The Turner Case: First impressions from the morning after

May 26, 2013

(Publishers note: From the category, “the first impression is the lasting impression” I am publishing the email I sent early Friday morning to a District taxpayer who made the mistake of asking my thoughts on the Turner hearing. Except for minor editing of personal references it appears as written. Un-spellchecked and un-proofed for grammar, just the raw “first impression”.)

I think Turner’s been on the radar for some time but they just couldn’t prove anything. The book thing came up and they saw their chance and ………………

Well to me they just gathered up all the spare powder bags they could, loaded them all in at once, pulled the pin and BOOM hoped they hit the target. Maybe they did, maybe they just blew a hole in turret 2, the “jury” really is still out on that one.

As for Turner himself, from what I’ve learned on background about him I actually believe the turd. In his own mind he was just “doing the right thing” in regards to NCLA as the “system” had turned against the “students”. (Didn’t say he was right, just that he THINKS he was right)

I think the strongest case is the SCARS book and the permission slips. No excuse for that and he’s caught there.

The “secret recording”? That just makes the District look like a small minded, heavy handed bully. While it is free to have more stringent policy than state law, demanding that a conversation between a district executive and a district employee NOT be recorded just doesn’t sit well with this libertarian leaning conservative. As Brandeis so aptly noted: Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.

BUT, the bombshell to me was the out of nowhere reference to possible abuse of young girls. From Smith’s bizarre “grooming” reference, to using the IT lady’s “opinion” of his facebook page and tags on pics and then CJ putting out there “I don’t know if there’s a victim, or if will come forward but…..I can’t lay my head down………my 13 year old will never be in Mr. Turner’s class……

All of those people are completely entitled to their opinions but what they did in that hearing is just open it all up to long and protracted legal appeals should the Board decide to fire him.

While my inclination is to believe them, the facts are not there yet and those statements were so prejudicial and out of the scope of the charges of record that the District just handed Turner on a silver platter his lawsuit.

UNLESS the also just disclosed JPD cyber crimes and US attorney’s office investigation into Turner’s computer and habits turns up evidence of wrong doing.

But absence new evidence, the district did itself more harm then good by introducing that line of thought without the ability to back it up with proof.

In the end, I think Turner is just a 50 something (redacted for publication) whose mind is so outsized for his head there isn’t a movie screen large enough that could display his delusions of grandeur. And though his “I just made mistakes, I’m just a poor widdle ol teacher who just wants to teach” is insulting to me, I’ve seen crazier stuff happen. (See November 2012 and one Barack Obama winning a second term)

My prediction (as much as I shouldn’t) suspension until the completion of the law enforcement investigation. IF that produces anything well then, case closed, he’s fired and ol Turd Turner writer of the worst novel ever is off to share his bunghole with Bubba.

But if NO additional info found in the criminal investigation, then return to duty with written reprimand and greater supervision and guidelines of his extracurricular activity.

I watched the local tv news at ten and not a lot mentioned about the sexual predator charges.

I think Wally’s story in the Globe today does a good job of laying it all out BUT there just aren’t enough column inches to portray the full affect of those innuendos of “grooming” and “predator”.

Unless Huff and crew know something from the criminal investigation they couldn’t reveal yesterday in public they did the district (and the taxpayers who will have to fund any defense of Turner appeals) a grave disservice.

While I understand their “feelings” the hearing yesterday was just not the place to drop those feelings into the public discussion. I’m no lawyer but if there’s nothing found in that other investigation I’m not so sure we won’t see a slander or libel suit on behalf of Turner.

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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