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Mohawk Regional High School is the biggest regional school district in the state, serving NINE towns, including Buckland, Shelburne, Rowe, Heath, Charlemont, Hawley, Plainfield, Ashfield, and……….COLRAIN!!!
So you knew eventually something would go down at this high school. Because Charlemont, Rowe, and Hawley really are magical places too. Well apparently a teacher at the school diddled a student this year and got canned for it. Because for whatever reason some teachers haven’t learned the cardinal rule of teaching – don’t drill your roster.
But the problem was that the yearbooks had already been printed, and the teacher’s image was in it several times. Instead of just giving the students the books they paid for though, the district decided to protect students from being “triggered” by seeing the teacher’s face in their yearbook. Students were informed that their yearbooks would all have pictures of this teacher physically cut out of their yearbooks to protect them from seeing the image of the guy who left his mark on their class in ways no other teacher previously had.
Ya got that? Administration was planning on going through each and every yearbook and cutting out pictures of the guy like he’s a coupon in the Sunday paper. The problem with this of course is that there is stuff on the other side of the pages they’d be cutting out. Plus it’s their yearbook that they already paid for, so they should get exactly what they agreed to purchase. Some students didn’t care too much for this, so the superintendent wrote this email to parents letting them know why they were gonna do it anyway:
Dear Mohawk High School Families:The purpose of this communication is to address the many concerns recently voiced by students, parents, and community members about Mohawk Administration’s decision to remove 1-page from the 2016 yearbook.Before I explain the reasoning behind this decision, please know that the decision was not made lightly and was ultimately my responsibility. Additionally, I also wish to recognize the civic skills demonstrated by several student leaders who argued their positions with great passion. These skills will serve our students well throughout their lives.Two of the major arguments voiced in this process centered on freedom of speech and personal property rights. Again, I applaud the reasoning and conviction behind these positions.However…The yearbook is a school publication, and school administration is responsible for its content. While it is most unfortunate that the issue could not be addressed prior to publication, it was evident to administration that the page in question would be harmful to the wellbeing of several students. These students extend beyond current seniors to younger high school grades. All, I must emphasize, all of our students are entitled to a safe educational environment, which is a fundamental civil right. It is in defense of the rights of these students, some of whom are frankly too uncomfortable to voice their position in the current climate, that I based my decision. These students have already been victimized by a trusted adult, and the Mohawk District will not be insensitive to their ongoing emotional needs.Mohawk administration will continue to communicate with our students in order to facilitate their voice in this process. As with all issues, we are open to constructive problem-solving that meets the needs and rights of all involved.Anyone who chooses not to accept their yearbook will be provided a refund.Sincerely,Michael A. Buoniconti Superintendent of Schools Mohawk Trail Regional School District Hawlemont Regional School District 24 Ashfield Road Shelburne Falls, MA 01370
That’s a lot of PC buzzwords jammed into one email. In other words, no one is really complaining, but people WANT TO complain, they’re just too scared to come forward and don’t have a safe space to do so. Rather than just removing the triggering pictures from the yearbook’s of these imaginary students, administration is removing them from ALL of the students. Because that’s just how things work in politically correct America 2016. Punish the majority because a small minority might have their feelings hurt. Everyone must change the way they do things for the sake of a few. Kind of like forcing schools to allow boys in the girls bathroom.
Well guess what happened?
Dear Mohawk Families:While we intended to distribute the 2016 yearbooks to our students this afternoon, please be informed that distribution is on-hold for the time being. The American Civil Liberties Union contacted Mohawk this morning and is threatening litigation based on a complaint about Mohawk Administration’s decision to remove a page as described in my prior email (attached). Mohawk will distribute the yearbooks to our students as soon as possible. Thank you.Sincerely, Michael A. Buoniconti Superintendent of Schools
LOL. The ACLU. Sometimes they can be so terrible, and yet sometimes they can be so good. They’re never there for teachers or other public servants when their free speech rights are violated, but the second they hear about a diddler whose civil rights are being violated they just can’t help themselves.
Anyway, the bottom line is this is such a Franklin County situation. You’ve got diddlers, politically correct administrators, and a whole lot of buzzwords thrown into one story. And as usual the majority have to adjust their way of living because of the potential that someone out there might be triggered.
Oh well, we’ll always have Charlemont.
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