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Great job reporting on andover hockey coach story.
Below is a Facebook post from a teacher at AHS informing his FB friends about a letter he sent to his students the day after the election of President Trump using Google classroom. His accusations of Trump supporters harassing other students turned out to be a lie. I filed a bullying complaint against the teacher with the school that was never investigated. I filed a complaint with the state (DESE), got corrective actions against the school district for noncompliance but still no finding of bullying by the teacher. He has not been held accountable for his blatant bullying and shaming of conservative students and their families. Berman actually used this very incident in his monthly q & a blog in a national publication for superintendents but of course edited it to suit him. It gives a little insight into what kind of person Berman is.
Some of us in Andover know a lot of dirt on him that unfortunately never sticks, I think he is highly corrupt. I’m a parent would prefer to remain anonymous for now, fear of retaliation.
I cannot believe what I just read. I cannot believe a teacher in charge of molding young minds was allowed to write this letter to students and then post it on Facebook. It’s inappropriate, insulting, and unprofessional. Hillary Clinton won Andover by almost a 2 to 1 margin, which means that the 33% of his students who come from families who voted for Trump, were belittled and insulted by this man who their parents pay to teach them.
Let’s review some of the highlights……
“My dear students”
Translation – my dear students whose parents did not vote for the guy who won the election.
I awoke to the news. At 43-years-old, I find that I am so naïve. I thought good would prevail. No.
Right away, one candidate is good, and the other is evil.
As a white male, I know that I lead a privileged life. No one will threaten to send me away. Tell me I am not welcome. Take my rights away. Say I cannot marry someone. Yet, when I stared at the computer screen I felt genuine fear. I have never experienced this kind of feeling before, again, a privilege of the white race. When I walked into the school, I could not keep my head up, and did not know how to address any of you. The naïve 43-year-old had more to learn as the day progressed.
Be more dramatic. You can’t. You don’t “feel fear.” The only people who are i danger of being “sent away” are those who are here illegally without documentation. In reality President Obama was nicknamed “the deporter in chief” because his administration deported more people than any other president. To act like you’re all of a sudden afraid of mass deportations is baseless and disingenuous.
It’s also blatantly false to suggest that Trump wants to tell people who they can and cannot marry, since unlike Hillary Clinton, he has always supported gay marriage.
There were well-meaning students who joked “we are all going to die and go to hell!” Though I understood that this was a coping device, it also reminded me that many students still do not understand the magnitude of this election. This is not funny.
Actually, it is funny. It’s funny to laugh at the idea people who treated an election like armageddon. Humor is also subjective, so what is funny to some may not be funny to others.
I listened to the morning announcements, and heard students giggle and make jokes in reference to “Black Lives Matter.” Then a member of the Diversity Club offered support after school for anyone who needed a place to feel safe. I was struck by the sharp contrast of this person’s voice compared to the insensitive student who spoke first.
Trump supporting student – bad. Non-Trump supporting student seeking safe space – good.
The recitation of the pledge of allegiance. I could not look at the flag today. I left the room to breathe fresh air. I did not find any.
He walked out of the room during the pledge of allegiance to protest the results of a democratic election that he assumed his candidate would win. This man is in charge of teaching children. Frightening.
I saw a “brute” mentality emerge throughout the day. Students with “Make America Great Again” hats mocking people of color, LGTB and female students. The “N” word had been used throughout the day. Their candidate won, and they still found it necessary to use that word. I expected the hatred to rise if their candidate lost, but he won, and they still said it with conviction. With joy. In 2016.
This is just a blatant, undocumented lie. A lie he is making up about children, labeling them as racists for using the n word, solely because their candidate won. What kind of terrible person makes up lies like this about children, and then sends the email out to all of his students?
Students of all backgrounds, in tears, were told to suck it up. Conservative adults, finally voicing their relief over the win, told students that this is not worth the trouble. I received a well-meaning email reminding me to remain neutral. That there are students of conservative families who should feel safe, too. As an educator it is my duty to not speak.
Then, I went to the Diversity Club meeting and saw the impact this decision had on our young women of color: fear. Young people concerned that their parents will be sent away. That they will be sent away. Why should these students feel afraid?
They should be allowed to feel however they want to feel. It’s your job as the adult to tell them that these fears are unfounded. It’s over a year later, and your almost entirely white school has not had a single student deported.
Why am I being told to specifically look out for the bullies and not these girls? Why am I not told to look out for those who are truly impacted by our nation’s decision to go backwards?
So now all Trump supporting students are “bullies.”
At that meeting, it struck me that for the first time all day, I felt included. These girls took me in, and I felt comforted.
You’re a grown man who needed to be comforted by children in a safe space. Bow your head in shame. You are a disgrace to your profession.
Now, it is my turn to stay up all night. It is one in the morning. I thought I should share with you my thoughts on this subject. I have this to say:
When I was seven-years-old, in 1980, I voted for Democratic candidate Walter Mondale in our Elementary School Election.
The candidates in 1980 were Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. You’re not good at lying Eric.
However, I truly learned that I lived a privileged life when I went to Salem State College. I sat in a room on the fourth floor of the library where the African-American Studies classes met, watching the OJ Simpson verdict. The entire room erupted in cheers, and I did not understand what was going on. A young man explained this reaction to me, about the number of times white people got away with this kind of behavior, that white people needed to understand what is really going on in Los Angeles, and in the rest of the United States. My eyes were staring to open to the larger world.
This guy has interacted with about five black people his entire sheltered life, and now he’s an expert on race relations because he talked to a guy after the OJ verdict. Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman had to die in order to take one for the team, in the name of racial justice of course.
I’m not even going to get into the whole “Antoinette” story, because quite frankly it sounds made up and it’s just redundant SJW nonsense. I don’t believe any of it, he’s got no proof any of it happened, and he uses it as the basis to prove that racism is rampant in modern day society.
When I became a teacher 20 years ago, I fought these things in the classroom. I stood up for the rights of women, for the well-being of gays and lesbians, even when it was not fashionable. I left my church. I spoke up for African-Americans, always to mixed results. I never felt I did any group of people justice. I just knew I had to speak.
Someone get this man a cookie. He really wants you to pat him on the head and reassure you that he is one of the “good ones.”
I realized early, though, that it was not helpful to be divisive or get too worked up, especially when it came to politics. When George W. Bush went head to head against Al Gore, I kept my mouth shut. I facilitated conversations, made my feelings known, but kept specifics in check. When Bush won, I certainly mentioned my concern about Florida, and that votes were compromised, but I offered no sour grapes.
That’s actually the definition of sour grapes.
This time, politics is not the issue. There are no issues. We had two symbolic choices. The racist, misogynist, islamaphobic, homophobic, egocentric, who wants to deport people, assault women and build a wall…and the woman from the establishment. In other words, there was no choice. The choice was obvious. And we got it wrong.
This guy teaches kids???!!! There were no issues? Yea, except for trade policies, tax reform, what to do with the 15-20 million undocumented immigrants already living here, abortion, judicial review, healthcare, foreign affairs, etc. Besides all those things there were no issues. It was just pure racist evil, against Hillary Clinton. “There was no choice.” According to this teacher choosing the Republican nominee for President was not an option anyone could reasonably choose.
I could not, and will not remain silent. If you supported this man, then you are on the wrong side of history.
Because judging history while it’s taking place is an effective way to evaluate a presidency.
I know you have reasons, and I have heard them all: emails, crooked, liar, emotional, Benghazi, Obamacare, Isis, jobs, indictment, and countless others. None of these reasons are real. These are excuses.
If you backed the president-elect then you aligned yourself with someone who is racist, misogynistic, islamaphobic, homophobic, egocentric, who wants to deport people, assault women and build a wall.
Yup, that’s it. I voted for Trump because I’m pro-assaulting women, and so are all his students who did the same.
That choice says something about you.
There it is kids. You’re a piece of shit if you made this choice. This is your teacher telling you this.
The fact that you overlook the aforementioned list for the emails, etc., is your privilege. That does not absolve you of wrong doing. If these words hurt, then you are free to see me and have a dialogue, but I am not going to, yet again, see it from your side.
He’s not going to “see it from your side.” This is a healthy thing for a teacher to tell his students who disagree with his political opinions.
You are hurting other people. I understand that you are too naïve to know any better.
Be more condescending. You can’t.
That you, too, feel hurt. But that doesn’t make you right. It is time to open your eyes. I am ashamed of you.
I am ashamed of you.
A teacher wrote those words to 1/3 of the students he teaches. This is mind boggling that he would still be allowed to be in front of a classroom. What a lowlife degenerate.
I tired of making excuses for you. I am tired of trying to see it from your angle. Too many lives are at stake. Black lives matter. Gay lives matter. Muslim lives matter. Transgender lives matter. Women’s lives matter. Yes, I can hear you, now: “White lives matter! All lives matter.” We know white lives matter. And, I have a close friend in the military. And, I have family members who are police officers. Their lives matter. Of course, their lives matter. We already know that. We live it everyday. You must understand that the lives of non-white straight males are always put first. The “other” lives matter…TOO.
Translation – he doesn’t have time to “see it from your angle” because your support for the President is directly responsible for the deaths of black people, Muslims, gays, transgenders, and women.
We cannot give up. We cannot project Armageddon.
That’s exactly what you are doing – projecting Armageddon.
This email is the most disgusting thing I have ever read. And this is coming from a guy who is a vocal critic of President Trump. And I would do the same to any teacher who said the same things about President Obama. No student in that class is free to express their opinions so long as this Nazi is at the head of the class. They can try, they’ll just be graded down and can’t get a letter of recommendation.
Principal Conrad, who suspended coach Kucher, told concerned parents that Mr. Pellerinn used “artistic license” when he degraded his students like that. This same parent has told us they can produce the emails from Conrad in which he admits that Pellerin’s accusations about kids using the n word were made up. “Artistic license” apparently means, “make shit up as you go along, and crap on children who come from conservative families.”
As the concerned parent pointed out to us, Superintendent Berman runs a Q&A blog for superintendents in which he pitches hypothetical situations and asks how others would respond to it. He pitched this exact same scenario recently:
Scenario: In the days after the 2016 presidential election, a high school teacher considered well-respected and highly effective feels desperate about the outcome. He sees increasing reports of students harassing others and making racial slurs. He posts a lengthy letter for his students to read that says in part: “If you backed the president-elect, you aligned yourself with someone who is racist, misogynistic, Islamophobic, homophobic, egocentric. … That choice says something about you.” Several parents complain to the principal and aim bitter attacks at the teacher. How should the administration respond?
Here’s what he claimed he would have done:
Probably more than any election in recent history, the 2016 presidential campaign was extraordinarily contentious, antagonistic and emotionally disturbing, provoked not only by the candidates and their campaign staffs but also by Russian interference and the actions of extremist groups that sought to further inflame and divide the country.
In this kind of environment, teachers must remain respectful of differing viewpoints, create a climate of thoughtful dialogue, and engage students in an examination of factual evidence. One thing they should not do is enlist students in their own political perspective or attack students for their political opinions. We are not here to teach students what to think, but how to think critically. Therefore, it is essential that we are aware of and careful about imposing our own biases.
Although this teacher has a First Amendment right to his opinion of the president-elect, he is accountable to his students and to the school community for maintaining both the integrity of his position and his composure. Above all, he has a professional obligation to create an emotionally safe environment for his students. He clearly violated that expectation by attacking his students for their opinions and labeling them as prejudiced toward others.
However, this teacher’s concern about harassment and racial slurs is a worthy issue to address. There is no place in our schools for racism, anti-Semitism, prejudice against Muslims, bigotry, bullying, discrimination against LGBTQ individuals, hatred or violence. It is not the responsibility of only the administrators to make it unequivocally clear to students and the community that expressions of these sentiments by word or deed are not acceptable; it is the collective responsibility of the faculty. Educators should take a stand for the values of justice, respect, tolerance and acceptance of difference. One of the essential ways to communicate those values is to model them. In this case, despite his concern about harassment and racial slurs, the teacher undermined his stature and his instructional leadership by criticizing and labeling his students for their political preference.
The administration needs to respond immediately by meeting with the teacher. Given the teacher’s positive reputation, he may be able to address the situation by writing a letter of apology to students and their families and by demonstrating his understanding of how he had violated their trust. Still, he has compromised the confidence and respect that students and families have in his instructional abilities and it may take time to rebuild that confidence. In addition, a letter of reprimand to his file would provide documentation to deter any future occurrence. However, if the teacher remains adamant in his position, the administration needs to consider more significant disciplinary consequences.
But administration did not meet with the teacher and ask him to write a letter of apology to students. Instead he was applauded by his coworkers and his post was shared and liked too many times to count.
He basically did the same thing he did when a student died under his care in Louisville – played both sides of the fence.
Now compare this to what the coach did who is currently suspended. A man who did nothing wrong. They immediately got rid of him without any evidence because one parent made up a lie about his kid not getting water. Meanwhile this teacher has free reign to shit all over children and tell them that he won’t see things from their viewpoints because they are all racist.
What is going on at Andover High School? What an absolute disgrace to public education.
Here’s Eric Pellerin’s contact information if you’d like to share your thoughts with him in a respectful manner:
And once again here is Shelley’s contact info: