Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bullying by Educators & BOARD to 12 yrs old Sumit Gandhi

Sumit  Gandhi speaking with Gov Christie in Spotswood Public Meeting

The Incident: On Saturday afternoon Oct. 15, 2011 three students from FMG Gaudineer Middle School in Springfield; Joshua, Mike and Sumit were all standing on the side lines of the grounds of Union High School Grounds to play with their Band. Joshua had his Sticks in his hands, Mike had his Saxophone hanging in his neck and Surya had his Saxophone hanging in his neck; they were all standing in a kind of semi circle. They were also surrounded by other students and parents were sitting on the bleachers. All of a sudden Mike called the name of Joshua and said, “there was a special Bus taking Joshua Home later.” He further said “Right Sumit”. Then Sumit said, “Yeah there is” and walked away from there to join his Band and other close friends.

Sumit was on the scene for 2-3 minutes only and Joshua & Mike are not his friends and he do not socialize with them at all. With Joshua he has Spanish and with Mike he has Spanish and Band as common classes.

The Findings-: According to the FMG investigator Supervisor Michael Plias; Mike was goofing off when he made the comment to Joshua that there was a special bus taking Joshua home later. Mike realized after speaking with Mr. Plias that what he said was wrong.

Mr. Plias concluded that Sumit being an Hindu is a grown up intelligent adult; is writing that Sumit admitted that he went along with the comment because he thought it was “funny and cool”. When he realized that he was bullying, he stopped, moved away, and joined his other friends. All this thinking and serious realization by Sumit in that 2-3 minutes very brief encounter with Joshua and Mike how amazing! May be being an Hindu he is capable of this kind of serious thinking and same age Mike is so dumb he only realized after speaking with Mr. Plias what he has done was wrong!

In this incident of Oct. 15 the point is not that who is the victim and who are the accused. All of them were 12 yrs old children and they all need to be protected. Mr. Plias is an adult on top of that protected by top notch attorneys with tax payers money, the victim Joshua was protected by the complaining adult, his parent made the complaint and other accused Mike was protected by Mr. Plias himself because of his religious back ground and may be his father’s clout in the administration. That is the reason Mr. Plias got or may be dictated a very mild statement from Mike who started the whole incident and made the actual comment that he was “goofing off” when he made the comment to Student 1; he realized only after speaking with Mr. Plias that what he said was wrong comment to Joshua.

Then why no one ever thought about protecting the rights of Hindu Student Sumit? We all know quote unquote bullying has become a criminal offense and under criminal laws an accused has the right to an attorney and can not be called guilty unless proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Why Mr. Plias never gave him the opportunity of an attorney or his parent. Why Mr. Plias never informed of the incident to the parents before terrorizing, intimidating and racially discriminating Surya to get a statement that he has done bullying.

For Sumit who is also 12 yrs old Mr. Plias could have got a statement that “after speaking with Mr. Plias he realized adding “Yeah there is” to the wrong comments of Mike that “there was a special Bus taking Joshua Home later” was wrong on his part.”

But Mr. Plias chose to racially discriminate Surya and terrorized him to expand his original comment “Yeah there is” to include that I stopped when I realize it is bullying along with that I think Student 2 made the comments to be funny and I was also trying to be funny and cool. None of them are original thoughts of Sumit. Then charging Sumit with bullying and not charging Mike with bullying who initiated the incident and made the actual comment clearly points Mr. Plias has knowingly done Racial Discrimination besides intimidating, bullying and terrorizing Surya.

Every one should condone bullying of all types but still we need to define bullying for comments which are too simple in nature; in writing and must educate all students. We can not leave it on the educators to define bullying on case by case such as what happened on Oct. 15, 2011 as they feel like especially to hurt minority students to save their School Boards from potential law suits by victims or their parents.

We all know lately the society has become very sensitive on the issue of bullying. Even the very learned and experienced academicians and attorneys expert in Education matter can not define the exact definition of a bullying based on verbal comments not related to some one’s ethnicity, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental abilities; when such a statement is a joke and when it is bullying. When adults can not understand it completely how these 12 years old will understand it?

This incident is an eye opener for all of us and we must do some hard thinking on what can happen when "Yeah there is" added by Student 3 Surya to the comment of Student 2 Mike that there was a special Bus taking Student 1 Joshua home later. We have to find solutions for this problem especially to give a feeling to the minorities that the lives, racial dignity and liberty of their children are safe in New Jersey Schools. They do have racial equality and they will be treated as equal citizens in their Schools. We need to fine tune the current HIB policy that is not in the best interest of Elementary & Middle School students. Sadly, it does not come as a surprise that it can be used to harass minority students as done by Mr. Michael Plias/Board in the above incident.

It is very serious issue for all minorities living in New Jersey that new HIB policy can be used against their Children. Since Hindus are in super minority practically in every town of New Jersey, I appeal to every community organization, activist and every parent to participate in a debate to educate and save our children from being shattered by Educators in their schools. At the same time we must approach Governor Christie to get required changes in the current HIB policy especially for Elementary and Middle Schools so that it can not be used against minorities.

We must raise the issue that no single religion or ethnic group should be allowed to have more than 45% control/representation of the local government. More then 45% control by one religion/ ethnic group creates anarchy and feudalism not DEMOCRACY. In such situations non members other than the Rulers community can never get any justice  like in Springfield.  Luckily all of them are white and does not believes in sharing power with African Americans or Asians or Muslims.

As a community we must work together for the sake of unity among all to preserve communal harmony and peace. We must take some actions to protect the interest of not only the minority student but every student in New Jersey Schools from possible future racial discrimination, harassment, intimidation and bullying by educators and Board members from made up/fabricated bullying charges just because they are not from the rulers Jewish Community or preferred Christian community of America.

With best regards,
Father of Sumit Gandhi

Springfield
Student Demands Gov. Christie to Change Bullying Law
Boy says he was accused of bullying a Jewish student because he was Hindu
ByStephanie Musat                   Email the author                        December 27, 2011

He continued: "Since November 17 I am scared to go to school and I could not sleep at night Just because I am a Hindu and I am different than the majority Jews and Christians of my town; I can be accused of things which I may not have committed. I am not an adult and do not understand legal matters. My humble request to the Governor is please protect my rights for being a Hindu."

Christie did not address the religion issue while responding to Gandhi.
To prevent further incidents like this, Gandhi requested the following changes be made to the state-wide bullying policy to protect minorities.
1.    They must make age appropriate changes to the HIB policy that has been enforced without due consideration of its repercussions in Elementary and Middle Schools especially to stop its misuse against minorities.
2.    Every Child must have Miranda Rights that they can not be interrogated in the absence of their parent or attorneys.
3.    The parent must be informed of the incident in writing by Courier as well as other means of communication. Let it be mandatory that the parent of the accused student must contact in person with in 3 School Days of the incident.
4.    The investigator must wait for the response of the parent of the involved student in person before interrogating or asking any thing to that Student.
5.    The parent must be provided with the preliminary investigation report before it is presented to the Board of Education.
NJJNEWS Dec. 22, 2011

The blog (bullyingbyeducators) also includes what appears to be the Springfield Public Schools’ official report on the alleged bullying incident. If authentic, it sounds like someone’s anti-bullying radar was tuned way too high — the kids appear to be ribbing each other (ranking out was the term of art in 1974) in a fairly innocuous way.  (NJ educators have been complaining that the state’s new anti-bullying law has gone overboard). 
NEW YORK TIMES
Bullying Law Puts New Jersey Schools on Spot

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