Saturday, November 14, 2009

A school in America forgets they are the parents' EMPLOYEES

There is so much wrong with this story. There are more than enough elements about the mistreatment of an US Army officer and his family, that my blood just boils. At the beginning of this sorry state of affairs, a parent was asking to be heard on an issue within his children's school: uniforms. The school administration arbitrarily made a decision affecting the families, and refused to follow Roberts Rules of decorum at a PTA meeting, thereby trying to silence a father's right to debate a policy issue which will directly impact every student in the school.

After attempts to silence, intimidate this mother and father, and realising that THIS family refuses to be bullied into silence, this administration then crossed the line BIG TIME and called this US Army officer's chain of command. I told you there is so much wrong to this story. I am still fuming, so will let someone else lay out the details (and they are damning, believe me):

Pitchfork Brigade; Pitch in to help a Veteran who’s rights have been trampled

Posted By Bouhammer on November 12, 2009

**11/13/09 UPDATE, if you want to hear a lot more of the story and from Emily directly listen to her interview with Dale Jackson from this morning,**

My good friend CJ has not asked me to post this or do anything specific. I asked his permission to blog about his case and he said that was ok. He has no idea how this post looks. If you don’t know, CJ is a fellow Sr. NCO, co-host on You Served Radio, milblogger and very close friend of mine. The guy is more patriotic and dedicated to not only this country, but also the Army than I think most people will ever know. His wife Emily is a sweetheart and would not hurt a fly unless you try to hurt her family.

If you don’t know the story of what has happened to CJ’s family as he tried to stand up and exercise the rights that he has fought so hard for, then you need to educate yourself first. I encourage you to listen to Emily on Greta Perry’s radio show here, Also watch this broadcast from a local TV station in the Huntsville area, Read a very good breakdown of everything here and watch the video of the meeting here, Then go here and read this,

After watching and reading all of that I am sure you will agree with me that there has been a terrible injustice done to CJ, Emily and their kids. Even though I could say what I wanted in my blog as a National Guardsmen as long as I was not on duty, I can really say whatever I want now that I am retired. So here goes; the Garrison CSM is a complete tool. He is what is despicable in the Army today. He is the example of what gives Sergeant Majors a bad name and reputation. Leaders that have forgotten what it is like to take care of soldiers. When the Principal and PTA president called the military base to complain about CJ and make up slanderous allegations that CJ threatened them and made them scared (keep in mind that I am pretty sure both of these people are ex-army) the military should have responded with “This is a private matter between a parent in your school and you, this is not a military matter”. That should have been it. There was nothing else for the Army to do. As long as CJ did not show up in uniform or use his military status in some way during his conversations or interactions with the school principal or PTA, then it is NOT AN ARMY PROBLEM!!! PLAIN and SIMPLE. But because the leadership of the base caved in and acted with cowardice because some “civilians” complained, the Principal and PTA President know they have CJ by the marbles. All they have to do is call up the military, make fake allegations and they see the outcome…CJ being called on the carpet, having his career put in jeopardy and facing a lot of stress in his family.

How is it that a Army Major can make treasonous remarks and still hold his job and then go and murder 13 people, but CJ tries to exercise his rights of free speech and then gets his life turned upside down? What the hell is this about? How can this happen? There are lots of unfair things in life, and I usually mark those as “that is life”. Not everyone can get a trophy, not everyone can get all the breaks. But what is happening to CJ, Emily and their kids is criminal. An Army that CJ has fought for, supported and evangalized for, has turned their back on him. It was stuff like this that the American people never see. Not everyone in the Army is a “hero” or worthy of praise. Some are complete tools that don’t deserve to wear the uniform, like the Post Command Sergeant Major, Ricky Cooper. If you can’t support your soldiers that report to you, then it is time to leave and quit taking up space. ...

Bouhammer has MUCH more, that needs to be read and broadccast the length of the land. He also has contacts listed that you can use to give your 2 cents' worth to these miscreants - and I WILL be using them myself. Read ALL of Bouhammer's piece here.

Over at War on Terror News, they also address this issue and the larger issue of US soldiers as private citizens:
Friday, November 13, 2009

MilBlogs See Leaders Fall

Earlier this year, this site entered the discussion of the role of Milblogs in providing the "rest of the story," the part untold by the Main Stream Media. A Key Point in that discussion was whether or not Troops should openly state their names and positions, even as the Military was recognizing that Milblogs are such a vital part of providing the true story to the American People.

More recently, there has been a lot of discussion that the US Body Politic would attempt to muzzle dissent in the blogosphere. That debate rages on today. It seems incomprehensible that any politician would have any real expectation of realizing a goal of officially silencing opposition in this country. The 1st Amendment to the US Constitution is not in any way unclear: Free Speech shall NOT be abridged.

For obvious reasons, Troops cannot espouse political parties in uniform, but just as clearly, they are entitled to be active in the political arena, to 1st Amendment protections, out of uniform. Still, we are seeing Milblog leaders, stalwarts in the community shutting down. These first casualties are those most politically active, and those who have stated their names and positions. It seems that my point that Troops should be afforded anonymity if desired has taken greater importance.

A World Without Spin was designed as a place for Blake Hurdis to discuss the politics that effect this Nation, yet now is only a "gone out of business sign." His reason for the shutdown is: "things became more and more hectic and coming back to AWWS became harder and harder to justify." While his statements demonstrate no pressure from the government, his site is nonetheless missing from the debate. Not even his old discussions are available to us.

A clear example of suppression is however present in the CJ Grisham absence. His trials and tribulations with the Government were known. CJ wrote for 6 years but this year, he began shutting down, after he was ordered to Washington DC to answer for his words of dissent.

First, he ended his participation at Military Pundits, a site he and Troy Steward of Bouhammer set up for all sides of the debate to discuss political issues. Authorship was limited only by Veteran Status, but included both the right and left side of the aisle, to include prominent members of the IVAW, about as far left as you can get. Now, he's not even listed in the Authors, though he was a founder of the site. I was invited to join in there, but chose to concentrate on this site, chose to restrict my political discussions to those that effect National Defense.

While CJ publicly stated that his decision to leave Military Pundits was not forced on him by the Military, he did note it was out of frustration that he was under fire. The Military had not told him to suppress or suffer an actual trial, but after his public announcement, he was sent back to Alabama with the decision of the Military to leave open the possibility of punishment, while not pursuing it at that time.

Officially, he stated that he wanted to concentrate on his sites: A Soldier's Perspective and They Have Names. His primary site, A Soldier's Perspective now allows a search of the archives but the Out of Business sign states: "I refuse to allow my private blog's message to be dictated with threats and intimidation. It's been a fun six years!" His other site is still open and as respectful as ever it was, but clearly the decreased focus on politics has not afforded him opportunity to add much to it. CJ had one of the Top Rated MilBlogs, as rated by those that search out or write Milblogs at

CJ's battles are known to the world. His fight in DC was brought to the attention of the Veteran with the ear of the President, LT Paul Rieckhoff, self-appointed director of the IAVA, anointed as the "non-partisan" "VSO" Spokesman & Defender for the President's Military and Veteran policies, brag-gard of his regular invitations to the White House, and fan of George Soros, who either refused to defend CJ's right to free speech or was powerless to prevent harassment of CJ for it.

Whether impotence or uncaring for the 1st Amendment rights of his fellow veteran, CJ, the effects are the same, Rieckhoff allowed harassment to silence the opposing view. Rieckhoff's insider position with the Administration did not protect the Iraq Veteran's Free Speech Rights from the Government. Then again, Rieckhoff's hero, George Soros, has declared, through his organization MoveOn,org a goal of suppressing dissent in the blogosphere of the current administration. (Be sure and read the rest here.)

My regular readers all know I am not an American (neither legal nor an illegal....) and I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong, BUT I doubt seriously if there is anywhere in the US Constitution that declares that when a patriotic American volunteers to serve their country in the military, they forgo their rights to freedom of speech. I doubt very much that there is written anywhere that ANY military person gives up their rights as a parent. If I am wrong, someone PLEASE show me the relevant section.

CJ is a patriotic American, he IS an officer and a gentleman, and first and foremost he IS a parent who takes all his responsibilities very seriously. As a parent he has the right to make decisions affecting the upbringing of his children. Despite the climate within the US these days, I doubt very much that there is an agreement between the parents and the school board employees that surrenders ANY parent's rights once their children become students at ANY school.

I am a parent, and I have been a school employee, as many already know. I have seen this whole issue from both sides. CJ's local PTA may have framed this whole disgraceful episode within the parameters of the school uniform issue, but it speaks to the broader issue of parents' rights - responsibilities - as the primary influence within their childrens' formative years. I will leave aside the debate on the uniform issue here, except to say that where I went to school, ALL pupils wore uniforms, both at public and private schools. That was the national norm way back in the dark ages of the last century.

No, the issue here, as far as I can see, is the total disregard of the parents' wishes within the debate in CJ and Emily's childrens' school. Those teachers, that PTA, seems to have forgotten that THEY are the EMPLOYEES of the parents. Not only do they decide to malign, slander this father, and ignore the rights of their employers (the parents, in case you forgot,) but this PTA, these school employees decide to take what should have been an internal school matter, and involve this officer's employers: the US Army. In all my years as both a parent and an employee of various schools (yes, both in the US and Canada) I have never heard of an internal matter affecting students being expanded to include a parent's employers. Not only an astounding display of ignorance on the PTA/school employees part, but then an appalling lack of judgement from the chain of command of this father. Bouhammer addresses this so eloquently, I don't need to rehash it here. Read Bouhammer's articulation of all that is wrong here.

Fact is, this PTA, these school employees are BULLIES. Bullies who are not content with trying - and failing miserably - to intimidate this father and mother, but who also show a total lack of judgement (among so many other qualities) and go whining to this officer's chain of command. Yes, I can call them what they are: ignorant bullies. Yes, I have worked in anti-bullying workshops with students. I recognise bullying when I see it.

THIS chain of command has also shown a glaring lack of judgement in even engaging with this school and this PTA on what is a private matter. Instead of telling the complainers that whatever CJ and his family do on their own time, as private citizens, is none of the Army's business, the US Army caves, and penalises CJ for exercising his rights as a parent, and as a citizen. Disgraceful. Pathetic comes to mind, too, as the US Army chain of command sides with this inarticulate, vindictive rabble of small minded, obviously power-hungry bunch of employees and PTA...(pick your own adjective, but you get the idea.)

I deliberately use those descriptions above carefully. What should have been debated, decided, on the one issue - school uniforms - devolved into something far more despicable, outrageous. These employees, not content with trying to humiliate a parent and his family within a local PTA meeting, degenerated into what can only be described as malicious slander, libel, and damaging not only to the children of this family, but damaging to this officer's career. We won't even get into what kind of role models these folks are.

When I worked within the school system, I always counselled the parents to follow up on any concerns. I always reminded the parents that THEY were the employers, and were fully within their rights to have imput into school decisions that affected their childrens' education. Yes, I saw firsthand, just as CJ and Emily are now living through, that many school employees would really rather parents just go away, and mind their own business, as they - the education 'experts' - took over complete control of their childrens' lives.

Then, as now, I encouraged any parent to speak up, stand up and remind their employees, and their local PTA, that without the parents they would have no jobs.

Yes, I could rant on for hours on this topic, as yes, it drives me crazy - as a parent and a former school employee - when little bureacrats, with little minds, attempt to silence any debate on what is best for the children.

Today's disgusting treatment of CJ and his family is but a microcosm of what goes on in schools everywhere. THIS time it is CJ and his family who are at the frontlines. Tomorrow it could be your children and your family who is intimidated, bullied (and don't let me get started on that whole bullying issue here.)

It all comes down to this: Our children, our families, are far too important to be left to the not so tender mercy of these dictatorial little fifedoms springing up in schools all over the continent. If we do not speak out loudly against such tyranny in this neighbourhood, believe me you will be fighting it in your neighbourhood next. If we allow such abhorrent behaviour to go unanswered this time, rabid thugs exactly such as these in CJ's school district will spread - unchecked - into every school in the land. If the military seems to think it is acceptable to wade hip deep into troops' private, parental business, unchecked, it could be another soldier's chain of command in your neighbourhood.

Go to Bouhammers column here, and start making the calls, writing those letters.

Our children, our families, our military heroes and their families, need our support. This must not go unanswered. Start NOW!!!

1 comment:

Oh Hell said...

When I was growing up, we had "issues" with the school board. My parents never backed down, especially my Mom. Backing down only encourages the bullies, and my Mom knew that.