Tag Archives: Cronyism

Perception or Judging????

Like a pack of Hounds of Hell, in a never-ending assault to protect, what up until this point, had been yours to devour and destroy at will, that being the futures of Our Children.

I can’t count the times that one of you, covered in your Saintly disguise and armed with Our GOD’S Word, unleashed your backbiting tongue to list the many infractions of Our MASTER’S COMMANDMENTS, you had charged to my name.

Don’t misjudge my words, as you see, even the last stone is not in my unworthy hands.  Although after so many years of walking near the dung heap, and what I have in my hand, I can only wonder if so many of the maids truly forgot their oil, or did a Heavenly garbed Saint happen through and draw all eyes from those lamps….

One by one, the illusions have fell away, and the truth of what has been done to Our Children can no longer be ignored.  The CRONIES and GOOD OLD BOYS scramble like rats, trying to take as many of Our Children with them.

AND WHAT FOLLOWS IS THE FIRST INDICTMENT, AND THE FIRST WAKE-UP CALL FOR AMERICA:  VOTE THE CORRUPT LAWMAKERS OUT!!!!

Child sex offenders in Maryland Public Schools: Cronyism and Coverup!!!!

BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA9) — More than 20 Montgomery County Public Schools employees or contract workers have been investigated for child sex abuse or exploitation since 2011.

Parents are extremely upset, not just by the alleged crimes but the fact that in many cases, complaints and warning signs were either ignored or disregarded by the school system.

WUSA9 counted 21 MCPS employees or contract workers who have been investigated for child sex abuse or exploitation in just the last four years. Many have been prosecuted.

“It’s heart-wrenching, it’s horrifying, it’s appalling. It’s absolutely unacceptable. And every parent watching this segment should be filled with outrage,” said Jennifer Alvaro, a parent and child sex abuse expert.

Music teacher Lawrence Joynes was arrested in 2013 and charged with sexually abusing 15 children at New Hampshire Estates Elementary School. Records show he repeatedly videotaped little girls sucking on large peppermint sticks. Police say he later photoshopped their faces onto pornographic images.

Records reveal that in 2011, because of previous complaints, the school’s principal ordered him not to touch or be alone with children, yet the alleged abuse continued. He’s also facing rape charges for an alleged assault on a student decades ago. Joynes now faces two trials this spring.

Read an excerpt from the statement of charges for Joynes:

“Lawrence Joynes advised that he has had several students in his class room during lunch time. The students are female students which he invites into his class room. Lawrence Joynes described how he has played games with his students, having the student suck on a peppermint stick. Lawrence Joynes also described how he had a student…suck on his finger. Lawrence Joynes demonstrated how he would move his finger in and out of the student’s mouth. Lawrence Joynes further advised that he would video tape himself sticking his finger in the student’s mouth. Lawrence Joynes stated that he would watch the videos of himself sticking his finger in the student’s mouth then masturbate while visualizing the student performing oral sex on him. Lawrence Joynes advised that [the student] was 7 or 8 years old at the time.”

2013 Joynes Rape Charges

“Why are we not stopping the presses, as they did at Penn State, as they did in the Catholic Church…we have a problem here,” said Susan Burkinshaw, a parent and child safety advocate.

John Epps Junior was a contract employee for MCPS who did work in 58 schools. Ironically, the security camera technician was caught on surveillance video grabbing the behind of a 12 year-old Baker Middle School student. He’s alleged to have done the same to a Damascus High School student. Court documents show Epps had a criminal history of groping women in public, of which the school system was unaware. He will go to trial in March for those school groping incidents.

“Nobody is listening. Nobody seems to want to make the right decisions and hard choices to fix this problem and protect our kids,” Burkinshaw said.

MCPS wouldn’t tell WUSA9 who is on it, but we’ve learned the school system keeps a “confidential database” of personnel who demonstrate “inappropriate or suspicious behavior” toward children – a watch list of suspected abusers who are working in area schools.

“It’s one of the most ludicrous, offensive things I’ve ever heard of being done. And I’ve worked in the field of child sexual abuse for 22 years,” Alvaro said.

“If we’re that worried about these individuals, they need to be removed from the classroom,” said Janis Sartucci of the Parents’ Coalition of Montgomery County.

Elementary school teacher Daniel Picca was terminated by MCPS but never criminally charged. His alleged abuse of children spanned 17 years, dating back to 1993. According to State Board of Education records, Picca had little boys take off their shirts, flex their muscles and slide back and forth on his lap, often photographing them. Yet, as his “punishment” he was moved from one elementary school to another again and again and again – from Rachel Carson to Luxmanor to Kemp Mill.

“If you’re banned at one school, that should be enough to get you banned from every school,” Sartucci said.

Picca still works with children and has a license to teach in Maryland.

MCPS declined our request for an on-camera interview, but a spokesman said the county has already begun the process of overhauling its system of recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect. In a January memo to the school board from former Superintendent Joshua Starr, he noted “the need for redesign has become apparent during the past several years.”

Georgia Lawmakers are on the Child Abusers Team

http://www.cbs46.com/story/28142667/lawmakers-debate-child-sex-abuse-bill?autostart=true
Lawmakers debate child sex abuse bill

Atlanta , Georgia – One in four girls and one in six boys is sexually abused by the age of 18. Their abusers rarely get caught. Victims of child sex abuse want their day in court.

On Wednesday, lawmakers debated a proposal that would strengthen protections for the victims. The Hidden Predator Act would extend the statute of limitations. That means victims would be able to file charges at a much older age.

Survivors say that could bring victims and their abusers out of the shadows.

“It allows victims to go into the courthouse and file suit, which makes things public,” said Justin Conway, an abuse survivor.

“You’re not by yourself. There are so many more who have gone through the same thing,” said Marilyn Motz, another survivor.

The bill also would grant victims access to sealed records so they can press charges.

Malicious Prosecution Alleged in West Virginia

Courthouse News Service
Thursday, February 12, 2015

(CN) – The disgraced former prosecutor for Mingo County, West Virginia pressed bogus child abuse charges against a special education teacher so his wife could get her job, the aggrieved educator claims in court.

The prosecutor in question, C. Michael Sparks, is currently in prison having pleaded guilty to participating in a scheme to cover up evidence of illegal drug use and other misconduct by a now deceased former county sheriff.

In a complaint filed in the Charleston, West Va., Federal Court, Tina Grace says she was called into a meeting with the Mingo County superintendent of schools on Sept. 23, 2011, and confronted with allegations that she had been abusing special needs students.

Afterwards, and as required by law, the superintendent called the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, and reported the alleged abuse, thereby initiating an investigation of the matter by the state.

Grace was then suspended, with pay, for the duration of the inquiry, the complaint says.

As described in the court documents, two people providing the most negative information about Grace to investigators — C. Michael Sparks and his wife, Jennifer Sparks — who are alleged to have said she routinely bullied and belittled children in her care.

“Defendant Sparks’ wife … was the only teacher to provide critical comments about Tina Grace saying she had twisted a child’s cheeks, was not nice to kids, mentioning aides had complained about her disciplinary methods and also discussing those same incidents of some two years earlier involving a balancing device known as the ‘turtle’ and the use of hot sauce for disciplining an unruly child,” the complaint says.

Grace says Sparks’ motive was clear – she had two children in the school in which both she and Grace worked, but she also had the least seniority of any special education teacher there, meaning an impending consolidation of schools would likely result in her losing her job.

In addition, Grace says, she and Jennifer Sparks “had engaged in several verbal disagreements in recent years over various matters, including one where Mrs. Grace had replied something to the effect her coal miner husband was smarter than Sparks’ lawyer spouse.”

Grace says the only other people testifying against her were a personal friend of the Sparks, and a teacher’s aide whose husband worked at the county courthouse.

The state investigation turned up no specific findings of abuse, the complaint says. Nevertheless, about 10 days after the investigation ended, the district fired Grace. Days after that, she was indicted on a single county of battery, and two counts of child abuse.

“Defendant Sparks presented these matters to the grand jury initiating Tina Grace’s indictments,” the complaint says.

Grace pleaded not guilty to the charges, and she says what transpired from then on was nothing short of a sham trial. For instance, she says, “In a lame attempt to [cover up] his inherent conflict of interest in prosecuting Tina Grace, Defendant Sparks did not list his wife as a witness … although she had been the only teacher in the entire Mingo County school system to provide evidence concerning Mrs. Grace.”

Grace ultimately agreed to a deal in which she would drop an ongoing appeal of her dismissal from the school district in return for Sparks’ dropping the charges against her. Sixty days later, Circuit Court Judge Michael Thornsbury expunged the record of the case. Thornsbury was later sentenced to 50 months in prison for his involvement in the scheme for which Sparks is now jailed.

Grace then filed an ethics complaint against Sparks with the West Virginia Disciplinary Counsel, which ultimately close the matter due to the fact Sparks’ license had already been annulled due to his other legal problems.

Grace has since filed to rescind the withdrawal of her grievance challenging her termination from the Mingo County Schools.

She seeks $1 million in compensatory damages, lost back wages and future wages on claims Sparks and his co-defendants derived her of her civil rights under state law, that the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to effect malicious prosecution, false arrest, and multiple counts of negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Will the U.S. Government Stand Alone in Rejecting Children’s Rights?

Sun Feb 08, 2015 at 05:56 PM PS
by Lawrence S Wittner
http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Lawrence%20S%20Wittner

Within a matter of months, the U.S. government seems likely to become the only nation in the world still rejecting the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Sometimes called “the most ratified human rights treaty in history,” the Convention has been ratified by 195 nations, leaving the United States and South Sudan as the only holdouts. South Sudan is expected to move forward with ratification later this year. But there is no indication that the United States will approve this children’s defense treaty.

In the words of Human Rights Watch, the Convention establishes “global standards to ensure the protection, survival, and development of all children, without discrimination. Countries that ratify the treaty pledge to protect children from economic and sexual exploitation, violence, and other forms of abuse, and to advance the rights of children to education, health care, and a decent standard of living.”

It is hard to imagine why the U.S. government, which often lectures other countries about their human rights violations, should object to these humane standards for the protection of children. The administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush played an important role in drafting the treaty, which was signed by the U.S. government in 1995. Although the U.S. Senate has never ratified (or even considered ratifying) the pact, U.S. ratification is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association of University Women, the American Baptist Churches, the American Bar Association, the Catholic Health Association of the United States, the Child Welfare League of America, Church Women United, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, Kiwanis, the National Education Association, the United Food & Commercial Workers, the United Methodist Church, and about a hundred other organizations.

What, then, is the problem? The problem is that treaty ratification requires support from two-thirds of the U.S. Senate―a level of support that has been lacking thanks to Republican Party opposition and, especially, the fierce hostility of the conservative Republican base, including groups like the Christian Coalition, the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, and the John Birch Society.

A key allegation of conservatives is that the Convention “poses a serious threat to parental rights.” In fact, though, as Human Rights Watch observes, the treaty “refers repeatedly to the rights and responsibilities of parents to raise and provide guidance for their children.” Indeed, 19 articles of the treaty explicitly recognize the importance of parents and family in children’s lives.

In addition, conservatives argue that the Convention, as an international treaty, would override the Constitution of the United States, as well as federal and state legislation, thereby destroying American sovereignty. And, in fairness to the critics, it must be acknowledged that some current American laws do clash with the Convention’s child protection features. For example, in the United States, children under the age of 18 can be jailed for life, with no possibility of parole. Also, as Human Rights Watch notes, “exemptions in U.S. child labor laws allow children as young as 12 to be put to work in agriculture for long hours and under dangerous conditions.” Moreover, the treaty prohibits cruel and degrading punishment of children―a possible source of challenge to the one-third of U.S. states that still allow corporal punishment in their schools. But most U.S. laws are thoroughly in line with the Convention.

Perhaps the underlying objection of conservatives is that the Convention calls for government action to promote the health, education, and welfare of children. And conservatives oppose such action for everyone, including children, often quite effectively. Thus, despite America’s vast wealth, it ranks near the bottom of industrialized nations in child poverty (one out of six children), the gap between rich and poor, low birth weight, infant mortality, child victims of gun violence, and the number of children in jail.

Given the conservative opposition to the Convention, it is ironic that, even if it were ratified by the U.S. Senate, it would have little immediate impact upon the United States. As Amnesty International points out, “the Convention contains no controlling language or mandates,” and “no treaty can `override’ our Constitution.” Any changes in U.S. law would be implemented through federal and state legislation in a timeframe determined by the U.S. legislative process. Nor would any changes in American laws necessarily occur, for the U.S. government generally ratifies human rights treaties with the qualification that they not override existing American laws. In addition, “the United States can reject or attach clarifying language to any specific provision of the Convention.”

Even so, U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child would have an important effect on the treatment of children in the United States, just as the ratification of the Convention has affected behavior in other lands, for it would establish agreed-upon guidelines. Like other human rights treaties, the Convention would set humane standards that can be invoked in calling for appropriate government action. Kul Chandra Gautam, a former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, has termed it “a moral compass, a framework of accountability against which all societies can assess their treatment of the new generations.”

Praising the treaty, Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director and a former White House National Security Advisor, stated recently: “The central message of the Convention is that every child deserves a fair start in life. What can be more important than that?”

Unfortunately, some Americans don’t think giving children “a fair start in life” is important at all.

Dr. Lawrence Wittner :
www.lawrenceswittner.com
is Professor of History emeritus at SUNY/Albany. His latest book is a satirical novel about university corporatization and rebellion, What’s Going On at UAardvark?