Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Sound familiar? Completely false allegations made in an effort to banish woman from California school

At an elementary school in Irvine, California, two attorneys (parents of a boy at the school) tried to put an innocent woman in jail, and ended up in jail themselves.  See first story below.

Sadly, not all false allegations are so clearly exposed.

School districts are hotbeds of abuse and hostility among adults.

Chula Vista Elementary School District wanted to get rid of me when I refused to be silent about rampant wrongdoing.  "You must forget the past," said Assistant Superintendent Rick Werlin.

Werlin demanded again and again that I return to work without any investigation having been done regarding my allegations.   He spoke on behalf of Superintendent Libia Gil and a school board that consisted of Cheryl Cox, Pam Smith, Bertha Lopez--yes, the Bertha Lopez who pled guilty to corruption charges, Patrick Judd--yes, the one found liable in court for shocking sexual harassment of an employee, and Larry Cunningham.  In a bid to protect abusive teachers, CTA leaders, including Jim Groth, refused to require that the district obey the law and the contract.  

Many school district employees function as "honor brigades" to silence discussion of problems.  See second story below.

How Two California Parents Ended Up in Jail Over After-School Spat
...A Mysterious Call to Police Over an ‘Erratic Driver’
A year went by as Peters and the Easters battled in court. Then, on Feb. 16, 2011, the Irvine Police Department received a call around 1:15 p.m. on a school day, reporting an erratic driver at the Plaza Vista School. The person on the phone said his name was “Vijay Chandrasekhar,” and he was concerned about the welfare of his child, who he said attended the school.
A man tells the dispatcher, “I’m concerned one of the parent volunteers there may be under the influence or using drugs... I just had to go over to the school and I saw a car driving very erratically.”
The caller gave a description of the car, a white PT Cruiser, and said the volunteer’s first name was “Kelli.” Officer Charles Shaver with the Irvine PD was dispatched to the school and found the car in the parking lot.
“The caller that indicated the erratic driving also said there was a potential that the driver put drugs or pills behind her seat,” Shaver said, “So, I went to the driver’s side and looked in the window... There was a large bag of marijuana that was protruding out of the seat pocket, behind the driver’s seat.”

‘Please Put the Drugs Away ... They’re Not Mine’
Officer Shaver went into the school to find the PT Cruiser’s owner, and discovered it belonged to Kelli Peters.
Peters said when the officer first came in, she panicked, thinking something had happened to her husband. But it then became clear the officer was inquiring about her.
“And he said, ‘Somebody said, after they saw you driving erratically, that you put drugs in the backseat of your car,’ and I was like, ‘there’s no way… they’re lying to you,'" Peters said.
Shaver said Peters began crying hysterically as the police searched her car and pulled out a large bag of marijuana, a bag of Percocet and a bag of Vicodin. She begged police to believe that the drugs didn’t belong to her.
"They put it up on top of the police car for everybody to see, which was really hard, because I kept thinking ‘my daughter’s getting out any minute.’ ... And I’m just thinking the whole world is looking at this right now … no one’s ever going to get this image out of their head,” Peters said. “I said, ‘Please put the drugs away. You’re going to find out they’re not mine and you’re going ruin my life anyway.’”
Peters was further questioned and given a sobriety test, which she passed. When Officer Shaver asked if there was anyone she knew who would go after her, Peters told him, “Jill Easter.”
Police searched Peters’ home and conducted DNA tests on her and her family. The results showed zero evidence of the Peters family’s DNA on the drugs found in Kelli Peters’ car.

She was not charged with drug possession and police opened an investigation into the drug planting. They traced the call made to the Irvine Police Department to a hotel business center in Newport Beach, California, about 11 miles from Irvine. They watched the hotel surveillance cameras from the date and time the call came in and saw Kent Easter walking into the hotel. Kent worked for a law firm located next door to the hotel where the call was placed. 

Police also discovered that drugs found in Peters’ car showed the Easters’ DNA on them. Cell phone records, prosecutors said, also showed that the Easters’ phones pinged a tower near Peters’ home the night before the drugs were planted...

Story #2:

Meet the honor brigade, an organized campaign to silence debate on Islam
Asra Q. Nomani
Washington Post
Jan. 16, 2015

“You have shamed the community,” a fellow Muslim in Morgantown, W.Va., said to me as we sat in a Panera Bread in 2004. “Stop writing.”
Then 38, I had just written an essay for The Washington Post’s Outlook section arguing that women should be allowed to pray in the main halls of mosques, rather than in segregated spaces, as most mosques in America are arranged. An American Muslim born in India, I grew up in a tolerant but conservative family. In my hometown mosque, I had disobeyed the rules and prayed in the men’s area, about 20 feet behind the men gathered for Ramadan prayers.
Later, an all-male tribunal tried to ban me. An elder suggested having men surround me at the mosque so that I would be “scared off.” Now the man across the table was telling me to shut up.
“I won’t stop writing,” I said. It was the first time a fellow Muslim had pressed me to refrain from criticizing the way our faith was practiced. But in the past decade, such attempts at censorship have become more common. This is largely because of the rising power and influence of the “ghairat brigade,” an honor corps that tries to silence debate on extremist ideology in order to protect the image of Islam. It meets even sound critiques with hideous, disproportionate responses.
The campaign began, at least in its modern form, 10 years ago in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, when the Organization of Islamic Cooperation — a mini-United Nations comprising the world’s 56 countries with large Muslim populations, plus the Palestinian Authority — tasked then-Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu with combating Islamophobia and projecting the “true values of Islam.” During the past decade, a loose honor brigade has sprung up, in part funded and supported by the OIC through annual conferences, reports and communiques. It’s made up of politicians, diplomats, writers, academics, bloggers and activists.
In 2007, as part of this playbook, the OIC launched the Islamophobia Observatory, a watchdog group based in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia...

Asra Q. Nomani, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, is the author of “Standing Alone: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam.”

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