by David Safier
The UK Daily Mail wrote an article about the gangsta letter (i.e., the students are gangsta wannabes) sent by substitute teacher Tony Hill to Russell Pearce and read on the floor of the senate. The story has big photos of Steve Gallardo, Russell Pearce, Andrew LeFevre (ADE spokesman), along with a scenic photo of Glendale.
The story has also been picked up by all kinds of national media. Big news.
Now we know there really is such a person as Tony Hill who really did sub at Harold W. Smith Elementary in Glendale. But Hill himself has not come forward.
I see all kinds of possibilities here. Hill could be lying in whole or in part about what happened in the classroom. The students could have been giving the sub the business, as students often do. There could be some genuine hard cases among the students in the classes. Hill could be a lousy sub who doesn't know how to set the tone and lay down the law in the class. It could be a combination of all the above.
Reading the letter on the senate floor without Hill's permission, even though Hill's name wasn't mentioned, was grossly inappropriate. Hill now should come forward and face the music -- I'm not sure he can avoid it at this point -- but I feel just a little bit sorry for this guy who wrote an angry letter about his experience to Pearce to blow off some steam (and, of course, to agree with Pearce's anti-brown crusade) and now will have to defend the letter, chapter and verse. Just a little bit sorry for him, mind you, not a lot sorry. I've always disliked anyone who steps into a classroom with a dismissive, blame-the-student attitude. If he needs to vent, he should gripe to his spouse or to fellow patrons at the local bar, not to Russell Pearce. As David Nivens (I believe) said after a streaker ran behind him at (I believe) the Academy Awards, this man should not be making a public display of his inadequacies. [It was a long time ago, but I think I've got it more-or-less right]
Now that this has made national and international news, Hill needs to come forward and vouch for the accuracy of his statements, or make the necessary corrections.
The real blame here lies with Pearce & Co., who used Hill's letter to demonize children. These folks attack babies and young people without compunction. It's no wonder they're willing to sacrifice Arizona's children -- all of them, not just the Latinos they despise -- on the altar of the small government god they worship.