Parents: Teacher silenced son on hunting


tracker

New member
By Dennis Jensen Herald Staff

BENNINGTON — Saying their son was "silenced" by his teacher for talking about hunting in the classroom, the parents of a fourth-grade student at North Bennington Graded School took their son out of school and have taken their case to the local school board.

Jared Harrington's mother, Wendy Bordwell, and his father, Martin Harrington, removed their son from school with 10 days left in the school year and home-schooled the 10-year-old boy.

"We are aggressively pursuing Jared's right to free speech," Bordwell said.

The couple addressed the local school board Monday night to air their grievance.

Bordwell said in a telephone interview that she believed her son was "singled out" by Kathleen Backus, Jared's teacher, while talking about hunting with a schoolmate.

Bordwell said that, during snack time, Jared was discussing the recent spring turkey hunting season with a classmate when Backus interrupted the conversation, insisting that there be no talk of "killing" in her classroom.

Reached through a relative, Backus declined to comment.

At Monday's board meeting, Bordwell read from a prepared statement.

"I believe that Ms. Backus' perception of hunting and hunters have led her to treat Jared in an inappropriate manner, singling him out unfairly," she told the board.

"The breaking point for us, his parents, came when Jared was sharing a conversation during his free period snack time at school. He was talking with a friend about the recent spring 2008 turkey season. Both boys had been out hunting with their dads and Jared was asking his friend where he had gotten his first turkey.

"Jared's teacher covered her ears, trying to block the conversation, and singing 'la la la la.' When asked by another school employee about her odd behavior, the teacher claimed she did not want to hear about the boys and their 'killing.' The boys were left feeling that they were not legitimate hunters, but 'killers' in the eyes of an important authority figure in their lives," Bordwell said.

Jared "has a working knowledge of firearms, archery and the sport of hunting," Bordwell said.

In an interview, Boardwell said that while Backus told her and Jared's father "emphatically that she had no problem with hunting," her comments made it clear that she did, in fact, deplore sport hunting.

Bordwell said that after the incident at school, Jared's father approached Backus, questioning the teacher about her "reprimand" of his son.

"The confrontation ended with Ms. Backus demanding that Marty leave the classroom, screeching, 'I went hiking this weekend and saw a moose and a bear, and I will never tell you where they are because you might kill them," Bordwell said.

Bordwell suggested to the board that a decision by Backus to eliminate all free snack periods in the classroom, changing them to "working" snack time for the remainder of the school year, was designed to stop the flow of free conversation among Jared and the other students.

Bordwell said in the interview that the "working" snack time was designed by Backus to intimidate Jared.

"In this way, she would have control over any conversation," Bordwell said, "and we felt that kind of management plan would single Jared out among his peers. It was created and designed to silence him."

At that point, Bordwell said, it was decided to home-school Jared.

"And since we decided to remove Jared from school for the last 10 days of school, we've learned that the "working" snack time has never been imposed," she said.

After Jared's parents decided to take up the matter with the school board, Backus assigned 137 pages of homework for the boy.

"That led us to believe he was being singled out," Bordwell said.

Martin Harrington owns and operates Marty's Sporting Goods in Bennington, so Jared has been around firearms and sport hunting since he was a very young boy, Bordwell said.

School Principal Thomas Martin said he is confident the administration and the school board "can reach a reasonable understanding" among the parties involved in the matter.

"It's not a huge issue," Martin said in an interview. "Marty is a good kid and Kathleen is a good teacher. The focus is on the kid. We want to try to meet his needs. Kathy cares a great deal about kids. She's troubled a great deal about this."

Martin said the issue is neither "black and white or right and wrong. It's more complicated than that. It's brushing up against a number of things that are important to a lot of people and issues relating to the classroom. Emotions start to feed into it when people's belief systems come into play," he said.

Martin said he would not support any move that would inhibit conversations about any student's hobby, "as long as it is in the parameters of good taste."

After both sides in the issue have been heard, Martin said, he expects a fair solution.

"Obviously, I'd like to see Jared in school," he said. "It's obviously a concern for me. He's a sweet kid; he's a great boy."

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HK4U

New member
At that point, Bordwell said, it was decided to home-school Jared.


Good for them. May prove to be the best move they ever made.
 

tracker

New member
Exactly---Teachers are employed to Teach-----Remember "The Three R's----They are not there to Ridicule, and force their Opinions---Not related to classroom subjects---Down the throats of our children!!!! Ya Just Gotta Love It!!!
 

festus

God Bless Our Troops!!!
Teacher???

"I believe that Ms. Backus' perception of hunting and hunters have led her to treat Jared in an inappropriate manner, singling him out unfairly," she told the board.

"The breaking point for us, his parents, came when Jared was sharing a conversation during his free period snack time at school. He was talking with a friend about the recent spring 2008 turkey season. Both boys had been out hunting with their dads and Jared was asking his friend where he had gotten his first turkey.

"Jared's teacher covered her ears, trying to block the conversation, and singing 'la la la la.' When asked by another school employee about her odd behavior, the teacher claimed she did not want to hear about the boys and their 'killing.' The boys were left feeling that they were not legitimate hunters, but 'killers' in the eyes of an important authority figure in their lives," Bordwell said.

Jared "has a working knowledge of firearms, archery and the sport of hunting," Bordwell said.

In an interview, Boardwell said that while Backus told her and Jared's father "emphatically that she had no problem with hunting," her comments made it clear that she did, in fact, deplore sport hunting.

Bordwell said that after the incident at school, Jared's father approached Backus, questioning the teacher about her "reprimand" of his son.

"The confrontation ended with Ms. Backus demanding that Marty leave the classroom, screeching, 'I went hiking this weekend and saw a moose and a bear, and I will never tell you where they are because you might kill them," Bordwell said.


This is what happens when left wing, limp wristed, quiche eating, birkenstock wearing, tree hugging, self righteous do-gooders try to force their opinions on sound thinking Americans.
 

toreskha

Titles are un-American.
She sounds like an overbearing lunatic who relentlessly pursued an agenda and attempts to persuade people who do not want to be persuaded to her point of view. She probably chose teaching as a career because she knew there would be a fairly captive audience on which she could impose her opinions and try to make tinier versions of her own liberal self.

birkenstock wearing
They're good shoes, though.
 

tracker

New member
"This is what happens when left wing, limp wristed, quiche eating, birkenstock wearing, tree hugging, self righteous do-gooders try to force their opinions on sound thinking Americans."

Now festus---Don't Hold Back---"Tell us How you Really Feel"----hahahahah
 

KimberRB

New member
This is crap. I have been teaching for almost 30 years and I can tell you a teacher is just that. You are to teach the lessons you have in your plan. You are to keep your personal views to your self. I hope they can this teacher, she not only violated a trust but acted more like the kids she was to teach. LA LA LA my A&*.
 

festus

God Bless Our Troops!!!
I tried to keep it PG rated

"This is what happens when left wing, limp wristed, quiche eating, birkenstock wearing, tree hugging, self righteous do-gooders try to force their opinions on sound thinking Americans."

Now festus---Don't Hold Back---"Tell us How you Really Feel"----hahahahah

I wanted to add "spineless, hopeless, witless, clueless, useless, brainless, morally bankrupt, mentally inept, and socially deficient.
I may still add socially retarded, and ACLU embracing fused with environmentally disturbed and fiscally challenged!
 
This is crap. I have been teaching for almost 30 years and I can tell you a teacher is just that. You are to teach the lessons you have in your plan. You are to keep your personal views to your self. I hope they can this teacher, she not only violated a trust but acted more like the kids she was to teach. LA LA LA my A&*.

+1 Don't see the need for a teacher of all people to do the "La la la" crap. I dated a school teacher once, she was "anti" on both guns and hunting. Funny how she pulled the same crap when I was talking with friends about guns or hunting. I suggested that she leave the room, but she insisted saying that the "la la la" crap was part of her "professional training" ?????

I've been invited to several classrooms to share my knowledge of wildlife and hunting here in Hawaii. I never knew that the teachers who invited me were actually "anti" hunters. It was at the suggestion of collegues that I be invited to speak about the wildlife and how the different animals have their roles here in Hawaii. I was impressed by their professionalism and for keeping an open mind. At the end of my presentation they were made aware that hunters are necessary here in Hawaii (we don't have predatory mammals). I now speak on a regular basis for several of these newly "pro" teachers. :)



gf
 

tracker

New member
Well---I have nothing left to say---festus has " Pretty Much Summed It Up" Yet once again, being the "Gentleman" that festus is , he has "Curbed His Tongue" ( Now that is a cool Southern phrase ). HaHaHa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Scarecrow

New member
I wanted to add "spineless, hopeless, witless, clueless, useless, brainless, morally bankrupt, mentally inept, and socially deficient.
I may still add socially retarded, and ACLU embracing fused with environmentally disturbed and fiscally challenged!

festus.. you speak wisdom... but you forgot "mental dwarf".
 

tracker

New member
True---and I am sure that if festus was not trying to be "A Swell Guy"---He would have also mentioned the "Mental Midgets"
 

HK4U

New member
festus wrote,
This is what happens when left wing, limp wristed, quiche eating, Birkenstock wearing, tree hugging, self righteous do-gooders try to force their opinions on sound thinking Americans.

That is what I like. No mincing of words. Actually you may have been to kind.
 

festus

God Bless Our Troops!!!
You guys are too kind!

I had to learn how to verbally abuse a person as part of my military training. The Idea is not to curse and not to say the same thing twice. If you do this you to will be able to joust with:

Socially impaired, hoplo-phobic, narrow minded, egotistical, ignoramous's that have delusions of adequacy with narcissistic elitism (also known as a childish hissy fit throwing sissyfied tantrum tossing, pouting little sorry excuse for a human being that is doing nothing more than sucking up good air and depriving a village somewhere of an idiot).

In summation an individual so stupid that they are sucking the intelligence out of every living thing within 30 feet of them and should be considered a danger to the mental wellbeing of others.
 

Mortpes

New member
I do hope you seek legal counsel on this issue. It is important that you help your son with special counseling. Teachers can traumatize young students and inflict emotiona scars that can last a lifetime. I know. I have been there.
 

Scarecrow

New member
Maybe we should send Ted Nugent her way.

good idea.. let's get a hold of him. I'm sure he would rip her a new one and she would be crying so bad because she would finally realize how much of a mindless little air sucker she is.
 

LiveBlues

Chuck & Ted 2012
I wonder how she would have felt if that moose or bear had decided that they wanted to do bodily harm to her while she was hiking? Both are certainly capable, and the moose may have done just as a goof if he was bored, since they are mean spirited.

She is another nutjob who has no business shaping the minds of young children. Stick to the lesson plan!
 

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