How would regular Ethics Alarms readers expect me to say about this story?
An Arlington High School student (in Arlington, Mass.) filed a complaint with police. alleging that a teacher history teacher assaulted her during school hours. Sadie Earegood confirmed with NEWS 7 that the teacher involved in the incident is Bernard Arthur, though the Arlington School District has not confirmed with us that the allegations against him are true. Earegood claims ripped a “Dream Big, Fight Hard” Elizabeth Warren pin off of her shirt…”He grabbed it and I pulled and I tried to push his hand away and he grabbed my shoulder, just kind of put his hand there, and then he started pulling more and more and I just started backing up.” The teacher then put the pin on his own shirt, upside-down, and said it “belonged that way.”
As regular readers know, I regard Senator Warren as one of the worst of a horrifying Democratic field, an unprincipled liar and a demagogue. Still, the ethics call on this incident would be unavoidable. No teacher has a right to touch a student and steal her property, not does one have the right to mock her for a political statement, however foolish it may be. If the story is true, the teacher has behaved unethically, and probably illegally. No one should support or sympathize with the teacher, or try to rationalize his conduct.
Well, the story isn’t true…not quite. It didn’t take place at Arlington High School (my alma mater), but at Mason High School in Lansing, Michigan. The teacher is named Paul Kato. Oh..,one more thing! The button that the young student was wearing said “Women for Trump.”
However, if I had published an unequivocal condemnation of Kato here, it would be taken as just one more indicia that this blog searches for progressive villains, and is dedicated to supporting the President. That’s not true.
You see, no teachers attack students wearing Warren buttons, Biden buttons, or even Bernie Sanders buttons. This, like the attacks on Americans wearing MAGA caps, is entirely a Left America phenomenon, as bullying those who do not conform to the approved political order face persecution, even by their teachers. Kato is black, incidentally: he’s from Nigeria. I’m sure he is a fan of Big Lie #4.
The one thing I was curious about was whether the school has a policy against students supporting political candidates. It doesn’t. The dress code for Mason High School does not prohibit political; advocacy. It does forbid “clothing that displays alcohol, drugs, tobacco, gang association, weapons, sexual or suggestive references, profanity, violence, intimidation or organizations promoting any of these…” It also states that the School “recognizes the right of students to express themselves. With the right of expression comes the responsibility to do it appropriately. Students may distribute or display, at appropriate times, non-sponsored, non-commercial written material and petitions; buttons, badges, or other insignia; clothing, insignia, and banners; and audio and video materials.”
Here’s the out I fully expect the teacher to rely on in he indeed did what the student reported: “A material cannot be displayed if it: … 3. intends to be insulting or harassing, 4. intends to incite fighting or presents a likelihood of disrupting school or a school event. 5. Presents a clear and present likelihood that, either because of its content or manner of distribution or display, it causes or is likely to cause a material and substantial disruption of school or school activities, a violation of school regulations, or the commission of an unlawful act.” It’s the Berkeley trick, currently thriving on that campus: ‘You can’t say that because it will make me go crazy.’
This is ominous. Jim Treacher writes, “Get ready for more of these stories around the country as we get closer to the election.” Yes, and get ready for retaliation, if authorities and institutions don’t make it clear that such intimidation will not be tolerated from “the resistance.”