Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Threats are No Joke

Okay, so the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has upheld the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, which, in turn, upheld Richard Mabbett, the Superintendent of Schools for the Weedsport Central School District.

Aaron Wisniewski, one of the brats under Mabbett's charge, had sent out an AOL Instant Message to his buddies, said message entailing an icon depicting a pistol firing a bullet at a person's head, with splattered blood, and the legend "Kill Mr. VanderMolen." Aaron's English teacher was Mr. Philip VanderMolen. Aaron was suspended from school for a semester, and the lawsuit captioned Wisniewski v. Board of Education followed.

[As this post is being written, the judicial opinions seem to only be available on proprietary fee-based databases. The LEXIS-NEXIS cite is Wisniewski v. Board of Education, 2007 U.S. App. LEXIS 15924 (2d Cir. 2007), aff'g 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41017 (N.D.N.Y. 2006).].

My commentary on the case:

1. Remember that the incident occurred in April 2001, which was before the Muslim terrorist attack of September 11, 2001. A few weeks prior to the incident, the student body had previously been informed that threats would not be tolerated and would be treated as acts of violence. Seems that Superintendent Mabbett and his subalterns knew, even in those halcyon pre-September 11th days, that terroristic threats are inimical to an environment conducive to effective education.

2. The lawsuit made some ado over the fact that the incident did not occur on school property, and did not use school computers. But Mabbett appreciated that his concern should not end at the boundary line to the school property. And the courts upheld him.

3. At the time of the incident, Aaron Wisniewski was a 15-year-old in the 8th grade. Having been duly apprised of the illegality of his acts, and of the potential consequences thereof, he chose to transgress, and he received the punishment. So far, so good. But then, his parents, Marty and Annette, got upset that their darling son's First Amendment rights to free speech were trampled upon, and brought the lawsuit. Maybe this is Aaron's real problem. Maybe he is the victim of piss-poor parenting. Maybe his parents ought to stop being terrorism facilitators and start being parents.

4. If truth be told, my own conduct in elementary and secondary school was not always that of the model student. I transgressed the rules on more than a few occasions, and the consequences of such transgressions, ranging from being compelled to stand in a corner to a one-day suspension, were imposed upon me. I didn't go home crying to Mommy and/or Daddy because I knew that Mommy and Daddy would invariably back the school principal every time. For that reason, the discipline imposed upon me was a success! I misbehaved, so I was punished! I eventually got tired of being punished, so I started to significantly curtail my misbehaviors. Works like a charm!

5. The plaintiffs in the case are "Martin and Annette Wisniewski, on behalf of their son Aaron Wisniewski." Of all of my youthful misbehaviors, not once did I ever threaten or harm any of my math teachers, and so, they were able to effectively teach me the subject in a nurturing environment. Applying the mathematical skills I learned back in grade school and high school, I figure that Aaron Wisniewski, who was 15 years old in April of 2001, is now 21 years old. And if indeed he is 21 years old, he should dismiss his parents from the case, accept the dismissal of his case, accept the one semester suspension he was given 6 years ago and then straighten out and fly right!

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  • At 09 July, 2007 15:16, Blogger Sam Leo said…

    Just checking out to see what you are about.
    After reading your twisted thoughts on vusiznies i wanted to see what else you have to say for yourself.

    Meanwhile you have ZERO comments on your blog. Which means nobody is realy interested in what you have to say.
    I guess you should keep your thoughts to yourself or at least think before you make such comments days after a man was killed by a car. Think about his/your family, that may help.


  • At 09 July, 2007 18:45, Blogger Expatriate Owl said…

    This Blog was not established for the purpose of entering or competing in a popularity contest. The purpose of this Blog is to express views which I hold, which may or may not be popular, and which are not otherwise being expressed by others (at least to my attention and knowledge). Accordingly,the blog has not been advertised or marketed in the blogosphere, nor are there any current plans to engage in such marketing efforts.

    I really, really don't care if anyone has any comment on the postings. And I really, really don't care whether you or anyone else agrees with the postings or comments on this or any other blog.

    And since when were you engaged to be my editor, censor or mouthpiece?

  • At 09 July, 2007 22:32, Blogger Sam Leo said…


    I won't argue with you.


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