Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Excerpts from DDB's Autobiography on Justice for Hamidur Rahman pt 4

This follows part 3. Hamidur Rahman was a boy I met in passing. I had nothing to do with his death. However, had my abusers not been so bent on abusing me, I believe Hamidur Rahman would be alive today.
I was willing to accept the bargain made with Pat that I would not be subject to any further abuse, or more precisely, that I would be fairly treated in future. I took the label of being disabled from being too fat. I worked hard to limit the criticism of me partly by complying with some outrageous suggestions Helen was making regarding my teaching. I recognized my career was in tatters and that there was nothing I could do, so I worked for a way out of teaching. I did all the unpaid jobs I normally did that no one else would do, and I encouraged others to do the paid positions. I trained a staff member to run presentation day, and photograph day. I invited other teachers to go with students on chess excursions. I supported staff becoming year advisers and I continued to do the work supporting training teachers while not being paid for it. But I also took long service leave and wrote a book and got treatment for my sleep apnea. The Apnea treatment was described by my specialist as a 'cure' because I no longer suffer from the effects of it, so long as I use a CPAP machine to aid myself breathing at night.
Helen modified her complaints as I addressed them. Originally she didn't like my reports for being written to the student, not the parent. Then she didn't like them for my phrasing .. revealing an American accent that she felt the parents would not understand. Then she complained I wasn't providing individualized anecdotes of behavior. Then she decided that the reports that I was writing were too similar. She got a staff member to photocopy some report comments she endorsed. She complained of my using the same spelling as those reports. Not everything she did was that petty or humorous.
I had referred a student in '98 to Helen. The year 7 girl had sworn at me in class because I hadn't given her a merit card which she felt she had merited. I had the student wait outside the classroom and tried to speak with the student, but made no headway as the student had decided not to speak to me at all. After some twenty minutes or so of the student being abusive or not responsive I sent them to Helen. Helen came to the class before the end of the period, last period of the day. She waited for the class to leave and told me that the student had been sent home with the belief that I had said she had little tits to the entire class. She said it was a sexual allegation and needed to be dealt with by the Principal, Geoff. I went home to Hurlstone were Geoff had tried to nobble my position there at interview with his friend the Hurlstone Principal Michael. The next morning I got to work and the parents of the year 7 girl demanded I resign for abusing their little girl. I directed them to speak to the Principal. The girl was left in my class for the rest of the year, but she was not in my class ever again, except when she had a sport class in 2002 which Kathleen visited for no reason before declaring I was disgustingly fat. Helen later said that the girl withdrew her allegation, but I had heard Geoff ask her about them in 2001 and she had said she stood by the claim. I never confronted the child about the claim, which she continued to make to the class in '98. Her year adviser (Sean) had jokingly said that he probably shouldn't observe she had an inappropriately small school bag. The child had a younger brother who apparently successfully had a sexual assault allegation made regarding his year 3 teacher. He was placed by Helen in my class when he was in year 7.
Helen gave me strict instructions to mark every child's book every period. I did that, and included the results in my reports to parents. Helen placed in my class a student with learning difficulties who was the child of a colleague. I was instructed to check their bookwork and not accept any excuse for not being up to date with the class. The parent was very upset with me and their child, who was maths phobic, was traumatized before being withdrawn from my class. My class desks were arranged in pairs and straight lines, when I preferred that they were in group work format so there was more room for me to move.
Helen was advised that a year 7 girl had sworn in class in 2006 and that I had dealt with it, but I was concerned at what underlay it, as I thought some kids were demanding of her sex. She asked me what the language was the child had used and offered to speak to the girl. I declined, thinking the counsellor better capable of dealing with the issues and not wanting the poor student to be twisted by Helen's agenda. Helen agreed on a compromise of a teacher report being collected from the student's other teachers. Instead, the next day, Helen was acting Deputy when Kathleen had taken time off. Kathleen used to seem to take time off to let Helen do her work, which she never seemed on top of. On this occasion, Helen took the opportunity to pull the year 7 girl out of class and interview her. Helen called me while I was in the math staff room and asked me to repeat what the student had said. I pointed out that the student had already been dealt with, but I was concerned for their welfare, but Helen pressed, and I repeated what the student had said. Helen said "She is nodding, now she claims to remember." Helen had called me on a party line. I went and reported to Pat what was going down. Pat promised to deal with it. Helen led the student to me and the student shook my hand and promised to never swear again. The student was left in my class. I am unaware of any counseling taking place regarding the issue I wanted the student to address. The student left the school in year 8 and went to an all girl private school, graduating year 10 in 2009. We still meet from time to time but I have never explained to her how Helen had used her. I do not know what Helen had hoped to achieve, but believe she may have been fishing for an allegation of a sexual nature from the child that may have been used to target me.
With her constant failure to claim my career, Helen took the unusual step of marking every student down who was in my class for their trial HSC. She did not show me the papers she remarked. An independent authority had found my marking had been unusual, but not clearly biased. What I had done was to mark generously (and fairly) so as to not have the students complain about my marking. The marking was later standardized, so there wasn't any foul. Until, Helen marked down only my class. Later, Helen decided to amend my timetable without telling me. I went to my classes on time, even when I hadn't been warned.
Helen finally became successful when she spread her attacks to include my ambition for a post teaching career.
I had been writing since 2003, and I had written a book in 2004. I had written some short stories and I posted several daily blogs as well as music. I had some 2.5 million words and images to my name online, and these words were on diverse topics. My main blog Was Sydney's Conservative Weasel. That was a politics blog which had nothing to do with my day job. It included postings of daily headlines with links to articles. A few of the early articles dealt with Hamidur Rahman's issue.
The story continues
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