The Turner Case: Joplin School District hearing shows fine line between fact and fiction

May 26, 2013
By

Joplin East Middle School creative arts teacher Randy Turner’s hearing before the Board of Education Thursday put  both and fiction on trial.

After 12 hours of testimony this past Thursday, there are really only two things we know for certain:

Joplin RVIII school district C.J. Huff and his administration want East middle school teacher Randy Turner’s employment terminated for cause.

Said Mr. Turner (and a few of his students and others) feel the district has over-reached and has taken what should have been a professional reprimand and turned it into a personal witch-hunt.

Everything else seems to be shaded by “feelings” and clouded in innuendo.

On the district side there is a list of “statement of charges” ranging from using a recording device against district policy (Turner had the gall to record his “sit down” with District Human Resources Director, L…Smith and then “gasp” post said recording to the internet for the public to hear) to publishing student work without parent or district permission and to posting links for download his “for adult audiences only” No Child Left Alive in a manner that could have resulted in minors and students gaining access.

I agree with blogger Anson Burlingame and his critique titled “The Turner Case” that the District did clearly lay out the facts of the case and did indeed make its case the Turner violated several District policies. But that’s where the “clear” ends and the “murky” begins.

If the District would have stayed with just the facts the case before the Board of Education would be a straight forward, “here are the policies, here’s what Turner did and we request his employment be terminated for such violations”.

But that is not what the District did. For reasons that make absolutely no sense to me considering the litany of factual evidence against Turner. Rather than stand on the facts as known, the District embarked upon a path of innuendo and “what if’s?”. Firing at random, one speculative shot across Turner’s bow after another.

Tina Smith, Human Resources Director fired the first salvo with her out of nowhere reference to seeing signs of “grooming” during her interviews with female students of Turners. Despite good cross from Turner’s attorney, the bombshell had done its damage. Turner was no longer just a teacher who violated district policy, he was now someone to be looked at with suspicion.

Then came District Director of IT Klista Rader and her bizarre extrapolation of Turner’s Facebook pictures posted and his out of the norm “tagging” of more female students than male students. While she may very well be correct that such “stood out as odd”, she presented no factual or statistical evidence as to how any of her “observations” were relevant to the charges at hand. (Or for that matter would have ever been allowed to be presented to a jury in the first place.)

And Superintendent C.J. Huff went so far as to publicly imply that there might a Turner “victim” out there that just hasn’t come forward yet. There was even a “tear up” when he stated that with a 13 year old daughter of his own, he would not be able to put his head on his pillow at night without bringing these charges to the Board.

Yet in all the 28 pages of charges against Turner, there is not one mention of “grooming”, “tagging”, or any sort of predatory behavior. Yes, 28 pages of charges and not one mention of the narrative that Smith, Rader and Huff put forth to the Board of Education.

Last I looked this was still the United States of America and Joplin, Missouri was still a part of that Republic.

While I acknowledge that an administrative employment hearing is not a certified “court of law”, I do not accept that such a hearing gives free reign for witnesses to just level accusations and imply criminal conduct without laying them out as charges in writing for appropriate defense preparation and rebuttal.

I am by no means one of Mr. Turner’s “fans”. While there is no doubt he is quite popular with some of his students and co-workers, that is completely irrelevant to the charges at hand and his activity to date.

In fact, it is Turner’s own activity, his own lack of judgment, his own words that make the strongest case against him. That “popularity” does not always a good teacher make.

Emotion can be a dangerous and deceitful mistress. Those so feverishly supporting Turner today, may very well find out sooner rather than later, just how dangerous she can really be.

I don’t know why Ms. Smith, Ms. Rader, and Mr. Huff did what they did in that hearing. I have not a clue why the decision to cloud such a clear case of facts with the mud of innuendo.

But I do know, that if Turner’s hearing had been a court of law, not only would none of their statements ever reached the ears of the “jury” (the Board of Education) each of them would have faced contempt of court charges for injecting such prejudicial “opinion” into what was supposed to be an orderly presentation of facts.

Personally, the most irritating news of the entire day was finding out the number of times Turner made NCLA available FREE. After paying the $3.99 a few weeks back to see for myself what all the fuss was about I definitely feel victimized. No unsuspecting buyer should be exposed to such dribble without forewarning.

I close this column with the last lines of the Friday morning email reprinted as the follow-up to this column:

As bad as I think he is, this is still America. No one deserves to have his reputation smeared based upon someone else’s “feelings” and prejudices.

The only thing I do know for sure at this point, is I lost a lot of respect for the District yesterday.

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3 Responses to The Turner Case: Joplin School District hearing shows fine line between fact and fiction

  1. anson on May 26, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Geoff,
    I knew very little about Randy Turner when this case went public a few weeks ago. I knew he blogged, but I seldom read it. So first I checked his blog and yep, found some expressions of his outrage at being treated unfairly, etc. But I also found the link to No Child Left Alive, which seemed to be at the center of the case.
    So I downloaded it to my Kindle and read the entire book, in about two hours.
    My FIRST reaction after reading the book was, “What kind of creep could write this trash”? My initial conclusion was the author, William Turner, who in fact in Randy Turner, had a warped and twisted mind of a sexual nature.
    Teenage girls in a classroom discussing how best to give oral sex to a male and saying it was like sucking on a popsicle??? Man of man, I had never heard or read that one before!!! Creative writing of a sexual nature, you bet. “Creepy” as well to think that author was teaching 11, 12, 13, and 14 year olds!!!
    Such thoughts are not accusations, they are just first impressions. I also agree no evidence was submitted to suggest his behavior in class or in contact with students was “creepy” either. But if I had been asked my impression of the book, that would have been included in my answer.
    My guess is the BOE will in no way consider such impressions offered by testimony and will decide one way or the other on the merits of the case.
    But yep, may more law suits as well. People can litigate till the cows come home as long as enough money is available. My bet is the NEA has the moneyl to make a big deal out of it.
    Anson

    • Geoff Caldwell on May 26, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      I had the same “creepy” as well. Along with what you talk about I also find it extremely “creepy” that the “hero” of the book was a 50 something teacher who had desires for a new young teacher who only just a few years prior had been one of his students.
      Coincidence that in the end of the book the “hero” gets the attention and love of that former student? I think not.
      My personal belief is Turner has no business being around young, impressionable girls. It saddens me greatly that the parents of these young girls so easily overlook the dark side of NCLA and the mind that it came from.
      Smith, Rader and Huff may be 100% correct in their “feelings” but you just can’t fire someone based upon “feelings” and by introducing such into the hearing may have jeopardized and otherwise solid case.

  2. Pastor Lindstedt on May 27, 2013 at 3:20 am

    Both sides, nothing more than animals, pigs really, in the shadow of a Great Hunger…

    Most of the people commenting on this story, including Justin Deremo, are partisans of Turner. There has been other commentary on the blogs of the local kosher ‘khannedservantives’ like Anson Burlingame and Geoff Caldwell. Randy Turner has also been bemoaning having to face charges on his Facebook page, and of course blog. According to Turner’s blog, the Joplin BOE is bringing forth some black helicopters to round up Turner. But not to worry. I made a lot of friends at the NutHouse and I’ll be happy to provide Turner some references.

    Every White man knows how easy it is for the criminal regime to trump up bogus child molestation charges on the basis of a custody case, or even simply because the government wants you dead or discredited. I myself had to endure three-and-a-half years of torture, being sent to a State Nuthouse, doped up and tortured until I was able to represent myself and the bogus charges had to be dismissed because my retarded grandson refused to lie against me. But still, my family was destroyed and my pretty much non-existent political career finished as well, except of course in the White Nationalist and Christian Identity Movements, wherein I’m the Second Elijah the Profit.

    So it amused me a lot to see someone like Randy Turner having to be really careful as his accusers made Turner walk the “Perp Walk” and have to be very very careful as they hinted around at Turner’s “grooming” of potential victims, talked about calling the local police and US Attorney’s Office, and Huff’s Camille act in crying about how much they fear Turner’s getting at the lil’ nippers via social media. Turner was no more considerate of the truth concerning myself when Turner was writing his blog, and like when Turner was writing in the lie-papers back when I was a militia general in the 90s. Turner routinely censors and twists the truth, which is why Turner is no longer in the lie-paper racket or much of a respected blogger.

    Now I thought of attending Turner’s ‘hearing.’ Turner and the rest of Turner’s Tards would of course, like Jason Deremo hastened to proclaim, that the Joplin School Board was siding with us nazis and racists in firing pore Randy Turner. Maybe it would help Turner and the teacher’s union in filing a federal civil rights lawsuit. Yes, I hate and despise Turner, but I also despise and detest the public school establishment as well.

    So I decided to stay home because I didn’t want to waste gas firing up the Geo Metro which only works on two out of three cylinders. Somebody is going to lose, most likely Turner, and the other side will be damaged as well. When both sides lose, it’s a win for me.

    Let’s understand something: Both sides want to use and program your children and waste taxpayer dollars to suit their own purposes. Both sides, nothing more than animals, pigs really, in the shadow of a Great Hunger. Everything breaking down, on the verge of collapse and soon we will be killing each other for the dwindling means of survival. LOL.

    I suppose the only one happy about this reversion back to the Fourth Century AD is myself, but that is to be expected of an apocalyptic maniac cult leader.

    Hail Victory!

    Pastor Martin Luther Dzerzhinsky Lindstedt.
    Church of Jesus Christ Christian/Aryan Nations of Missouri.

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