F223: Follow-up

Here's the thing . . . I am really thankful when I am thanked. I believe in a world of people longing for more respect for themselves and those they love, we need to keep reaching out and saying thanks. Tom Heermann, husband of suspended teacher, Connie Heerman, left his thank you on my post "C199: Classroom Repression and Expression":
Dear Kate:
Thank you for posting my wife Connie's unfortunate plight with the Perry Township School Board on your great blog!

As I google -- and use other search engines-- I am encouraged at the amount of public outrage surrounding her story. It's interesting to see the huge support in the U.K. Certainly The Guardian article sparked this (it was also carried in The Telegraph, also U.K.)

It's a whole new world today as far as news. It used to be a story ran and then was gone. Now it is rekindled over and over on the internet. I think this is good. It gets the important stories before the public -- and they are made more aware of them...

An example of how it's different today. The Guardian reporter wrote me an email after she picked up my reply to a forum post in "filmspotters" which showed up as a print page on google. I had gone to the forum, signed up and replied, thanking the person who posted the entry in support of Connie(and left my email there). Next thing I know The Guardian reporter asked, via my email, if she could interview Connie. The interview was all done by phone; the reporter wanted the story to run as soon as possible...it ran just several days later!!

As I review the blogs -- and I think there are now hundreds that have written about Connie -- only about two or three are not sympathetic. Most of the rest are overwhelmingly positive and puzzled at the severity of the 18-month unpaid suspension. The other thing that astrounded me: I'm picking up blogs in Spanish, Swedish, Russian, Chinese, French, German and Korean. This is amazing (google translates them).

On a recent local TV station, WISH TV, reporter Leslie Olsen covered Connie's trip to attend a five-day Freedom Writers Teachers book-planning and student-curriculum workshop in California, hosted by Erin Gruwell. Olsen interviewed Connie at the airport. At the end of the report, new Schhool Board president Steve Maple comments. He says he gets emails from around the country (on Connie), but makes no further comment. He then says that the Board has been unfairly represented in all the media coverage (ok, yes, sure). Gosh, this might have been a good time to half-heartedly compliment Connie for taking out a week of her summer vacation (now unpaid) to further her education (at her own expense) to help her at-risk students -- whom she can't teach until 18 months later!

The WISH TV piece is very favorable to Connie. I urge you to post the link of the recent WISH-TV coverage and have your readers see this revealing piece for themselves.

Once again, Kate, my sincere thanks.

Tom Heermann
Better known now as "Connie's husband

No, Thanks very much to you, Tom. Now this is a caring husband. I so hope there is justice done in this Indiana case. Perry Township Indiana School Board Be respectful.

I wasn't able to get the news clip to play, but the story is online.

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