Blatant Liars and Thieves

Remember Willie Horton?
In yet another example of conservative intimidation of judges (and blame-shifting), Mitt Romney has called for the resignation of a tough-on-crime judge whom he appointed. Due to prosecutorial incompetence, the judge released a man who had served his sentence for killing his mother, but had recently attacked a guard. The man then moved to Washington state and murdered a couple here. Romney's lashing out at the judge to dodge accusations that he's a crime-loving guy. Here's the PI story: Slain Graham couple mourned; Romney slams Massachusetts judge. The tough on crime mentality gets us to some ugly places. For example, Washington's Sentencing Guidelines Commission has recommended removing Robbery 2 from the list of crimes mandating life sentences without parole because it is not a violent crime. Each year, Senator Kline has introduces legislation to do this. Each year, it fails because of people like Romney. Robbery 2 is the the conviction most commonly triggering a life sentence without parole under 3-strikes.

More on the Tukwila Walkout
According to information on various listservs that has come my way, 150 students from Foster High School in Tukwila took part in a November 16th walkout to protest the presence of military recruiters in their school and the occupation of Iraq.  The students gathered at the flagpole at the campus, marched to the I-5 overpass, and then to Tukwila City Hall.

Foster High School is in the Tukwila school district, which has a demographic particularly targeted by recruiters -- people of low and moderate income.  Seventy-one percent of students in that district are eligible for free/reduced school meals.

The statewide walkout, I believe, was organized by Students Against War and Racism, a group with its beginnings in an organization called Socialist Alternatives.

According to information circulating now -- which I have not been able to verify despite making a number of calls to the district, the Tukwila School District responded to the November 16th action by suspending social studies teacher Brett Rogers, who supported the students, threatening administrative action against five other teachers, and threatening to discipline the students who took part.

I don't have information yet on whether the disciplinary action is justified under district rules that apply to absences from school or demonstrations on campus.   However, one of the summaries I read states that even students who received written permission from their parents to miss school in order to take part in this important civic action are being considered for discipline.

There happens to be a regularly-scheduled meeting of the school district's board of directors tonight (11/26/07). I don't see a place on the agenda for public comment.  I called the district and was told by the receptionist that she thought that there would be time for public comments.  She transferred me to Jan Lande in the public affairs office for verification. I left a voice mail message, which has not yet been returned.
[Update, 1:40: I haven't yet received a call back from the school. However, a detective from the Tukwila police called me, mentioning Ms. Lande's name. He said that there is a place on the agenda for public comments. They can be 3 minutes each. There is a request that people coordinate and have one person speak for several, as there is concern over time constraints. There is also a maximum capacity in the room where the meeting occurs for 65 people. He did not know when during the meeting comments are allowed. I called and left another message with Jan Lande asking for clarification.]

Contact information: Foster HS Principal George Ilgenfritz: (206) 901-7905 ilgenfritzg@tukwila.wednet.edu
Interim Superintendent Ethelda Burke: (206) 901-8009, burkee@tukwila.wednet.edu


*Update. Jan Lande clarified in an 11/26 phone conversation that one teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave, not suspended. No other actions have been taken, pending an investigation. Their "main concern", she said is the "safety of the children." Among students who took part in the demonstration, only those who are younger than 18 and who did not have prior permission from parents face potential disciplinary action.
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you state that "a detective from the Tukwila police called me", and I want to know how you verified this person's identity: did they give you a number, and did you call them back?

This is a minor point, one of several or many, but it's a point about the integrity of sources and I don't mean to be rude but hey when we start talking about people protesting in public and suppression thereof, and intimidation of the media (seems to me).. I want to start checking some of those basic facts.

by m3047 on Tue Nov 27, 2007 at 11:01:18 PM PST

* 1 none 0 *


Discovery Institute ... theft and lies

You're only young once, but you can be immature forever -- Larry Andersen
Blogging at Peace Tree Farm

by N in Seattle on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 06:35:17 AM PST

* 2 none 0 *


Here is an update from My Seattle Online on what's happening in Tukwila.

Here is a less-detailed article from The Seattle Times.

by DWE on Sat Dec 01, 2007 at 08:15:08 AM PST

* 5 none 0 *


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