Responsible Release

August 9, 2009 at 2:07 pm (Politics) (, )

http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/52699847.html

The short version – teacher who occasionally uses pot has his house broken in to by brother of a student.  The burglar, when he talks with the cops, accuses the teacher of holding wild drug parties with students, dealing cocaine, making advances on his students, and making illegal porn.

The police, in their infinite wisdom, release this information to the press, who run with it.

It later turns out that all of these accusations are complete BS, and not a damned thing holds up except the possession charge on pot, which earns the guy a 15 day jail sentence.

However, the damage is already done.  He’s lost his job – not because of the pot, but because of the damage to his reputation – and has gone from being a full-time teacher doing extra work to help students who couldn’t come to the actual school for some reason (like expulsion), to occasionally being able to get substitute work.  All because of one asshole who spun a bunch of lies that sounded good.

By the way – the burglar?  For his ‘help’ in catching this dangerous drug dealer and pornographer (who wasn’t), he got out of the B&E charge.

Now, yes, it *is* important that people know if the cops have found out that a teacher actually is doing all the things he was accused of.  But, is it so important that they find out that the police should go to the papers with this information before they’ve got actual proof?

Frankly, if I were this guy, I’d be going after the department and papers for slander, libel, and an array of other charges… of course, they probably all made sure to use the mealy-mouthed words that we’ve all been trained to ignore.  ‘Alleged.’  ‘Charged with.’  Those sort of work-arounds that let them say “yeah, he’s guilty as sin, but in case the jury’s a bunch of dumbasses we have to hedge around it.”  He could try and sue the guy who made the accusations, but what good will that do him?  As my Law professor used to say, “the best defense against lawsuits is being broke.”

The end result is that, because this guy pissed off a convicted felon, his career, life, and future have been ruined, with the complicity of the police and the media.  Just try and tell me that isn’t horribly, horribly wrong.

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1 Comment

  1. H. o'Dagg said,

    And some people wonder why I think dueling should be made legal. Hmm…

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