What’s A Blogging Ethicist To Do?

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.”

13 thoughts on “What’s A Blogging Ethicist To Do?

  1. To answer your question what would regular EA readers would say if you said a teacher has no right to pull a political pin promoting Elizabeth Warren I feel confident that 99.9 percent would be in complete agreement with that belief.

    If not, they have not learned much.

  2. “….intimidation or organizations promoting any of these…” is right in the code.

    Well, there you go. We all know the Deranged believe that Trump supporters promote violence and intimidation.

    But, no, a teacher doesn’t have the right to pull a political campaign button off of a student.

  3. I’m not optimistic that this black shirted teacher will get anything but admonished by the school administration for his behavior. He has a free pass to bully students because he is black and the NAACP will certainly come to his rescue if he is suspended from his teaching duties. Perhaps the parents of the girl will pursue a lawsuit but unless they have deep pockets, the outcome doesn’t look good.

  4. …get ready for retaliation, if authorities and institutions don’t make it clear that such intimidation will not be tolerated from “the resistance.”

    Americans are particularly sensitive to blatant unequal treatment. Allowing one side of a political dispute impunity while penalizing the other for identical behavior is guaranteed to stoke resentment and retaliation. The ‘authorities and institutions’ have violated the social contract in most cases today.

    Hell is coming… and it is riding in with Trump in 2020.

  5. I went to high school at one run by the Irish Christian Brothers, who’d do a lot more than yank a pin off of your sweater if you stepped out of line, particularly the older, old school ones (and some of the lay teachers as well). If you wanted rights, you could go back to public school.

    In this case, however, we are talking public school, and one of the rules should be that teachers must always remain neutral with regard to politics and religion. Another rule should be that no teacher may touch a student, especially one of the opposite sex, except to render first aid or to break up an altercation. This is basic common sense. And forcible removal of articles of clothing, even something like a pin, is right out. It would be one thing to say “put that pin in your pocket, no politics in this classroom,” but yanking it off by force? My first reaction would be “what is wrong with you?”

    Unfortunately, because it’s Trump, too many people will ask first “what’s wrong with this kid, supporting Trump openly? Doesn’t she know he’s a racist, sexist, xenophobe? That teacher did her a favor.” Where I come from, something like that is called “schooling,” where you use force to teach someone a life lesson, like who to respect, who to obey, who NOT to piss off, etc. My grandfather, in his days when he had a business supplying oil, coal, and so on, briefly had a black employee, who at one point was hosing oil off some metal surface with hot water. My grandfather yelled for him, and he promptly turned, squirting my grandfather with the hot water (he was not too swift). My grandfather bellowed a racial slur and attacked him before telling him to get his stuff and leave. He complained to the police, who were all either Irish, Italian, or Portuguese, and they laughed and said my grandfather had just schooled him and probably done him a favor.

    I guess the left has turned to schooling, to teach who you are and aren’t allowed to support. Frankly, maybe it’s time we on the right started schooling back. Enough hijabs get pulled off, enough Antifa guys get the crap beaten out of them and unmasked on camera, maybe this crap stops. Maybe this kid’s dad needs to show up at the school, demand to see this teacher, and say “I give one warning, so consider this yours. If you touch my daughter again I will come back here and stomp a mudhole into your back. I’m not kidding, either,” then actually follow through.

    • Here is an example of schooling.


      I was constantly bullied. I tried it Mom’s way…tell a teacher, avoid the bully, run away if I could, but I still got busted lips, torn clothes, and bruises.

      Finally Dad couldn’t take anymore. He pulled me to the side and said, “Boy, this is just a secret between you and me. Next time you are bullied….fight back. Go nuts on them. I don’t care if they are bigger. Just go crazy and try to make them hurt. Don’t worry about Mom. I’ll deal with her. Don’t worry about the school either….tell them you won’t accept any punishment without them talking to me…and only me….first.”

      Armed with this permission, when the bully cornered me in the changing area before gym, I went off. I got a busted lip out of the deal, but the bully ended up with two black eyes, a concussion, three cracked ribs, and a loose tooth. I just went berserk, and even when he gave up I continued the beating. The funny thing is, the coach saw the whole thing, knew what I had endured, and let me cut loose.

      This told the others I was not to be bullied. Word got around quickly. It was no longer fun to pick on me, and with the damage I had inflicted, it gave other bullies pause.

      However, the bully’s parents were not so pleased. They complained to the principal, who called me into the office and said I had to be suspended for a week. As planned, I told him I wouldn’t accept the suspension until he talked to Dad. I gave him Dad’s work number. He called, and Dad came right over.

      My Dad at the time worked in a lumberyard. He had to lift 150 lb. stumps into the back of a deuce and a half (a large truck) all day. Dad was HUGE. He came into the office, nodded to me, and listened to the principal rage about how I was the one who caused trouble fighting, and how I almost killed the other guy. My Dad didn’t say a word and got up from his seat.

      He walked around and picked up the principal by his throat and pinned him to the wall. He then quietly said, “Every day my kid came home, torn clothes, beat up, crying, miserable. You folks did nothing. He tells you he’s getting bullied. Still nothing. He tried to avoid fighting, and they chase him down. You still do nothing. Now he’s beaten up a bully. NOW’S THE TIME TO DO NOTHING.”

      “He’s not getting suspended, doing sentences, standing in a corner, nothing. If I hear he gets any punishment for this, or gets bullied in the future, and you guys do nothing, I’m coming back here….and giving YOU what the bully did to my son. Understand?” The principal croaked out a yes.

      There were a few more incidents with others after that. One involved me getting tripped and my nose got broken. That ended with me destroying half the classroom, and two boys having their desks flung down the stairs. But because of it being a case of me being bullied, not a word was said, and no punishment was put upon me. But the word was out…I was a victim no longer, and to mess with me meant swift justice, a thing no bully wanted. It was a lesson I had to teach a couple of times in high school as well.

      Unfortunately, history has repeated itself. My son is disabled, and was being picked on. I however, witnessed it myself, and put the fear of God into them.

      We should all teach our kids that fighting is a last resort when all other efforts have failed. But we also need to teach our kids that when they stand up for themselves, we have their back.

      I wish there were more people like this.

  6. Today’s “the media isn’t biased at all” incident:


    No live coverage of Republicans dissecting the incredibly damning IG report, which the networks continue to pretend exculpates Comey. This is what’s going to happen at the Senate impeachment trial, too: CNN and MSNBC will find it not newsworthy enough to cover live. They’ll cut away from the Republicans, return for Democrats to spout talking points, and then follow up with dishonest commentary.

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