Archive for Monday, June 15, 2009

Teacher accusing district of political firing gets grievance hearing

A former Lawrence High teacher who claims he was let go because of his political beliefs has filed a grievance.

June 15, 2009

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A Lawrence High School teacher who says his conservative political beliefs led to his contract not being renewed for a second year had a hearing with district officials Monday.

Tim Latham just finished his first year teaching government and American history in the district. He had taught elsewhere for 19 years, most recently in Arkansas.

According to his attorney, Caleb Stegall, Latham has filed an official grievance with the school district claiming administrators did not do the proper classroom observations spelled out in teachers’ contracts. The master agreement states that nontenured teachers should be observed twice each semester for at least 20 minutes as part of two yearly evaluations.

“The central allegation has to do with the fact that the administration really made up its mind ahead of time on this, didn’t bother to follow the proper procedures,” Stegall said. “If they would have done that, certainly I think that their biases and prejudices would have been disabused.”

The grievance filed is based solely on procedure, and district officials say they will not address allegations beyond that.

“It has nothing to do with his political beliefs,” Superintendent Randy Weseman said.

Latham and his supporters, including some of his former students and the Kansas 9:12 Project, a group in which Latham is also a member, say his political views are the reason his contract was not renewed.

“He’s being told ... you’re not conforming to our culture. You’re not fitting in,” Stegall said.

Latham was recommended for nonrenewal on April 27. He was pulled from the final list the school board approved on June 8, pending Monday’s hearing. Weseman said he would render a written decision in a few days.

“If everything was done correctly, that means one thing,” Weseman said. “If I think there’s some loose ends, I’m going to do what’s right. This is a process that protects him and makes sure he’s treated fairly.”

Latham can appeal Weseman’s decision to the Lawrence school board, which would then have a hearing, and its decision would be the final one from the district.

To appeal a school board ruling, Latham would have to sue the district.

Because Latham is not a tenured teacher, the district does not have to release why his contract was not renewed. But Weseman said he was taking extra care in the situation.

“I’m going the extra mile to make sure I’ve reviewed everything,” he said.

The Lawrence Journal-World and 6News investigated the matter this spring. “It was determined then that the issue was a personnel matter for the district, one that didn’t rise to the list of a true concern for our community,” managing editor Dennis Anderson said Monday.

Comments

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 9 months ago

Are there any records of students complaining about being taught history with an agenda in mind? Or is that permitted?

case_the_wonder_dog 5 years, 9 months ago

Good Morning, Journal-World. Glad you could join us. Mr. Managing Editor, thank you for making a determination of what's of "true concern for our community." Oddly, Topeka and national media felt it was of interest to their communities...last week. Power to the people, Journal-World. You don't control the media everywhere. In case you are struggling to find the words for what just happened, Mr. Managing Editor, this is called "civic engagement." Mr. Latham's former students can tell you how it works.

KU_cynic 5 years, 9 months ago

"The Lawrence Journal-World and 6News investigated the matter this spring. “It was determined then that the issue was a personnel matter for the district, one that didn’t rise to the list of a true concern for our community,” managing editor Dennis Anderson said Monday."

What a cop-out by the LJW. So, either the Journal-World made a mistake this spring, or something material has happened to render this newsworthy. What material event has happened? I ask, other than that the national media (Fox News, and counting) has deemed this of "true concern"?

Given the premise of Mr. Latham's claim -- that he was not rehired because of his political views -- I, as a member of the community, believe this to be a true concern of grave importance, as surely do many others.

Could Dennis Anderson and the rest of the LJW editorial staff so be so blind as to not see that?

bearded_gnome 5 years, 9 months ago

great posts KU-cynic and Case.

now, those who flamed me for merely daring to post my blog regarding Mr. Latham's firing, on June 9, you care to aim your angry hate at LJWorld itself?

that blog has well over 150-posts now. all of the information above except Mr. Weseman's comments and LJWorld's managing editor's cop-out appeared first in that blog, along with much more.

I do give kudos to LJWorld and 6news for covering this now. now, it is of concern to our community? it always was.

I am pleased with Mr. Weseman's comments, and I hope that if there were political motivations against retaining Mr. Latham, that they didn't reach to Randy Weseman. As far as I know, Weseman has been an excellent Superintendant for our district.

also, Caleb Stegall rocks.

beatrice 5 years, 9 months ago

bearded: "What I'm going to write here is based on sketchy information. ... I first learned of this just this evening. I've not been able to get more information on the situation and I hope others with closer knowledge will add theirs here."

LJWorld is printing what they know about a case, while you, bearded, were posting things you admitted yourself you didn't know much about. I know that my opposition to your blog had absolutely nothing to do with "angry hate," as you claim. I just found your stating hearsay as facts ridiculous and bias -- kind of like listening to reports coming from FauxNews. Apparently, you've learned your lessons well on how to slant a story.

Again, read what you originally wrote, then read what is written on this story. Can't you see the difference?

By the way, if he did get fired just for being conservative, then he clearly deserves to be rehired and compensated for his troubles, and the person who fired him should be let go.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 9 months ago

The attorney representing Mr. Latham better get a subpeona ready for the intra-district e-mail cache. There's enough political bias there to blow the district out of the water.

Ralph Reed 5 years, 9 months ago

From the Article: "Latham and his supporters, including some of his former students and the Kansas 9:12 Project, a group in which Latham is also a member, say his political views are the reason his contract was not renewed."


It's interesting, but the article doesn't go into what the 9:12 project is. As near as I can tell, it was started by Glenn Beck, http://the912project.com/, whose stated goal with the organization is to turn the clock back to 12 Sep 2001. Unfortunately this is a man I don't really trust because of his agenda. In my opinion, he is an upscale Rush Limbaugh and slightly less nauseating than Bill O'Reilly. No ad hominem attacks, I'm talking about what they say and how they say it. Now, if Latham and some of his students are members of 9:12, then in my opinion they subscribe to to the principles on the 9:12 website. All of these principles make up a pretty solid agenda. One which is somewhat abhorant (sp?) to me. (We can discuss them individually later if anyone wishes to.) Given that agenda, I find it difficult to believe, though I can't prove it as it's just a gut feeling, that Latham's actions culminating in his non-renewal are not part of an agenda on his part or perhaps the the 9:12 people. No conspiracy theory, it just makes the hairs on the back of my neck rise. I'm interested in seeing how this plays out, because then every teacher whose contract was or is not renewed will (should) have the opportunity for a hearing. This violates the contract in and of itself.


Again, his contract was not renewed. He was not fired. There is a big difference. Get your terminology correct.


Regarding facts. So far as I can tell, everything that has been said is one-sided and is in my opinion hearsay, regardless of the fact that Fox News treated everything like fact.


I do have a couple of questions. The articles indicate Latham has 18 years experience teaching in other places. I am interested in where he taught, for how long in each location and why he left. Further, why did he come the Lawrence, fully knowing that USD 497 has the lowest pay scale in the state; this in spite of his probably being offered mre because of his experience.


I'm me. Who are you behind your hood of anonymity?

Ralph Reed 5 years, 9 months ago

Tom.

Re: Your call for the ALCU. Which of Latham's civil (read constitutional) rights were violated? Further, if the ACLU took the case, assuming there will be one, then would that violate one of the basic tenets of the 9:12 organization? "I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results."

  • Ralph

conservative 5 years, 9 months ago

Not sure where the line should be between not expressing your personal beliefs and fostering an environment where free discussion is encouraged. I know during the powerpoint presentation at my kids school one of the teachers there was saying goodbye to the departing 6th graders while holding an obama poster and shouting "And Remember, Go Obama!" Apparently that is acceptable however.

elimenopee 5 years, 9 months ago

Reed Said: "Now, if Latham and some of his students are members of 9:12, then in my opinion they subscribe to to the principles on the 9:12 website. All of these principles make up a pretty solid agenda. One which is somewhat abhorant (sp?) to me."

Are you kidding me? You mean a HISTORY & GOVERNMENT teacher believing in the Constitution and the words of the founding fathers is "abhorrent"? What should he believe? Kansas912.com clearly states "Our mission is to hold government accountable to "We the People" under the U.S. Constitution." I would hope that is something we can all agree on.

Here is an article that I wrote which explains the story better: http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-13316-Kansas-City-Conservative-Examiner~y2009m6d10-Conservative-teacher-doesnt-fit-it--Fired

Go here to sign the petiton: http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-13316-Kansas-City-Conservative-Examiner~y2009m6d10-Sign-the-petition-to-help-save-Tim-Lathams-job

Also note that I did try to get intouch with the school administration, school board, and his KNEA rep. All have declined to comment. I suppose that does make it one sided, but they did and still do have the opportunity to speak.

Reed, as a self proclaimed union steward, where is your outrage for a fellow union brother who PAYS DUES in a RIGHT-TO-WORK-STATE? Does only seniority matter to you...Yeah, that's what I thought. Just like all union workers.

roggy 5 years, 9 months ago

My kids attended LHS and there was plenty of bias. I certainly hope he was let go for other reasons because about 99% of the teachers are Democrats and share their views openly. Honestly, in a perfect world there could be very good dialogue with the teacher leading the way but that seldom happens.

password 5 years, 9 months ago

RalphReed: Further, why did he come the Lawrence, fully knowing that USD 497 has the lowest pay scale in the state.

How do you know this? are you sure it's the lowest? isn't it why they can't keep schools open in rural kansas areas because they can't get teachers due to the low pay. i would say that teaching in lawrence is alot more 'cush' than you think.

Ralph Reed 5 years, 9 months ago

Let's see, I don't know who you are, even though you did send me a PM and I did reply. If I remember, one of the things I said was that I won't second guess a contract from another union that I've never read. You're still anonymous, so that makes me look twice at your comments; I do that with everyone posting anonymously. You know very little about me, yet you engage in an ad hominem attack right out of the box. Very well done.


The school board won't respond to you other than to say it's a personnel matter. You are not not Latham's legal representative and hence have no standing in that respect. They owe you no other reply. It's a matter of privacy. This is the same response your parents might get if they were to ask your university/college about your grades, your bank about your balance, and so on. It's a legal issue.


I said the agenda, that means the entire thing, is somewhat abhorent. I also said we could discuss the individual points later. Again, another ad hominem attack and generalization.

The sentences ("quotes") seem to have been taken out of context when Glenn Beck applied them to his points. An example is the quote about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Given the historical context, this meant free white men who paid taxes; no indians, no blacks; no women. The actual quote from the Declaraion of Independence is, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Glenn Beck's 6th point is, "I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results."

I see a big difference there. The Declaration says All men are created equal. Glenn Beck's sixth point denies that equality. Further, Glenn Beck's quote comes from Jefferson's "Thoughts on Lotteries" in which Jefferson was referring to farmers being gamblers in their choice of vocation.

So yes, the 9:12 written agenda is abhorent to me because it appears to be based on quotes taken out of context. Please look at things a little more closely before you engage in ad hominem attacks.


I'm me. Who are you behind your hood of anonymity?

Ralph Reed 5 years, 9 months ago

Password. I miswrote in the heat of the moment. I apologize. I meant to say that Kansas has one of the lowest teacher salary scales in the country. Sorry for the confusion - I try not to do that. However, USD 497 does not pay well compared with other districts, even Desoto for that matter, and especially Blue Ridge.


Tom. Any comment on my question about your call for the ACLU?


I'm me. Who are you behind your hood of anonymity?

elimenopee 5 years, 9 months ago

Oh my darling Reed,

You can go to my article and not only see my full name, but my picture as well. No anonymity here.

Reed said: "Glenn Beck's 6th point is, “I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.”

I see a big difference there. The Declaration says All men are created equal. Glenn Beck's sixth point denies that equality."

You see, Beck is stating that everyone is guaranteed the option to pursue whatever makes them happy, but in that pursuit, there is risk. Just because you try a business that is your passion, there is no guarantee you will be successful, but you are guaranteed the right to try. I don't see how that makes people unequal, but what I will say, is that since you belong to a union, I will assume you think like most union members. My husband works for one of the biggest companies in the world and deals with grievances every day along with arbitrations and contract negotiations. What he sees is the union believes all union members are to be treated equally, except when it comes to seniority. Doesn't matter if someone is better at a job, if someone with higher seniority wants it, they get it. Skill and individual effort play no part. Everyone gets the same pay. The guy who takes an hour to do a job and a guy who can do a better job in 15 minutes. Perhaps that is why you seem to think all men should have equal results. The 9-12ers believe all men should be able to pursue their dreams, but outcomes will differ based on effort and passion.

Shardwurm 5 years, 9 months ago

"I'm me. Who are you behind your hood of anonymity?"

I'm me. You're a fool.

Gareth Skarka 5 years, 9 months ago

Well, gosh, Shewmon -- Did you call the ACLU? Has anyone involved in the case called them? That's usually the first step for them to get involved...

I won't hold my breath for either you, or any of the 9:12 "We Surround Them" teabagging nutjobs to ask for the ACLU's help on this -- of course, you'll still complain that they're "nowhere to be found", naturally.

feeble 5 years, 9 months ago

Saw the examiner site was already linked, here's the fb page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=199597085332

and his 912 profile: http://kansas912.ning.com/profile/TimLatham

Perhaps it's all just a big misunderstanding? I'm sure the school administrators really didn't understand when they found out Tim was a tea bagger.

feeble 5 years, 9 months ago

Thinking about this more, it will really surprise me if Mr. Latham is a KNEA member, as I though most of the folks who join up with organizations like the 912 are categorically anti-union.

and Tom, you can find our local ACLU affiliate here: http://www.aclukswmo.org/

pace 5 years, 9 months ago

My guess is he didn't abide by his contract. I would expect a teaching contract should hold a standard of conduct and level of instruction. My other guess is we should ask for his definition of a conservative. I find it hard to believe our school board is hard leftist, I have heard them and watched them in action. When a person introduces him/her self as a good Christian, a selfless saint, or says trust me. I give them a benefit of the doubt and also make sure my purse is secure. A good Christian won't mind and a wolf in sheep's clothing is foiled.

elimenopee 5 years, 9 months ago

Pace said: "My guess is he didn't abide by his contract. I would expect a teaching contract should hold a standard of conduct and level of instruction."

The thing here is that the administration did not abide by their contract. They were supposed to give him 4 in-class evaluations, and they gave him none. How would they even know his standard of conduct if they didn't bother to go in and see him teach? Hearsay?

Please note that the school board didn't renew him based on recommendations from the administration. It wasn't the school board who is being flagged as intolerant. I actually applaud them for looking into the situation. The problem is mostly with the Vice Principal (Jan Gentry) who seemed to always be coming down on Latham because of his personal views. If I were the parent of an LHS student, I would be more upset that they kept her in 2006 when she was arrested for a DUI. Perhaps tolerance only swings one way?

BigPrune 5 years, 9 months ago

When I attended school in Lawrence, the teachers were all left leaning, some more than others. Of course as a student you couldn't state what you believed in fear of getting a bad grade, but the positive was the students became predominately conservative, rebels with a cause.

Hopefully the leftists attempt at brainwashing our youth will back fire and the students will vote based on logic and good common sense.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 9 months ago

I do not think it is nessasary to attack other posters in this dicussion. The real point is that the school district is not commenting. My experience has shown me that if someone isn't commenting there is something to hide. Why would Mr. Latham expose himself to scrutiny if he were guilty of these accusations. Being a registered republican is not a crime. Yes the Jan Gentry cited is the same Jan Gentry arrested for DUI 3 years ago. USD 497 policy states any infraction of the law is grounds for dismissal. She was allowed to remain anyway. Others in the same situation have been terminated before and after her infraction. That was also a personal matter for the district. I have witnessed both poilcy violations and state regulations being violated by USD 497. The only way to stop it is to challenge them which is exactly what Mr. Latham is doing.

Satirical 5 years, 9 months ago

I am sure no liberal ever voiced an opinion when the Bush administration allegedly fired 7 U.S. attorneys for political reasons.

Because it would be extremely hypocritical to claim one is wrong and the other is justified. But since I have never met a liberal who changes their opinion based on who is affected, I am sure they would never be hypocritical : )

Cody Ochs 5 years, 9 months ago

That the school board will not comment is a legal matter, and is meant to protect all parties involved. This has been pointed out already, so please stop trying to use it to make them appear guilty of something. Presumption of innocence (please read a copy of the Constitution) should go both ways. BTW - If you all want the teachers to be anti-union and conservative, one way to do it is to vote to pay them more money and make them rich. That'll show 'em. Conservatives are far from a persecuted minority in this country, and it is ridiculous that you all act as such. Please learn to share and play nicely with others.

Sharon Aikins 5 years, 9 months ago

As a middle of the roader, I will just say that you people can throw names and accusations back and forth at each other all day and it is a waste of breath because none of you are going to think outside your own boxes.

I do no know Mr. Latham nor any of the other teachers in our school district. All I have to say as a parent that when my children were in school, it was not the responsibility of any teacher to form the political leanings of my children. Nor was it even mine. I trusted them as adults to make up their own minds about how they felt on issues. I would have a strong gripe with any teacher whom I felt was pushing their own political beliefs on them.

As a student, I was never able to tell the political leanings of any of my teachers. They taught us history and civics (government). They did not teach issues and when one of the largest elections in history at that time occurred, they did not express their own political beliefs. Kennedy was elected. I was in 8th grade at the time and the one thing I remember most was that the kids, not having developed a full set of moral values or issues yet, parroted the teachings of their parents, not the teachers.

This is a country of choice. What scares me most is the divisiveness that is occurring. No one wants to sit up straight but lean to the left or right. If our party loses, we harp for 4-8 years or until our party comes back into office and then we crow. Our party is always right, no pun intended, and the other is always wrong. Some here speak with wisdom, others just point fingers and yell. Does anyone really listen to what anyone else has to say or are we all so closed minded that we let our politcal leanings guide all principles of our lives? And why do I keep wasting my breath? No one listens and no one is going to. They're all to busy talking at each other, not with.

Satirical 5 years, 9 months ago

Made_in_China…

I totally agree. I mean, who do people think they are voicing their opinion on what happens in their community? The gall of some people is unbelievable thinking we live in a society that appreciates public dialogue! The only people’s opinion that matter are on the school board.

Since the school district isn’t required to rehire anyone, I don’t think it is a problem that they fire people because they don’t fit in with our culture, and don’t subscribe to our ideology. I mean, it is okay to discriminate against people because they are different, or don’t think like we do. In fact, how dare someone give our children a diversity of viewpoints! Who does this guy think he is?

This guy is just stirring up trouble, just like those teachers who tried to tell us that people should not be discriminated against because of the color of their skin. Even if the public disagrees with the decision not to re-hire those people, it doesn’t really matter, since they aren’t on the school board, right? And they don’t have to state a reason, right? Pretty soon the only people who educate our children will be the same narrow-minded people who think exactly the way we do. That is a proper education.

Also, I totally agree that only people who reveal their identities are capable of forming a rational thought, and their opinions are the only ones that matter. We enlightened ones deserve the right to attack people personally so we can avoid responding to their arguments.

I also completely agree the libel and slander on this post is ridiculous. I am not actually going to re-post anything they say because, while the school board is innocent until proven guilty, you and I don’t need any actual evidence to make a claim, right?

Jeff Barclay 5 years, 9 months ago

LJW's overall editorial agendas which is "anti-things moral and right" is why I will never pay to subscribe to the newspaper... Be assured if Mr. Latham's views were left of center- this story would have become front page and eventually been developed into its own special insert. Take a look at the record- ask his students- you will discover that if indeed Mr. Latham taught with an agenda it was simply to not allow his class to become a pawn for the left. But he always allowed students to make their own conclusions concerning the rhetoric of government and history.

Satirical 5 years, 9 months ago

Autie.... "There is no case here."

So you are a lawyer? In fact it seems you are a judge and jury as well, since you have already decided he has no case. That is impressive to omnipotently know all the facts and all the law. I am sure your lack of a defense for this guy isn't because he was a conservative...

From the article: According to his attorney, Caleb Stegall, Latham has filed an official grievance with the school district claiming administrators did not do the proper classroom observations spelled out in teachers’ contracts. The master agreement states that nontenured teachers should be observed twice each semester for at least 20 minutes as part of two yearly evaluations.

“The central allegation has to do with the fact that the administration really made up its mind ahead of time on this, didn’t bother to follow the proper procedures,” Stegall said. “If they would have done that, certainly I think that their biases and prejudices would have been disabused.”

Ralph Reed 5 years, 9 months ago

elimenopee (Anonymous) says… "Oh my darling Reed, You can go to my article and not only see my full name, but my picture as well. No anonymity here."


I beg to differ, but here, you are anonymous, and I will treat you as such until you identify yourself here.

Take a look at Mr_Nancy_Boy_To_You (Tom Shewmon). I think we might agree that the sky is blue (most of the time). However, he's not anonymous and I don't treat him as such.


Oh yes, sarcasm is simply another form of personal attack. Again, well done. (http://www.philosophypages.com/lg/e06a.htm)


I stand by my analysis of Beck's sixth point. He supports it with a quote taken completely out of context. So, in my opinion it's fatally flawed.


Tom, If ACLU support is requested and they arrive then well and good. However, I don't think they will step in unless someone contacts them.

Also, read my posts on BG's blog about Latham. I said that if Latham were in fact non-renewed because of his political beliefs, then I would fight that, just as hard as others are fighting it now. However, remember that if Latham is on probation, his contract can be non-renewed "just because."


Excellent post at 0659 Paul.


I'm me. Who are you behind your hood of anonymity?

Eric Neuteboom 5 years, 9 months ago

Paul Getto -

Slow clap. That was perfectly said.

oohmgrover 5 years, 9 months ago

Yes Autie, but the district is still obligated to follow through on their contractual duty to observe him in the classroom for a set amount of time and they apparently did not. That is all clearly in the article. The district cannot move on if the administration at LHS indeed did not fulfill their contractual obligation.

sci4all 5 years, 9 months ago

To the best of my knowledge, teachers can be non-renewed for any reason during their first couple of years of teaching in a district. Only after those two years does the teacher have a right to due process.

Eric Neuteboom 5 years, 9 months ago

Autie nailed it.

The only reason this has gained any traction is because of the sensational feel to this case. This is a lot more vanilla than we'd like to think. But because a few posters get to trot our the well-worn and tired "liberals vs. conservatives" debate, it lives on. Color me exhausted with these debates. Whether it's Latham, or Tiller, or whomever the topic de jour is, it only breeds intolerance, narrow-mindedness and outright hate.

salad 5 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

kugrad 5 years, 9 months ago

It is probable that this guy has no case. Cuts are being made at the Jr. and High School levels because of declining enrollment in that age group combined with budget woes. Contrary to popular belief, these are not done on a 'last-hired, first-fired' basis. Any teacher who has not completed three years with the district, been offered a fourth contract, and worked the first day of that contract is subject to dismissal if a job is not available. This person is arguing that "proper procedures" were not followed, but there are not a lot of procedures in place. First, the school board decides how many positions will be cut. Then the personnel director reviews the numbers to see who could potentially be cut. Ultimately, they rely on evaluations from the principals to determine who to cut - not years of experience in another district (which has NOTHING to do with this case). In the end, the district may have two perfectly fine teachers and have to release one of them, even though they want to keep them both. I seriously doubt this guy has a case. He is grasping at straws. Remember that the number one reason people are fired in the workplace is their failure to get along with others. The most likely scenario is that he is a fine teacher the district doesn't want to let go but has to. The second most likely is that, if they kept him, they would have to release an even better teacher. Being fired for your political beliefs is WAY down the list of possibilities. If you knew some of the people involved personally, such as principals, personnel staff and so on, you would realize how unlikely a political firing is in Lawrence. The assumption that the district is crawling with raging liberals just waiting for their chance is laughable if you actually know the people involved. It also is insulting to their professionalism. I predict this guy will remain unemployed and that there is no merit to this case.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 9 months ago

Bea, I've answered this from you on that blog: I clearly wrote that my information was sketchy do I have to put up the definition of sketchy. I was honestly communicating what was known and what was not. also besides "apparently" I used words like "indication" and "possibly."

anyone reading my "fired for being conservative?" blog with an open mind would see clearly that I was being honest about what I presented.

you, on the other hand, once again misrepresent what I actually said, stir in some ranting against Fox News (your own Fox ranting, as I noted on that blog) and a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.


those speculating he wasn't a good teacher, or finances, the evidence disputes that. much evidence has come out including that the district is advertising Latham's position; and they can't have been firing him for being a poor teacher since they didn't do the required observations of his teaching.


Latham and his supporters, including some of his former students and the Kansas 9:12 Project, a group in which Latham is also a member, say his political views are the reason his contract was not renewed.

this ljworld article does fail in adding this little bit, what does his membership in kansas9-12ers have to do with this?

if he were liberal and a member of Dailykos (truly despicable) would that be thrown in there? doubt it.

LJWorld was finally forced to cover this story. did their ignoring it in the spring have more to do with liberal bias among the editors?

staff04 5 years, 9 months ago

While I think the classroom is no place for personal politics, I hope Latham is not being let go because of it.

I don't know how the appeals proceedings work, but I hope the information from them is made public.

On a side note, I looked at the facebook page someone posted above. Several people made reference to conservatives as the "silent majority."

First, where on earth did conservatives get the idea that they were any kind of majority? That is some interesting math.

Second...silent? You have to be freaking kidding me. Loud minority.

salad 5 years, 9 months ago

"First, where on earth did conservatives get the idea that they were any kind of majority? That is some interesting math.

Second…silent? You have to be freaking kidding me. Loud minority."

That's because they enjoy being the majority in control of everything, but at the same time, playing the victim and the persecuted. Go figure. WOW!!! (that's for you Tommy-boy)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

I see nothing wrong with high school teachers being open about their political positions/beliefs, as long as their primary focus remains on teaching the subject matter, and respecting the students' rights to develop their own positions and beliefs. But if a teacher's primary motivation is to indoctrinate students to his/her way of thinking, they don't belong in a classroom.

If the this guy is a disciple of Glen Beck, as it would appear he is, then his purpose for being a teacher is almost certainly to indoctrinate, not teach, and the non-renewal was entirely appropriate.

beatrice 5 years, 9 months ago

You are correct, bearded, you clearly wrote that you didn't know what you were talking about when you wrote your piece "Fired for being conservative?"-- yet you continued to write, and then jump to some pretty serious conclusions. (That is where the dishonesty part comes in, by the way.) That was, and still remains, my point.

You wrote a blog accussing people of mistreating someone when you didn't have your facts and you didn't know what you were talking about. You stirred up a big fat pot of rumors, then acted -- and continue to act -- as if they are facts.

Finally, as others have already noted, he wasn't fired. His contract wasn't renewed. Big difference.

Ralph Reed 5 years, 9 months ago

wicklowway4 (Anonymous) writes at 0835… "Ralph Reed is dishonest and/or ignorant:"


Ah, another ad hominem attack. Well done wicklowway4. Let me be the first to welcome you to the LJW forums, that being your first post and all.


Go back and read what I wrote, without taking anything out of context. You might also read what I wrote on BG's blog about this same subject.

Then come back and discuss or debate what I said. Unless, of course, it's beneath you to do that.


I'm me. Who are you behind your hood of anonymity?

salad 5 years, 9 months ago

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Amy Heeter 5 years, 9 months ago

Should,could,may, all are legal loopholes designed to create divisiveness. The school board does not write policy; they approve policy. Because of the unwillingness of the district to comment it is difficult for the journal world to report on this particular story in an unbiased manner. True journalism entails showing both sides of the issue in order to provide a clear picture of the situation. When one side of the issue isn't being forthright it is impossible to report in a fair and equal manner. I agree with BG that the posting of Mr. Latham's position shows his dismissal could not have been due to financial cuts. Add to this the fact that the district did not perform evaluations and we are looking as a can of worms that is busting at the seams. If we then take into account both student and parent reports that Mr. Latham has been not only a good teacher, but an excellent one and we also consider reports of conversations between Mr. Latham with certain school personel the shadow of doubt becomes a total eclipse. The sticky situation here is that for employment purposes Kansas is an "at will" state; meaning an employer can discontinue employment for any reason with only a few exceptions. If in truth Mr. Latham can show reasonable doubt that he was dismissed due to an act of prejudice based on bias he has a case.

Phil Minkin 5 years, 9 months ago

Mr_Nancy_Boy_To_You (Tom Shewmon) says…

Ralph, if this materializes, I call that the ACLU will be nowhere to be found, could be wrong though. The notion the ACLU protects ALL interests? Bullsh*t.

FYI: As was previously stated, the ACLU only takes cases when there is a request from the accused and there are specific violations of the Bill of Rights. They have defended Nazis, KKK, Rush Limbaugh, Oliver North and Fred Phelps so you can see they are not the liberal bastsion you imply.

salad 5 years, 9 months ago

"salad dazed and confused?"

Nope, and I read the story, which is conjecture at this point. Did YOU read the story? It has nothing to do with the fact that conservatives don't want these jobs. Maybe it's cause you'd have to care about others, or because the pay stinks, or who knows what reason. It's just a fact that conservatives don't want these jobs, they just want others to do them, and then get PO'd when those people turn out to have liberal leanings.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

"Good name, bozo."

The name is "just another bozo on this bus," my fellow bozo.

"Mr. Latham started teaching 18 years ago, so it's illogical to say that he got into teaching in order to indoctrinate students with Beck's doctrines."

I said nothing about his motivations 18 years ago.

"One of his students, a self-described liberal, was on Fox News yesterday and said that Mr. Latham does not try to impose his views on his students, "

Well, there you have it. One student on Fox News, self-professing to be "liberal," is all I need to know.

" which is quite different from the liberal teachers my kids have had. They're trying to force liberal viewpoints onto students each time they pass out a new issue of “Time for Kids.”"

Your sophomoric posts on this thread show that you have no clue about the difference between indoctrination and open discussion. You probably even believe the "fair and balanced" crap you hear from Beck and O'Reilly.

salad 5 years, 9 months ago

Mr_Nancy_Boy_To_You (Tom Shewmon) says…

"Salad, you lefties have a monopoly on the “victimized and persecuted” routine. Don't include me in your miserable world. The left screams from every mountain top to ram their agendas through, been that way since I was in little league baseball. Tiresome."

You are indeed tiresome...and wrong. You, in particular Tom, LOVE to play the whiny victim and persecutor all at the same time! WOW!!! I wonder when your head will explode from the conflicted logic? WOW!!! I think you love for the world to be miserable. WOW!!!

This_just_in 5 years, 9 months ago

On the 912 site there is a note from a 912 member who is just shocked, shocked, mind you….that USD 497 won't let her personally monitor all classroom instructors to do her own set of ideological screening.

staff04 5 years, 9 months ago

Crap. Kevin's back.

Anyone want to buy spots in the pool to see how long he lasts this time? $1 per hour, winner takes most, losers on either side of the winning hour get their dollar back.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

Gee, wicklowway4, how can I ever thank you? My whole life has been nothing but ignorant delusion up to now, and after just a few of your insightful posts, I've seen the error of my ways. From now on, I'll listen to nothing but Glen Beck, Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh, and drink from the bounty of life that is only available to a true American conservative.

salad 5 years, 9 months ago

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Christine Anderson 5 years, 9 months ago

Oh come on some of you, stop picking on Mr. Reed. He's not dishonest, just a nice guy who happens to have been misled into being a liberal! (ha,ha,ha) His comments in disfavor of the 9-12 project could have come from lack of sleep, jetlag, or....just being a tiny bit older. I refuse to come out from under my cloak of anonymity. My "cloak" is a wedge of cheddar-now please the cheese! by apologizing to all the conservaturds on this board, including myself. (hee,hee,hee, wink)

KansasVoter 5 years, 9 months ago

If Tim Latham is one of the kooks in the "Kansas 9/12 Project" then he has no business teaching the young people in our community.

Christine Anderson 5 years, 9 months ago

I must also add I personally object to calling anyone a "conservatard". I have a mentally disabled son. I would much rather be known as a "conservaturd". I can handle being called a turd or a variation thereof. I just can't abide picking on someone's reduced mental capacity, when they can't help it. Oh, a few more things. I'm not your typical "conservaturd". I'm strictly non-violent pro-life, politically conservative, but I also support gay rights and gay marriage. It stands to reason, therefore, that I abhore Rush Limbaugh. My ex-husband forced me (and the now ex second wife) to listen to him for three hours every day!!

KLATTU 5 years, 9 months ago

The funniest part of this whole thing is that if our government really worked like Glenn Beck wants it to the teacher would still lose his job because there would be no funding for public education.

dandelion 5 years, 9 months ago

"LJWorld was finally forced to cover this story. did their ignoring it in the spring have more to do with liberal bias among the editors?"

You obviously know nothing about the owners of the Lawrence Journal World. They are not, and have never been liberal, even though they serve a city that is mostly liberal. Their political endorsements have been Republican most of the time, and the Saturday column is often a rant against liberals. Do you even live in Lawrence?

kmat 5 years, 9 months ago

wicklowway4 - you should be ashamed of some of your posts.

You said: "Would a straight man start a sentence with “Color me…”?" to Coach Eric. You want to start gay bashing on here? What is the topic at hand and why do you feel you must make a comment like that, which has nothing to do with the subject. It only makes you look like a total hater. If you want to be listened to, don't make stupid attacks like that.

You also said: "Currently, teaching colleges essentially scrape the bottom of the barrel for their students."

You have no idea of what you speak about. Do you realize the KU only allows 150 students per into the education program? You not only must take and pass the PTET tests to be elligible to apply to the Education school, you must bust your ass to get in. The School of Ed is a competitive school. And, you don't just take four years of classes and get a degree. You have the regular four year course work, then you must take a multidisplinary minor (60 credit hours) and one other education specific minor.

When I was finished at KU with my teaching degree, I had enough hours that I could have almost had a masters degree.

And most teachers do it for the love of teaching. I did for a while and finally decided that I liked to be able to afford food. I loved the kids I worked with, but most of the parents were worthless and needed to take a flying leap. The parents were usually the problem and have driven many a good teacher away from their jobs.

Thank you for being so rude and ignorant as to trash all the wonderful teachers we have in this country. My grandmother, sister-in-law and myself all thank you for your wonderful support and hope you home school your kids since all us teachers suck and are the scrapings from the bottom of the barrel.

You should appologize to Coach Eric and all teachers and all students that are working on getting their education degrees.

Ralph Reed 5 years, 9 months ago

wicklowway4 (Anonymous) wrote at 1024… "...they and their ideological cousins—socialists, communists, and fascists..."


Are you sure socialists and facists are ideological cousins? Seems to me they're opposite ends of the spectrum. That is, of course, unless you're naming them cousins because they are both forms of government. Now, taking that bit to the extreme would then make democracy, socialism and facism all ideological cousins.


Just a note wicklowway4. One poster actually stated that "Kevin" is back. I'm not sure about whom he/she is speaking, but a "Kevin" I remember used argumentum ad hominem as his favorite form of attack (not debate). He also disliked arguing fact and often quoted from publications supporting only his extreme views.

I don't think you're the Kevin" I remember as I've only seen argumentum ad hominem. Most of it directed at me but that's OK. I haven't yet seen quotes from publications supporting only your extremist views. But... there's still time as you just created your userid today.


I'm me. Who are you behind your hood of anonymity?

dandelion 5 years, 9 months ago

Some of the "9/12" posters here seem almost cult like. That's scary. Is Beck the new messiah?

astroterf 5 years, 9 months ago

If a legal defense fund has been established for former Lawrence HS teacher Tim Latham, perhaps you could inform your readers. Thanks

dandelion 5 years, 9 months ago

astroterf (Anonymous) says… If a legal defense fund has been established for former Lawrence HS teacher Tim Latham, perhaps you could inform your readers. Thanks

Does this mean he isn't a member of NEA? They usually provide lawyers for members.

Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty. Everyone is certain the school is at fault. But this has not been proven. Has any of you seen his evaluations? Does anyone really know why his contract was not renewed? I have friends and a sister who are teachers, and they say the district aren't allowed to comment on personnel things. My friend teaches in Olathe, and he said during his first 3 years he didn't mention anything about being a Democrat, although he had to listen to all kinds of nasty jokes about Bill Clinton and his family. He just kept his mouth shut, until his 3 years were over. This year he openly confronted coworkers over racist jokes about Obama. He doesn't bring politics into the classroom (he teaches math, so it's easier than in a civics class), but he did put an Obama bumper sticker on his car this year. He is an excellent teacher, and although some of his more radical coworkers don't like him, because of his politics, there is no way they can accuse him of not doing his job. The administration and most of his coworkers respect him for his talent at teaching algebra and trig to teenagers. They aren't bothered by his political leanings.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

"You should read Ayn Rand's essay entitled “Extremism: The Art of the Smear.”"

Jeez, Kevin, you never make a single post without some sort of smear. Why do you think you get banned so regularly?

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

staff04 (Anonymous) says…

Crap. Kevin's back.

Anyone want to buy spots in the pool to see how long he lasts this time? $1 per hour, winner takes most, losers on either side of the winning hour get their dollar back. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I'll take the 6/17/09 slot at 2pm.

kmat 5 years, 9 months ago

wicklowway4 - man, I now think even less of you since you get your info from Sowell.

You believe what Marxists tell you, huh? Do you like this guy because he influences people like Limbaugh?

I have so much I want to type, but a Sowell worshipper isn't worth the effort. Go back to reading his crap instead and learning to hate others.

dandelion 5 years, 9 months ago

"Where are the students and parents who claim Mr. Latham was attempting to force his political views on students?" They are probably afraid to come out. These 9/12 people would probably harass them. I would question why he didn't show the inauguration to his class. If he teaches civics, then this is an important moment, whether it's Bush or Obama. If he's teaching history, why wouldn't this have been a major historical moment, whether you agree with Obama, or not? If he wants his students to be good patriots and involved, that should include important rituals, like this. I know when I saw Reagan getting sworn in as a kid, in school, I was fascinated by our country and our government. It left quite an impression on me, and I don't even remember what his speech was about. It just seems strange he would leave out something so important, and so American when his website states he wants students to be excited about our history. That's just one thing he would have done wrong as a SS teacher, but maybe there are other examples. I haven't seen his evaluations, and unless he has shown you his, neither have any of you.

salad 5 years, 9 months ago

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dandelion 5 years, 9 months ago

Any of this teacher's supporters know why he didn't have his class watch the inauguration? I can believe a math teacher not doing it, but a civics teacher who seems so excited about the american government? Was it his politics? Should that have stopped him from showing the inauguration? His supporters are using this as a reason for his dismissal, but to me it's an example of questionable teaching.

salad 5 years, 9 months ago

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salad 5 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

dandelion 5 years, 9 months ago

Since I don't go to these sites, Daily Kos/MoveOn , could you post what is being said about this story?

Given the rancor represented by people on this thread, I would certainly be worried about coming out against this teacher, especially if I was a teenager. If he didn't get evaluated, then I could see the problem, but how do you know that he received good evaluations? Have you seen them? He should have a copy probably. Have you seen his evaluations from the other schools where he taught? How do you know he wasn't asked to resign there? All we've gotten so far is what he and his supporters tell us. There was a really popular teacher when I was going to school, but he was popular, because he was an easy A. All you had to do was show up. Didn't learn much, but us kids loved him. Of course, then he had a little love affair with one of the seniors on girl's basketball team. Student popularity isn't always a good indication of a good teacher.

salad 5 years, 9 months ago

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salad 5 years, 9 months ago

I have also, once again, succeeded in hijacking your thread, opps, sorry "debate"....ha, ha!

MasseyTom 5 years, 9 months ago

Typical: LOONEY LIBERALS are not interested in DIVERSITY. LOONEY LIBERALS are not tolerant.

Conservatives are much more tolerant, and willing to discuss issues.

LOONEY LIBERALS can't tolerate dialogue, because things like capitalism are un avoidable facts of life. But socialist ideas, like "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" are lies. Socialism/Communism always fails, because it is based on lies.

dandelion 5 years, 9 months ago

I'm trying to point out that you only know the teacher's side of the story. Everyone else isn't allowed to comment on his teaching record, or he could sue them for privacy violations. Maybe he was told to show the inauguration. Maybe it was part of the school's curriculum. You know teachers no longer have that much control over what they teach, just how they teach it. Maybe he was a really lousy teacher, but he was only popular with the kids, because they didn't have to read a lot. Student's aren't often the best measurement of a good teacher. I learned a lot from the teachers who, at the time, seemed like mean slave drivers (I guess I should go back and thank them). I realized that the popular teachers aren't always the good teachers.
I don't know anything about this case, but what some conservative bloggers have put out there. You have assumed the school is guilty without knowing all the facts. If the school did violate the contract agreement, then he has a case. But if they didn't, I'm sure he can find another job. Did someone say there is a teacher shortage?

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

wicklowway4 (Anonymous) says… William Quantrill was a teacher. Benito Mussolini was a teacher. Many of Hitler's inner circle were teachers. Not all teachers are great people ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is true so why is the assumption that this teacher was a great teacher. We have some students who say so but as dandelion points out, just because he is a popular teacher with the students, that does not necessarily make him a good teacher.

I really have no idea why people continue to discuss this. We have no way of knowing the all the facts. The district cannot comment on this legally and they most certainly cannot release anything from his personnel file as that would violate his privacy.

It is ridiculous to assume that this teacher was released because of his political beliefs without knowing all the facts.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 9 months ago

Bea: You are correct, bearded, you clearly wrote that you didn't know what you were talking about when you wrote your piece “Fired for being conservative?”— yet you continued to write, and then jump to some pretty serious conclusions. (That is where the dishonesty part comes in, by the way.) That was, and still remains, my point.

once again Bea, did you read my blog. there was not accusation, but a prompt for more information.

geez Bea, it seems you are back on your personal jihad against me again. your posts go way beyond discussion, you repeatedly, something like seven times now, have purposely misrepresented what I said.

you are on a personal jihad. your shallow arguments do hurt your own point. "stir up" actually my comments posted on the blog are rather careful and measured.

one has to wonder if you'd have the same attitude if the subject were the possible nonrenewal of a liberal teacher. again you repeat an irrelevancy: when I wrote that blog the bits-and-pieces I got were that he'd been fired, not nonrenewed, I couldn't be a mind reader as you suppose.

do you protest when ljworld puts up initial news with updates to follow?

in another vapid post you protest the Fox News link...have you even read it? it primarily contains the words of Latham himself.

in fact, Bea your total lack of any knowledge in this situation hasn't prevented you from posting many times.


Boozo started out so good and then went off track. so because you think Latham might support Beck, he doesn't deserve the rights of an american citizen? if he were let go for olitics, the one making that choice has your same bad attitude Boozo.


Staff, thanks, for the first part. it would be wrong for a teacher of any political position to be let go for personal politics.

as to majority, no, plurality, yes: Gallup just released a survey: americans, independents 35%; liberals 21%; and conservatives 40%. by far the largest group self-identifying politically in this survey.
conservatives in america outnumber liberals almost as double the numbers.

Ralph Reed 5 years, 9 months ago

Welcome back Kevin. This time try to shy away from the ad hominem attacks, half truths, comments taken out of context and intense hatred for anyone who doesn't follow your personal beliefs.


I'm me. Who are you behind your hood of anonymity?

beatrice 5 years, 9 months ago

No personal "jihad" against you at all bearded. I just find it remarkably annoying someone who repeatedly -- and I do mean repeatedly -- refers to others as "loony lefties," "crazy liberals" etc..., and then posts a story with basically no facts (by your own admission!) as a means of showing how poorly conservatives are treated by liberals.

However, you keep representing me as having written something far different. All I keep saying is that you (and anyone else, for that matter) should get your facts first, then write a story, instead of publishing a bunch of hearsay statements in a call for a hunting expedition in your search to prove how poorly a conservative was treated by the cold, cold liberal school system. I only keep posting because you keep misrepresenting what I have written, and now accuse me of having some sort of personal vendetta against you. Sorry bearded, but you don't rank as all that important to me to give you that much thought.

Then, on another story, you completely made stuff up about what I was writing, and worst, thinking. You are the one who keeps twisting things completely out of context or making things up to suit your purpose. I just repeat, don't write a blog until you have the facts. Now, consider again about who is waging the jihad my friend. Geez.

staff04 5 years, 9 months ago

Is wicklow way another one of your advertisers?

bearded_gnome 5 years, 9 months ago

Feeble writes: Perhaps it's all just a big misunderstanding? I'm sure the school administrators really didn't understand when they found out Tim was a tea bagger.

---wow, what class, using a sexual vulgarity to refer to real tax-paying americans who expressed their political opinion. apparently Feeble is like Jan Gentry, another liberal who wants to grind the heel into a conservative no matter what.

CNN/MSNBC anchors and commentators persisted in using that sexual vulgarity to refer to patriotic americans, so Feeble probably learned it from AC360 or one of the other zombies.


note that I do not engage in Bea's intentional misrepresentation, instead quote directly. if you look up there, way up there, you see Bea is yelling at me for honestly stating that the information is limited and uncertain.
then, she yells at me for not posting something I didn't know at the time!
liberals...hate the concept that there is evil in the world, yet are so quick to assume that conservatives are evil. hypocrisy.

liberals seem to hate conservatives, their fellow americans, whom they impute with evil intent and label with sexual vulgarities, much more than they hate terrorists. ooops, did I say terrorists...oh what's Obama's new PC term for terrorists? I ferget.

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

bearded_gnome (Anonymous) says… liberals seem to hate conservatives, their fellow americans, whom they impute with evil intent and label with sexual vulgarities, much more than they hate terrorists. ooops, did I say terrorists…oh what's Obama's new PC term for terrorists? I ferget. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It really is difficult to take you seriously with statements such as the above.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 9 months ago

Wicklow...: I've done so. Your comments are a great example of Beck's comment concerning equality of results. You may be morally and legally equal to bearded_gnome. However, he is far superior to you when debating this topic.

well thank you Wicklo... but unless Ralph Reed resorts to the ad hominam you should avoid it too, your comments will gain more traction if you do. and I agree 100%, government cannot and must not try to guarantee equal outcomes because if it does all will suffer. Success will be punished.
Ralph has stated that he strongly opposes the possible nonrenewal of Latham for politics. I'm glad for that.

welcome to our comment threads. we do have conservatives on here, even though this is Lawrence.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 9 months ago

Thanks Katara, I was too hastey, I should have written "these crazy liberals" [as described elsewhere in that post].
thanks Katara.


from my last post under "fired for being conservative?" blog: 16 June 2009 at 12:46 a.m.

Suggest removal Permalink Anonymous bearded_gnome (Anonymous) says…

from the original blog: He and his supportive students learned that his contract will not be renewed. He will be dropped after one year. There is some indication that possibly he is losing his job because he is conservative, and has been open about it in class.

“there is some indication that possibly …” sure doesn't sound like I'm presenting as settled fact! Bea is sure desperate.

beatrice 5 years, 9 months ago

Bearded, what can I say to that. You think I hold terrorists to a higher esteem than I do fellow Americans who are conservative. Not sure how to respond to such a claim, but it does make me think of a quote:

"Think about how stupid the average person is. Then realize, half of the people are even dumber than that." -- George Carlin.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 9 months ago

Dandelion, Latham answered that issue about the inauguration: there were other teachers at LHS who did not interrupt class to show it. he has never in his 19-years of teaching shown an inauguration in class.
what he did with the Obama inauguration was far better. He took the text of the speech, handed it out to the students, along with highlighters, and had the class discuss and analyze the speech. having the students involved that way, the text of the speech far more useful than passive ly watching the speech.

yes, that means he didn't show his arkansas classes the inauguration of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, or George H.W. Bush.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 9 months ago

Bea, I've received some praise for my blog posting from people who would surprise you, "a good bit of citizen journalism."

your total lack of any knowledge has not prevented you from commenting. yet, you seem to think you know my motivation in posting the blog.

on my blog you complained about my phrase "fox news ranters" and then on this thread you yourself engaged in ranting against Fox News.

I'll type very slow for you: I honestly stated the uncertain and limited nature of what I had to share, yet the bits of information out in the community about this topic made it a serious story, most of all that the community should have more information. in my post I was very plain in seeking more information. it seems you are against that in your agitation. maybe you didn't want the information to come out, or the public discussion. you don't pay taxes for USD497, you don't live here. there was nothing underhanded, my blog posting was plain and direct. you and other crazy liberals attacked me just for posting it. if one waits for perfect knowledge to post, one will never post.

my blog did elicit some experiences and information, links to other sources. Fox News began covering it friday morning too. so your agitation and repeated comments attacking me over it failed Bea.

beatrice 5 years, 9 months ago

"you and other crazy liberals attacked me just for posting it."

Yep, bearded, us "crazy liberals" attacked you. I'm curious, however about why you care what mentally ill people have to say? I mean, just by being liberal we prefer terrorists to conservatives -- you said so yourself. Imagine how deranged us "crazy" liberals are!

I'm crazy and a liberal, so why does it bother you so much that I think it a joke that the LJWorld allows people to write blogs based on hearsay and rumor -- even if those rumors turn out to be true? But it obviously does bother you because you keep coming back at me. Just dismiss it, since you have already dismissed me as "crazy."

Now, back to that blog I'm thinking about writing. I've spiced it up a bit. Now, it is about that "liberal Hollywood elitist" Richard Gere and that poor, mistreated conservative gerbil. You see, my friend's sister's roommate's cousin works the night shift at the hospital emergency ward when this one evening ...

beatrice 5 years, 9 months ago

By the way, bearded, if you want to check out a good blog, check out Marion's latest: http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/mario...

You'll enjoy it.

feeble 5 years, 9 months ago

bearded_gnome (Anonymous) says…

as to majority, no, plurality, yes: Gallup just released a survey: americans, independents 35%; liberals 21%; and conservatives 40%. by far the largest group self-identifying politically in this survey. conservatives in america outnumber liberals almost as double the numbers. =======================

Read the entire poll. http://www.gallup.com/poll/120857/Conservatives-Single-Largest-Ideological-Group.aspx

"Thus far in 2009, Gallup has found an average of 36% of Americans considering themselves Democratic, 28% Republican, and 37% independent. When independents are pressed to say which party they lean toward, 51% of Americans identify as Democrats, 39% as Republicans, and only 9% as pure independents."

The question you need to be asking yourself is "conservative in what context?" as both self-identified Independents and Democrats contain large percentages of self identified conservatives (34% and 22%, respectively.)

staff04 5 years, 9 months ago

"So, staff04, who wins the lottery? :D"

You win! And since you were one of two entrants, you get to keep your dollar and choose from the following fabulous prizes:

An olive green toilet, ca. 1974;

A custom nose hair dethatcher;

A 4"x4" rejected skin graft, preserved in formaldehyde;

A slightly used equine speculum;

Half a bag of potting soil.

Enjoy!

jonas_opines 5 years, 9 months ago

"I really have no idea why people continue to discuss this. We have no way of knowing the all the facts."

Apparently, you actually do. It's because: the district cannot comment on this legally and they most certainly cannot release anything from his personnel file as that would violate his privacy.

In other words, the legal position they are put into creates a void in which any yahoo can say anything and maybe have it taken into consideration.

"It is ridiculous to assume that this teacher was released because of his political beliefs without knowing all the facts."

But if they knew all the facts, likely they couldn't then believe that he was released because of his political beliefs, and as you can see there are a number of people who Really, Really Want to believe that this guy was fired for being a conservative.

Ralph Reed 5 years, 9 months ago

Pilgrim2. re your 0957.


Thank you for lumping me with the "Looney Left" as you put it. Please read the rest of what I wrote in that post. The discuss all of what I wrote instead of taking one sentence out of context.

Since you have taken it upon yourself to classify me (without knowing me or what I've written), would you be so kind as to classify yourself also?

That would help everyone who disagrees with you.


staff04. I should have entered the lottery. I could have really used that half bag of potting soil.


I'm me. Who are you behind your hood of anonymity?

jonas_opines 5 years, 9 months ago

Ralph, in pilgrim's shiny world, there are people who are exactly like him in ideology, and there is the loony left. It's even more fun when he starts talking about the things that you obviously believe as a member of the loony left, because then it becomes obvious that he just stereotypes for convenience's sake.

Ralph Reed 5 years, 9 months ago

Paul, Very interesting articles. I wonder what will happen here if the LJW gets hit with such a subpoena?

situveux1 5 years, 9 months ago

Thanks for telling me what I need to know 1984 LJW.

Kathy Getto 5 years, 9 months ago

I am sure the LJW has been served with a subpoena of this type before, Ralph. Their reaction would depend on many things, who requests the subpoena, is it a phishing expedition, and so on.

gnome: When you first posted your blog on this subject, I (naively, obviously) thought you were sincerely looking for input from others. Not just input from those that supported your baseless blogging that a teacher was actually fired for being a conservative. I was truly disappointed as I, for the most part, have enjoyed your postings over the years. I was further disappointed when a member of my family was sent a private message regarding "keeping this blog bumped to the top". Here is the text of that private message:

"Confidentially please..gnome emailed some of us to post on this to get the numbers up, keep it on the most discussed. Someone he knows, knows someone who knows this person, either a student, or something. Not much for anyone to go on, but he;s our friend, so we;re trying to be supportive, when we might not even post at all. I too agree, really not anything to blog about, they cut back each year don;t they? At least I usually have seen that.

Just thought I;d let you know. (winky smile)"

I won't reveal either the sender or the receiver, but to the "winky smile" person - please don't ever do that again.

gnome, can you explain to me why this was necessary? Did you not think you would get enough traction because you knew it was all a fabrication? I am truly curious. It is not everyday a complete stranger pm's another poster asking for assistance in keeping a blog at the top of the discussion list.

To make matters worse, you alligned yourself with the likes of artichokeheart, a reincarnated poster who has a hard on for Jan Gentry and alligned yourself with Kansas 912. The ignorance of those two still has my head reeling.

I won't bother with the simple facts you ignored throughout this process as many have posted the FACTS over the days this has been going on. We all make choices on what we will believe.

I know you feel some pride in keeping this blog going, getting the right to fight with the left, possibly playing a major role in getting the national news to cover the story, but in the end what have you really accomplished? When this is all said and done and the powers that be determine the district acted appropriately, what does Mr. Latham have left?

My dad always told me to never burn a bridge as you never know when you might need to cross that bridge again. That's what you have accomplished, gnome, you have helped Mr Latham blow up a very important bridge that very likely may never be repaired.

Christine Anderson 5 years, 9 months ago

Well, hello "old" friend Ralph. How can you be so mean to the conservaturds! I mean, I was getting ready to do another post in your defense, in which I was going to refer to you as a misguided but well-meaning, Berkenstocks-with-socks-wearing, Tofu eating, over 50ish, former Hippie, with a serious coffee habit, who probably wears( just guessing, now) tie-dyed boxers or briefs. And then you have to go an be an "L-word". No, my brother, not Lesbian. Far worse-Liberal!!! Eeeeccckk! Get me my inhaler. (ha,ha,ha,ha)

Amy Heeter 5 years, 9 months ago

I don't know why everyone is so hostile about a teacher who clearly loves his profession enough to fight for his job. After all it isn't like he is making a million here or anywhere near that.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 9 months ago

Valkyrie, I'm going to repost your entire last post next time. I appreciate your comments.
my motivation was to bring into the open some bits and pieces of a situation I thought really should have been covered by the ljworld; now I know I was disagreeing with their choice, I didn't know whether they'd looked into it or not.

as to keeping the blog in the top-ten, I was open about that too. and made more than one comments about how this showed interest in a story that the ljworld didn't cover, or later, chose not to cover.
I have also appreciated your posts, and I know we have disagreed, which is fine of course.
I sincerely appreciate that you shared your concerns and the pm you got so I could respond. that's very fair of you and demonstrates a genuine concern about me and the ljworld online community.

in the process, I learned from another poster who artichoke-heart is. honestly, I didn't know until the other day when she told me. artichoke-heart as enforcer, I most certainly remember Enforcer.

my reference to Jan Gentry, once I typed too hastily and I meant to say "like the Jan Gentry portrayed in the complaint," instead of just using her name.

as to the pm, what I did when I wrote the blog was send the link to some friends. most people just got text like "here is my new blog" or visit my new blog" with the link.
the person writing that went far far beyond what I would have said. to one or two I others I put a simple statement about limited information I wanted to put out to get more.

I never wrote anybody to plug my blog and keep it in the top-ten.

as you may have noticed, with posting that blog, there were many people who posted who knew less than I did, and were there to attack me for posting it, i.e. "piece of garbage," etc.

the e-mail you got makes a wrong assumption of what prompted me, where the limited information I posted came from. I'm not comfortable identifying that, and have studiously avoided it, so I wouldn't have in an e-mail. I can honestly tell you Valkyrie that I have only shared that with my wife.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 9 months ago

Valkyrie_of_Reason (Kathy Getto) says…

I am sure the LJW has been served with a subpoena of this type before, Ralph. Their reaction would depend on many things, who requests the subpoena, is it a phishing expedition, and so on.

gnome: When you first posted your blog on this subject, I (naively, obviously) thought you were sincerely looking for input from others. Not just input from those that supported your baseless blogging that a teacher was actually fired for being a conservative. I was truly disappointed as I, for the most part, have enjoyed your postings over the years. I was further disappointed when a member of my family was sent a private message regarding “keeping this blog bumped to the top”. Here is the text of that private message:

“Confidentially please..gnome emailed some of us to post on this to get the numbers up, keep it on the most discussed. Someone he knows, knows someone who knows this person, either a student, or something. Not much for anyone to go on, but he;s our friend, so we;re trying to be supportive, when we might not even post at all. I too agree, really not anything to blog about, they cut back each year don;t they? At least I usually have seen that.

Just thought I;d let you know. (winky smile)”

I won't reveal either the sender or the receiver, but to the “winky smile” person - please don't ever do that again.

gnome, can you explain to me why this was necessary? Did you not think you would get enough traction because you knew it was all a fabrication? I am truly curious. It is not everyday a complete stranger pm's another poster asking for assistance in keeping a blog at the top of the discussion list.

To make matters worse, you alligned yourself with the likes of artichokeheart, a reincarnated poster who has a hard on for Jan Gentry and alligned yourself with Kansas 912. The ignorance of those two still has my head reeling.

I won't bother with the simple facts you ignored throughout this process as many have posted the FACTS over the days this has been going on. We all make choices on what we will believe.

I know you feel some pride in keeping this blog going, getting the right to fight with the left, possibly playing a major role in getting the national news to cover the story, but in the end what have you really accomplished? When this is all said and done and the powers that be determine the district acted appropriately, what does Mr. Latham have left?

My dad always told me to never burn a bridge as you never know when you might need to cross that bridge again. That's what you have accomplished, gnome, you have helped Mr Latham blow up a very important bridge that very likely may never be repaired.

---like I said, some light and knowledge helps.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 9 months ago

Valkyrie, just a couple other points.
"baseless" "fabrication," it was neither as I posted on my blog I appreciated the information about kansas912, as I didn't know about them before. I did know about Glenn Beck's 912ers, but honestly didn't know there was a group in kansas. if I had, or had had some affiliation with them, I would have had more and more definite information to post at the top of my blog.

as I posted there, the information I had was sketchy, and I didn't know this to be true at all. that's why I used words like "apparently" "possibly" and "indication."

yes, I did welcome information from people about the issues surrounding his being done with his first year/contract issues.

I hope this has cleared up some of this for you Valkyrie.


I've never thought Ralph Reed was part of the "crazy liberals" or "looney left."

in fact he and I have had a couple of quite decent exchanges, and he said that such a politically motivated nonrenewal would be quite troubling to him, and it was possible. I hope I've represented his words well.


Jonas, Latham's grievance claims that his administration did not do the in-class evaluations of his teaching performance, according to contract. so it is not so simple.

one of the things learned in the process of my blog.

jonas_opines 5 years, 9 months ago

gnome: Part of my teaching contract stipulated a certain number of supervisory reviews, that also didn't happen. I had one occur. I also did not have my contract renewed, due to budget shortfalls and another qualified applicant not as far along in their study as I am. I was told that part of the reason was budget issues, and part was that the other applicant had more need for the financial assistance, both of which were probably quite true. I have not raised a stink or insinuated that my politics were in any part a reason for my termination, and my facts are all the same as his, so apparently I could -- provided I wanted to use partisan politics to bully the administration into making capitulations. I have more class than that.

The fact that reviews did not occur on contract shows administrative sloppiness and that's it. I'm willing to bet that if you checked into it, you'd find that a majority of in-class supervisions did not take place, and I would guess that it would spring from budgetary or time constraints.

If he had said that he was fired for being too liberal in the classroom, no one would believe him, even if all of the facts were the same. No one would believe him because it goes against our prejudices of academia. Teachers in the minds of many of the public are supposed to be liberals, and that's the only reason this case is getting any credence.

Kathy Getto 5 years, 9 months ago

Thank you, gnome for your thoughtful reply to my post. I understand you were operating on limited information, and I believe this is what is of the greatest concern to me. I do notice a few buzz phrases you used to provoke right vs left crap that becomes so tiring to me. For example:

"Nobody should be fired for being conservative, nor for being liberal. "

I agree with this statement, however, Latham was not fired, he was nonrenewed which has a totally different connotation.

This from your first post on that blog:

" also know this blog may be quite a target for the hateful left fringie posters, too."

This is the kind of dialogue that separates and weakens - all of us! (Please don't misconstrue this as me saying only conservatives talk this way. I hate it when it comes from any part of the spectrum.) When a person comes into my life, I don't give a rat's arse if they are conservative or liberal, I care how they treat others, are they kind, considerate, do they follow the Golden Rule.....

Several posters did give you information on the non renewal process, and the personnel practices of a school district. These were not speculations, these were facts given to you by persons of knowledge. Those were pretty much ignored. How could the "cover-up" theory thrive when the facts are admitted to? There is no cover-up - a teacher's personnel file is not public record, why would anyone want it any differently?

As for Mr. Latham's grievance - his claims will be reviewed and a decision will be made. It is simple - claims in a grievance do not facts make.

I will not go into detail regarding the pm that was received except to say - it was not sent by you and I can only assume was not condoned by you.

Do you feel, as a blogger, you have some responsibilities? There are many who read blogs and take the information as gospel. A blogger does has influence and thank our lucky stars we have the ability to speak out where there is silence and ask questions when the information we are given is not adequate! More time was spent on your blog boosting the hatred between right and left, than responding to rational thought. The result? More hatred and this saddens me.

TheGHTruth 5 years, 9 months ago

I attended LHS this past school year and it was obvious what was happening. All the students knew Mr. Latham was a conservative. Not because of his teachings, because students who never stepped into his class new he was. First off he was patriotic. In LHS, this equated to being a conservative, which was negative to certain liberal teachers (and students for that matter) at LHS. Any troubles in true political display was between arguments with liberal teachers outside of school time. One teacher I even caught saying he said Jim Crow laws should still exist. I asked the teacher about this and the teacher said a student said he told it to them in class. I told the teacher that this was ridiculous because if he said that he would have been fired immediately. The teacher conceded I was right but followed it up by saying "I bet he won't be here next year" and this was well before he was told he wasn't being renewed. This situation could be seen coming from a mile away.

TheGHTruth 5 years, 9 months ago

Just to clear up some things before this post gets ripped.

My post his based upon my experiences which most of you who disbelieve Latham's claim won't believe mine either so I'm probably wasting my time posting

This should not become a political battle. Allowing Mr. Latham to get his job back, which is fair, is not an approval of conservative views nor a slash on liberal views. Although this did emerge from political views, this is a battle over poor ethics by LHS administration in this situation. This is probably also happening in a conservative district somewhere to a liberal teacher, and certainly somewhere in other professions against both views. In any of these cases, this shouldn't happen.

The Patriotic stereotype I mention sounds like conservative diatribe to find sympathy for this case, but sadly it is true. The patriotism he showed in his room immediately made people believe he was conservative. Conservatives, even if few in number at LHS, saw it as fighting the liberal beliefs system and liked Mr. Latham even if they never met him. Liberals immediately attributed Latham to being stupid racist Republican. The same happens with teachers who put up Darfur posters or Obama symbols. Liberals look positively on it and Republicans immediately think they are stupid tree huggers or commies. Neither is good but that takes us to a political battle which we can save for another day. In this case the stereotypes are there on both sides but since Latham is in the minority of opinion, he lost his job.

Some say he was obviously Republican, so political bias shouldn't be in the education system, discounting his claim. Nearly all the teachers (speaking for LHS) are obvious in their political affiliation. The problems arises when it significantly effects their teaching. There are some teachers at LHS that allow their political beliefs to effect the teaching but Latham wasn't one of them. He's also not the only Republican, but when the opinions arrived amongst teachers he was willing to defend his side and this angered those teachers. In reality this was why he was let go and it shouldn't have happened. The battle is with poor ethics when a teacher loses his job because he is willing to speak his views amongst teachers, which is exactly what the other teachers did with him, only he was the odd man out.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 9 months ago

Jonas, yes, those facts are the same. but it seems you automatically discount his experiences of being harrassed for his political beliefs.

yes, I do know funding is very short. and without the issue of some history of harassment, this would look like every other one.

I'm sorry you were passed over, and suspect that the admin may have chosen someone who "needed it more" but someone not so good at communication or teaching. I would wish that admin would choose to put in the best candidate, best for students, not "who needs it the most."

bearded_gnome 5 years, 9 months ago

Today Superintendant Randy Weseman ordered renewal of Tim Latham's contract.
A few days after the grievance hearing, Dr. Weseman found for Mr. Latham. He will have his contract renewed for 09-10.

Good job Randy Weseman, thanks.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 9 months ago

Valkyrie: “Nobody should be fired for being conservative, nor for being liberal. ”

[quoting me]

sorry if that came off as a buzz phrase. I meant that in its simplest intention. as to the use of "fired" I think I answered you elsewhere, the very sketchy information I had was "fired" so again I couldn't post what I didn't know.

as I wrote to you privately, I sincerely appreciate your concern.

yes, in my first post I did say that, and sadly that blog was very much a target of people who had no information, and who wanted to attack Latham or me, or conservatives in general. I do know that not all liberals are crazy. you are a prime example of a reasonable liberal.

yes, bloggers do have responsibility, and that's why I was so explicit about the limitations of what I knew and that it seemed iffy. I never implied a coverup. from the beginning I've known this is a personnel matter and we couldn't just have lhs admin or Randy Weseman come on here and spell everything out.
no, I had no awareness of that pm or if it had started as an e-mail. none at all.

actually I did acknowledge some of the information you site. I learned quickly that it was nonrenewal instead of firing, and you can look at my posts and see that change in language.

thank you again Valkyrie, and thanks for publicizing that e-mail.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 9 months ago

theGHtruth, thank you for your two posts. are you really a student just graduated? some of your writing seems quite mature.
you have a good attitude, it would be wrong to look on a teacher as stupid for putting up an Obama poster, just as it would be wrong to view Mr. Latham as stupid for being a conservative. you are quite correct.

looks like your posts didn't get pulled, either. good luck at college.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 9 months ago

Valkyrie, sorry, I missed one point in your earlier post. I was surprised by the vehemance of the attacks from the left that occurred on my blog and on this thread. but, over my five years of posting, I've received death threats from apparently liberal posters, I've been said to be regularly raping my wife, that I enjoy repressing the poor, that I like to see pollution happen, that I am a: racist; sexist; homophobe;thief; etc. so my comment about the blog being a target was based on my personal experience with the liberals who are crazy. it is quite wearying.

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