Does ISD #701 Support a Rape Culture???

A one post departure from biking once AGAIN… damn this is the broken record of all broken record’s, that just won’t stop!!

I thought about paying to have this put in the local paper, thought about it.

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Some of the feedback I recieved by people I respect for their honesty, and just being good solid humans; was less than stellar.
Some comments, but not all.

“Are you going for the shock value in the begining?”
My answer… YES!!
Something has to give in this situation.

“Maybe you should sit on this for awhile, you sound very angry here.”
Again, YES I’m angry!!
At the lack of concern by the district’s leadership.

Then there was even more support the other way…… like…..
“I really REALLY like it!”

And, “I couldn’t have said it better, good for you!”

I referenced what Amanda Batty went through at pinkbike almost a year ago in the opening two paragraphs of this letter.
Then read Red Kite Prayer dot coms two articles by Patrick Brady totally backing up Amanda.
#1. Pinkgate.
#2. Too Many White Guys.
Now this is within the bike industry, but it didn’t deal with actual physical rape; am I wrong to draw the line from what Amanda went through, to those 60 plus young girls and what they went through, at the hands of an assistant principal of Hibbing High School??
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, click here.

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You be the judge…..

Do I have your attention now??

Rape Culture defined…..
“Rape Culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popularculture.”

While the actions of Mr. Fleming didn’t involve drugs or alcohol; and can not be classified as rape, they did involve power.
Power over vulnerable children; yet his actions definitely fall under the term (how sad we have a term), “rape culture.”
While Mr. Fleming most definetly DID NOT physically rape those young girls, the effects of WHAT HE DID DO, are the same as if he had.

Yet ISD #701 says let’s move forward from this. How can this be?
That a few elected officals and a superintendent can ignore something that is so glaring WRONG??

Also, in light of this new “alleged” misconduct by a teacher….. who’s running this circus that’s ISD #701??

This seems to be a district wide problem!!
From the afore mentioned vice principal Mr. Fleming’s proven misconduct; to a male teacher sending pictures of his “junk” to female students…. WHAT?? To other leaders of the district lacking in moral clarity, and using poor judgment.
With the bright spot light that’s been on this district for how long?
How could an adult think this was a good idea??
Dog doo… AGAIN!!

It’s ok, let’s whisper about wrong doings in the corner, or talk quietly amongst ourselves; but never ever ever say anything out loud!! God forbid, the horror!!
Hey that’s the exact reason this district is circling the toilet bowl, but let’s keep doing the same thing!!

While this sheds a light on one teacher’s huge lapse in judgement; it SHOULD NOT however cast any bad light on all the totally awesome teacher’s that work throughout this school district.

“If women/young girls can’t speak out for fear of retaliation, then it falls to men to stand up for what’s right.”
– Patrick Brady: redkiteprayer.com

Are there any MEN with strong morals left in ISD #701??
Is the moral compass completely broken at H.H.S.?
Maybe it’s time for ISD #701 to be lead by strong capable women?
Because men sure have put this district in the toilet!!

I think that we all need to ask ourselves what is wrong with the school
district’s leadership, how did they fail our children and what can we do to fix the mistakes?
Repeatedly ISD #701 has stepped in the proverbial dog doo.
Almost always, ISD #701 does the opposite of the right thing. Why have the mistakes continued to be perpetuated and why won’t the leaders of the school admit that wrongdoing has occurred?  As far as I’m concerned this wrongdoing is morally wrong and perhaps even criminal.

Onward…..
Parents, community members and students want to express their concern to the school board members yet are unable to do so in the current structure?  Why must the meeting be held at 3pm? Who is this convenient for? 
The meetings are held at this time to be an obstacle to those who would like to attend but cannot. 
Another obstacle is the refusal of the school board chairman and superintendent to allow community participation in the meetings.
Why is this?
They are supposed to represent the citizens and most important the students.
However, this representation is not occurring. 

In turbulent times such as these, which have been brought on by a partial “do nothing school board” and a less than professional former superintendent, there should be NO issues with board meeting times being moved.
This would accommodate working community member’s who feel the need to voice their opinion, good or bad.
It would go a long way towards showing community member’s and the district employees they (the school board) are serious about being transparent and truly taking steps to move forward.

The school board members should listen to the opinions with respect.
Take the good with the bad, own your mistakes just like you’d take the praise.
I have verified with other school districts throughout the state, both big and small in all instances that meeting times are between 5-7pm to allow for parent and community participation.

An example of this school boards unwillingness to do the right thing….

“In the January board meeting, three of the members refused to follow the previous stated rule as to who was next in line to be chairman.  Why do they continue to do things that are self serving and do not benefit the school?” 

The current chairman speaks to the other board members in such a condescending undertone.
He demonstrates no respect for school board members, parents or students.
It would appear that he has his own agenda and this does not include improving the school.

It’s time we as a community stand up and say enough!!

Furthermore,
Recently the spokesperson of the Hibbing Coalition for Safe and Accountable schools was denied speaking time…. WHY???
Again, every school district that I talked to–each and every one said public speaking time was excepted and encouraged.
Each district had different time limits but public speaking time, both good and bad speaking is encouraged.
What makes ISD #701 immune from allowing community member’s to voice their opinion?
Hmm…. funny how that works isn’t it?

If a concerned citizen/parent has something to say, they should have ample time to voice their concerns, be it good or bad.

If the school board was run by adults who didn’t think they come before the children I really don’t think we’d be where we are today.

How dare Superintendent Johnson deem his emails confidential or proprietary to his or anyone else’s  “need to know.”
The only logical conclusion I’ve been able to come up with??
Certain board members and Superintendent Johnson have a problem with strong, smart, well spoken women.
I mean really, what else could it be, maybe because they know she’s right??
Hmm

This is a school system in disarray from top to bottom from years of doing the wrong thing.
Doesn’t this register with anyone??
I don’t understand why there aren’t more people speaking up?
The people in charge of ISD #701 are acting like it’s fine, or no big deal… let’s just move forward. I know I’m not “ok” with such thinking!! Are you?

Has society’s moral compass become so broken that keeping someone such as Mr. Fleming amongst youngsters, who he habitually, (yes 60 times is habitual) exploited become the norm??
God help us all if this is true!!

In closing, I’ll leave you with this thought…. WHAT IF???
One more time WHAT IF???
Mr. Fleming has an itch he just can’t scratch, WHAT IF???
Mr. Fleming does something worse than he’s already done??
Remember now it’s proven…. 
WHAT IF???????
Who’ll be to blame then??
I ask…. WHAT IF???

These are MY words and MY words alone… MY NAME is Joe Sacco