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January 10, 2013

The Iowa Supreme Court basically does not believe sexual harassment exists

They looked at this case and said everything looked just fine. No problems here. Shorter Iowa Supreme Court: If A Fifty Year-Old Man Can’t Control His Hormones, A Woman Must Lose Her Job - Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money
During the last six months or so of Nelson’s employment, Dr. Knight and Nelson started texting each other on both work and personal matters outside the workplace. Neither objected to the other’s texting. Both Dr. Knight and Nelson have children, and some of the texts involved updates on the kids’ activities and other relatively innocuous matters. Nelson considered Dr. Knight to be a friend and father figure, and she denies that she ever flirted with him or sought an intimate or sexual relationship with him. Dr. Knight acknowledges he once told Nelson that if she saw his pants bulging, she would know her clothing was too revealing. On another occasion, Dr. Knight texted Nelson saying the shirt she had worn that day was too tight. After Nelson responded that she did not think he was being fair, Dr. Knight replied that it was a good thing Nelson did not wear tight pants too because then he would get it coming and going. Dr. Knight also recalls that after Nelson allegedly made a statement regarding infrequency in her sex life, he responded to her, “[T]hat’s like having a Lamborghini in the garage and never driving it.” Nelson recalls that Dr. Knight once texted her to ask how often she experienced an orgasm. Nelson did not answer the text. However, Nelson does not remember ever telling Dr. Knight not to text her or telling him that she was offended. [...] At the end of the workday on January 4, 2010, Dr. Knight called Nelson into his office. He had arranged for another pastor from the church to be present as an observer. Dr. Knight told Nelson he was firing her, reading from a prepared statement. The statement said, in part, that their relationship had become a detriment to Dr. Knight’s family and that for the best interests of both Dr. Knight and his family and Nelson and her family, the two of them should not work together. Dr. Knight handed Nelson an envelope which contained one month’s severance pay. Nelson started crying and said she loved her job.

November 27, 2012

Mississippi county throws ten-year-old boys into prison for wearing the wrong socks, tardiness

This is just incredibly perverse. This is the new face of Jim Crow, the new face of slavery. Can you imagine this system being put into place in a school full of rich white kids? Mississippi County Jails Kids For School Dress Code Violations, Tardiness, DOJ Alleges | ThinkProgress
In Meridian, Miss., it is school officials – not police – who determine who should be arrested. Schools seeking to discipline students call the police, and police policy is to arrest all children referred to the agency, according to a Department of Justice lawsuit. The result is a perverse system that funnels children as young as ten who merely misbehave in class into juvenile detention centers without basic constitutional procedures. The lawsuit, which follows unsuccessful attempts to negotiate with the county, challenges the constitutionality of punishing children “so arbitrarily and severely as to shock the conscience” and alleging that the city’s police department acts as a de facto “taxi service” in shuttling students from school to juvenile detention centers. Colorlines explains: Once those children are in the juvenile justice system, they are denied basic constitutional rights. They are handcuffed and incarcerated for days without any hearing and subsequently warehoused without understanding their alleged probation violations. To illustrate how this system works, Colorlines provides the example of Cedrico Green. When he was in eighth grade, he was put on probation for getting in a fight. After that one incident, every subsequent offense was deemed a probation violation — from wearing the wrong color socks, to talking back to a teacher – and the consequence was a return to juvenile detention. He couldn’t even remember how many times he had been back in detention, but guessed 30 times – time when he wasn’t in school, fell behind in his schoolwork and subsequently failed several classes, even though he said he liked school.

October 18, 2012

At a high school pep rally, some kids re-enacted Chris Brown's attack on Rihanna, in blackface

To everyone who says racism is dead, read this. A High School Reenacted Chris Brown's Domestic Abuse with Blackface | VICE
Last Friday, Waverly High School in New York state hosted a pep rally for their sports teams—fanfare, mascots, jocks, cheerleaders—all good, clean, American fun. Then, because it makes total sense to do this in this context of an official high school jamboree, three white kids in blackface took center stage and performed a skit depicting that time Chris Brown savagely beat Rihanna to within an inch of her life and tried to throw her out of a moving car. Good, clean, American fun. Obviously people on the internet are pissed off about it, so I tracked down a guy who goes to the school, is friends with the people in the skit, and just wants all this nasty stuff about his racist pals to go away. Here's what he said.