Lawsuit against the School District Proceeds

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It did not have to be this way. Guy Fischer only wants a safe environment where his son can attend school without fear of harassment. But unfortunately the school district has not done enough in Mr. Fischer’s mind to assure this.

On November 10, we broke this story, as I happened to be at a Davis Human Relations Commissions meeting where Harper Junior High School Principal David Inns gave a report about this incident that indicated that they had taken care of it and parent Guy Fischer came in and said that everything was not taken care of and they do not believe that their son is safe attending school. Since then this issue was brought up at the Davis City Council and School Board Meetings, received front page coverage in the Davis Enterprise, and now has been covered on at least two news broadcasts in Sacramento.

The Fischers said the school has done little to help alleviate an atmosphere where homophobic harassment is tolerated. “We have given them every opportunity to make it safe for Zachary to come back to school and they have failed to do that,” said Fischer.

According to a Sacramento ABC News 10 report last night,

“Zachary Fischer says on more than 23 occasions, students used vile and offensive language, even after he reported the incidents to administrators.”

Some of the worst things we cannot even repeat here, but they are quite vile and horrifying that Junior High School students would utter such things.

But district officials said that isn’t true. “We feel very badly that a student was harassed and yet we also feel that we work very hard to make sure it doesn’t happen or when we hear about it we stop it happening immediately,” said Associate Superintendent Ginni Davis. She said that several students involved in the harassment were suspended and the parents of about a dozen others were notified so they could reprimand their own children. In addition, the principal of Harper Junior High, David Inns, said he held an assembly to inform all the students that such language is neither appropriate nor will it be tolerated.

Unfortunately, we sound like a broken record on this incident. Get Zachary Fischer back in school and worry about the rest later. It is that simple. The school district needs to make this happen. They needed to make this happen on November 11, 2006 and they need to make this happen on December 8, 2006. The lawsuit now complicates this process, but for the sake of the welfare of the student, the school district should work with the family to get the student back into school.

Please view the video of the news broadcast from Sacramento News 10 from Thursday evening.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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84 thoughts on “Lawsuit against the School District Proceeds”

  1. Anonymous

    I have been following this story very closely since it began. After seeing the News 10 report, I am quite disturbed. I am disturbed by the administration and school board personnel, because it is obvious to me how Ginni Davis’s remarks and facial expresions clearly show how cavalier they are regarding the matter, and in all cases where she has addressed the issue I have yet to hear any new statements on any additional improvements on addressing the on going issues. All I have heard is that they have done an assembly and suspended 2 kids out of 14, 5 received detention and the remaining talked to. Where is the proactive part to correct the issues in the future? Why have they not done more to allow the student to feel safe to return to school? Why does the family feel like they have to file a law suite?

    To compound the issue, Keltie Jones School Board President, stated on the news report that “as long as people dont agree with the life style their will always be remarks” This sounds like acceptance to allowing taunting and harassment to me. This sounds as if it should be allowed to continue. Because black people have darker skin, should they have to be tolerant to racial slurs and racial profiling? I THINK NOT!!!! THEIR IS NO DIFFERENCE IN MY OPINION.

    Lets think about something for a second, our elected school board has the power to change these problems, they have the control over our school site administrators and District officials, yet they sit on their hands and idelly let it take place with little or no action. From a third party perspective, I see a lot of smoke and mirrors, with virtually no true corrective action regarding this matter.

    Further more, I have just learned that at the break of the School
    Board meeting for which Mr. Fischer and his son spoke, that Assistant Superintendent Ginni Davis, approached an Administrative Law Judge from PFLAG and tried to persuide him to agree with her that is was not appropriate that the student spoke at the meeting, and hinted that the parents for allowing him to be exposed was poor parenting and was looking for support for this motion. I find this to be disturbing that the school district would stup to such a low, that they would attempt to slight the parents for allowing their almost 14 year old son to speak his mind and share with the community on how this has effected him. I believe it is most important that all of us know how the young man has been affected and who better to share those feelings. Perhaps the school district should put this kind of energy into cleaning their own home.

    On a final note, I support this family and all that they have stood up too. I commend them for their courage and ability to let others know and they are not willing to allow the school district and or site to continue their obscene practices. Its about high time this type of garbage stops and we as a community should support this family and patron their business to show they are welcomed regardless.

  2. Anonymous

    I have been following this story very closely since it began. After seeing the News 10 report, I am quite disturbed. I am disturbed by the administration and school board personnel, because it is obvious to me how Ginni Davis’s remarks and facial expresions clearly show how cavalier they are regarding the matter, and in all cases where she has addressed the issue I have yet to hear any new statements on any additional improvements on addressing the on going issues. All I have heard is that they have done an assembly and suspended 2 kids out of 14, 5 received detention and the remaining talked to. Where is the proactive part to correct the issues in the future? Why have they not done more to allow the student to feel safe to return to school? Why does the family feel like they have to file a law suite?

    To compound the issue, Keltie Jones School Board President, stated on the news report that “as long as people dont agree with the life style their will always be remarks” This sounds like acceptance to allowing taunting and harassment to me. This sounds as if it should be allowed to continue. Because black people have darker skin, should they have to be tolerant to racial slurs and racial profiling? I THINK NOT!!!! THEIR IS NO DIFFERENCE IN MY OPINION.

    Lets think about something for a second, our elected school board has the power to change these problems, they have the control over our school site administrators and District officials, yet they sit on their hands and idelly let it take place with little or no action. From a third party perspective, I see a lot of smoke and mirrors, with virtually no true corrective action regarding this matter.

    Further more, I have just learned that at the break of the School
    Board meeting for which Mr. Fischer and his son spoke, that Assistant Superintendent Ginni Davis, approached an Administrative Law Judge from PFLAG and tried to persuide him to agree with her that is was not appropriate that the student spoke at the meeting, and hinted that the parents for allowing him to be exposed was poor parenting and was looking for support for this motion. I find this to be disturbing that the school district would stup to such a low, that they would attempt to slight the parents for allowing their almost 14 year old son to speak his mind and share with the community on how this has effected him. I believe it is most important that all of us know how the young man has been affected and who better to share those feelings. Perhaps the school district should put this kind of energy into cleaning their own home.

    On a final note, I support this family and all that they have stood up too. I commend them for their courage and ability to let others know and they are not willing to allow the school district and or site to continue their obscene practices. Its about high time this type of garbage stops and we as a community should support this family and patron their business to show they are welcomed regardless.

  3. Anonymous

    I have been following this story very closely since it began. After seeing the News 10 report, I am quite disturbed. I am disturbed by the administration and school board personnel, because it is obvious to me how Ginni Davis’s remarks and facial expresions clearly show how cavalier they are regarding the matter, and in all cases where she has addressed the issue I have yet to hear any new statements on any additional improvements on addressing the on going issues. All I have heard is that they have done an assembly and suspended 2 kids out of 14, 5 received detention and the remaining talked to. Where is the proactive part to correct the issues in the future? Why have they not done more to allow the student to feel safe to return to school? Why does the family feel like they have to file a law suite?

    To compound the issue, Keltie Jones School Board President, stated on the news report that “as long as people dont agree with the life style their will always be remarks” This sounds like acceptance to allowing taunting and harassment to me. This sounds as if it should be allowed to continue. Because black people have darker skin, should they have to be tolerant to racial slurs and racial profiling? I THINK NOT!!!! THEIR IS NO DIFFERENCE IN MY OPINION.

    Lets think about something for a second, our elected school board has the power to change these problems, they have the control over our school site administrators and District officials, yet they sit on their hands and idelly let it take place with little or no action. From a third party perspective, I see a lot of smoke and mirrors, with virtually no true corrective action regarding this matter.

    Further more, I have just learned that at the break of the School
    Board meeting for which Mr. Fischer and his son spoke, that Assistant Superintendent Ginni Davis, approached an Administrative Law Judge from PFLAG and tried to persuide him to agree with her that is was not appropriate that the student spoke at the meeting, and hinted that the parents for allowing him to be exposed was poor parenting and was looking for support for this motion. I find this to be disturbing that the school district would stup to such a low, that they would attempt to slight the parents for allowing their almost 14 year old son to speak his mind and share with the community on how this has effected him. I believe it is most important that all of us know how the young man has been affected and who better to share those feelings. Perhaps the school district should put this kind of energy into cleaning their own home.

    On a final note, I support this family and all that they have stood up too. I commend them for their courage and ability to let others know and they are not willing to allow the school district and or site to continue their obscene practices. Its about high time this type of garbage stops and we as a community should support this family and patron their business to show they are welcomed regardless.

  4. Anonymous

    I have been following this story very closely since it began. After seeing the News 10 report, I am quite disturbed. I am disturbed by the administration and school board personnel, because it is obvious to me how Ginni Davis’s remarks and facial expresions clearly show how cavalier they are regarding the matter, and in all cases where she has addressed the issue I have yet to hear any new statements on any additional improvements on addressing the on going issues. All I have heard is that they have done an assembly and suspended 2 kids out of 14, 5 received detention and the remaining talked to. Where is the proactive part to correct the issues in the future? Why have they not done more to allow the student to feel safe to return to school? Why does the family feel like they have to file a law suite?

    To compound the issue, Keltie Jones School Board President, stated on the news report that “as long as people dont agree with the life style their will always be remarks” This sounds like acceptance to allowing taunting and harassment to me. This sounds as if it should be allowed to continue. Because black people have darker skin, should they have to be tolerant to racial slurs and racial profiling? I THINK NOT!!!! THEIR IS NO DIFFERENCE IN MY OPINION.

    Lets think about something for a second, our elected school board has the power to change these problems, they have the control over our school site administrators and District officials, yet they sit on their hands and idelly let it take place with little or no action. From a third party perspective, I see a lot of smoke and mirrors, with virtually no true corrective action regarding this matter.

    Further more, I have just learned that at the break of the School
    Board meeting for which Mr. Fischer and his son spoke, that Assistant Superintendent Ginni Davis, approached an Administrative Law Judge from PFLAG and tried to persuide him to agree with her that is was not appropriate that the student spoke at the meeting, and hinted that the parents for allowing him to be exposed was poor parenting and was looking for support for this motion. I find this to be disturbing that the school district would stup to such a low, that they would attempt to slight the parents for allowing their almost 14 year old son to speak his mind and share with the community on how this has effected him. I believe it is most important that all of us know how the young man has been affected and who better to share those feelings. Perhaps the school district should put this kind of energy into cleaning their own home.

    On a final note, I support this family and all that they have stood up too. I commend them for their courage and ability to let others know and they are not willing to allow the school district and or site to continue their obscene practices. Its about high time this type of garbage stops and we as a community should support this family and patron their business to show they are welcomed regardless.

  5. CTL

    On the News 10 report they stated that the school held an assembly which stated that harassment would not be tolerated. Well that is not exactly factual. I attended this assembly at the school and even though the Principal David Inns may have used those words he followed it up with “You MAY be suspended” which does not give a clear message to the students whats so ever. What part of MAY shows NO TOLERANCE? Which part of MAY states ZERO TOLERANCE?

    Additionally the school was to hold in room discussions during the students 3rd period home room. The district coordinator Mel Lewis had provided a guideline for which to be followed during these discussions and it was to be interactive, and all 44 minutes of the class should have been utilized. It has been reported by 3 independent students from 3 seperate classes that this did not take place, i.e. both 9th graders stated in their 2 classes that the teacher spoke of the issue for approx. 1 minute and simply said that its not ok. The 3rd student an 8th grader stated they did not discuss the matter at all, zero, zilch, nodda.

    MMMMmmmmm in listening to the school administration, one should question their true motives and handling of this matter.

    We as a community should not tolerate such ignorance. If you are a parent of a student, you should question your child and afford them the opportunity to speak up and support them with loving arms. You should let others know if your child has been subjected to any issues. As parents you should step forward and present any issues that your family has had to tolerate because the school or district have brushed you off.

    This family has opened the door for anyone with a problem to come forward and make it known. This is your opportunity to make a difference, this is your opportunity to make a stand, this is your opportunity to make a positive change in your childs life as well as every other students life within our “progressive community”

    Do not fear, you will be supported and remember you have the moral obligation to your children.

    I urge everyone not to allow the school district to bully you!!

  6. davisite

    The measures that the school board have put in place to alleviate the vebal harrassment of this youngster need to be scrupulously adhered to by the school prinicple and his staff. Can someone please post an alternative short WORKABLE list of corrective measures that would immediately eliminate the verbal harrassment of this youngster as he moves from class to class?

  7. CTL

    On the News 10 report they stated that the school held an assembly which stated that harassment would not be tolerated. Well that is not exactly factual. I attended this assembly at the school and even though the Principal David Inns may have used those words he followed it up with “You MAY be suspended” which does not give a clear message to the students whats so ever. What part of MAY shows NO TOLERANCE? Which part of MAY states ZERO TOLERANCE?

    Additionally the school was to hold in room discussions during the students 3rd period home room. The district coordinator Mel Lewis had provided a guideline for which to be followed during these discussions and it was to be interactive, and all 44 minutes of the class should have been utilized. It has been reported by 3 independent students from 3 seperate classes that this did not take place, i.e. both 9th graders stated in their 2 classes that the teacher spoke of the issue for approx. 1 minute and simply said that its not ok. The 3rd student an 8th grader stated they did not discuss the matter at all, zero, zilch, nodda.

    MMMMmmmmm in listening to the school administration, one should question their true motives and handling of this matter.

    We as a community should not tolerate such ignorance. If you are a parent of a student, you should question your child and afford them the opportunity to speak up and support them with loving arms. You should let others know if your child has been subjected to any issues. As parents you should step forward and present any issues that your family has had to tolerate because the school or district have brushed you off.

    This family has opened the door for anyone with a problem to come forward and make it known. This is your opportunity to make a difference, this is your opportunity to make a stand, this is your opportunity to make a positive change in your childs life as well as every other students life within our “progressive community”

    Do not fear, you will be supported and remember you have the moral obligation to your children.

    I urge everyone not to allow the school district to bully you!!

  8. davisite

    The measures that the school board have put in place to alleviate the vebal harrassment of this youngster need to be scrupulously adhered to by the school prinicple and his staff. Can someone please post an alternative short WORKABLE list of corrective measures that would immediately eliminate the verbal harrassment of this youngster as he moves from class to class?

  9. CTL

    On the News 10 report they stated that the school held an assembly which stated that harassment would not be tolerated. Well that is not exactly factual. I attended this assembly at the school and even though the Principal David Inns may have used those words he followed it up with “You MAY be suspended” which does not give a clear message to the students whats so ever. What part of MAY shows NO TOLERANCE? Which part of MAY states ZERO TOLERANCE?

    Additionally the school was to hold in room discussions during the students 3rd period home room. The district coordinator Mel Lewis had provided a guideline for which to be followed during these discussions and it was to be interactive, and all 44 minutes of the class should have been utilized. It has been reported by 3 independent students from 3 seperate classes that this did not take place, i.e. both 9th graders stated in their 2 classes that the teacher spoke of the issue for approx. 1 minute and simply said that its not ok. The 3rd student an 8th grader stated they did not discuss the matter at all, zero, zilch, nodda.

    MMMMmmmmm in listening to the school administration, one should question their true motives and handling of this matter.

    We as a community should not tolerate such ignorance. If you are a parent of a student, you should question your child and afford them the opportunity to speak up and support them with loving arms. You should let others know if your child has been subjected to any issues. As parents you should step forward and present any issues that your family has had to tolerate because the school or district have brushed you off.

    This family has opened the door for anyone with a problem to come forward and make it known. This is your opportunity to make a difference, this is your opportunity to make a stand, this is your opportunity to make a positive change in your childs life as well as every other students life within our “progressive community”

    Do not fear, you will be supported and remember you have the moral obligation to your children.

    I urge everyone not to allow the school district to bully you!!

  10. davisite

    The measures that the school board have put in place to alleviate the vebal harrassment of this youngster need to be scrupulously adhered to by the school prinicple and his staff. Can someone please post an alternative short WORKABLE list of corrective measures that would immediately eliminate the verbal harrassment of this youngster as he moves from class to class?

  11. CTL

    On the News 10 report they stated that the school held an assembly which stated that harassment would not be tolerated. Well that is not exactly factual. I attended this assembly at the school and even though the Principal David Inns may have used those words he followed it up with “You MAY be suspended” which does not give a clear message to the students whats so ever. What part of MAY shows NO TOLERANCE? Which part of MAY states ZERO TOLERANCE?

    Additionally the school was to hold in room discussions during the students 3rd period home room. The district coordinator Mel Lewis had provided a guideline for which to be followed during these discussions and it was to be interactive, and all 44 minutes of the class should have been utilized. It has been reported by 3 independent students from 3 seperate classes that this did not take place, i.e. both 9th graders stated in their 2 classes that the teacher spoke of the issue for approx. 1 minute and simply said that its not ok. The 3rd student an 8th grader stated they did not discuss the matter at all, zero, zilch, nodda.

    MMMMmmmmm in listening to the school administration, one should question their true motives and handling of this matter.

    We as a community should not tolerate such ignorance. If you are a parent of a student, you should question your child and afford them the opportunity to speak up and support them with loving arms. You should let others know if your child has been subjected to any issues. As parents you should step forward and present any issues that your family has had to tolerate because the school or district have brushed you off.

    This family has opened the door for anyone with a problem to come forward and make it known. This is your opportunity to make a difference, this is your opportunity to make a stand, this is your opportunity to make a positive change in your childs life as well as every other students life within our “progressive community”

    Do not fear, you will be supported and remember you have the moral obligation to your children.

    I urge everyone not to allow the school district to bully you!!

  12. davisite

    The measures that the school board have put in place to alleviate the vebal harrassment of this youngster need to be scrupulously adhered to by the school prinicple and his staff. Can someone please post an alternative short WORKABLE list of corrective measures that would immediately eliminate the verbal harrassment of this youngster as he moves from class to class?

  13. Rich Rifkin

    One thing I learned in watching the News 10 report last night was that Zachary Fischer himself was suspended last year for making racist remarks aimed at black children. This has probably been reported elsewhere, but I missed it.

    That fact got me to wondering if there is not a racial element to this harrassment: are some of those accused of harrassing Zachary Fischer black? Is it possible that those kids were coming back at Zachary in retaliation for his calling them “N***ers”?

    And because he was suspended for three days for calling black kids the N-word, maybe the district believes that it would be improper to suspend the retaliators any more time than that? If they did — say they expelled those who called Zachary “gay” — might the district be liable for a civil rights case in that they treated anti-gay harrassment more harshly than they did racist harrassment?

    I must say, I was pretty surprised to find that Zachary is a racist. I attended the Davis public schools from kindergarten all the way to graduation from Davis High School, and I never once heard anyone of any race use the N-word. (And I was not isolated in any way from black people.) I wonder who taught Zachary his racism? I wonder if he learned it in Davis or in some other town he has lived in?

    From my experience, kids who are themselves as wealthy as Zachary Fischer and are racists tend to be terribly maladjusted kids. It’s not the case, such as might happen with very poor whites or very poor Latinos, that black people represent some kind of competitive or physical threat. I just wonder what has happened to Zachary to make him so screwed up? It seems like this is a part of the story, and it’s not being told.

  14. Rich Rifkin

    One thing I learned in watching the News 10 report last night was that Zachary Fischer himself was suspended last year for making racist remarks aimed at black children. This has probably been reported elsewhere, but I missed it.

    That fact got me to wondering if there is not a racial element to this harrassment: are some of those accused of harrassing Zachary Fischer black? Is it possible that those kids were coming back at Zachary in retaliation for his calling them “N***ers”?

    And because he was suspended for three days for calling black kids the N-word, maybe the district believes that it would be improper to suspend the retaliators any more time than that? If they did — say they expelled those who called Zachary “gay” — might the district be liable for a civil rights case in that they treated anti-gay harrassment more harshly than they did racist harrassment?

    I must say, I was pretty surprised to find that Zachary is a racist. I attended the Davis public schools from kindergarten all the way to graduation from Davis High School, and I never once heard anyone of any race use the N-word. (And I was not isolated in any way from black people.) I wonder who taught Zachary his racism? I wonder if he learned it in Davis or in some other town he has lived in?

    From my experience, kids who are themselves as wealthy as Zachary Fischer and are racists tend to be terribly maladjusted kids. It’s not the case, such as might happen with very poor whites or very poor Latinos, that black people represent some kind of competitive or physical threat. I just wonder what has happened to Zachary to make him so screwed up? It seems like this is a part of the story, and it’s not being told.

  15. Rich Rifkin

    One thing I learned in watching the News 10 report last night was that Zachary Fischer himself was suspended last year for making racist remarks aimed at black children. This has probably been reported elsewhere, but I missed it.

    That fact got me to wondering if there is not a racial element to this harrassment: are some of those accused of harrassing Zachary Fischer black? Is it possible that those kids were coming back at Zachary in retaliation for his calling them “N***ers”?

    And because he was suspended for three days for calling black kids the N-word, maybe the district believes that it would be improper to suspend the retaliators any more time than that? If they did — say they expelled those who called Zachary “gay” — might the district be liable for a civil rights case in that they treated anti-gay harrassment more harshly than they did racist harrassment?

    I must say, I was pretty surprised to find that Zachary is a racist. I attended the Davis public schools from kindergarten all the way to graduation from Davis High School, and I never once heard anyone of any race use the N-word. (And I was not isolated in any way from black people.) I wonder who taught Zachary his racism? I wonder if he learned it in Davis or in some other town he has lived in?

    From my experience, kids who are themselves as wealthy as Zachary Fischer and are racists tend to be terribly maladjusted kids. It’s not the case, such as might happen with very poor whites or very poor Latinos, that black people represent some kind of competitive or physical threat. I just wonder what has happened to Zachary to make him so screwed up? It seems like this is a part of the story, and it’s not being told.

  16. Rich Rifkin

    One thing I learned in watching the News 10 report last night was that Zachary Fischer himself was suspended last year for making racist remarks aimed at black children. This has probably been reported elsewhere, but I missed it.

    That fact got me to wondering if there is not a racial element to this harrassment: are some of those accused of harrassing Zachary Fischer black? Is it possible that those kids were coming back at Zachary in retaliation for his calling them “N***ers”?

    And because he was suspended for three days for calling black kids the N-word, maybe the district believes that it would be improper to suspend the retaliators any more time than that? If they did — say they expelled those who called Zachary “gay” — might the district be liable for a civil rights case in that they treated anti-gay harrassment more harshly than they did racist harrassment?

    I must say, I was pretty surprised to find that Zachary is a racist. I attended the Davis public schools from kindergarten all the way to graduation from Davis High School, and I never once heard anyone of any race use the N-word. (And I was not isolated in any way from black people.) I wonder who taught Zachary his racism? I wonder if he learned it in Davis or in some other town he has lived in?

    From my experience, kids who are themselves as wealthy as Zachary Fischer and are racists tend to be terribly maladjusted kids. It’s not the case, such as might happen with very poor whites or very poor Latinos, that black people represent some kind of competitive or physical threat. I just wonder what has happened to Zachary to make him so screwed up? It seems like this is a part of the story, and it’s not being told.

  17. Anonymous

    I seriously doubt the real issues involve racist kids or homophobic kids. It sounds like kids acting out because they hate each others guts for whatever reason. Social skills certainly need to be worked on.

    The lawsuit is not going to improve the situation. The adults should reduce the name calling – labeling specific kids as racist/homophobic does not help. I really do not understand why Davis adults spend so much time trying to smear the youth of Davis, without making any effort to investigate the motivation behind behavior.

  18. Anonymous

    I seriously doubt the real issues involve racist kids or homophobic kids. It sounds like kids acting out because they hate each others guts for whatever reason. Social skills certainly need to be worked on.

    The lawsuit is not going to improve the situation. The adults should reduce the name calling – labeling specific kids as racist/homophobic does not help. I really do not understand why Davis adults spend so much time trying to smear the youth of Davis, without making any effort to investigate the motivation behind behavior.

  19. Anonymous

    I seriously doubt the real issues involve racist kids or homophobic kids. It sounds like kids acting out because they hate each others guts for whatever reason. Social skills certainly need to be worked on.

    The lawsuit is not going to improve the situation. The adults should reduce the name calling – labeling specific kids as racist/homophobic does not help. I really do not understand why Davis adults spend so much time trying to smear the youth of Davis, without making any effort to investigate the motivation behind behavior.

  20. Anonymous

    I seriously doubt the real issues involve racist kids or homophobic kids. It sounds like kids acting out because they hate each others guts for whatever reason. Social skills certainly need to be worked on.

    The lawsuit is not going to improve the situation. The adults should reduce the name calling – labeling specific kids as racist/homophobic does not help. I really do not understand why Davis adults spend so much time trying to smear the youth of Davis, without making any effort to investigate the motivation behind behavior.

  21. Rich Rifkin

    “The adults should reduce the name calling – labeling specific kids as racist/homophobic does not help.”

    Of course it’s possible that I am wrong, but I think when, in anger, a person calls someone else a n***er, the person using that word is a racist. I don’t feel admitting as much is “name-calling;” rather, it’s just facing facts.

  22. Rich Rifkin

    “The adults should reduce the name calling – labeling specific kids as racist/homophobic does not help.”

    Of course it’s possible that I am wrong, but I think when, in anger, a person calls someone else a n***er, the person using that word is a racist. I don’t feel admitting as much is “name-calling;” rather, it’s just facing facts.

  23. Rich Rifkin

    “The adults should reduce the name calling – labeling specific kids as racist/homophobic does not help.”

    Of course it’s possible that I am wrong, but I think when, in anger, a person calls someone else a n***er, the person using that word is a racist. I don’t feel admitting as much is “name-calling;” rather, it’s just facing facts.

  24. Rich Rifkin

    “The adults should reduce the name calling – labeling specific kids as racist/homophobic does not help.”

    Of course it’s possible that I am wrong, but I think when, in anger, a person calls someone else a n***er, the person using that word is a racist. I don’t feel admitting as much is “name-calling;” rather, it’s just facing facts.

  25. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    My understanding of that incident is as follows:

    Zach was being harassed by a black student last year, and he said under his breath the “N”, the black student heard it, reported it, and Zach was suspended. Was it wrong for Zach to do that? Yes it was. I learned his lesson (hopefully) and he will not do that again. I do not believe that that incident rises in scale to the level of this one.

  26. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    My understanding of that incident is as follows:

    Zach was being harassed by a black student last year, and he said under his breath the “N”, the black student heard it, reported it, and Zach was suspended. Was it wrong for Zach to do that? Yes it was. I learned his lesson (hopefully) and he will not do that again. I do not believe that that incident rises in scale to the level of this one.

  27. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    My understanding of that incident is as follows:

    Zach was being harassed by a black student last year, and he said under his breath the “N”, the black student heard it, reported it, and Zach was suspended. Was it wrong for Zach to do that? Yes it was. I learned his lesson (hopefully) and he will not do that again. I do not believe that that incident rises in scale to the level of this one.

  28. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    My understanding of that incident is as follows:

    Zach was being harassed by a black student last year, and he said under his breath the “N”, the black student heard it, reported it, and Zach was suspended. Was it wrong for Zach to do that? Yes it was. I learned his lesson (hopefully) and he will not do that again. I do not believe that that incident rises in scale to the level of this one.

  29. Anonymous

    I agree with you that using the “n” word crosses the line of human decency. Furthermore I support the current effort to remove the word from “common” usage – written word, entertainment, music etc.

    However, before you begin to label people racists you better spend time looking at motivation. Kids say all sorts to terrible things to gain attention but that does not make them racist.

    This issue is all about improving the climate within a junior high school. To accomplish that, I read that some adults are calling kids racists and some adults are calling kids homophobic. These adult comments do not seem to be supported by much fact. Kids are watching you and wondering do you support name calling or are you against it. Adults have to lead by example.SAH

  30. Anonymous

    I agree with you that using the “n” word crosses the line of human decency. Furthermore I support the current effort to remove the word from “common” usage – written word, entertainment, music etc.

    However, before you begin to label people racists you better spend time looking at motivation. Kids say all sorts to terrible things to gain attention but that does not make them racist.

    This issue is all about improving the climate within a junior high school. To accomplish that, I read that some adults are calling kids racists and some adults are calling kids homophobic. These adult comments do not seem to be supported by much fact. Kids are watching you and wondering do you support name calling or are you against it. Adults have to lead by example.SAH

  31. Anonymous

    I agree with you that using the “n” word crosses the line of human decency. Furthermore I support the current effort to remove the word from “common” usage – written word, entertainment, music etc.

    However, before you begin to label people racists you better spend time looking at motivation. Kids say all sorts to terrible things to gain attention but that does not make them racist.

    This issue is all about improving the climate within a junior high school. To accomplish that, I read that some adults are calling kids racists and some adults are calling kids homophobic. These adult comments do not seem to be supported by much fact. Kids are watching you and wondering do you support name calling or are you against it. Adults have to lead by example.SAH

  32. Anonymous

    I agree with you that using the “n” word crosses the line of human decency. Furthermore I support the current effort to remove the word from “common” usage – written word, entertainment, music etc.

    However, before you begin to label people racists you better spend time looking at motivation. Kids say all sorts to terrible things to gain attention but that does not make them racist.

    This issue is all about improving the climate within a junior high school. To accomplish that, I read that some adults are calling kids racists and some adults are calling kids homophobic. These adult comments do not seem to be supported by much fact. Kids are watching you and wondering do you support name calling or are you against it. Adults have to lead by example.SAH

  33. G Fischer

    Mr. Rifkin/ To Whom It May Concern,

    In reading your post I am very disappointed in your points and narrow minded view defaming my son as being “racist and screwed up”.

    First, as a family we do not condone or support these thoughts or remarks, regardless of whom state them. Moreover, Zachary openly admitted to his wrong doing immediately and has not made any comments as such prior or since the one and only remark, last year, which was said in a private conversation and happened to be overheard by one individual student. His taking responsibility and ownership of his actions is a strong indicator that he has learned from his poor choice of behavior.

    Regarding your comments that the harassers were black, this is not accurate. These students are of Caucasian and “Latino/Hispano/Chicano” decent. Additionally, Zachary has multiple friends that he socializes with which happen to be African-Americans, within this community, and cousins of African-American heritage.

    The important thing to yield from this wrongful act of Zachary is that the school site has a zero tolerance of racism regarding ethnicity, but has allowed students to participate in other forms of harassment and bigotry, which is not allowed per AB537, an assembly bill which directly addresses sexual orientation harassment and bullying.

    For the record my son is not “screwed up.” What are screwed up are narrow minded individuals, which are quick to judge prior to having all the facts, and clearly speaking without thought. Moreover, what is “screwed up is that the school district and site has allowed harassment and taunting and bulling to continue, even after notification.

    Furthermore, many logical errors litter your post. First, the discussion regarding ethnicity versus sexual orientation harassment and related punishments establishes a straw man. “The straw man fallacy is committed when an arguer distorts an opponent’s argument for the purpose of more easily attacking it, demolishes the distorted argument and then concludes that the opponent’s real argument has been demolished.” This argument falsely turns to a contention that “anti-gay harassment” should be treated with greater footing than racism: clearly this is not the point. The point of the discussion should cause a reasonable person to realize that issues regarding bigotry as a whole are not being treated equally, and should be treated with equal merit. Second, the discussion regarding the possible ethnicity of the harassing students confusingly applies fallacies of presumption, and the fallacy false cause. As stated before, the argument presumes that the identified harassers were of African descent. This is a huge leap, and it is false. The statements in your post further attempt to argue that because of one racist remark, that this has caused individuals of African descent to attack Zachary. The error here is that of post hoc ergo propter hoc or “after this, therefore on account of this,” i.e. African American students heard about a racist remark, African American students will retaliate upon hearing about racism, therefore, the African American students did retaliate. Clearly, your point here makes broad presumptions about certain acts following one another, and also, falsely accuses students of African descent of retaliatory tendencies. Wait, I thought you said you weren’t racist?

    Furthermore, your comments about never hearing other racist remarks while attending school here in Davis are shockingly dismissive and ignorant of school conditions. Davis schools have faced on going issues with bigotry. In the early 1980’s an Asian student had been harassed for his ethnicity. The Asian student reported the problems many times to the staff and the Principal David Murphy (Now DJUSD Superintendent). Mr. Murphy and other staff failed to address the issue adequately and appropriately. The end result was the death of the Asian student from 17 stab wounds from another student while on campus. In the spring of 2002, several local students established a white supremacist Web site. Reportedly, several of these students surrounded and confronted a student of African descent at the high school library. Additionally, in February of 2003, a diverse body of over 100 students addressed the Human Rights Commission discussing racist remarks, sexual orientation discrimination and the bullying and harassment arising from these forms of bigotry. In the spring of 2003, students painted a racial slur, with other incidents reported of verbal confrontations on and off campus. These facts alone demonstrate the continuing problems this school district has had for over 20 plus years. Not everyone has had such great fortune as to be removed from such hateful remarks and actions. An appeal to ignorance of situations does not establish a sound conclusion that bigotry does not exist here in Davis. Regardless of your ignorance, bigotry has permeated and hurt the scholastic community, and the city of Davis as a whole.

    Furthermore, maladjusted individuals come from all walks of life. Psychological difficulties do not discriminate. They can affect anyone.

    For the rest of the community that has been incredibly supportive to my son and family, we appreciate your support and are happy to see and hear how many of you out there truly care. I remind you all this is not simply about our son. Bigotry affects every child within our community.

    Sincerely
    G. Fischer

  34. G Fischer

    Mr. Rifkin/ To Whom It May Concern,

    In reading your post I am very disappointed in your points and narrow minded view defaming my son as being “racist and screwed up”.

    First, as a family we do not condone or support these thoughts or remarks, regardless of whom state them. Moreover, Zachary openly admitted to his wrong doing immediately and has not made any comments as such prior or since the one and only remark, last year, which was said in a private conversation and happened to be overheard by one individual student. His taking responsibility and ownership of his actions is a strong indicator that he has learned from his poor choice of behavior.

    Regarding your comments that the harassers were black, this is not accurate. These students are of Caucasian and “Latino/Hispano/Chicano” decent. Additionally, Zachary has multiple friends that he socializes with which happen to be African-Americans, within this community, and cousins of African-American heritage.

    The important thing to yield from this wrongful act of Zachary is that the school site has a zero tolerance of racism regarding ethnicity, but has allowed students to participate in other forms of harassment and bigotry, which is not allowed per AB537, an assembly bill which directly addresses sexual orientation harassment and bullying.

    For the record my son is not “screwed up.” What are screwed up are narrow minded individuals, which are quick to judge prior to having all the facts, and clearly speaking without thought. Moreover, what is “screwed up is that the school district and site has allowed harassment and taunting and bulling to continue, even after notification.

    Furthermore, many logical errors litter your post. First, the discussion regarding ethnicity versus sexual orientation harassment and related punishments establishes a straw man. “The straw man fallacy is committed when an arguer distorts an opponent’s argument for the purpose of more easily attacking it, demolishes the distorted argument and then concludes that the opponent’s real argument has been demolished.” This argument falsely turns to a contention that “anti-gay harassment” should be treated with greater footing than racism: clearly this is not the point. The point of the discussion should cause a reasonable person to realize that issues regarding bigotry as a whole are not being treated equally, and should be treated with equal merit. Second, the discussion regarding the possible ethnicity of the harassing students confusingly applies fallacies of presumption, and the fallacy false cause. As stated before, the argument presumes that the identified harassers were of African descent. This is a huge leap, and it is false. The statements in your post further attempt to argue that because of one racist remark, that this has caused individuals of African descent to attack Zachary. The error here is that of post hoc ergo propter hoc or “after this, therefore on account of this,” i.e. African American students heard about a racist remark, African American students will retaliate upon hearing about racism, therefore, the African American students did retaliate. Clearly, your point here makes broad presumptions about certain acts following one another, and also, falsely accuses students of African descent of retaliatory tendencies. Wait, I thought you said you weren’t racist?

    Furthermore, your comments about never hearing other racist remarks while attending school here in Davis are shockingly dismissive and ignorant of school conditions. Davis schools have faced on going issues with bigotry. In the early 1980’s an Asian student had been harassed for his ethnicity. The Asian student reported the problems many times to the staff and the Principal David Murphy (Now DJUSD Superintendent). Mr. Murphy and other staff failed to address the issue adequately and appropriately. The end result was the death of the Asian student from 17 stab wounds from another student while on campus. In the spring of 2002, several local students established a white supremacist Web site. Reportedly, several of these students surrounded and confronted a student of African descent at the high school library. Additionally, in February of 2003, a diverse body of over 100 students addressed the Human Rights Commission discussing racist remarks, sexual orientation discrimination and the bullying and harassment arising from these forms of bigotry. In the spring of 2003, students painted a racial slur, with other incidents reported of verbal confrontations on and off campus. These facts alone demonstrate the continuing problems this school district has had for over 20 plus years. Not everyone has had such great fortune as to be removed from such hateful remarks and actions. An appeal to ignorance of situations does not establish a sound conclusion that bigotry does not exist here in Davis. Regardless of your ignorance, bigotry has permeated and hurt the scholastic community, and the city of Davis as a whole.

    Furthermore, maladjusted individuals come from all walks of life. Psychological difficulties do not discriminate. They can affect anyone.

    For the rest of the community that has been incredibly supportive to my son and family, we appreciate your support and are happy to see and hear how many of you out there truly care. I remind you all this is not simply about our son. Bigotry affects every child within our community.

    Sincerely
    G. Fischer

  35. G Fischer

    Mr. Rifkin/ To Whom It May Concern,

    In reading your post I am very disappointed in your points and narrow minded view defaming my son as being “racist and screwed up”.

    First, as a family we do not condone or support these thoughts or remarks, regardless of whom state them. Moreover, Zachary openly admitted to his wrong doing immediately and has not made any comments as such prior or since the one and only remark, last year, which was said in a private conversation and happened to be overheard by one individual student. His taking responsibility and ownership of his actions is a strong indicator that he has learned from his poor choice of behavior.

    Regarding your comments that the harassers were black, this is not accurate. These students are of Caucasian and “Latino/Hispano/Chicano” decent. Additionally, Zachary has multiple friends that he socializes with which happen to be African-Americans, within this community, and cousins of African-American heritage.

    The important thing to yield from this wrongful act of Zachary is that the school site has a zero tolerance of racism regarding ethnicity, but has allowed students to participate in other forms of harassment and bigotry, which is not allowed per AB537, an assembly bill which directly addresses sexual orientation harassment and bullying.

    For the record my son is not “screwed up.” What are screwed up are narrow minded individuals, which are quick to judge prior to having all the facts, and clearly speaking without thought. Moreover, what is “screwed up is that the school district and site has allowed harassment and taunting and bulling to continue, even after notification.

    Furthermore, many logical errors litter your post. First, the discussion regarding ethnicity versus sexual orientation harassment and related punishments establishes a straw man. “The straw man fallacy is committed when an arguer distorts an opponent’s argument for the purpose of more easily attacking it, demolishes the distorted argument and then concludes that the opponent’s real argument has been demolished.” This argument falsely turns to a contention that “anti-gay harassment” should be treated with greater footing than racism: clearly this is not the point. The point of the discussion should cause a reasonable person to realize that issues regarding bigotry as a whole are not being treated equally, and should be treated with equal merit. Second, the discussion regarding the possible ethnicity of the harassing students confusingly applies fallacies of presumption, and the fallacy false cause. As stated before, the argument presumes that the identified harassers were of African descent. This is a huge leap, and it is false. The statements in your post further attempt to argue that because of one racist remark, that this has caused individuals of African descent to attack Zachary. The error here is that of post hoc ergo propter hoc or “after this, therefore on account of this,” i.e. African American students heard about a racist remark, African American students will retaliate upon hearing about racism, therefore, the African American students did retaliate. Clearly, your point here makes broad presumptions about certain acts following one another, and also, falsely accuses students of African descent of retaliatory tendencies. Wait, I thought you said you weren’t racist?

    Furthermore, your comments about never hearing other racist remarks while attending school here in Davis are shockingly dismissive and ignorant of school conditions. Davis schools have faced on going issues with bigotry. In the early 1980’s an Asian student had been harassed for his ethnicity. The Asian student reported the problems many times to the staff and the Principal David Murphy (Now DJUSD Superintendent). Mr. Murphy and other staff failed to address the issue adequately and appropriately. The end result was the death of the Asian student from 17 stab wounds from another student while on campus. In the spring of 2002, several local students established a white supremacist Web site. Reportedly, several of these students surrounded and confronted a student of African descent at the high school library. Additionally, in February of 2003, a diverse body of over 100 students addressed the Human Rights Commission discussing racist remarks, sexual orientation discrimination and the bullying and harassment arising from these forms of bigotry. In the spring of 2003, students painted a racial slur, with other incidents reported of verbal confrontations on and off campus. These facts alone demonstrate the continuing problems this school district has had for over 20 plus years. Not everyone has had such great fortune as to be removed from such hateful remarks and actions. An appeal to ignorance of situations does not establish a sound conclusion that bigotry does not exist here in Davis. Regardless of your ignorance, bigotry has permeated and hurt the scholastic community, and the city of Davis as a whole.

    Furthermore, maladjusted individuals come from all walks of life. Psychological difficulties do not discriminate. They can affect anyone.

    For the rest of the community that has been incredibly supportive to my son and family, we appreciate your support and are happy to see and hear how many of you out there truly care. I remind you all this is not simply about our son. Bigotry affects every child within our community.

    Sincerely
    G. Fischer

  36. G Fischer

    Mr. Rifkin/ To Whom It May Concern,

    In reading your post I am very disappointed in your points and narrow minded view defaming my son as being “racist and screwed up”.

    First, as a family we do not condone or support these thoughts or remarks, regardless of whom state them. Moreover, Zachary openly admitted to his wrong doing immediately and has not made any comments as such prior or since the one and only remark, last year, which was said in a private conversation and happened to be overheard by one individual student. His taking responsibility and ownership of his actions is a strong indicator that he has learned from his poor choice of behavior.

    Regarding your comments that the harassers were black, this is not accurate. These students are of Caucasian and “Latino/Hispano/Chicano” decent. Additionally, Zachary has multiple friends that he socializes with which happen to be African-Americans, within this community, and cousins of African-American heritage.

    The important thing to yield from this wrongful act of Zachary is that the school site has a zero tolerance of racism regarding ethnicity, but has allowed students to participate in other forms of harassment and bigotry, which is not allowed per AB537, an assembly bill which directly addresses sexual orientation harassment and bullying.

    For the record my son is not “screwed up.” What are screwed up are narrow minded individuals, which are quick to judge prior to having all the facts, and clearly speaking without thought. Moreover, what is “screwed up is that the school district and site has allowed harassment and taunting and bulling to continue, even after notification.

    Furthermore, many logical errors litter your post. First, the discussion regarding ethnicity versus sexual orientation harassment and related punishments establishes a straw man. “The straw man fallacy is committed when an arguer distorts an opponent’s argument for the purpose of more easily attacking it, demolishes the distorted argument and then concludes that the opponent’s real argument has been demolished.” This argument falsely turns to a contention that “anti-gay harassment” should be treated with greater footing than racism: clearly this is not the point. The point of the discussion should cause a reasonable person to realize that issues regarding bigotry as a whole are not being treated equally, and should be treated with equal merit. Second, the discussion regarding the possible ethnicity of the harassing students confusingly applies fallacies of presumption, and the fallacy false cause. As stated before, the argument presumes that the identified harassers were of African descent. This is a huge leap, and it is false. The statements in your post further attempt to argue that because of one racist remark, that this has caused individuals of African descent to attack Zachary. The error here is that of post hoc ergo propter hoc or “after this, therefore on account of this,” i.e. African American students heard about a racist remark, African American students will retaliate upon hearing about racism, therefore, the African American students did retaliate. Clearly, your point here makes broad presumptions about certain acts following one another, and also, falsely accuses students of African descent of retaliatory tendencies. Wait, I thought you said you weren’t racist?

    Furthermore, your comments about never hearing other racist remarks while attending school here in Davis are shockingly dismissive and ignorant of school conditions. Davis schools have faced on going issues with bigotry. In the early 1980’s an Asian student had been harassed for his ethnicity. The Asian student reported the problems many times to the staff and the Principal David Murphy (Now DJUSD Superintendent). Mr. Murphy and other staff failed to address the issue adequately and appropriately. The end result was the death of the Asian student from 17 stab wounds from another student while on campus. In the spring of 2002, several local students established a white supremacist Web site. Reportedly, several of these students surrounded and confronted a student of African descent at the high school library. Additionally, in February of 2003, a diverse body of over 100 students addressed the Human Rights Commission discussing racist remarks, sexual orientation discrimination and the bullying and harassment arising from these forms of bigotry. In the spring of 2003, students painted a racial slur, with other incidents reported of verbal confrontations on and off campus. These facts alone demonstrate the continuing problems this school district has had for over 20 plus years. Not everyone has had such great fortune as to be removed from such hateful remarks and actions. An appeal to ignorance of situations does not establish a sound conclusion that bigotry does not exist here in Davis. Regardless of your ignorance, bigotry has permeated and hurt the scholastic community, and the city of Davis as a whole.

    Furthermore, maladjusted individuals come from all walks of life. Psychological difficulties do not discriminate. They can affect anyone.

    For the rest of the community that has been incredibly supportive to my son and family, we appreciate your support and are happy to see and hear how many of you out there truly care. I remind you all this is not simply about our son. Bigotry affects every child within our community.

    Sincerely
    G. Fischer

  37. Doug Paul Davis

    I want to thank Mr. Fischer for coming on here and posting his comment.

    I think the importance of the racial incident has been taken well out of context. I don’t see this, at least from my knowledge of this case as a precipitating event.

    Rather, I see it as an example of how a situation should be dealt with–quickly but effectively. I just do not see that here.

    I think the comments made by CTL are very troubling. The district has gone to great lengths to assure us this has been handled thoroughly.

    Someone is providing me with a transcript from that assembly and I will likely be reporting on it next week.

  38. Doug Paul Davis

    I want to thank Mr. Fischer for coming on here and posting his comment.

    I think the importance of the racial incident has been taken well out of context. I don’t see this, at least from my knowledge of this case as a precipitating event.

    Rather, I see it as an example of how a situation should be dealt with–quickly but effectively. I just do not see that here.

    I think the comments made by CTL are very troubling. The district has gone to great lengths to assure us this has been handled thoroughly.

    Someone is providing me with a transcript from that assembly and I will likely be reporting on it next week.

  39. Doug Paul Davis

    I want to thank Mr. Fischer for coming on here and posting his comment.

    I think the importance of the racial incident has been taken well out of context. I don’t see this, at least from my knowledge of this case as a precipitating event.

    Rather, I see it as an example of how a situation should be dealt with–quickly but effectively. I just do not see that here.

    I think the comments made by CTL are very troubling. The district has gone to great lengths to assure us this has been handled thoroughly.

    Someone is providing me with a transcript from that assembly and I will likely be reporting on it next week.

  40. Doug Paul Davis

    I want to thank Mr. Fischer for coming on here and posting his comment.

    I think the importance of the racial incident has been taken well out of context. I don’t see this, at least from my knowledge of this case as a precipitating event.

    Rather, I see it as an example of how a situation should be dealt with–quickly but effectively. I just do not see that here.

    I think the comments made by CTL are very troubling. The district has gone to great lengths to assure us this has been handled thoroughly.

    Someone is providing me with a transcript from that assembly and I will likely be reporting on it next week.

  41. Rich Rifkin

    “In reading your post I am very disappointed in your points and narrow minded view defaming my son as being “racist and screwed up”.

    Mr. Fischer,

    I believe people who, in anger, call others “N***ers” are racists. And I believe that racists are screwed up. We apparently differ on this point.

    “… which was said in a private conversation and happened to be overheard by one individual student.”

    I don’t see how that matters at all.

    “Regarding your comments that the harassers were black, this is not accurate.”

    You are accuing me of being inaccurate, Mr. Fischer? Your whole characterization of my words is inaccurate and disturbingly so.

    I did not say that they were black. I said, if they were black, then perhaps the harrassment of your son, which I have condemned in the strongest terms, was retaliatory in nature. If, as you say, the harrassers were not, then retaliation for his previous misconduct was not a motive.

    “What are screwed up are narrow minded individuals, which are quick to judge prior to having all the facts, and clearly speaking without thought.”

    Maybe it is narrow-minded of me to conclude that people who angrily call others “n***ers” are racists. If you think so, then continue to call me names.

    “Furthermore, many logical errors litter your post.”

    Let’s hear them:

    “First, the discussion regarding ethnicity versus sexual orientation harassment and related punishments establishes a straw man.”

    It does not. In fact, you stated that anti-gay harrassment should be dealt with as strictly as racist bullying, “per AB537.” I agree with you. Insofar as the district has not put a stop to the harrassing of your son, I find the district at fault.

    “The straw man fallacy is committed when an arguer distorts an opponent’s argument for the purpose of more easily attacking it, demolishes the distorted argument and then concludes that the opponent’s real argument has been demolished.”

    Thanks for the lecture in rhetoric. Yet I not only did not attack anyone’s argument, I never made a single reference to anyone’s arguement or anyone’s position. So if anyone is guilty of what you accuse me of, it is you, Mr. G. Fischer.

    “This argument falsely turns to a contention that “anti-gay harassment” should be treated with greater footing than racism:

    Not only did I never say that, or imply that, I don’t for a second believe that.

    “Second, the discussion regarding the possible ethnicity of the harassing students confusingly applies fallacies of presumption, and the fallacy false cause.”

    You are way off base here. All I did is simply ask the question if race played a factor in this, as it might have been a case of retaliation for your son’s earlier misdeeds. I did not state that as a matter of fact, but as a question.

    Now you have completely distorted what I said in order to attack me. I understand that you have a personal stake in this case, and I do not. But it makes no sense to put words into my mouth (figuratively speaking) that I did not say nor do I agree with.

    “As stated before, the argument presumes that the identified harassers were of African descent.”

    Let me quote myself, so that you are clear on what I actually wrote: “are some of those accused of harrassing Zachary Fischer black?”

    That is not a statement which claims any knowledge of the race of the harrassers. All it does is ask a question; and the question makes sense, in the context of the previous misdeeds of your son.

    And even if it were true, I would never excuse such retaliation. I find harrassment of gays (or in this case harrasment based on the perception of the sexual orientation of a relative) equally disturbing and as wrong as harrassment on the basis of race, religion or other such factors.

    “This is a huge leap, and it is false.”

    It is a huge leap. It is false. And I did not do it.

    “The statements in your post further attempt to argue that because of one racist remark, that this has caused individuals of African descent to attack Zachary.”

    Again, you are wrong, and you are repetitively wrong. All I did was ask a question. I didn’t say that black children had harrassed your son. I questioned if that might be the case. I did not know. You seem to know a lot of silly Latin phrases, but cannot figure out what a question mark means.

    “The error here is that of post hoc ergo propter hoc or “after this, therefore on account of this,” i.e. African American students heard about a racist remark, African American students will retaliate upon hearing about racism, therefore, the African American students did retaliate.”

    I think the only error here is your accusing me over and over again of saying something I did not say.

    “Clearly, your point here makes broad presumptions about certain acts following one another, and also, falsely accuses students of African descent of retaliatory tendencies.”

    That’s ridiculous, Mr. G. Fischer. It’s also highly offensive.

    If your son had made anti-Semitic remarks, I would have wondered if his harrassers were retaliating for that. Would you then accuse me of making false accusations against Jews (even though I am Jewish)? Would you say that I, by asking a simple question, would be generalizing about Jews in a derogatory manner?

    It’s not unusual for one person who is attacked by another to retaliate. I never said that there was retaliation in this case. All I did is ask the question if retaliation was involved. And in response you’ve written an 860 word assault against me for something I never did or said.

    “Wait, I thought you said you weren’t racist?”

    Yes, that is true. I haven’t a racist bone in my body, nor a racist word in my lexicon. For you to imply or say otherwise is disgusting.

    “Furthermore, your comments about never hearing other racist remarks while attending school here in Davis are shockingly dismissive and ignorant of school conditions.”

    I didn’t say that. What I said was, “I never once heard anyone of any race use the N-word” (when I was a kid in the Davis schools from 1969-1982).

    It’s possible, even probable, that the word was used during that time. But I didn’t hear it said, not even once. That’s just a fact.

    “In the early 1980’s an Asian student had been harassed for his ethnicity.”

    That was in 1983, the year after I graduated from Davis High, and was attending college elsewhere.

    “The Asian student reported the problems many times to the staff and the Principal David Murphy (Now DJUSD Superintendent).”

    His name was Thong Hy Huynh. Although I knew most students at Davis High, I didn’t know Thong Hy Huynh or his murderer, James Pierman. Pierman moved to Davis late in 1982, after I graduated. He didn’t grow up in Davis, or have much of anything to do with this town; and Huynh, who came here in 1980, was apparently a very isolated child, who had no friends outside of a small clique of Vietnamese kids. (I had a wide circle of friends, including immigrants from Asia.)

    “Mr. Murphy and other staff failed to address the issue adequately and appropriately.”

    In hindsight, that is impossible to doubt.

    However, insofar as Pierman was a terribly troubled and racist boy with a big collection of violent weapons, there may have been nothing that anyone could have done to prevent the tragedy. Even if Pierman had been expelled after the football-throwing incident, he might have been determined to act out violently against those he so loathed.

    “An appeal to ignorance of situations does not establish a sound conclusion that bigotry does not exist here in Davis.”

    I never said it did not. In fact, it’s clear that Davis has changed over the last 20 years. It is far more diverse now. Better in many respects, worse in others.

    “Regardless of your ignorance…”

    Come again: what am I so ignorant of?

    “… bigotry has permeated and hurt the scholastic community, and the city of Davis as a whole.”

    It is still the exception, not the norm. And in a relative sense, Davis has far less of a problem with racism and other forms of bigotry than most communities. Nonetheless, of course it hurts the city as a whole. No one of good will could disagree with that.

  42. Rich Rifkin

    “In reading your post I am very disappointed in your points and narrow minded view defaming my son as being “racist and screwed up”.

    Mr. Fischer,

    I believe people who, in anger, call others “N***ers” are racists. And I believe that racists are screwed up. We apparently differ on this point.

    “… which was said in a private conversation and happened to be overheard by one individual student.”

    I don’t see how that matters at all.

    “Regarding your comments that the harassers were black, this is not accurate.”

    You are accuing me of being inaccurate, Mr. Fischer? Your whole characterization of my words is inaccurate and disturbingly so.

    I did not say that they were black. I said, if they were black, then perhaps the harrassment of your son, which I have condemned in the strongest terms, was retaliatory in nature. If, as you say, the harrassers were not, then retaliation for his previous misconduct was not a motive.

    “What are screwed up are narrow minded individuals, which are quick to judge prior to having all the facts, and clearly speaking without thought.”

    Maybe it is narrow-minded of me to conclude that people who angrily call others “n***ers” are racists. If you think so, then continue to call me names.

    “Furthermore, many logical errors litter your post.”

    Let’s hear them:

    “First, the discussion regarding ethnicity versus sexual orientation harassment and related punishments establishes a straw man.”

    It does not. In fact, you stated that anti-gay harrassment should be dealt with as strictly as racist bullying, “per AB537.” I agree with you. Insofar as the district has not put a stop to the harrassing of your son, I find the district at fault.

    “The straw man fallacy is committed when an arguer distorts an opponent’s argument for the purpose of more easily attacking it, demolishes the distorted argument and then concludes that the opponent’s real argument has been demolished.”

    Thanks for the lecture in rhetoric. Yet I not only did not attack anyone’s argument, I never made a single reference to anyone’s arguement or anyone’s position. So if anyone is guilty of what you accuse me of, it is you, Mr. G. Fischer.

    “This argument falsely turns to a contention that “anti-gay harassment” should be treated with greater footing than racism:

    Not only did I never say that, or imply that, I don’t for a second believe that.

    “Second, the discussion regarding the possible ethnicity of the harassing students confusingly applies fallacies of presumption, and the fallacy false cause.”

    You are way off base here. All I did is simply ask the question if race played a factor in this, as it might have been a case of retaliation for your son’s earlier misdeeds. I did not state that as a matter of fact, but as a question.

    Now you have completely distorted what I said in order to attack me. I understand that you have a personal stake in this case, and I do not. But it makes no sense to put words into my mouth (figuratively speaking) that I did not say nor do I agree with.

    “As stated before, the argument presumes that the identified harassers were of African descent.”

    Let me quote myself, so that you are clear on what I actually wrote: “are some of those accused of harrassing Zachary Fischer black?”

    That is not a statement which claims any knowledge of the race of the harrassers. All it does is ask a question; and the question makes sense, in the context of the previous misdeeds of your son.

    And even if it were true, I would never excuse such retaliation. I find harrassment of gays (or in this case harrasment based on the perception of the sexual orientation of a relative) equally disturbing and as wrong as harrassment on the basis of race, religion or other such factors.

    “This is a huge leap, and it is false.”

    It is a huge leap. It is false. And I did not do it.

    “The statements in your post further attempt to argue that because of one racist remark, that this has caused individuals of African descent to attack Zachary.”

    Again, you are wrong, and you are repetitively wrong. All I did was ask a question. I didn’t say that black children had harrassed your son. I questioned if that might be the case. I did not know. You seem to know a lot of silly Latin phrases, but cannot figure out what a question mark means.

    “The error here is that of post hoc ergo propter hoc or “after this, therefore on account of this,” i.e. African American students heard about a racist remark, African American students will retaliate upon hearing about racism, therefore, the African American students did retaliate.”

    I think the only error here is your accusing me over and over again of saying something I did not say.

    “Clearly, your point here makes broad presumptions about certain acts following one another, and also, falsely accuses students of African descent of retaliatory tendencies.”

    That’s ridiculous, Mr. G. Fischer. It’s also highly offensive.

    If your son had made anti-Semitic remarks, I would have wondered if his harrassers were retaliating for that. Would you then accuse me of making false accusations against Jews (even though I am Jewish)? Would you say that I, by asking a simple question, would be generalizing about Jews in a derogatory manner?

    It’s not unusual for one person who is attacked by another to retaliate. I never said that there was retaliation in this case. All I did is ask the question if retaliation was involved. And in response you’ve written an 860 word assault against me for something I never did or said.

    “Wait, I thought you said you weren’t racist?”

    Yes, that is true. I haven’t a racist bone in my body, nor a racist word in my lexicon. For you to imply or say otherwise is disgusting.

    “Furthermore, your comments about never hearing other racist remarks while attending school here in Davis are shockingly dismissive and ignorant of school conditions.”

    I didn’t say that. What I said was, “I never once heard anyone of any race use the N-word” (when I was a kid in the Davis schools from 1969-1982).

    It’s possible, even probable, that the word was used during that time. But I didn’t hear it said, not even once. That’s just a fact.

    “In the early 1980’s an Asian student had been harassed for his ethnicity.”

    That was in 1983, the year after I graduated from Davis High, and was attending college elsewhere.

    “The Asian student reported the problems many times to the staff and the Principal David Murphy (Now DJUSD Superintendent).”

    His name was Thong Hy Huynh. Although I knew most students at Davis High, I didn’t know Thong Hy Huynh or his murderer, James Pierman. Pierman moved to Davis late in 1982, after I graduated. He didn’t grow up in Davis, or have much of anything to do with this town; and Huynh, who came here in 1980, was apparently a very isolated child, who had no friends outside of a small clique of Vietnamese kids. (I had a wide circle of friends, including immigrants from Asia.)

    “Mr. Murphy and other staff failed to address the issue adequately and appropriately.”

    In hindsight, that is impossible to doubt.

    However, insofar as Pierman was a terribly troubled and racist boy with a big collection of violent weapons, there may have been nothing that anyone could have done to prevent the tragedy. Even if Pierman had been expelled after the football-throwing incident, he might have been determined to act out violently against those he so loathed.

    “An appeal to ignorance of situations does not establish a sound conclusion that bigotry does not exist here in Davis.”

    I never said it did not. In fact, it’s clear that Davis has changed over the last 20 years. It is far more diverse now. Better in many respects, worse in others.

    “Regardless of your ignorance…”

    Come again: what am I so ignorant of?

    “… bigotry has permeated and hurt the scholastic community, and the city of Davis as a whole.”

    It is still the exception, not the norm. And in a relative sense, Davis has far less of a problem with racism and other forms of bigotry than most communities. Nonetheless, of course it hurts the city as a whole. No one of good will could disagree with that.

  43. Rich Rifkin

    “In reading your post I am very disappointed in your points and narrow minded view defaming my son as being “racist and screwed up”.

    Mr. Fischer,

    I believe people who, in anger, call others “N***ers” are racists. And I believe that racists are screwed up. We apparently differ on this point.

    “… which was said in a private conversation and happened to be overheard by one individual student.”

    I don’t see how that matters at all.

    “Regarding your comments that the harassers were black, this is not accurate.”

    You are accuing me of being inaccurate, Mr. Fischer? Your whole characterization of my words is inaccurate and disturbingly so.

    I did not say that they were black. I said, if they were black, then perhaps the harrassment of your son, which I have condemned in the strongest terms, was retaliatory in nature. If, as you say, the harrassers were not, then retaliation for his previous misconduct was not a motive.

    “What are screwed up are narrow minded individuals, which are quick to judge prior to having all the facts, and clearly speaking without thought.”

    Maybe it is narrow-minded of me to conclude that people who angrily call others “n***ers” are racists. If you think so, then continue to call me names.

    “Furthermore, many logical errors litter your post.”

    Let’s hear them:

    “First, the discussion regarding ethnicity versus sexual orientation harassment and related punishments establishes a straw man.”

    It does not. In fact, you stated that anti-gay harrassment should be dealt with as strictly as racist bullying, “per AB537.” I agree with you. Insofar as the district has not put a stop to the harrassing of your son, I find the district at fault.

    “The straw man fallacy is committed when an arguer distorts an opponent’s argument for the purpose of more easily attacking it, demolishes the distorted argument and then concludes that the opponent’s real argument has been demolished.”

    Thanks for the lecture in rhetoric. Yet I not only did not attack anyone’s argument, I never made a single reference to anyone’s arguement or anyone’s position. So if anyone is guilty of what you accuse me of, it is you, Mr. G. Fischer.

    “This argument falsely turns to a contention that “anti-gay harassment” should be treated with greater footing than racism:

    Not only did I never say that, or imply that, I don’t for a second believe that.

    “Second, the discussion regarding the possible ethnicity of the harassing students confusingly applies fallacies of presumption, and the fallacy false cause.”

    You are way off base here. All I did is simply ask the question if race played a factor in this, as it might have been a case of retaliation for your son’s earlier misdeeds. I did not state that as a matter of fact, but as a question.

    Now you have completely distorted what I said in order to attack me. I understand that you have a personal stake in this case, and I do not. But it makes no sense to put words into my mouth (figuratively speaking) that I did not say nor do I agree with.

    “As stated before, the argument presumes that the identified harassers were of African descent.”

    Let me quote myself, so that you are clear on what I actually wrote: “are some of those accused of harrassing Zachary Fischer black?”

    That is not a statement which claims any knowledge of the race of the harrassers. All it does is ask a question; and the question makes sense, in the context of the previous misdeeds of your son.

    And even if it were true, I would never excuse such retaliation. I find harrassment of gays (or in this case harrasment based on the perception of the sexual orientation of a relative) equally disturbing and as wrong as harrassment on the basis of race, religion or other such factors.

    “This is a huge leap, and it is false.”

    It is a huge leap. It is false. And I did not do it.

    “The statements in your post further attempt to argue that because of one racist remark, that this has caused individuals of African descent to attack Zachary.”

    Again, you are wrong, and you are repetitively wrong. All I did was ask a question. I didn’t say that black children had harrassed your son. I questioned if that might be the case. I did not know. You seem to know a lot of silly Latin phrases, but cannot figure out what a question mark means.

    “The error here is that of post hoc ergo propter hoc or “after this, therefore on account of this,” i.e. African American students heard about a racist remark, African American students will retaliate upon hearing about racism, therefore, the African American students did retaliate.”

    I think the only error here is your accusing me over and over again of saying something I did not say.

    “Clearly, your point here makes broad presumptions about certain acts following one another, and also, falsely accuses students of African descent of retaliatory tendencies.”

    That’s ridiculous, Mr. G. Fischer. It’s also highly offensive.

    If your son had made anti-Semitic remarks, I would have wondered if his harrassers were retaliating for that. Would you then accuse me of making false accusations against Jews (even though I am Jewish)? Would you say that I, by asking a simple question, would be generalizing about Jews in a derogatory manner?

    It’s not unusual for one person who is attacked by another to retaliate. I never said that there was retaliation in this case. All I did is ask the question if retaliation was involved. And in response you’ve written an 860 word assault against me for something I never did or said.

    “Wait, I thought you said you weren’t racist?”

    Yes, that is true. I haven’t a racist bone in my body, nor a racist word in my lexicon. For you to imply or say otherwise is disgusting.

    “Furthermore, your comments about never hearing other racist remarks while attending school here in Davis are shockingly dismissive and ignorant of school conditions.”

    I didn’t say that. What I said was, “I never once heard anyone of any race use the N-word” (when I was a kid in the Davis schools from 1969-1982).

    It’s possible, even probable, that the word was used during that time. But I didn’t hear it said, not even once. That’s just a fact.

    “In the early 1980’s an Asian student had been harassed for his ethnicity.”

    That was in 1983, the year after I graduated from Davis High, and was attending college elsewhere.

    “The Asian student reported the problems many times to the staff and the Principal David Murphy (Now DJUSD Superintendent).”

    His name was Thong Hy Huynh. Although I knew most students at Davis High, I didn’t know Thong Hy Huynh or his murderer, James Pierman. Pierman moved to Davis late in 1982, after I graduated. He didn’t grow up in Davis, or have much of anything to do with this town; and Huynh, who came here in 1980, was apparently a very isolated child, who had no friends outside of a small clique of Vietnamese kids. (I had a wide circle of friends, including immigrants from Asia.)

    “Mr. Murphy and other staff failed to address the issue adequately and appropriately.”

    In hindsight, that is impossible to doubt.

    However, insofar as Pierman was a terribly troubled and racist boy with a big collection of violent weapons, there may have been nothing that anyone could have done to prevent the tragedy. Even if Pierman had been expelled after the football-throwing incident, he might have been determined to act out violently against those he so loathed.

    “An appeal to ignorance of situations does not establish a sound conclusion that bigotry does not exist here in Davis.”

    I never said it did not. In fact, it’s clear that Davis has changed over the last 20 years. It is far more diverse now. Better in many respects, worse in others.

    “Regardless of your ignorance…”

    Come again: what am I so ignorant of?

    “… bigotry has permeated and hurt the scholastic community, and the city of Davis as a whole.”

    It is still the exception, not the norm. And in a relative sense, Davis has far less of a problem with racism and other forms of bigotry than most communities. Nonetheless, of course it hurts the city as a whole. No one of good will could disagree with that.

  44. Rich Rifkin

    “In reading your post I am very disappointed in your points and narrow minded view defaming my son as being “racist and screwed up”.

    Mr. Fischer,

    I believe people who, in anger, call others “N***ers” are racists. And I believe that racists are screwed up. We apparently differ on this point.

    “… which was said in a private conversation and happened to be overheard by one individual student.”

    I don’t see how that matters at all.

    “Regarding your comments that the harassers were black, this is not accurate.”

    You are accuing me of being inaccurate, Mr. Fischer? Your whole characterization of my words is inaccurate and disturbingly so.

    I did not say that they were black. I said, if they were black, then perhaps the harrassment of your son, which I have condemned in the strongest terms, was retaliatory in nature. If, as you say, the harrassers were not, then retaliation for his previous misconduct was not a motive.

    “What are screwed up are narrow minded individuals, which are quick to judge prior to having all the facts, and clearly speaking without thought.”

    Maybe it is narrow-minded of me to conclude that people who angrily call others “n***ers” are racists. If you think so, then continue to call me names.

    “Furthermore, many logical errors litter your post.”

    Let’s hear them:

    “First, the discussion regarding ethnicity versus sexual orientation harassment and related punishments establishes a straw man.”

    It does not. In fact, you stated that anti-gay harrassment should be dealt with as strictly as racist bullying, “per AB537.” I agree with you. Insofar as the district has not put a stop to the harrassing of your son, I find the district at fault.

    “The straw man fallacy is committed when an arguer distorts an opponent’s argument for the purpose of more easily attacking it, demolishes the distorted argument and then concludes that the opponent’s real argument has been demolished.”

    Thanks for the lecture in rhetoric. Yet I not only did not attack anyone’s argument, I never made a single reference to anyone’s arguement or anyone’s position. So if anyone is guilty of what you accuse me of, it is you, Mr. G. Fischer.

    “This argument falsely turns to a contention that “anti-gay harassment” should be treated with greater footing than racism:

    Not only did I never say that, or imply that, I don’t for a second believe that.

    “Second, the discussion regarding the possible ethnicity of the harassing students confusingly applies fallacies of presumption, and the fallacy false cause.”

    You are way off base here. All I did is simply ask the question if race played a factor in this, as it might have been a case of retaliation for your son’s earlier misdeeds. I did not state that as a matter of fact, but as a question.

    Now you have completely distorted what I said in order to attack me. I understand that you have a personal stake in this case, and I do not. But it makes no sense to put words into my mouth (figuratively speaking) that I did not say nor do I agree with.

    “As stated before, the argument presumes that the identified harassers were of African descent.”

    Let me quote myself, so that you are clear on what I actually wrote: “are some of those accused of harrassing Zachary Fischer black?”

    That is not a statement which claims any knowledge of the race of the harrassers. All it does is ask a question; and the question makes sense, in the context of the previous misdeeds of your son.

    And even if it were true, I would never excuse such retaliation. I find harrassment of gays (or in this case harrasment based on the perception of the sexual orientation of a relative) equally disturbing and as wrong as harrassment on the basis of race, religion or other such factors.

    “This is a huge leap, and it is false.”

    It is a huge leap. It is false. And I did not do it.

    “The statements in your post further attempt to argue that because of one racist remark, that this has caused individuals of African descent to attack Zachary.”

    Again, you are wrong, and you are repetitively wrong. All I did was ask a question. I didn’t say that black children had harrassed your son. I questioned if that might be the case. I did not know. You seem to know a lot of silly Latin phrases, but cannot figure out what a question mark means.

    “The error here is that of post hoc ergo propter hoc or “after this, therefore on account of this,” i.e. African American students heard about a racist remark, African American students will retaliate upon hearing about racism, therefore, the African American students did retaliate.”

    I think the only error here is your accusing me over and over again of saying something I did not say.

    “Clearly, your point here makes broad presumptions about certain acts following one another, and also, falsely accuses students of African descent of retaliatory tendencies.”

    That’s ridiculous, Mr. G. Fischer. It’s also highly offensive.

    If your son had made anti-Semitic remarks, I would have wondered if his harrassers were retaliating for that. Would you then accuse me of making false accusations against Jews (even though I am Jewish)? Would you say that I, by asking a simple question, would be generalizing about Jews in a derogatory manner?

    It’s not unusual for one person who is attacked by another to retaliate. I never said that there was retaliation in this case. All I did is ask the question if retaliation was involved. And in response you’ve written an 860 word assault against me for something I never did or said.

    “Wait, I thought you said you weren’t racist?”

    Yes, that is true. I haven’t a racist bone in my body, nor a racist word in my lexicon. For you to imply or say otherwise is disgusting.

    “Furthermore, your comments about never hearing other racist remarks while attending school here in Davis are shockingly dismissive and ignorant of school conditions.”

    I didn’t say that. What I said was, “I never once heard anyone of any race use the N-word” (when I was a kid in the Davis schools from 1969-1982).

    It’s possible, even probable, that the word was used during that time. But I didn’t hear it said, not even once. That’s just a fact.

    “In the early 1980’s an Asian student had been harassed for his ethnicity.”

    That was in 1983, the year after I graduated from Davis High, and was attending college elsewhere.

    “The Asian student reported the problems many times to the staff and the Principal David Murphy (Now DJUSD Superintendent).”

    His name was Thong Hy Huynh. Although I knew most students at Davis High, I didn’t know Thong Hy Huynh or his murderer, James Pierman. Pierman moved to Davis late in 1982, after I graduated. He didn’t grow up in Davis, or have much of anything to do with this town; and Huynh, who came here in 1980, was apparently a very isolated child, who had no friends outside of a small clique of Vietnamese kids. (I had a wide circle of friends, including immigrants from Asia.)

    “Mr. Murphy and other staff failed to address the issue adequately and appropriately.”

    In hindsight, that is impossible to doubt.

    However, insofar as Pierman was a terribly troubled and racist boy with a big collection of violent weapons, there may have been nothing that anyone could have done to prevent the tragedy. Even if Pierman had been expelled after the football-throwing incident, he might have been determined to act out violently against those he so loathed.

    “An appeal to ignorance of situations does not establish a sound conclusion that bigotry does not exist here in Davis.”

    I never said it did not. In fact, it’s clear that Davis has changed over the last 20 years. It is far more diverse now. Better in many respects, worse in others.

    “Regardless of your ignorance…”

    Come again: what am I so ignorant of?

    “… bigotry has permeated and hurt the scholastic community, and the city of Davis as a whole.”

    It is still the exception, not the norm. And in a relative sense, Davis has far less of a problem with racism and other forms of bigotry than most communities. Nonetheless, of course it hurts the city as a whole. No one of good will could disagree with that.

  45. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    I disagree with you on something here. It is one thing when an adult like Michael Richards come up with a screaming tirade of n-bombs on stage. He’s an adult and there is a clear connection in his mind with his target and their race.

    I’m less willing to accept that a 13-year-old who uses the n-word upon provocation is a racist. Anymore than I’m willing to accept that the kids attacking Mr. Fischer’s son are homophobic.

    Both actions are wrong. But as a child, Zach needs to learn not to use such language and why it is completely and totally wrong to do so. From the accounts we have read, that appears to be a learned lesson.

    Mr. Richards however is not a child and should know better an clearly did not. That is deplorable and I think you can tag him with the racist label for his episode.

    The point though I think that needs to be reiterated over-and-over again is that Zach received a THREE DAY SUSPENSION for his single utterance. That kind of penalty was not visited on the kids who harassed Zach. That is a huge problem and I think the mixed-messages sent in this case, contribue to the ongoing problems.

  46. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    I disagree with you on something here. It is one thing when an adult like Michael Richards come up with a screaming tirade of n-bombs on stage. He’s an adult and there is a clear connection in his mind with his target and their race.

    I’m less willing to accept that a 13-year-old who uses the n-word upon provocation is a racist. Anymore than I’m willing to accept that the kids attacking Mr. Fischer’s son are homophobic.

    Both actions are wrong. But as a child, Zach needs to learn not to use such language and why it is completely and totally wrong to do so. From the accounts we have read, that appears to be a learned lesson.

    Mr. Richards however is not a child and should know better an clearly did not. That is deplorable and I think you can tag him with the racist label for his episode.

    The point though I think that needs to be reiterated over-and-over again is that Zach received a THREE DAY SUSPENSION for his single utterance. That kind of penalty was not visited on the kids who harassed Zach. That is a huge problem and I think the mixed-messages sent in this case, contribue to the ongoing problems.

  47. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    I disagree with you on something here. It is one thing when an adult like Michael Richards come up with a screaming tirade of n-bombs on stage. He’s an adult and there is a clear connection in his mind with his target and their race.

    I’m less willing to accept that a 13-year-old who uses the n-word upon provocation is a racist. Anymore than I’m willing to accept that the kids attacking Mr. Fischer’s son are homophobic.

    Both actions are wrong. But as a child, Zach needs to learn not to use such language and why it is completely and totally wrong to do so. From the accounts we have read, that appears to be a learned lesson.

    Mr. Richards however is not a child and should know better an clearly did not. That is deplorable and I think you can tag him with the racist label for his episode.

    The point though I think that needs to be reiterated over-and-over again is that Zach received a THREE DAY SUSPENSION for his single utterance. That kind of penalty was not visited on the kids who harassed Zach. That is a huge problem and I think the mixed-messages sent in this case, contribue to the ongoing problems.

  48. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    I disagree with you on something here. It is one thing when an adult like Michael Richards come up with a screaming tirade of n-bombs on stage. He’s an adult and there is a clear connection in his mind with his target and their race.

    I’m less willing to accept that a 13-year-old who uses the n-word upon provocation is a racist. Anymore than I’m willing to accept that the kids attacking Mr. Fischer’s son are homophobic.

    Both actions are wrong. But as a child, Zach needs to learn not to use such language and why it is completely and totally wrong to do so. From the accounts we have read, that appears to be a learned lesson.

    Mr. Richards however is not a child and should know better an clearly did not. That is deplorable and I think you can tag him with the racist label for his episode.

    The point though I think that needs to be reiterated over-and-over again is that Zach received a THREE DAY SUSPENSION for his single utterance. That kind of penalty was not visited on the kids who harassed Zach. That is a huge problem and I think the mixed-messages sent in this case, contribue to the ongoing problems.

  49. Rich Rifkin

    “I’m less willing to accept that a 13-year-old who uses the n-word upon provocation is a racist…”

    I had never given this much thought before the vandalism incidents on the churches and school west of Davis. In that episode, the culprits (or one of the two, I am told) spray-painted the N-word and “Die Jews!” on the buildings.

    Upon thinking about it, I concluded that anyone who would say such words, or write such words, is a racist. I can’t see it any other way.

    I concede that if there is some kind of a verbal confrontation between two kids, and one calls the other one a racist epithet, it is different than the vandalism situation. But the mere fact that a child has that word in his vocabulary, clearly knows what it means, and uses it in anger tells me that something is quite wrong. Does that make him a Klansman? No, of course not. But it is not on par with screaming back, “You jerk! or “You a**-hole” or some other term of derision that is not based on race.

    Also, while I am not black, I would guess that any black person who was called “N***er” in such a way would conclude that the person calling him that is a racist.

    There is no equivalent slur against Jews. But if someone — even a child — called me a “Kike” or some such epithet I would think he was to some degree an anti-Semite.

  50. Rich Rifkin

    “I’m less willing to accept that a 13-year-old who uses the n-word upon provocation is a racist…”

    I had never given this much thought before the vandalism incidents on the churches and school west of Davis. In that episode, the culprits (or one of the two, I am told) spray-painted the N-word and “Die Jews!” on the buildings.

    Upon thinking about it, I concluded that anyone who would say such words, or write such words, is a racist. I can’t see it any other way.

    I concede that if there is some kind of a verbal confrontation between two kids, and one calls the other one a racist epithet, it is different than the vandalism situation. But the mere fact that a child has that word in his vocabulary, clearly knows what it means, and uses it in anger tells me that something is quite wrong. Does that make him a Klansman? No, of course not. But it is not on par with screaming back, “You jerk! or “You a**-hole” or some other term of derision that is not based on race.

    Also, while I am not black, I would guess that any black person who was called “N***er” in such a way would conclude that the person calling him that is a racist.

    There is no equivalent slur against Jews. But if someone — even a child — called me a “Kike” or some such epithet I would think he was to some degree an anti-Semite.

  51. Rich Rifkin

    “I’m less willing to accept that a 13-year-old who uses the n-word upon provocation is a racist…”

    I had never given this much thought before the vandalism incidents on the churches and school west of Davis. In that episode, the culprits (or one of the two, I am told) spray-painted the N-word and “Die Jews!” on the buildings.

    Upon thinking about it, I concluded that anyone who would say such words, or write such words, is a racist. I can’t see it any other way.

    I concede that if there is some kind of a verbal confrontation between two kids, and one calls the other one a racist epithet, it is different than the vandalism situation. But the mere fact that a child has that word in his vocabulary, clearly knows what it means, and uses it in anger tells me that something is quite wrong. Does that make him a Klansman? No, of course not. But it is not on par with screaming back, “You jerk! or “You a**-hole” or some other term of derision that is not based on race.

    Also, while I am not black, I would guess that any black person who was called “N***er” in such a way would conclude that the person calling him that is a racist.

    There is no equivalent slur against Jews. But if someone — even a child — called me a “Kike” or some such epithet I would think he was to some degree an anti-Semite.

  52. Rich Rifkin

    “I’m less willing to accept that a 13-year-old who uses the n-word upon provocation is a racist…”

    I had never given this much thought before the vandalism incidents on the churches and school west of Davis. In that episode, the culprits (or one of the two, I am told) spray-painted the N-word and “Die Jews!” on the buildings.

    Upon thinking about it, I concluded that anyone who would say such words, or write such words, is a racist. I can’t see it any other way.

    I concede that if there is some kind of a verbal confrontation between two kids, and one calls the other one a racist epithet, it is different than the vandalism situation. But the mere fact that a child has that word in his vocabulary, clearly knows what it means, and uses it in anger tells me that something is quite wrong. Does that make him a Klansman? No, of course not. But it is not on par with screaming back, “You jerk! or “You a**-hole” or some other term of derision that is not based on race.

    Also, while I am not black, I would guess that any black person who was called “N***er” in such a way would conclude that the person calling him that is a racist.

    There is no equivalent slur against Jews. But if someone — even a child — called me a “Kike” or some such epithet I would think he was to some degree an anti-Semite.

  53. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    The key question is–are they using the word because they know it is an insult and they are trying to insult someone or are they using the word because they despise all people in that category. Again, I tend to draw a distinction between adults and children in this regard, because an adult understands (presumably) the full impact of their statement whereas a 13 year old might not.

    Again, I say this neither to excuse nor diminish what was said. I think Zach suffered an appropriate punishment and I hope he learned his lesson and I suspect he did. However, that’s different from saying he’s a racist–as I’m not certain he understood the implication of his words prior to the incident, whereas I’m sure he does now.

    And I extend that belief to the kids harassing Zach as well. I don’t necessarily believe they are homophobic based simply on their word choice. They are bullies and bullying is a serious problem. They also need to learn that that language is completely unacceptable and I think a similar punishment to what Zach received is in order.

    If that were to happen every single time they said the word and problably after the first time, they would NEVER use it again.

  54. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    The key question is–are they using the word because they know it is an insult and they are trying to insult someone or are they using the word because they despise all people in that category. Again, I tend to draw a distinction between adults and children in this regard, because an adult understands (presumably) the full impact of their statement whereas a 13 year old might not.

    Again, I say this neither to excuse nor diminish what was said. I think Zach suffered an appropriate punishment and I hope he learned his lesson and I suspect he did. However, that’s different from saying he’s a racist–as I’m not certain he understood the implication of his words prior to the incident, whereas I’m sure he does now.

    And I extend that belief to the kids harassing Zach as well. I don’t necessarily believe they are homophobic based simply on their word choice. They are bullies and bullying is a serious problem. They also need to learn that that language is completely unacceptable and I think a similar punishment to what Zach received is in order.

    If that were to happen every single time they said the word and problably after the first time, they would NEVER use it again.

  55. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    The key question is–are they using the word because they know it is an insult and they are trying to insult someone or are they using the word because they despise all people in that category. Again, I tend to draw a distinction between adults and children in this regard, because an adult understands (presumably) the full impact of their statement whereas a 13 year old might not.

    Again, I say this neither to excuse nor diminish what was said. I think Zach suffered an appropriate punishment and I hope he learned his lesson and I suspect he did. However, that’s different from saying he’s a racist–as I’m not certain he understood the implication of his words prior to the incident, whereas I’m sure he does now.

    And I extend that belief to the kids harassing Zach as well. I don’t necessarily believe they are homophobic based simply on their word choice. They are bullies and bullying is a serious problem. They also need to learn that that language is completely unacceptable and I think a similar punishment to what Zach received is in order.

    If that were to happen every single time they said the word and problably after the first time, they would NEVER use it again.

  56. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    The key question is–are they using the word because they know it is an insult and they are trying to insult someone or are they using the word because they despise all people in that category. Again, I tend to draw a distinction between adults and children in this regard, because an adult understands (presumably) the full impact of their statement whereas a 13 year old might not.

    Again, I say this neither to excuse nor diminish what was said. I think Zach suffered an appropriate punishment and I hope he learned his lesson and I suspect he did. However, that’s different from saying he’s a racist–as I’m not certain he understood the implication of his words prior to the incident, whereas I’m sure he does now.

    And I extend that belief to the kids harassing Zach as well. I don’t necessarily believe they are homophobic based simply on their word choice. They are bullies and bullying is a serious problem. They also need to learn that that language is completely unacceptable and I think a similar punishment to what Zach received is in order.

    If that were to happen every single time they said the word and problably after the first time, they would NEVER use it again.

  57. G Fischer

    You respond with, “I simply asked a question. Do you not understand a question mark?”

    I understand perfectly well what a question mark is, but asking a question, followed by a statement with a question mark at the end of it, and then immediatly followed by another “question” which actually is another possible conclusion does not constitute a question.

    Simply put: placing a question mark at the end of a sentence does not necessarily make it a question? The sentence needs observervation in context? What do you think.

    In reading your original comments, a neutral observer would note amendment to the original comments in your response. While applause is warranted for positive changes of heart, it does not excuse you, as no where do you apologize for the overtly defamatory and subtly racist remarks made in your initial posting. Truly, may you do some honest deep soul searching, and find the places where, if any, racism lingers in your psyche.

    I’m beginging to wonder if you work for the the school district, as all I hear from you is deny, deny, deny … even though your words are in print and are undeniable. Furthermore, you have accused the victim of bringing bigotry upon himself”?” Finally, you have indicated the superiority of Davis in regards to bigotry. (“Davis has far less of a problem with racism and other forms of bigotry”) We cannot let the defense of the honor of Davis prevent us from recognizing the problem. These methods of thought will not bring about the change necessary to help the children understand one another with compassion and kindness. The big picture should not be lost: children should be able to safely attend school, free of bullying, bigotry and harassment.

  58. G Fischer

    You respond with, “I simply asked a question. Do you not understand a question mark?”

    I understand perfectly well what a question mark is, but asking a question, followed by a statement with a question mark at the end of it, and then immediatly followed by another “question” which actually is another possible conclusion does not constitute a question.

    Simply put: placing a question mark at the end of a sentence does not necessarily make it a question? The sentence needs observervation in context? What do you think.

    In reading your original comments, a neutral observer would note amendment to the original comments in your response. While applause is warranted for positive changes of heart, it does not excuse you, as no where do you apologize for the overtly defamatory and subtly racist remarks made in your initial posting. Truly, may you do some honest deep soul searching, and find the places where, if any, racism lingers in your psyche.

    I’m beginging to wonder if you work for the the school district, as all I hear from you is deny, deny, deny … even though your words are in print and are undeniable. Furthermore, you have accused the victim of bringing bigotry upon himself”?” Finally, you have indicated the superiority of Davis in regards to bigotry. (“Davis has far less of a problem with racism and other forms of bigotry”) We cannot let the defense of the honor of Davis prevent us from recognizing the problem. These methods of thought will not bring about the change necessary to help the children understand one another with compassion and kindness. The big picture should not be lost: children should be able to safely attend school, free of bullying, bigotry and harassment.

  59. G Fischer

    You respond with, “I simply asked a question. Do you not understand a question mark?”

    I understand perfectly well what a question mark is, but asking a question, followed by a statement with a question mark at the end of it, and then immediatly followed by another “question” which actually is another possible conclusion does not constitute a question.

    Simply put: placing a question mark at the end of a sentence does not necessarily make it a question? The sentence needs observervation in context? What do you think.

    In reading your original comments, a neutral observer would note amendment to the original comments in your response. While applause is warranted for positive changes of heart, it does not excuse you, as no where do you apologize for the overtly defamatory and subtly racist remarks made in your initial posting. Truly, may you do some honest deep soul searching, and find the places where, if any, racism lingers in your psyche.

    I’m beginging to wonder if you work for the the school district, as all I hear from you is deny, deny, deny … even though your words are in print and are undeniable. Furthermore, you have accused the victim of bringing bigotry upon himself”?” Finally, you have indicated the superiority of Davis in regards to bigotry. (“Davis has far less of a problem with racism and other forms of bigotry”) We cannot let the defense of the honor of Davis prevent us from recognizing the problem. These methods of thought will not bring about the change necessary to help the children understand one another with compassion and kindness. The big picture should not be lost: children should be able to safely attend school, free of bullying, bigotry and harassment.

  60. G Fischer

    You respond with, “I simply asked a question. Do you not understand a question mark?”

    I understand perfectly well what a question mark is, but asking a question, followed by a statement with a question mark at the end of it, and then immediatly followed by another “question” which actually is another possible conclusion does not constitute a question.

    Simply put: placing a question mark at the end of a sentence does not necessarily make it a question? The sentence needs observervation in context? What do you think.

    In reading your original comments, a neutral observer would note amendment to the original comments in your response. While applause is warranted for positive changes of heart, it does not excuse you, as no where do you apologize for the overtly defamatory and subtly racist remarks made in your initial posting. Truly, may you do some honest deep soul searching, and find the places where, if any, racism lingers in your psyche.

    I’m beginging to wonder if you work for the the school district, as all I hear from you is deny, deny, deny … even though your words are in print and are undeniable. Furthermore, you have accused the victim of bringing bigotry upon himself”?” Finally, you have indicated the superiority of Davis in regards to bigotry. (“Davis has far less of a problem with racism and other forms of bigotry”) We cannot let the defense of the honor of Davis prevent us from recognizing the problem. These methods of thought will not bring about the change necessary to help the children understand one another with compassion and kindness. The big picture should not be lost: children should be able to safely attend school, free of bullying, bigotry and harassment.

  61. Rich Rifkin

    “I understand perfectly well what a question mark is…”

    No, apparently you do not. Nothing in your first or second remarks suggest that you do, Mr. Fischer.

    “Simply put: placing a question mark at the end of a sentence does not necessarily make it a question?”

    No, it does not. And I did not do that. And your mockery doesn’t change the fact that I did ask a question and you mistook that to be a statement, and not a question, and that motivated you to harangue me over and over again for posing an honest question.

    “In reading your original comments, a neutral observer would note amendment to the original comments in your response.”

    Do you always write in code?

    “While applause is warranted for positive changes of heart, it does not excuse you…”

    Did I ever ask you to excuse me? I have not changed my heart. My heart is just fine.

    “… as no where do you apologize for the overtly defamatory and subtly racist remarks made in your initial posting.”

    Just because you falsely suggest that my question was “subtly racist” does not make it so. Your conjecture is pathetic.

    I don’t need an apology from you, Mr. Fischer. Your mischaracterization of my comments are sorry enough.

    “I’m beginging to wonder if you work for the the school district…”

    I do not.

    … as all I hear from you is deny, deny, deny … even though your words are in print and are undeniable.”

    You did not quote my words. You misunderstood what I wrote and then invented words and ascribed them to me.

    “Furthermore, you have accused the victim of bringing bigotry upon himself”?”

    I did not accuse him of that. I asked if his prior racism was a factor in the case. Apparently it is not, so the matter is not worth worrying about.

    “Finally, you have indicated the superiority of Davis in regards to bigotry. (‘Davis has far less of a problem with racism and other forms of bigotry’)”

    That is true.

    “We cannot let the defense of the honor of Davis prevent us from recognizing the problem.”

    That is untrue. We can recognize a problem; and we can put it in context.

    Did the burning of the synagogues in Sacramento expose the fact that there is still some anti-Semitism? It did. But it doesn’t make Sacramento in the 21st Century a hot-bed of anti-Semitism or on par with Hitlerian Europe.

    Davis clearly has some problems with racism and homophobia. I abhor both. But I think that the city as a whole should be seen in a fair and complete light, and should not be defined by its exceptions.

    “The big picture should not be lost: children should be able to safely attend school, free of bullying, bigotry and harassment.”

    I fully agree. Let me quote a comment I posted on this blog on November 10, regarding your son’s situation:

    https://beta.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=31900478&postID=8003157465764286161

    “It seems to me that the school district, first and foremost, needs to address this particular problem. They need to make sure that no students are threatened or harrassed in this manner, and they need to punish any students who are violating this victim’s rights.

    “Secondly, insofar as this is also occurring off campus, the police need to get involved. (I’m not clear that name calling, if that is all that is going on, is a criminal matter. But if the kid feels physically threatened, then perhaps there is something the cops can do.)

    “I think it was, insofar as the child’s parents felt that the school was not doing enough to protect their son, right to bring the matter before a public body [the HRC]. That will hopefully put pressure on the school to do more. (I suspect that the parents would also turn to the School Board.)

    “Whereas I don’t think that there is any action that the HRC could take to rectify this particular situation, there are many things that the school could do. First and foremost, they could identify the harrassers, call in their parents and let them know what is going on, and suspend those kids from school. If that didn’t solve the problem, they could ratchet things up by publicly shaming the harrassers and their parents. And beyond that, they could expel the harrassers entirely.

    “Hopefully, as more people in Davis become aware of this case, the school will know it has to take stronger action to resolve this matter.

    “I should amend my statement above to say that now is perhaps the time for the school district to move to the higher levels of punishment, shaming first, and then perhaps expulsion, for any culprits who were suspended and then resumed their harrassment.”

  62. Rich Rifkin

    “I understand perfectly well what a question mark is…”

    No, apparently you do not. Nothing in your first or second remarks suggest that you do, Mr. Fischer.

    “Simply put: placing a question mark at the end of a sentence does not necessarily make it a question?”

    No, it does not. And I did not do that. And your mockery doesn’t change the fact that I did ask a question and you mistook that to be a statement, and not a question, and that motivated you to harangue me over and over again for posing an honest question.

    “In reading your original comments, a neutral observer would note amendment to the original comments in your response.”

    Do you always write in code?

    “While applause is warranted for positive changes of heart, it does not excuse you…”

    Did I ever ask you to excuse me? I have not changed my heart. My heart is just fine.

    “… as no where do you apologize for the overtly defamatory and subtly racist remarks made in your initial posting.”

    Just because you falsely suggest that my question was “subtly racist” does not make it so. Your conjecture is pathetic.

    I don’t need an apology from you, Mr. Fischer. Your mischaracterization of my comments are sorry enough.

    “I’m beginging to wonder if you work for the the school district…”

    I do not.

    … as all I hear from you is deny, deny, deny … even though your words are in print and are undeniable.”

    You did not quote my words. You misunderstood what I wrote and then invented words and ascribed them to me.

    “Furthermore, you have accused the victim of bringing bigotry upon himself”?”

    I did not accuse him of that. I asked if his prior racism was a factor in the case. Apparently it is not, so the matter is not worth worrying about.

    “Finally, you have indicated the superiority of Davis in regards to bigotry. (‘Davis has far less of a problem with racism and other forms of bigotry’)”

    That is true.

    “We cannot let the defense of the honor of Davis prevent us from recognizing the problem.”

    That is untrue. We can recognize a problem; and we can put it in context.

    Did the burning of the synagogues in Sacramento expose the fact that there is still some anti-Semitism? It did. But it doesn’t make Sacramento in the 21st Century a hot-bed of anti-Semitism or on par with Hitlerian Europe.

    Davis clearly has some problems with racism and homophobia. I abhor both. But I think that the city as a whole should be seen in a fair and complete light, and should not be defined by its exceptions.

    “The big picture should not be lost: children should be able to safely attend school, free of bullying, bigotry and harassment.”

    I fully agree. Let me quote a comment I posted on this blog on November 10, regarding your son’s situation:

    https://beta.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=31900478&postID=8003157465764286161

    “It seems to me that the school district, first and foremost, needs to address this particular problem. They need to make sure that no students are threatened or harrassed in this manner, and they need to punish any students who are violating this victim’s rights.

    “Secondly, insofar as this is also occurring off campus, the police need to get involved. (I’m not clear that name calling, if that is all that is going on, is a criminal matter. But if the kid feels physically threatened, then perhaps there is something the cops can do.)

    “I think it was, insofar as the child’s parents felt that the school was not doing enough to protect their son, right to bring the matter before a public body [the HRC]. That will hopefully put pressure on the school to do more. (I suspect that the parents would also turn to the School Board.)

    “Whereas I don’t think that there is any action that the HRC could take to rectify this particular situation, there are many things that the school could do. First and foremost, they could identify the harrassers, call in their parents and let them know what is going on, and suspend those kids from school. If that didn’t solve the problem, they could ratchet things up by publicly shaming the harrassers and their parents. And beyond that, they could expel the harrassers entirely.

    “Hopefully, as more people in Davis become aware of this case, the school will know it has to take stronger action to resolve this matter.

    “I should amend my statement above to say that now is perhaps the time for the school district to move to the higher levels of punishment, shaming first, and then perhaps expulsion, for any culprits who were suspended and then resumed their harrassment.”

  63. Rich Rifkin

    “I understand perfectly well what a question mark is…”

    No, apparently you do not. Nothing in your first or second remarks suggest that you do, Mr. Fischer.

    “Simply put: placing a question mark at the end of a sentence does not necessarily make it a question?”

    No, it does not. And I did not do that. And your mockery doesn’t change the fact that I did ask a question and you mistook that to be a statement, and not a question, and that motivated you to harangue me over and over again for posing an honest question.

    “In reading your original comments, a neutral observer would note amendment to the original comments in your response.”

    Do you always write in code?

    “While applause is warranted for positive changes of heart, it does not excuse you…”

    Did I ever ask you to excuse me? I have not changed my heart. My heart is just fine.

    “… as no where do you apologize for the overtly defamatory and subtly racist remarks made in your initial posting.”

    Just because you falsely suggest that my question was “subtly racist” does not make it so. Your conjecture is pathetic.

    I don’t need an apology from you, Mr. Fischer. Your mischaracterization of my comments are sorry enough.

    “I’m beginging to wonder if you work for the the school district…”

    I do not.

    … as all I hear from you is deny, deny, deny … even though your words are in print and are undeniable.”

    You did not quote my words. You misunderstood what I wrote and then invented words and ascribed them to me.

    “Furthermore, you have accused the victim of bringing bigotry upon himself”?”

    I did not accuse him of that. I asked if his prior racism was a factor in the case. Apparently it is not, so the matter is not worth worrying about.

    “Finally, you have indicated the superiority of Davis in regards to bigotry. (‘Davis has far less of a problem with racism and other forms of bigotry’)”

    That is true.

    “We cannot let the defense of the honor of Davis prevent us from recognizing the problem.”

    That is untrue. We can recognize a problem; and we can put it in context.

    Did the burning of the synagogues in Sacramento expose the fact that there is still some anti-Semitism? It did. But it doesn’t make Sacramento in the 21st Century a hot-bed of anti-Semitism or on par with Hitlerian Europe.

    Davis clearly has some problems with racism and homophobia. I abhor both. But I think that the city as a whole should be seen in a fair and complete light, and should not be defined by its exceptions.

    “The big picture should not be lost: children should be able to safely attend school, free of bullying, bigotry and harassment.”

    I fully agree. Let me quote a comment I posted on this blog on November 10, regarding your son’s situation:

    https://beta.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=31900478&postID=8003157465764286161

    “It seems to me that the school district, first and foremost, needs to address this particular problem. They need to make sure that no students are threatened or harrassed in this manner, and they need to punish any students who are violating this victim’s rights.

    “Secondly, insofar as this is also occurring off campus, the police need to get involved. (I’m not clear that name calling, if that is all that is going on, is a criminal matter. But if the kid feels physically threatened, then perhaps there is something the cops can do.)

    “I think it was, insofar as the child’s parents felt that the school was not doing enough to protect their son, right to bring the matter before a public body [the HRC]. That will hopefully put pressure on the school to do more. (I suspect that the parents would also turn to the School Board.)

    “Whereas I don’t think that there is any action that the HRC could take to rectify this particular situation, there are many things that the school could do. First and foremost, they could identify the harrassers, call in their parents and let them know what is going on, and suspend those kids from school. If that didn’t solve the problem, they could ratchet things up by publicly shaming the harrassers and their parents. And beyond that, they could expel the harrassers entirely.

    “Hopefully, as more people in Davis become aware of this case, the school will know it has to take stronger action to resolve this matter.

    “I should amend my statement above to say that now is perhaps the time for the school district to move to the higher levels of punishment, shaming first, and then perhaps expulsion, for any culprits who were suspended and then resumed their harrassment.”

  64. Rich Rifkin

    “I understand perfectly well what a question mark is…”

    No, apparently you do not. Nothing in your first or second remarks suggest that you do, Mr. Fischer.

    “Simply put: placing a question mark at the end of a sentence does not necessarily make it a question?”

    No, it does not. And I did not do that. And your mockery doesn’t change the fact that I did ask a question and you mistook that to be a statement, and not a question, and that motivated you to harangue me over and over again for posing an honest question.

    “In reading your original comments, a neutral observer would note amendment to the original comments in your response.”

    Do you always write in code?

    “While applause is warranted for positive changes of heart, it does not excuse you…”

    Did I ever ask you to excuse me? I have not changed my heart. My heart is just fine.

    “… as no where do you apologize for the overtly defamatory and subtly racist remarks made in your initial posting.”

    Just because you falsely suggest that my question was “subtly racist” does not make it so. Your conjecture is pathetic.

    I don’t need an apology from you, Mr. Fischer. Your mischaracterization of my comments are sorry enough.

    “I’m beginging to wonder if you work for the the school district…”

    I do not.

    … as all I hear from you is deny, deny, deny … even though your words are in print and are undeniable.”

    You did not quote my words. You misunderstood what I wrote and then invented words and ascribed them to me.

    “Furthermore, you have accused the victim of bringing bigotry upon himself”?”

    I did not accuse him of that. I asked if his prior racism was a factor in the case. Apparently it is not, so the matter is not worth worrying about.

    “Finally, you have indicated the superiority of Davis in regards to bigotry. (‘Davis has far less of a problem with racism and other forms of bigotry’)”

    That is true.

    “We cannot let the defense of the honor of Davis prevent us from recognizing the problem.”

    That is untrue. We can recognize a problem; and we can put it in context.

    Did the burning of the synagogues in Sacramento expose the fact that there is still some anti-Semitism? It did. But it doesn’t make Sacramento in the 21st Century a hot-bed of anti-Semitism or on par with Hitlerian Europe.

    Davis clearly has some problems with racism and homophobia. I abhor both. But I think that the city as a whole should be seen in a fair and complete light, and should not be defined by its exceptions.

    “The big picture should not be lost: children should be able to safely attend school, free of bullying, bigotry and harassment.”

    I fully agree. Let me quote a comment I posted on this blog on November 10, regarding your son’s situation:

    https://beta.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=31900478&postID=8003157465764286161

    “It seems to me that the school district, first and foremost, needs to address this particular problem. They need to make sure that no students are threatened or harrassed in this manner, and they need to punish any students who are violating this victim’s rights.

    “Secondly, insofar as this is also occurring off campus, the police need to get involved. (I’m not clear that name calling, if that is all that is going on, is a criminal matter. But if the kid feels physically threatened, then perhaps there is something the cops can do.)

    “I think it was, insofar as the child’s parents felt that the school was not doing enough to protect their son, right to bring the matter before a public body [the HRC]. That will hopefully put pressure on the school to do more. (I suspect that the parents would also turn to the School Board.)

    “Whereas I don’t think that there is any action that the HRC could take to rectify this particular situation, there are many things that the school could do. First and foremost, they could identify the harrassers, call in their parents and let them know what is going on, and suspend those kids from school. If that didn’t solve the problem, they could ratchet things up by publicly shaming the harrassers and their parents. And beyond that, they could expel the harrassers entirely.

    “Hopefully, as more people in Davis become aware of this case, the school will know it has to take stronger action to resolve this matter.

    “I should amend my statement above to say that now is perhaps the time for the school district to move to the higher levels of punishment, shaming first, and then perhaps expulsion, for any culprits who were suspended and then resumed their harrassment.”

  65. G Fischer

    Mr. Rifkin,

    I still contend to disagree with your points in the most recent posts, on many levels. It has become aparent and self evident you are incapable of error.

    To maintain peace I will agree to disagree.

    No response is required
    Good Day.

  66. G Fischer

    Mr. Rifkin,

    I still contend to disagree with your points in the most recent posts, on many levels. It has become aparent and self evident you are incapable of error.

    To maintain peace I will agree to disagree.

    No response is required
    Good Day.

  67. G Fischer

    Mr. Rifkin,

    I still contend to disagree with your points in the most recent posts, on many levels. It has become aparent and self evident you are incapable of error.

    To maintain peace I will agree to disagree.

    No response is required
    Good Day.

  68. G Fischer

    Mr. Rifkin,

    I still contend to disagree with your points in the most recent posts, on many levels. It has become aparent and self evident you are incapable of error.

    To maintain peace I will agree to disagree.

    No response is required
    Good Day.

  69. DJUSD Teacher

    To Mr. Fischer,

    I applaud and support you for your efforts. Your son is the victim of horrible acts of hatred and I admire your family for taking the brave position of standing up to the system. No child in our school district and no one in our society should be made to feel less than or unequal. That your family has suffered so much within the past few months is deplorable and wrong.

    The fact that our school administration is working to downgrade your son’s situation is a sad testament to the short-sightedness of our officials. Will it take a murder or major act of violence before a more serious effort is made to rectify the wrongs?

    We must all stand together to bring about positive change for the betterment of all. Let us use your family’s unfortunate situation to not only shine light on the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ mentality that exists and bring about a greater awareness, understanding, and tolerance for all.

    We are in all of this together and must work together for everyone. I find it unfortunate that even on this blog thread, there is so much division and bickering (is it so important for some people to consistently prove how clever they are with words?).

    Simple fact of the matter: your family has been harmed and you want to rectify the situation not only for your son, but for all of us.

  70. DJUSD Teacher

    To Mr. Fischer,

    I applaud and support you for your efforts. Your son is the victim of horrible acts of hatred and I admire your family for taking the brave position of standing up to the system. No child in our school district and no one in our society should be made to feel less than or unequal. That your family has suffered so much within the past few months is deplorable and wrong.

    The fact that our school administration is working to downgrade your son’s situation is a sad testament to the short-sightedness of our officials. Will it take a murder or major act of violence before a more serious effort is made to rectify the wrongs?

    We must all stand together to bring about positive change for the betterment of all. Let us use your family’s unfortunate situation to not only shine light on the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ mentality that exists and bring about a greater awareness, understanding, and tolerance for all.

    We are in all of this together and must work together for everyone. I find it unfortunate that even on this blog thread, there is so much division and bickering (is it so important for some people to consistently prove how clever they are with words?).

    Simple fact of the matter: your family has been harmed and you want to rectify the situation not only for your son, but for all of us.

  71. DJUSD Teacher

    To Mr. Fischer,

    I applaud and support you for your efforts. Your son is the victim of horrible acts of hatred and I admire your family for taking the brave position of standing up to the system. No child in our school district and no one in our society should be made to feel less than or unequal. That your family has suffered so much within the past few months is deplorable and wrong.

    The fact that our school administration is working to downgrade your son’s situation is a sad testament to the short-sightedness of our officials. Will it take a murder or major act of violence before a more serious effort is made to rectify the wrongs?

    We must all stand together to bring about positive change for the betterment of all. Let us use your family’s unfortunate situation to not only shine light on the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ mentality that exists and bring about a greater awareness, understanding, and tolerance for all.

    We are in all of this together and must work together for everyone. I find it unfortunate that even on this blog thread, there is so much division and bickering (is it so important for some people to consistently prove how clever they are with words?).

    Simple fact of the matter: your family has been harmed and you want to rectify the situation not only for your son, but for all of us.

  72. DJUSD Teacher

    To Mr. Fischer,

    I applaud and support you for your efforts. Your son is the victim of horrible acts of hatred and I admire your family for taking the brave position of standing up to the system. No child in our school district and no one in our society should be made to feel less than or unequal. That your family has suffered so much within the past few months is deplorable and wrong.

    The fact that our school administration is working to downgrade your son’s situation is a sad testament to the short-sightedness of our officials. Will it take a murder or major act of violence before a more serious effort is made to rectify the wrongs?

    We must all stand together to bring about positive change for the betterment of all. Let us use your family’s unfortunate situation to not only shine light on the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ mentality that exists and bring about a greater awareness, understanding, and tolerance for all.

    We are in all of this together and must work together for everyone. I find it unfortunate that even on this blog thread, there is so much division and bickering (is it so important for some people to consistently prove how clever they are with words?).

    Simple fact of the matter: your family has been harmed and you want to rectify the situation not only for your son, but for all of us.

  73. Anonymous

    Whoa…
    How is any of this helping Zack?

    Junior High is a real mess. The kids bully each other constantly. It is difficult to keep up with them. It sounds like Zach is right in there with the bunch, swinging away. The fact that he has gay parents provides an easy target, much like being black, short, wearing glasses, being fat, being a 7th grader, developing breasts, not developing breasts, wearing out of style clothes, wearing braces, being bad at sports, being poor, laughing funny, being friendly with the teacher, getting good grades, getting poor grades, having visible involved parents, not having parents, having a different living situation, and on and on, gives gives kids an easy target.

    I asked my gay step-son if he experienced any of this in Davis while growing up. He said in Junior High he experienced general bullying, but never about his sexuality. He said that he never experienced a thing in High School. However, he did say that he never allowed himself to become a target. He made a point of being polite and friendly to everyone – students and teachers, alike.

    It is always dangerous for adults to get involved in the world of kids interaction between themselves. Often the kids resolve it, and the adults will continue to rage on and on. I don’t think any of this is helping Zack.

    I strongly suggest that Zack look into his choices for school. I suggest that he visits Davis School for Independent Study, Harper, Holmes and Emerson. Meet with the student leaders there, not the administration. Zack should explain his situation and ask for their ideas, then Zack should make a choice. Not his parents for him. Zack needs to solve his problem and either work with his available resources to change the present situation at Harper or choose to move on to hopefully a better situation.

  74. Anonymous

    Whoa…
    How is any of this helping Zack?

    Junior High is a real mess. The kids bully each other constantly. It is difficult to keep up with them. It sounds like Zach is right in there with the bunch, swinging away. The fact that he has gay parents provides an easy target, much like being black, short, wearing glasses, being fat, being a 7th grader, developing breasts, not developing breasts, wearing out of style clothes, wearing braces, being bad at sports, being poor, laughing funny, being friendly with the teacher, getting good grades, getting poor grades, having visible involved parents, not having parents, having a different living situation, and on and on, gives gives kids an easy target.

    I asked my gay step-son if he experienced any of this in Davis while growing up. He said in Junior High he experienced general bullying, but never about his sexuality. He said that he never experienced a thing in High School. However, he did say that he never allowed himself to become a target. He made a point of being polite and friendly to everyone – students and teachers, alike.

    It is always dangerous for adults to get involved in the world of kids interaction between themselves. Often the kids resolve it, and the adults will continue to rage on and on. I don’t think any of this is helping Zack.

    I strongly suggest that Zack look into his choices for school. I suggest that he visits Davis School for Independent Study, Harper, Holmes and Emerson. Meet with the student leaders there, not the administration. Zack should explain his situation and ask for their ideas, then Zack should make a choice. Not his parents for him. Zack needs to solve his problem and either work with his available resources to change the present situation at Harper or choose to move on to hopefully a better situation.

  75. Anonymous

    Whoa…
    How is any of this helping Zack?

    Junior High is a real mess. The kids bully each other constantly. It is difficult to keep up with them. It sounds like Zach is right in there with the bunch, swinging away. The fact that he has gay parents provides an easy target, much like being black, short, wearing glasses, being fat, being a 7th grader, developing breasts, not developing breasts, wearing out of style clothes, wearing braces, being bad at sports, being poor, laughing funny, being friendly with the teacher, getting good grades, getting poor grades, having visible involved parents, not having parents, having a different living situation, and on and on, gives gives kids an easy target.

    I asked my gay step-son if he experienced any of this in Davis while growing up. He said in Junior High he experienced general bullying, but never about his sexuality. He said that he never experienced a thing in High School. However, he did say that he never allowed himself to become a target. He made a point of being polite and friendly to everyone – students and teachers, alike.

    It is always dangerous for adults to get involved in the world of kids interaction between themselves. Often the kids resolve it, and the adults will continue to rage on and on. I don’t think any of this is helping Zack.

    I strongly suggest that Zack look into his choices for school. I suggest that he visits Davis School for Independent Study, Harper, Holmes and Emerson. Meet with the student leaders there, not the administration. Zack should explain his situation and ask for their ideas, then Zack should make a choice. Not his parents for him. Zack needs to solve his problem and either work with his available resources to change the present situation at Harper or choose to move on to hopefully a better situation.

  76. Anonymous

    Whoa…
    How is any of this helping Zack?

    Junior High is a real mess. The kids bully each other constantly. It is difficult to keep up with them. It sounds like Zach is right in there with the bunch, swinging away. The fact that he has gay parents provides an easy target, much like being black, short, wearing glasses, being fat, being a 7th grader, developing breasts, not developing breasts, wearing out of style clothes, wearing braces, being bad at sports, being poor, laughing funny, being friendly with the teacher, getting good grades, getting poor grades, having visible involved parents, not having parents, having a different living situation, and on and on, gives gives kids an easy target.

    I asked my gay step-son if he experienced any of this in Davis while growing up. He said in Junior High he experienced general bullying, but never about his sexuality. He said that he never experienced a thing in High School. However, he did say that he never allowed himself to become a target. He made a point of being polite and friendly to everyone – students and teachers, alike.

    It is always dangerous for adults to get involved in the world of kids interaction between themselves. Often the kids resolve it, and the adults will continue to rage on and on. I don’t think any of this is helping Zack.

    I strongly suggest that Zack look into his choices for school. I suggest that he visits Davis School for Independent Study, Harper, Holmes and Emerson. Meet with the student leaders there, not the administration. Zack should explain his situation and ask for their ideas, then Zack should make a choice. Not his parents for him. Zack needs to solve his problem and either work with his available resources to change the present situation at Harper or choose to move on to hopefully a better situation.

  77. Anonymous

    Dear Anonymous,

    I agree in most cases that kids are able to resolve their own issue, and that in many cases kids will be kids. With this said their does become a time though when parental intervention is necessary.

    From what I have heard I dont believe Zachary has been one of those in the bunch as you stated.

    Furthermore, your son is one of the lucky ones and it is great that he did not have to experience many of the issues, but had your son been put through many of the same situations, the staff not taking care of the situation or even worse your child became physically hurt, I asure you, you would have been one to be standing up for him and demanding answers and correction, and rightfully so.

    It is only natural that parents become protective and look out for their young, this is called being a parent.

  78. Anonymous

    Dear Anonymous,

    I agree in most cases that kids are able to resolve their own issue, and that in many cases kids will be kids. With this said their does become a time though when parental intervention is necessary.

    From what I have heard I dont believe Zachary has been one of those in the bunch as you stated.

    Furthermore, your son is one of the lucky ones and it is great that he did not have to experience many of the issues, but had your son been put through many of the same situations, the staff not taking care of the situation or even worse your child became physically hurt, I asure you, you would have been one to be standing up for him and demanding answers and correction, and rightfully so.

    It is only natural that parents become protective and look out for their young, this is called being a parent.

  79. Anonymous

    Dear Anonymous,

    I agree in most cases that kids are able to resolve their own issue, and that in many cases kids will be kids. With this said their does become a time though when parental intervention is necessary.

    From what I have heard I dont believe Zachary has been one of those in the bunch as you stated.

    Furthermore, your son is one of the lucky ones and it is great that he did not have to experience many of the issues, but had your son been put through many of the same situations, the staff not taking care of the situation or even worse your child became physically hurt, I asure you, you would have been one to be standing up for him and demanding answers and correction, and rightfully so.

    It is only natural that parents become protective and look out for their young, this is called being a parent.

  80. Anonymous

    Dear Anonymous,

    I agree in most cases that kids are able to resolve their own issue, and that in many cases kids will be kids. With this said their does become a time though when parental intervention is necessary.

    From what I have heard I dont believe Zachary has been one of those in the bunch as you stated.

    Furthermore, your son is one of the lucky ones and it is great that he did not have to experience many of the issues, but had your son been put through many of the same situations, the staff not taking care of the situation or even worse your child became physically hurt, I asure you, you would have been one to be standing up for him and demanding answers and correction, and rightfully so.

    It is only natural that parents become protective and look out for their young, this is called being a parent.

  81. Doug Paul Davis

    I think it is hard to judge people’s decisions from afar.

    I understand the point being made about Zach figuring out how to handle this. But, I think this is too big for him to handle at this time.

    The parents concern is that Zach came back to school and the harassment began again IN FRONT OF SCHOOL STAFF.

    At that point, I don’t see how they can put Zach back into school without strong assurance from the school district and they just haven’t gotten that, imo.

  82. Doug Paul Davis

    I think it is hard to judge people’s decisions from afar.

    I understand the point being made about Zach figuring out how to handle this. But, I think this is too big for him to handle at this time.

    The parents concern is that Zach came back to school and the harassment began again IN FRONT OF SCHOOL STAFF.

    At that point, I don’t see how they can put Zach back into school without strong assurance from the school district and they just haven’t gotten that, imo.

  83. Doug Paul Davis

    I think it is hard to judge people’s decisions from afar.

    I understand the point being made about Zach figuring out how to handle this. But, I think this is too big for him to handle at this time.

    The parents concern is that Zach came back to school and the harassment began again IN FRONT OF SCHOOL STAFF.

    At that point, I don’t see how they can put Zach back into school without strong assurance from the school district and they just haven’t gotten that, imo.

  84. Doug Paul Davis

    I think it is hard to judge people’s decisions from afar.

    I understand the point being made about Zach figuring out how to handle this. But, I think this is too big for him to handle at this time.

    The parents concern is that Zach came back to school and the harassment began again IN FRONT OF SCHOOL STAFF.

    At that point, I don’t see how they can put Zach back into school without strong assurance from the school district and they just haven’t gotten that, imo.

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