Daily Archives: August 4, 2013

A Rose by Any Other Name, Is Still a Witch Hunt…


Date: August 4, 2013

01) Thank you, Etenne


02) Rose City [Michigan] middle school torn apart by teacher sex scandal

“Rose City – This tiny farm town in northern Michigan has risen up against a school board member and six teachers.

Longtime friends no longer talk to them. They’ve been blasted by a judge, criticized by the local newspaper and mocked in public meetings.

Residents are trying to recall board member Mike Eagan, and the board is contemplating firing the teachers.

Their offense: supporting a friend convicted of having sex with an eighth-grade student. When middle school teacher Neal Erickson was sentenced last month, Eagan sat in court with Erickson’s family. The six teachers wrote letters of support to the judge.”

You ever get offended by people who get offended?…I’m not talking about those cases, where someone has simply had their buttons pushed for too long and enough is enough…I am talking about people who latch onto issues, where they are just chronically offended no matter what…If the certain words come up in conversation, they are suddenly offended…sometimes, quite emotionally so…And all that matters, is that they are offended…And all else must stop, in deference to their personal sense of outrage and offense…

I feel like…these are exactly the situations, and the mindsets…which steamroll over whoever is most convenient, or “in the way”…That this is at the heart of what rips the possibility of any good outcome, from the hands of sanity.

…Somebody wants heads on a platter, to satisfy their own moral outrage…

Of course, in the comments section of this report it is being mostly framed as “six teachers supporting child rape, who need to be fired”…

“The controversy began with a 7-year-old photo. The obscene picture of Janczewskis’ son when he was 14, was anonymously emailed to the school board and superintendent.

The Michigan State Police contacted the son, now 21 and a student at Western Michigan University, and learned he had sent the photo to his eighth-grade teacher in 2006.

The son said he and the teacher, Erickson, had a relationship that summer that involved eight to 10 sexual encounters at the teacher’s home.”

…But it sounds like this is more a case, where a teacher and student had a sexual summer affair, which is just coming out now…seven years later…It seems, the younger companion did not feel need to seek help, nor intervention…grew up and got into university…and this only came to light by accident, when a self taken and willingly given picture [by the boy in question] was found…He went back to his teacher, about ten times over…Which is entirely believable, for a fourteen year old boy who maybe has some homosexual tendencies.

I am getting the impression…that those six teachers probably never wanted the boy and Erikson to do what they did…but at the same time, realized that the boy and Erikson could not justly be reduced down to one stigmatized sexual affair…The sum of who these two people are, cannot be summed up into one issue which many people think badly about [and which commonly does not get a fair or measured treatment, in its own right].

He and the boy [teenager, actually], had numerous sex romps…And these six peer of his, probably rightly, thought that Erikson did not deserve spending much of the rest of his life in a cage, for “sucking off a horny and very willing fourteen year old”, or whatever it was this boy kept returning for…This sounds like just another classic case, of screaming “bloody murder” over…well…honestly, over nothing that couldn’t be gotten past with a little bit of level headed maturity…and some frank honesty.

Maybe, the six thought it was a terrible miscarriage of justice and a total waste…for extreme penalties to be levied against what was really just a violation of social roles, but not particularly threatening in nature? …Maybe they saw things escalating out of control, and tried to infuse a little bit of rational perspective?

“During the sentencing, Circuit Judge Michael Baumgartner said he was appalled by the support for Erickson.

“What you did was a jab in the eye with a sharp stick to every parent who trusts a teacher,” he told the defendant.”

I think it was entirely out of line, for the judge to have taken such a tone with these six…That was terribly unprofessional, and it is not his business to admonish people who are engaged in a common practice in these types of cases…that being, giving character witness before the court, as sentencing is being considered…Who is he to stand in the way, or dissuade people from the honest exercise of this right? …That judge’s behavior, is totally indefensible.

In the comments section, someone identifying themselves as the boy’s parent makes the claim that their son’s life has been destroyed by this…

…One interesting question to ask here, is whether the parents even had a clue that this was going on, several years back…and whether they noticed any negative changes in their son, at the time of the affair [or in its aftermath] …Or did their son return to Erikson, again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again [and maybe twice more, still], concealing [protecting?] this from his parents who he knew would not approve…living normally and being quite stable enough to make it into university, and pursue a thriving future?…

…Is this “destroyed life” hyperbole?…Maybe, parental revisionism?…

Part of a reader’s comment…

[…] the parents are the ones taking the additional action. I might add that to my knowledge, the victim did not appear at any of the court cases nor has he made any push towards the efforts to remove or discipline the teachers. You can come up with theories, but I have read DIRECT messages from the victim saying he remains mostly neutral in the *current situation. – Steve Hyer

…Remaining neutral, when his life has allegedly been destroyed?…

This sounds more like a parental vendetta, than anything else…

…”Not my kid!”…”He ain’t doing that!”…”And you’re going to pay dearly, for opening that door for him!”…

…I am with Etenne on this one…

This issue may be a delicate social dance, when it comes to the “positions of trust and authority” argument…but this case has clearly spun way out of control.

Nobody should ever be admonished or threatened, over having given character witness and testimony in the sentencing portion of a criminal trial…Such is an outright breakdown, of the actual legal process itself.

There is something deeply wrong, going on in Rose City.