Beechwood Teacher Beats Rap. So Far.


Remember that strange episode up at Beechwood School a couple of months ago when parents were called in for a really scary meeting and not really told anything? Some teacher did something. Somewhere. Somehow. FSD Superintendent Mitch Hovey was just double-talking hard.

Now the OC Register is reporting that the still unnamed teacher’s offense – having “inappropriate” materials on his computer at school – does not rise to the level of a crime. At least that’s what Acting Chief Dan Hughes reported after an FPD investigation was submitted to our hard-working DA (okay, no snickering). Says Hughes:

“The investigation discovered potentially inappropriate photographs and videos on a school computer assigned to the teacher. But I am pleased to report that in this case, there is no evidence to suggest any Beechwood students were victims of a crime.”

Well, that’s good news, although what the guy had on his computer that caused all the hubbub remains shrouded in secrecy.

But according to the article Mr. Teacher isn’t out of the Beechwoods yet, and remains on “administrative” (presumably paid) leave while the Fullerton School District pursues its own investigation.

Jeez, Fullerton must be the public employee investigation capital of the Western World.

 

  1. #1 by Nobody's business on April 21, 2012

    So if the teacher had those materials on a computer that no students ever had access to, and the materials were never disseminated to students or shown to them, and if the teacher never has acted inappropriately to students, etc. then essentially this teacher’s privacy is being violated for no reason and the district is wasting it’s time and money on a pointless investigation.

    • #2 by Chris Thompson on April 21, 2012

      Read all words and all statements more carefully NB. You are making a key incorrect statement here.

    • #3 by The Fullerton Harpoon on April 21, 2012

      Nope. If it’s a publicly owned computer, then how it is used is a matter of public interest. How the teacher spends his time at school is also of interest (or should be) to his employers.

      If the computer is his own, the first issue isn’t relevant, but the second still may be.

      • #4 by Chris Thompson on April 21, 2012

        Great points.

        • #5 by Nobody's Business on April 24, 2012

          Yeah, it would actually be a good point if you actually were consistent about it.

          Every DMV worker, every cop, every fireman, every teacher, every university professor, every comptroller, every military person, every single person who works for state, federal or local govt, the entire CIA, NSA, FBI, DEA, ATF, etc. EVERY ONE OF THEIR COMPUTERS ARE ALSO PUBLICLY OWNED. So you should demand scrutiny of every single one of them, and if, God forbid, they have even a single jpeg of porn then they should all be fired. Right?

          In fact, you can take this beyond govt employees to contractors who work for government too, since their salaries are also paid by your tax dollars. Therefore every computer owned by every defense contractor, every agricultural entity subsidized by your tax money, etc. their computers are all publicly owned too, right?

          And why should this be limited to porn? If “how the teacher spends his time at school” is the issue, then that should also be the issue for every Congressman, Senator, state representative, local official, etc. And since the objection is not to the porn itself, but to “how time is spent” – then any employee who for instance checks news headlines or sports scores unrelated to work is guilty of the same violation.

          Get the logic? If you’re consistent, than basically nobody paid by pubic funds should have any expectation of privacy on their work computer at all, and using that computer for anything but work should be grounds for termination. And that MUST apply to anybody from the President on down.

          But you guys would never apply this logic to all public employees and all private employees paid by govt funds. Because you care about UNIONIZED TEACHERS and you care about Porn.

          Which just makes you hypocrites, sorry to say.

          • #6 by The Fullerton Harpoon on April 24, 2012

            “Get the logic? If you’re consistent, than basically nobody paid by pubic funds should have any expectation of privacy on their work computer at all, and using that computer for anything but work should be grounds for termination. And that MUST apply to anybody from the President on down.”

            Hey you’re smarter than I thought you were.

            • #7 by Nobody's business on April 24, 2012

              Right. So you might want to be arguing for the impeachment of the POTUS, Supreme Court, Congress and Senate, entire US military, etc. Cause, you know, they probably all checked the score of a ballgame at least once.

              • #8 by Nobody's business on April 24, 2012

                And in case you don’t get my point let me clarify it. When everyone is guilty of a crime, the smart thing to do isn’t to enforce it. It’s to not make it a crime. This teacher is no more guilty than millions of others. It’s just the fear of pedophiles driving this whole debate. If the teacher is a pedophile or had child pornography, prosecute. If he is just the unlucky one of millions doing the same thing, don’t make an example out of him because you personally don’t like porn, teachers, or unions.

                If you value privacy and want Big Brother out of your business, don’t have a double standard just because someone is paid by the state.

              • #9 by The Fullerton Harpoon on April 25, 2012

                Depends what their contracts and terms of employment are.

                • #10 by Nobody's Business on April 25, 2012

                  So you think its acceptable and fair that some terms of public contracts stipulate “no use of computers for personal reasons” and others don’t? On what basis? Your favorite Congressperson might be surfing for porn all day every day and you’d never know a damn thing about it.

                • #11 by ALIENS?! on April 25, 2012

                  If someone wants to browse porn at work they should try to negotiate it into their employment contract.

      • #12 by Mimi on April 25, 2012

        The Fullerton Harpoon :
        If the computer is his own, the first issue isn’t relevant, but the second still may be.

        Fullerton Harpoon/David Zenger: so you’re saying it is not OK for you to blog while you’re one county time working for Supervisor Nelson?

        Nobody’s Business is right. You need to be consistent.

  2. #13 by Chris Thompson on April 21, 2012

    My compliments to Harpoon for the phrase, “out of the Beechwoods.”

    With forgiveness for the error of initially not sharing the subject of this investigation with the Board of Trustees, the District has and continues to do the right and smart thing with this situation. It is necessary and appropriate for the FSD to conduct its own internal investigation in the wake of the DA’s decision and it is my hope that we will be in a position to take next steps within a few weeks. I have discussed with the Dr. Hovey the need to move rapidly and he obviously concurs. There are legitimate personnel protections that come into play in this situation, but it will be a goal of mine to be as transparent and timely in this situation as possible. How’s that for insider-speak?

    • #14 by karma on April 22, 2012

      FSD, transparency and Hovey all together in the same sentence? that is rich and gave me a good fuffaw.

      “Legitimate personal protections that come into play”,,,yup sounds like typical insider/ union protection speak to me.

      With Hovey on his way out the door VERY shortly,( we don’t’ know the truth on that one yet either), do you honestly think he cares about transparency, speed and this “problem teacher”? I don’t need a crystal ball to tell you that this teacher will just be transferred to another school, clap clap…..problem solved.

  3. #15 by plain ornery on April 21, 2012

    Stinks like some kind of cover-up.
    Sounds like somebody has something on somebody.
    If it was sex or drugs, you can bet the FPD would be smearing it thick to draw attention from their own miserable organization.

  4. #16 by Vernon Dozier on April 21, 2012

    Reading between the lines, it sounds like they found porn on this guy’s computer and the participants appeared to be underage so they called the Fullerton PD to be sure. No charges were filed because it wasn’t kiddie porn after all.

    I’m not privy to any details, but it sure sounds this way.

    • #17 by James Cameron on April 22, 2012

      How would anybody even know unless they were snooping around in an unlocked machine? Did somebody rat the guy out?

      • #18 by SherBear on April 22, 2012

        It’s not his personal computer and most likely set up on a network. This doesn’t only make it possible for the IT guys to do maintenance from another location, it also makes it possible to randomly check what’s on computers including things that have been deleted. I don’t know if this is what happened as to how this discovery occurred but I’ve seen it happen elsewhere.

  5. #19 by truthseeker on April 21, 2012

    is it true that FFFF is blocked on school computers and porn is not?

    • #20 by James Cameron on April 22, 2012

      Haha! Probably!

  6. #21 by James Cameron on April 22, 2012

    “…Fullerton must be the public employee investigation capital of the Western World.”

    Per capita, I’ll bet we’re damn near at the top of the list. Look at how many cops are still on leave.

  7. #22 by 21st Century Learning on April 22, 2012

    All those kids already have access to the porno on those nifty computers they get. It’s only fair that the teachers get to have it too.

  8. #23 by La Roo on April 22, 2012

    I found it very interesting when I read Hovey was leaving after the Beechwood incident came to light. Wouldn’t it be something if it was all related to each other? Maybe the teacher found something about Hovey and was going to use it for his advantage. And what a great way to deter and spin the situation at hand.

  9. #24 by Nobody's business on April 22, 2012

    If you fired any employee in the country who has ever accessed porn on their work computers and has those files in their temporary internet folder, our unemployment rate would
    be around 70%.

    • #25 by James Cameron on April 22, 2012

      Thanks for missing the point.

      If I own that computer I should be able to control what happens with it. Especially if it’s in a school.

  10. #26 by Eye no things on April 22, 2012

    People do get fired for accessing porn on work computer thus the NSFW tag. It just depends on how strict the employer is.

    If you’re an elementary school teaching looking up “jailbait”, “teen” or “school girl” porn on the school computer not only do you need to be fired but you also deserve to have your face smashed in like a melon.

  11. #27 by Tuco Ramirez on April 22, 2012

    If there is no chargeable offense via the DA office, then the California Ed Code comes into play as well as the school district acceptable use rules for computers. If it cannot be proved that the teacher actually placed the info on that computer, then the charges will be difficult to make stick. The teacher will be removed and sent to another school.
    I have heard of situations where the night custodians used computers to access “improper” materials. They better be able to prove the assertions or they will have not only the union fighting them, but also the union lawyers who are free for any dues paying teacher. Due process has to be served. If not, lots of Fullerton school bucks will be paid out and is nothing but a waste of taxpayers money.

    • #28 by just a guy on April 22, 2012

      I can’t wait to see Quirk-Silva’s teachers’ union defend this creepy dude when the district tries to fire him.

      • #29 by Vernon Dozier on April 22, 2012

        I think Sharon’s husband is one of the union leaders for FSD teachers.

  12. #31 by Kirk on April 23, 2012

    The bottom line is if a teacher cant control his urges long enough to wait to surf porn until he gets home after work then he shouldnt be a teacher.

  13. #32 by karma on April 23, 2012

    Kirk- You can’t use human logic and the teachers union together. A teacher will never be fired.

    • #33 by Up Atascadero Way on April 23, 2012

      Or cops either. They are permitted to quit. Saves lots of embarrassment for the department.

      • #34 by Anonymous on April 23, 2012

        exactly! Total BS.

  14. #35 by Fullerton Lover on April 23, 2012

    Did you know that all of the teachers union dues that are used to pay for attorneys to defend them against charges like these are tax free? Same goes with all of the money that the teachers unions use to pay for lobbyist to influence legislation favorable to the teachers. Tax free.

    The California Teachers Association brings in almost $200 million a year in union dues and pays $0 in taxes.

    CTA also spends more on lobbying and politics (again, with forced dues) by far than any other corporation in the state.

  15. #36 by Chris Thompson on April 23, 2012

    It’s a first for me to actually know the inside story and watch the conjecture on this blog. It’s pretty educational.

    I will at least clear this up. Hovey let the board members know personally of his imminent retirement well before anything was known about this situation at Beechwood. They are factually unrelated. While I wouldn’t recommend Mitch for any awards in the area of government transparency, this situation is being handled very well up to this point. (Forgiving for the initial, corrected error of not sharing the general focus of the investigation with the board) For me personally, I have no interest in ever sweeping anything under the rug. I don’t view it as my job to be a marketing person for the Fullerton School District. Having said that, I would concur that school districts in general, do have an issue with sweeping issues under the rug and our district does not get a pass in that area. We have our percentage of ineffective teachers on the bell curve of performance, and even I have a very difficult time getting information on those teachers. And yes, our district does have a history of playing musical chairs with under-performing teachers. However, I am confident that the board will be making the best, well-informed decisions possible related to the Beechwood circumstances at hand.

  16. #37 by karma on April 24, 2012

    Imminent retirement? it was reported Hovey was going back to the classroom? which would be the REAL transparent truth in this case?

    • #38 by Chris Thompson on April 24, 2012

      Hovey is going back to a collegiate classroom. Not elementary. That is the REAL transparent truth.

      • #39 by The Fullerton Harpoon on April 24, 2012

        Cal Baptist? Yikes. Good to see he’s found his academic level.

  17. #40 by La Roo on April 24, 2012

    This is another form of union back peddling. Somehow he believes we will concur with his stance on this mess. This double talk is insulting to all tax paying citizens of Fullerton. If this matter was transparent – we would be informed on the situation like the Abell situation. Once again, something is rotten in Denmark. Please enlighten me and tell me how FSD leaders are not similar to the FPD leaders.

    • #41 by Chris Thompson on April 24, 2012

      I’m very confused by this. What is another form of union back-peddling? The union hasn’t made a comment on this case to my knowledge. Not that I would put it past them to protect nearly any form of behavior.

      • #42 by Fullerton Lover on April 25, 2012

        I think that my major angst with the teachers union is that they can use their tax free union dues to hire the very best attorneys to defend their actions…even if it’s for surfing porn on the internet while at school.

        I equate that with catching one of my children surfing for porn on the internet instead of doing their homework, and then when they’re caught, instead of accepting their punishment or restrictions I’ve placed on them, they instead enlist the support of their brothers and sisters to pool their allowances to hire a first class attorney to appeal whatever or however I’ve decided to punish them?

        • #43 by Surfer Dude on April 25, 2012

          No way, dude. The worst is that they use their union dues to, like, elect some total lackeys. It’s totally harsh on the taxpayers.

          • #44 by Fullerton Lover on April 25, 2012

            You mean like our Mayor Sharon Quirk Silva, or are you referring to Pam Geller?
            Or maybe your referring to the most recent candidate they’ve finanacially backed for the current city council election…Doug Chaffee?

  18. #45 by Nobody's Business on April 25, 2012

    The comments on this post really highlight the biases and hypocrisy of some of the Republicans/”libertarians” on this site:

    1. You are against use of public computers for anything other than work, when on work time, but you would only object to this when:the use of the computer is for porn, as opposed to for example, libertarian blogging.

    2. You are fine with the fact that monitoring of public employees’ workplace computer use is only done with lower-level employees. You have no problem with the fact that noneof the following are ever punished for non-work use of their computers: School Superintendents, Congressmen, Senators, military officers, LEO upper level officers, Federal Judges, senior administrators, etc.

    3. By advocating that some government workers (but not others) should have their computers monitored for non-work use you are approving of surveillance and monitoring of individual internet use, as long as the employee is a low-level public worker only that is. This at a time when every American’s internet freedom is under attack from bills like CISPA and from incredible violation of privacy from Homeland Security and the NSA.

    If you are really a libertarian and actually believe in freedom, that should apply to everybody, not only those in upper level management positions of privilege.

    If you’re not going to punish every single public employee for every single incident of them using their work computers for non-work purposes on work time, then you are being a hypocrite. And if you actually do espouse that position you should be trying to argue for that standard to be applied equally to everyone. And in fact if you value fairness you should be arguing that this standard should be applied more strictly to upper-level management than to lower-level workers.

  19. #46 by Everybodys business on April 25, 2012

    I think the rules should apply to every government employee everywhere, across the board. Use a computer for personal use and you are fired or punished. As long as you are wasting the public money it is everybody’s business!
    Private sector obviously excluded.

    Who here is advocating any of your listed items? I scanned the posts and see nothing that even comes close to the hypocrisy you speak of. The posts I am reading speak to the contrary.

    Funny how you came out of no where with guns blazing only on this one thread/post. Educated guess here, but sounds like you are thee teacher, or the wife, or at the very least related to the situation, directly or indirectly. Good Luck with that.

    If the behavior was improper (porn or no porn) then the teacher should be canned….but like i said way at the top, that will never happen.

    karma

    • #47 by Nobody's Business on April 25, 2012

      I am not a teacher and have no relationship of any kind to anyone related to the situation.

      The hypocrisy is obvious. You are all up in arms about this over a unionized teacher. But YOU KNOW that every single member of Congress, for example, is using their computer for things other than work sometimes. So is probably every officer in the military. So is probably every overpaid Washington bureaucrat. So is the President. Etc. So why don’t you go lead the witch-hunt against all of them?

      Simple. You’re a hypocrite.

      And the “private sector excluded” thing only makes sense when that private sector business is not getting any money from the Federal or State govt through any of the following: subsidies, procurement contracts, tax breaks. Otherwise it is just as much public money.

      So you going to go after them? nope. You’re going to go after one unionized teacher. Because, its not the principle of officer computers being used for personal use that bothers you. If it does, you’re deluded, since pretty much every single person any of us know is going to occasionally use their work computer for non-work related purposes.

      Nope, its because what you care about is:
      1. teachers
      2. unions
      3. porn.
      and particularly the combination of all 3.
      despite all your protestations to the contrary.

  20. #48 by Mimi on April 25, 2012

    Everybodys business :
    I think the rules should apply to every government employee everywhere, across the board. Use a computer for personal use and you are fired or punished. As long as you are wasting the public money it is everybody’s business!

    Do you apply that to the author of this post, Fullerton Harpoon/David Zenger? He is wasting the public money when he blogs when he is working for Supervisor Nelson.

    • #49 by James Cameron on April 25, 2012

      Doesn’t look like a waste of time to me.

    • #50 by The Fullerton Harpoon on April 25, 2012

      You shouldn’t believe everything you are told “Mimi.” Aw go ahead. Believe anything you want!

  21. #51 by Nobody's Business on April 25, 2012

    ALIENS?! :
    If someone wants to browse porn at work they should try to negotiate it into their employment contract.

    You guys are getting denser. The point is, its not equitably enforced. Nobody is going to ask a Senator or Supreme Court justice what is on their work machine and if they’ve used it for personal use.

    Secondly, the principle is obviously not about personal use, its about porn. Because no teachers are getting in trouble for browsing baseball stats.

    • #52 by Chris Thompson on April 25, 2012

      One of the most amazing things about pro-union, pro-mandated collective bargaining cheerleaders is that doing the right thing is subordinate to achieving total equity with them. Virtually everybody would concur that all public employees should be held accountable and that all of them should be held to reasonable standards that serve the taxpayers that pay their wage. Unions will always point first to a lack of equity as moral justification for screwing taxpayers. “You can’t fire or punish that guy, because he was not treated EXACTLY the same as the other guy.” It is not an achievable standard, which is why it is the only standard unions will accept.

      • #53 by Nobody's business on April 25, 2012

        I’m not pro-union any more than the next person. Just because you’ve drunk a particular color of kook-aid doesn’t mean I’ve drunk the opposite shade.

        Nobody has countered my basic points. Any of them. Rather than summarize them again just look at them.

        • #54 by Joe Sipowicz on April 25, 2012

          You’re worse than a fool you’re a damned fool.

          You believe that because all gov’t workers looking at porn on the job aren’t busted, none should be.

          Congrats. You’ve discovered a basement below the basement.

          • #55 by Nobody's Business on April 25, 2012

            Let me explain it all nice and slow-like for you.

            You’ve got a government that wastes your tax money like an oil gusher. Waste, fraud and abuse permeate all levels. The military with its $1 trillion budget might be a good place to start looking for waste or abuse of taxpayer funds. Subsidies to corporations might be another. Homeland security might be a third.

            But nah, why go after the big fish? Let’s just focus on one govt. employee who might have looked at porn at work for a couple of hours. Wow, might have even wasted a few hundred dollars. Let’s get all self-righteous about it too! Cause, its not just about the tiny amount of money wasted in this case, its also about porn, which is all non-family values like. And oh, the children!

            Now, this teacher might be one of the finest in the county for all we know, a man whose electrifying oratory summons his students to greatness. He may have helped his students so much academically that the financial benefits are incalculable. Meanwhile, maybe his colleagues are the kind of plodding oafs that make your kids hate school and learning. Bozos who spend hours upon hours of work time sitting around doing nothing, while the accused is taking extra time to help his students. Who knows? But at least they’re not looking at porn, right? just Red State.

            You’d institute a regime of surveillance over only the lowest ranking people in that particular institution, sparing the entire upper echelon of overpaid administrators’ computers a scintilla of scrutiny. In doing so you’d inadvertently or not be committing the same violations of internet privacy of the federal government you swear you detest. Its a slippery slope, but rather than resist falling down it you’d jump.

            Your position doesn’t suggest liberty is what is really being valued. It doesn’t suggest that your main concern is efficient use of the public’s money as well, or you’d be a lot more burned up over fatter targets. Instead, it suggests a small-minded parochialism paired with a rather worrying fixation on teachers, or unions, or porn, or probably, all three.

            Will the real Libertarians please stand up?

            • #56 by Joe Sipowicz on April 26, 2012

              Good God! Now you’ve discovered a basement below the basement below the basement.

              Explain it as slowly as you like, you’re not wriggling off the hook you stuck in your own mouth.

              If I own the computer I should be able to say what gets done with it. If an employee signs a contract that includes workplace restrictions, then he can be held accountable for that.

              If you have a problem (my guess is you really don’t) with “overpaid administrators” looking at dirty pictures then you should satisfy your curiosity with a PRA request. Good luck with that!

              His plodding oaf colleagues are the subject of a different debate, as are Mr. Possibly Stellar’s possible teaching and intellectual attributes.

              Hell, your argument isn’t even a good distraction.

              • #57 by Nobody's Business on April 26, 2012

                Congratulations on still not getting it.

                If you “own the computer” then by implication you also own, for example, the entire US military. You own the NSA and all the computers they are using to collect data on you as you type. You own a bunch of defense contractors, oil companies, and nuclear plants which are only able to exist because of the largesse of taxpayers and govt subsidies. You own trillions of dollars worth of assets which you apparently don’t care about, but goddarn it, some teacher was looking at http://www.bigjugs.com and that’s something we just can’t abide!

                So since you “own” all that stuff “you should be able to say what gets done with it.” But instead of saying what gets done with the important stuff, you think its just dandy to focus on totally insignificant little piddling stuff. Your excuse for this is “well, he violated a contract.” First off, we don’t actually know that is true. Do you have a copy of a Fullerton teacher’s contract demonstrating that there are clauses prohibiting teachers from using their work computers for personal use, or more specifically for viewing sexual images? Second, do you think that some public employees (unionized teachers in our little podunk town) should have contracts specifying “no pornography” or “no personal internet use” while other far higher-paying government employees should not? If you do think so, on what basis? Arbitrariness? A higher-salary should mean a less restrictive contract? Please enlighten us. Or are you one of those authoritarian types – “them’s the rules and whether they is good rules or not don’t matter.”

                The quality of the teaching is not a different topic, it is central to the debate. The real issue of whether a teacher should retain their job or not is whether the teacher is a good teacher or not, and of course whether they act appropriately to students. This is supposedly the concern of the anti-teachers union “activists” (and I use that term loosely) on this site. I strongly agree with that position. A good teacher should be rewarded, a bad teacher should be replaced. But instead of using a merit based system you’d rather use an intrusive big-brotherish, technocratic system of surveillance (selectively enforced of course), in which trivial concerns of “wasted time at work” trump actual job performance..

                The idea that using a computer at work for personal business is some sort of serious affront to the taxpayer is of course the biggest joke of all of your arguments. The measure of productivity is how much an employee can accomplish in some unit of time, say a week. Employee X might work incredibly hard for 37 hours and spend 3 hours goofing off on the internet, while Employee Y works incredibly lazily for 40 hours with a lot of time spent staring off into space and only 50% the productivity of Employee x. But you’d keep Employee Y and fire Employee X. I believe the appropriate description of this bureaucratic mentality is “ass-backwards.”

                When you attempt to bureaucratize education, this is what you get. Unthinking, by-the-book policies that don’t actually weed out bad teachers or reward good ones. All you guys claim to be libertarians and so concerned about public moneys, but you basically want to emulate the surveillance of totalitarianism and employ it to making personnel decisions under the guise of “principle” and “efficiency.” The principle is violated when totally inequitably and selectively applied. Efficiencies are not realized when your policies are penny-wise and pound-foolish and result in the worsening of education, not its improvement.

                I thought you guys were smart enough to be able to follow arguments through to their logical conclusions. But you keep proving me wrong. You can do better I hope.

                • #58 by Joe Sipowicz on April 26, 2012

                  You aren’t a lawyer, are you?

                  Stretch it as much as you want. teachers can’t download porn on a public computer or look at it on company time.

                  It’s really pretty simple. Forget the smoke and mirrors.

                  Say, have you ever met 4SD Observer? You’d get along great going after all those “big fish.”

            • #59 by Fullerton Lover on April 26, 2012

              Your argument would almost make sense if you were talking about restrictions placed on an Teacher’s liberty while at home, say whether or not he/she smokes marijuana, or views pornography on his/her home computer. However when we are being employed by an outside entity, and sign an agreement saying that you won’t smoke marijuana or view pornography while your supposedly working, is a clear ethical breech and deserved of repercussions.
              Basically what I’m saying is that we cannot and should not try and impose our own morals on each other in the sanctity of our own home, however when you are teaching my kids at school, I do not expect you to be blowing marijuana in my childrens face and daring me to something about it because you have individual rights that are being trampled on.

              • #60 by Nobody's Business on April 26, 2012

                I agree with you Fullerton Lover except that I don’t believe we know that teachers sign contracts stating that they will not be using their work computers for personal use; and we don’t know whether this is being selectively applied to some categories of personnel only, while others are excluded; and we don’t know whether some types of personal use are deemed ok, while others aren’t; and we don’t know if any of this is spelled out in the contract. Even if it were, we don’t know that the contract is a reasonable one with adequate privacy protection, and we don’t know whether the effects of the contract are positive or negative in terms of the education of our children.

                It is possible for instance that allowing workers to blow off a little bit of steam by using their work computers for personal use improves the quality of these workers’ classroom teaching and thus allowing personal use would actually be more efficient than restricting it. In which case the contract may have been violated, but the contract itself may not be in our public interest.

                Bottom line is we just don’t know.

                • #61 by Joe Sipowicz on April 26, 2012

                  “Bottom line is we just don’t know.”

                  Wanna bet?

  22. #62 by Nobody's Business on April 26, 2012

    Joe Sipowicz :
    “Bottom line is we just don’t know.”
    Wanna bet?

    Yeah, I want you to show me the peer-reviewed research that demonstrates that companies or public institutions of any kind that allow employees to use their work computers for personal use (or that don’t expressly either allow it or prohibit it) are less efficient and less productive than institutions with strict restrictions on personal use of computers.

    You could try using google to find that published research. And while you’re at it, you could take a look at google’s personnel policies and see whether they restrict personal computer use on the job. Of course they don’t – they do the opposite. They fill their offices with distractions of all kinds, confident in the knowledge that a happy employee who doesn’t feel like his employer is constantly watching his every move and breathing down his neck is going to be a hell of a lot more creative and productive than an oppressed little Dilbert-like cubicle worker who has to worry about whether some IT lackey is going to be ratting him out for the tragic offense of checking a movie time or making a diner reservation while at work.

    Again, its all about taking your arguments to their logical conclusions. Your conclusion is that the more monitoring, surveillance, and control management employ to discipline their workers, the better everything always is. I beg to differ.

    And yeah I wanna bet.

    • #63 by Joe Sipowicz on April 26, 2012

      Man, you’ll look for any excuse to let public employees “blow off a little steam” that also seems to include looking at porn if that’s how they want to do it.

      You’re making yourself and whatever principles you pretend to expose look completely ridiculous.

      • #64 by Nobody's business on April 26, 2012

        And you’ll look for any excuse to condemn behavior by some that you’d excuse among others. Were your teachers really that mean to you when you were a child? And your hatred of porn, why? Does it make little baby Jesus cry?

  23. #65 by Nobody's Business on April 26, 2012

    Joe Sipowicz :
    You aren’t a lawyer, are you?
    Stretch it as much as you want. teachers can’t download porn on a public computer or look at it on company time.
    It’s really pretty simple. Forget the smoke and mirrors.
    Say, have you ever met 4SD Observer? You’d get along great going after all those “big fish.”

    Nope, not a lawyer. Just practicing my argumentation skills. Figured you guys would give me a bit more of a challenge though rather than reducing everything to shallow one-liners. But hell, maybe you’re all at work and worried the IT nerd monitoring your blogging.

    No smoke or mirrors. At least you’ve shown your cards now. You don’t make this argument based on either principle or efficiency. You couch it in pure authoritarianism without justification, to whit, “this is the law, you just can’t do it.”

    Damn, I thought I was on a libertarian blog.

    • #66 by Joe Sipowicz on April 26, 2012

      It is 4SD Observer!

      • #67 by karma on April 26, 2012

        Maybe he came back for another Fringie?

        • #68 by Joe Sipowicz on April 26, 2012

          I think he was a she.

          • #69 by Anonymous on April 26, 2012

            ha! well that splains everthing!

        • #70 by karma on April 26, 2012

          I think he married Caroline since the last one. Birds of a feather and all.

      • #71 by Nobody's business on April 26, 2012

        No idea who that is Joey. When you lose a debate, cast aspersions.

    • #72 by Go West on April 26, 2012

      Nobody’s Business: if you came here looking for some challenging debate, you came to the wrong place. FFFF is groupthink central! You’d have better luck looking for a tall man in Lilliput.

      • #73 by Nobody's business on April 26, 2012

        I thought I was among libertarian freethinkers, not the “following orders” crowd.

        “the governmen who governs least governs best.” Except for when unionized teachers or porn is involved. Then the best model is Stalinism apparently.

        • #74 by Anonymous on April 26, 2012

          I like your pluck, however by the very nature of an employer/ employee relationship, not just a teacher/ administrator relationship, we all have certain rules and standards that we agree in writing , via an employee/ employer contract to abide by.
          We can either make a conscious choice to abide by those rules, or become self-employed and become your own boss.
          That’s as free as it get’s isn’t it?
          Until someone takes away my right to make that choice, I still have my personal freedoms to make choices. If I didn’t, THAT would be Stalinism.

          • #75 by Nobody's Business on April 26, 2012

            You’re right – and if someone can show me where the contract says no personal use of work computers or no porn I will have to concur.

            Though I don’t have to concur that such a policy actually makes sense. And since I’m a taxpayer and this is a contract between two public entities, it is by the logic evinced above “my contract” and if it is then I want the porn and computer clauses deleted from it. Because I want my kids’ teachers to be judged on how well they teach, and pretty much nothing else.

            • #76 by Fullerton Lover on April 26, 2012

              I think your last sentence sums it up best.

              • #77 by Nobody's business on April 26, 2012

                I figured the parents out there would agree.

                A great teacher is a great teacher and even if they spend their at-work time outside of the classroom looking at porn or playing illegal online poker that’s Nobody’s business.

                A poor teacher should be let go regardless of what they do or don’t do on their work time and machine.

                • #78 by Joe Sipowicz on April 26, 2012

                  When we get a look at a contract we will be able to figure out if looking at porn or playing poker on-line while at work is allowed.

            • #79 by Joe Sipowicz on April 26, 2012

              “You’re right – and if someone can show me where the contract says no personal use of work computers or no porn I will have to concur.”

              Teachers sign employment contracts. I wonder if Chris Thompson would be so good as to link to a specimen contract.

        • #82 by Joe Sipowicz on April 26, 2012

          So expecting teachers to stay off their public computers for salacious activity is Stalinism?

          Good Grief!

          • #83 by Nobody's business on April 26, 2012

            You’re missing the point Joe. It doesn’t actually matter what they do on their work computers, or whether those computers are public or private. What matters is how good of a teacher someone is.

            The whole union/anti-union thing seems to have gotten a lot of people confused. The problem with the current system is that we can’t fire bad teachers just for being bad teachers. If we could do that we wouldn’t have to have contractual clauses about “personal use of computers during work” because it would be irrelevant.

            If we could use some kind of assessment based on outcome (i.e. the kids learned a lot or have a better attitude towards learning because of this teacher) we could hire, promote, retain, and fire teachers based on this criteria alone. Surveillance mechanisms (and added personnel to do the surveillance), byzantine work-related conduct rules, extra contractual clauses, and loss of privacy (and dignity) no longer needed.

            You can be against the permanent, unconditional employment given to teachers under our current system and still think they deserve the privacy, respect, and freedom of any other human being in any other workplace.

            • #84 by truthseeker on April 26, 2012

              Wrong- the sacred cows must jump through narrow hoops to remain sacred. We either remove the deification or the hoops. If we disband the union and the stranglehold it has we can treat, pay, reward and terminate based on pure merit. The current system allows them to be the uncle joe not us.

              • #85 by Nobody's business on April 26, 2012

                I think I know what you’re saying, maybe, but given the number of mixed metaphors, I’m not really sure.

                The existence of a teachers’ union itself is not an inherent problem. The union’s stance against merit-based hiring, promotion, review, is definitely a problem. Firing teachers for looking at porn is not a solution. Without any judgment of merit you could end up firing your best teachers if you take such a simple-minded approach.

                • #86 by truthseeker on April 26, 2012

                  Look if the kids cant buy it or use it then it has no business in the classroom or being on school grounds. The existence of the union is a serious problem as its sole purpose is totally self serving as evidenced by its “digging its heels in” stance on wide array of issues. How many kids do we have to cram into those asbestos tile roofed rooms under the mercury vapor lights before someone realizes that the HVAC systems are not designed to remove the carbon dioxide of 40 kids. Why furlough? Why make me take days off, or scramble for day care? Look at the lost tax revenues and productivity just so the educrats can avoid pay cuts and pension contributions? Why cant they do the same for less? Why do the kids have to be short changed ALL THE TIME. Whats up with the 50 year old pipes with the lead flux on the drinking fountains, the 50 year old skin your knee rocked asphalt surfaces, the countless millions in the CTA lobby slush fund, the fat salaries for the pencil pushers and the six figures for the robots that turn out an inferior product year after year? I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. Is Jimmy Hoffa running this jobs program? Education is compulsory, its funding is compulsory and the union has the public in a choke hold. The patient will turn bluer this November when the tax increases fall flat on their faces.If my recollection of comparative religions serves me correctly, the sacred cows always end up on the altar.

                • #87 by Joe Sipowicz on April 26, 2012

                  “Firing teachers for looking at porn is not a solution.”

                  You are losing your mind. It is a solution – for getting rid of teachers looking at porn.

  24. #88 by Fullerton Lover on April 26, 2012

    The current system encourages mediocrity by rewarding a teachers job performance based strictly on his or her seniority.
    Please tell me another industry where this is practiced and the end result is successful performance?
    Imagine what the Angels baseball team would like if we fielded a team based on seniority, or years playing baseball?

    That’s the same team that we’re in effect saying is good enough to teach our children.

  25. #89 by Anonymous on April 26, 2012

    Anonymous :
    page 43 of the handbook is what this teacher is/was in violation of. Seems pretty clear to me?

    Yeah. Too bad the very first thing in the handbook is this statement:
    THIS HANDBOOK DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENT.

    • #90 by Joe Sipowicz on April 26, 2012

      Except that there seems to be the little problem of an Acceptable Use Agreement.

  26. #91 by Nobody's business on April 26, 2012

    Joe Sipowicz :
    When we get a look at a contract we will be able to figure out if looking at porn or playing poker on-line while at work is allowed.

    Joe, try to stifle your knee-jerk authoritarianism for a second and think about it rationally. If the best teacher the kids have ever had plays a few hours of online poker after class before he goes home, you really think that person should be fired? If so, your priorities are totally out of whack. And yeah Joe, it is a Stalinist approach, or at least way more bureaucratic than I’d expect from a Libertarian. Did FFFF turn into The Central Committee for School Workplace Computer Monitoring and Compliance when I wasn’t looking?

  27. #92 by Anonymous on April 26, 2012

    Joe Sipowicz :
    “Firing teachers for looking at porn is not a solution.”
    You are losing your mind. It is a solution – for getting rid of teachers looking at porn.

    And if you think that getting rid of teachers for looking at porn is more important than whether the teacher you are getting rid of is a good one or not, you’re either some kind of Bible-thumping puritan nutjob or someone who doesn’t actually care about education. I’m guessing the former. Too bad. I like your other blog posts.

    • #93 by Joe Sipowicz on April 26, 2012

      Nobody ever said that. Those are two different issues. What in the hell is wrong with your brain?

      • #94 by Nobody's Business on April 27, 2012

        You said that Joe. You said that we should fire teachers who look at porn at work, period, because those are the rules. You didn’t say we should make an exception for excellent teachers who look at porn. Well, you might have said it to yourself but that doesn’t count.

  28. #95 by Nobody's business on April 26, 2012

    truthseeker :
    Look if the kids cant buy it or use it then it has no business in the classroom or being on school grounds. The existence of the union is a serious problem as its sole purpose is totally self serving as evidenced by its “digging its heels in” stance on wide array of issues. How many kids do we have to cram into those asbestos tile roofed rooms under the mercury vapor lights before someone realizes that the HVAC systems are not designed to remove the carbon dioxide of 40 kids. Why furlough? Why make me take days off, or scramble for day care? Look at the lost tax revenues and productivity just so the educrats can avoid pay cuts and pension contributions? Why cant they do the same for less? Why do the kids have to be short changed ALL THE TIME. Whats up with the 50 year old pipes with the lead flux on the drinking fountains, the 50 year old skin your knee rocked asphalt surfaces, the countless millions in the CTA lobby slush fund, the fat salaries for the pencil pushers and the six figures for the robots that turn out an inferior product year after year? I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. Is Jimmy Hoffa running this jobs program? Education is compulsory, its funding is compulsory and the union has the public in a choke hold. The patient will turn bluer this November when the tax increases fall flat on their faces.If my recollection of comparative religions serves me correctly, the sacred cows always end up on the altar.

    If there’s insufficient funding for education that’s not because of the union. Its because of California’s economy and the legislature having other priorities, like building an infinity of prisons which mostly house non-violent offenders. Man, unions with you people is like communists with Joe McCarthy.

    • #96 by truthseeker on April 27, 2012

      McCarthy was right by the way. Half of the state budget goes into education. Half of the state’s population is not in school. Prisoners are the slave labor force and I agree that they are popping up like mushrooms after a good. rain.

      • #97 by truthseeker on April 27, 2012

        The new prison economy is a whole different animal. That is a state level issue. We at the local level with our supposed local controls have to live within our means. That means taking the hit with the BEST INTERESTS of the children in mind. THAT DOES NOT INCLUDE furlough days, eliminating field trips, overcrowding classrooms, decaying facilities, and constant pandering to the parents and children to raise funds for a public program that has PLENTY OF MONEY if it were spent properly. Market wages and common sense cant prevail. There are 1000 applicants for every certificated position that opens and we keep high priced dead weight everywhere and overwork those in the classroom them with too many kids.No one in their right mind can tell that the kids come first. This thing is built around the staff period. This isnt rocket science. Every problem that I have had in the FSD to date was met with the same response ” my hands are tied because of the union…. “. I tell you it is a mafia and the kids are the hostages.

      • #98 by Nobody's Business on April 27, 2012

        McCarthy was right huh? I see the problems with our educational system must date back a good many years if you believe that.

        • #99 by truthseeker on April 27, 2012

          A communist is nothing more than a fascist with a gun. Look what’s hanging on the wall of the house floor behind the speaker, look on the back of a dime. Uncle Joe was no friend of mine.

          • #100 by Nobody's Business on April 27, 2012

            That would make a lot more sense if the fascists didn’t all have guns.

            • #101 by truthseeker on April 27, 2012

              So really, do you think the schools really put the kids first? Really come on and be honest.

              • #102 by Chris Thompson on April 27, 2012

                If you’re asking if school districts really put kids first, I can answer that. No. Certainly not in Fullerton. If we had, we would have cut salaries and benefits rather than shortening the school year and increasing class size with the last budget and the most recent union contract.

              • #103 by Nobody's business on April 27, 2012

                No, I’m not arguing in favor of the current teachers union at all. I’m in favor of merit-based evaluations as I’ve clearly indicated. The current union doesn’t support that.

  29. #104 by Anonymous on April 26, 2012

    Unions are discriminatory. They do not represent each and every American in this country.

    • #105 by Anonymous on April 26, 2012

      Uh, can you please name an institution that represents each and every American in this country?

      • #106 by Fullerton Lover on April 27, 2012

        How about the military?

        • #107 by Nobody's Business on April 27, 2012

          Good one. I’m assuming that was a joke.

  30. #108 by Lifesaving Service on April 26, 2012

    Code of Ethics for Educators

    “2. The professional educator maintains sound mental health, physical stamina, and social prudence necessary to perform the duties of any professional assignment.

    3. The professional educator continues professional growth.

    4. The professional educator complies with written local school policies and applicable laws and regulations that are not in conflict with this code of ethics.”
    http://www.aaeteachers.org/index.php/about-us/aae-code-of-ethics

  31. #109 by Bahahahaha on April 27, 2012

    Nobody’s Business, I am just sick reading your posts. If I own that computer, AND AS A TAXPAYER, I DO, then I have the right to govern how you use that computer. END OF SUBJECT. This boils down to common sense, which includes not having someone have porn on their WORK COMPUTER. And worse off, it’s A TEACHER with said alleged porn on this computer! What parent wants a teacher like that for their child-a teacher who obviously lacks common sense? Not me, one of those Bible-thumping Republicans. The fact is, it’s EVERYONE’S business!

    • #110 by Nobody's Business on April 27, 2012

      Let me cordially suggest you stop reading them if they make you sick.

      I have kids. I couldn’t care less if their teachers have porn on their work computers, or what kind, as long as its consensual adults. I just care if they’re good teachers. Maybe if you’d had better teachers you’d understand yourself.

    • #111 by Nobody's Business on April 27, 2012

      Also, you own the NSA computers. You know, the ones they collect all of that data about you and every other Internet or phone users on. I suggest you ask them if you can look at all their computers, You know, in case there’s any porn.

  32. #112 by Bahahahaha on April 27, 2012

    I had wonderful teachers, thank you very much. Did I also mention that I’m a teacher?

    I can’t argue with someone who has your logic. The fact is, we don’t know all the facts here. However, if this teacher WAS porn surfing on the job, it is EVERYONE’S business.

    I can’t control your opinions or what you want to see in a public school teacher. If you want to see your kid potentially have a teacher who can’t control their urges on the job to search for porn, so be it. I’m sorry, but a teacher possibly porn surfing on the job is NOT someone you want around kids. No way.

    I have a say as a voting citizen, a taxpayer and a human being with an opinion to say no way.

    How much porn do you surf for on the job?

    • #113 by Nobody's Business on April 27, 2012

      The idea that someone who surfs for porn at work “can’t control their urges” and thus is “NOT someone you want around kids” is everything that is wrong with all the arguments everybody, including you, is making on this thread. Looking at porn is not a marker of pedophilia, but hysterical nitwits like you would make it so. Since you’re a teacher, why don’t you conduct some research onto this. Look at:
      1. percentages of views of porn websites during work hours vs. non-work hours.
      2. number of people who look at pornography, period.
      3. number of pedophiles, period.

      Since you’ve been however dubiously entrusted with the care of our kids, I hope you are intelligent enough to both do research and draw the appropriate findings from what the research suggests. However, my personal experience with public school teachers locally doesn’t suggest that critical thinking (or openmindedness) is a necessary prerequisite for employment. Thus the state of education today.

  33. #114 by Dream Weaver on April 28, 2012

    an acquaintance of mine has children who’ve been taught by this particular teacher. Word has it that he was one of the best teachers in the school, many kids and parents really loved this man.

    What fascinates me the most about this issue is that the staff and administrators have access to porn, but this website is censored. Mitch Hovey should be fired before he retires with a quarter million/year pension!

    • #115 by Nobody's Business on April 28, 2012

      I didn’t know that previously. I was making an argument in principle – the principle being that if one is gong to monitor people’s computer usage that should be applied fairly to all, or preferably, not applied at all if it is irrelevant to overall job performance; that what matters is a teacher’s conduct and effect in the classroom, not what they might be doing in the few minutes between teaching and going home for the night; that we shouldn’t have double standard about either personal computer use at work or porn in general; and finally that people who look at porn are not necessarily or even probably pedophiles given that the proportion of people in our society who look at porn is huge compared to the proportion of pedophiles among the population.

      Hearing that this individual IS a great teacher, I hope that the district (and our Libertarian bloggers) come to the same conclusion that I have – that the quality of a teacher’s teaching is what matters and if the teacher hasn’t been accused of behaving improperly to students or breaking State or Federal law the investigation should be closed before we end up with another massive lawsuit on our hands.

  34. #116 by Fullerton Lover on April 28, 2012

    Here’s a story about a Principal making out with his Secretary in the school office during school, both married to other people. A student filmed their encounter.

    In one of the related stories below the feature article, a science teacher was caught surfing for porn on the internet.

    Although he originally lost his job, he was subsequently re-instated and given $200,000.00 in back pay.

    Sound familiar to anyone?

    Case law being what it is, would make me VERY hesitant to dismiss this teacher at Beechwood Elementary.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/27/arizona-principal-caught-in-make-out-session-fired_n_1459968.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D156143#s865835&title=Andrew_Harris

    • #117 by Nobody's Business on April 28, 2012

      After looking at the original post about this incident, I think the district has handled this entire thing totally inappropriately. First of all, the Register story mentions “a computer assigned’ to the teacher – which could even mean a laptop that the teacher used mainly at home. So we don’t even know that the porno viewing took place at the school or during school hours.

      In the context of all of this holding an emergency meeting which probably scared a bunch of parents half to death is about the stupidest thing imaginable. Putting a teacher on leave while investigating makes sense, since protection of children should be the highest priority and just in case there was child pornography involved, but once ascertained that there was not and that the material was not shown to students, there is no need to do anything else beyond probably talking to the teacher, taking away that computer if the school feels that necessary, and putting the teacher back in the classroom. Possibly with an apology. And definitely an apology is due to all the parents scared out of their wits by the knee-jerk hysterical reaction of the school or district.

      Transparency doesn’t mean informing the public when one suspects a crime may have possible been committed. Innocent until presumed guilty is the law of the land, notwithstanding the increasing violation of this principle. And scaring parents in this way given the current levels of paranoia about pedophiles is frighteningly irresponsible.

      Way to screw this one up and create a climate of fear for no reason, Beechwood and Fullerton school district. Man this whole thing pisses me off. Maybe I better go watch some porn to get my mind of this fiasco.

      • #118 by Fullerton Lover on April 28, 2012

        I agree with you that this was a gross over reaction, and that the incident was totally mishandled and will again cost us taxpayers dearly in investigative costs.

        This should have been punished via a written letter of reprimand to the instructor to adhere to policies set forth by the district or face dismissal.

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