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Teacher disciplined for warning kids not to incriminate themselves

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posted on May, 27 2013 @ 02:33 PM

A high school social studies teacher in Batavia, Illinois, faces disciplinary action for informing students of their Fifth Amendment rights in connection with a survey asking about illegal drug use. The survey, ostensibly aimed at assessing the needs of students at Batavia High School, was distributed on April 18. After picking up the survey forms from his mailbox about 10 minutes before his first class of the day, John Dryden noticed that they had students' names on them and that they asked about drinking and drug use, among other subjects.


posted on May, 27 2013 @ 02:47 PM

Since there was no time to confer with administrators, he says, he decided to tell his students that they did not have to complete the forms if doing so involved admitting illegal behavior.


He did the right thing in my opinion and I don't know why he should be punished for reminding his students about their rights.

Why were these students' names on the surveys in the first place... If this survey is asking personal questions, shouldn't it be anonymous? To be honest, I'm not sure these surveys could be used as incriminating evidence against any student, but I could be wrong and hope I am

edit on 27-5-2013 by Dominar because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 27 2013 @ 02:47 PM

Originally posted by MuzzleBreak

One of the dangers of laziness and just posting the first link you see about a story without bothering to do any background research is that you only get half the story.

Here we have an example, where the reason website has published an "outrage" piece about a teacher, that is carefully worded and self censored in order to produce as much anger as possible.

BUT only one click away is the original story at the Daily Herald in which the teacher goes to great lengths to CALM THINGS DOWN.

But Dryden doesn't want this seen as him vs. the administrators. He said he knows they were acting in what they thought was the best interests of the students.
"These are good, professional, smart people on the other side who want to do what is right by kids," he said.

But you werent told that part, were you?
You wouldnt have your emotions all twisted up and OUTRAGED if you got the whole story.

edit on 27-5-2013 by alfa1 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 27 2013 @ 02:54 PM
- removed -
edit on 27-5-2013 by iunlimited491 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 27 2013 @ 03:01 PM
reply to post by MuzzleBreak
Isn't that in the teacher's job description- to educate the students? In my opinion this is what was happening and therefore the teacher should be commended instead of disciplined. A lesson in Constitutional Law is how it should be noted in the "Lesson Planner".

posted on May, 27 2013 @ 03:02 PM
reply to post by alfa1

Thanks for pointing that article out.

When I read the OP, I didn't feel my emotions get "twisted up and OUTRAGED" as you suggest people would though, it's not really an "outrage" type of article. I do wish they had included the part about the teacher not wanting the situation to be perceived as "him vs the administrators" though...

Apparently the kids simply had to notify the school if they did not want to participate.

An April email communication to parents said their children could choose not to take the survey, but they had to notify the district by April 17.



The survey is part of measuring how students meet the social-emotional learning standards set by the state. It is the first year Batavia has administered such a survey.

The teacher is most likely going to be disciplined for interfering with this.

posted on May, 27 2013 @ 03:07 PM
reply to post by alfa1

You wouldnt have your emotions all twisted up and OUTRAGED if you got the whole story.

You are the only one, so far, that has "your emotions all twisted up", and are expressing OUTRAGE! Hell, not even the teacher that's involved is outraged. Perhaps you should have only read ONE article.

I feel the teacher did the right thing and should be commended, instead of possibly being punished.

See ya,

edit on 27-5-2013 by BenReclused because: Typo

posted on May, 27 2013 @ 03:52 PM
This is all part of the new paradigm of guilty until proven innocent.

School administrators work with police to come up with these forms to gather evidence
of illegal drug use by students an the student's parents.

My daughter has been thru this little "exploratory Q@A" at least twice. The first time in grade school
where she received her "education" on self-incrimination and the Fifth Amendment from me....

She informed me that the kids were given the option to "sit-out" the questionnaire BUT (and this is a
BIG BUT IMO) she said that the kids who did were treated like they had done something wrong--the old
guilty until proven innocent paradigm shift that I referred to earlier.

To change a country, to change a way of thinking, to fundamentally change the way a free-society
behaves you begin with the children of that society--Goebbels would approve

posted on May, 27 2013 @ 04:42 PM
Schools would like students (and faculty, when necessary) to forget that campus doesn't have some magic border that stops those pesky Constitutional Rights when they are most inconvenient. Free Speech...Search and Seizure among a Captive Audience ....and of course, the 5th amendment. What silliness to think those really apply everywhere, right? Surely not in school. Just ask the schools, eh? Apparently, they'll be happy to not tell you all about it.

posted on May, 28 2013 @ 01:05 AM
Teacher of the Year.

It's high school. An ethically challenging lesson like that educates in so many ways. By the time these students get this lesson there is a chance that most of them have matured, are allowed to drive and are old enough for part time work. Next stop, reality for many of them. That means the men have to register for service, can do the voting thing, and in a few more years they can drink beer.

First the 5th, about their American rights regardless of how twisted they may be at extra-curricular activities. Their teacher really has their best interests at heart. It's cute when they are young but if they mutate into drug monsters as they age that would be undesirable.

Second, legal and debate. It's right but it's wrong, talk amongst yourselves.

Third, it's Illinois, the state where Chicago is found, world famous for corruption. That's like teaching 2nd amendment law to students in Detroit. Most of them show up in the real world with no criminal records, so they are brand new voters. Better to inform the little lawbreakers how the big lawbreakers do it; they will thank that teacher one day.

Next stop, remembering how to salute a flag with the words "under God" in the pledge.

posted on May, 28 2013 @ 06:38 AM
reply to post by MuzzleBreak

Such an important lesson.

THIS is what needs to be taught in school.

posted on May, 28 2013 @ 08:14 AM
Although it appears I've just missed it, this teacher was just on breakfast radio show at 89WLS radio in Chicago.

1 hour ago.
Did anyone here listen?

posted on May, 28 2013 @ 03:08 PM
my cardinal rule "never tell on yourself" "if theyre asking, it is because they do not know the answer"

thats a shame that common knowledge being taught, is punishable. at all

posted on May, 28 2013 @ 03:42 PM
That's crazy. So, basically what they're trying to say is the teacher did wrong by informing the kids that they could opt out, and not fill that particular form out? Hows that work? How on Earth can they even BE disciplining him on that? On what grounds? Informing people of thier rights??? a crime?

posted on May, 28 2013 @ 05:48 PM
For anyone interested, it appears his fate is being decided about now, judging by this tweet from 15 minutes ago...

Miriam H Szatrowski ‏@MHSMiriam 15m
Off to #Batavia School Board meeting to watch my sweetie defend his HS teacher.
Details in last tweet. Petition here:

Miriam H Szatrowski ‏@MHSMiriam 4h
A #Batavia HS teacher faces discipline for advising students of their #5thAmendment rights!

posted on May, 28 2013 @ 11:38 PM
Wow, what is this country coming to? This is just ridiculous. Informing students of their Constitutional rights can get one in trouble? The truth is that never, under any circumstances, should you talk to the police. I have seen cases, time and time again, where the police basically lie to people who are innocent, and the person ends up getting in some kind of trouble just for trying to be helpful and follow directions. I have even seen taped interviews where the person being questioned repeatedly states they have no knowledge of a crime, and the detective actually says, "well let's say hypothetically that you did do it," and basically gets the person to say something that is semi-incriminating, and then they use that as evidence of guilt.

And anyone who asks for a lawyer is automatically thought to be guilty. This is utterly ridiculous, and just shows how deluded many cops are. And I have also read of police actually telling suspects that they cannot leave while being questioned. They have to charge you or let you go, plain and simple. They cannot hold you because they think you might be guilty. They either have evidence or they don't, and if they do they would charge you with a crime. Most people know they are innocent, so they attempt to be helpful and talk to the police without a lawyer present. This is a huge mistake.

You can ask for a lawyer only when you are under arrest. And if you are not under arrest, don't talk to the police, plain and simple. I have lost all respect for officers of the law, because I have an RSS news feed that I read everyday with just police corruption stories. Some of you would not believe the things that happen, most of which never get discussed on this site. But we still discuss some of the major wrongdoings on this site, and they are only a small percentage of all the corruption that occurs with the police. They abuse their power constantly, and they have no respect for the same laws they are tasked with upholding. They forget that they take an oath.

posted on May, 29 2013 @ 03:29 AM
The school board have decided he gets a "letter of remedy".
Not being a teacher, I dont know what this means.

posted on May, 29 2013 @ 12:38 PM
Here is my opinion: In every school beginning at the elementary level, defense attorneys should be invited to speak about the Constitutional rights every citizen, and especially as pertains to students, has and should exercise. Kids are exposed to the liars from the DARE cops providing false information, as well as school resource officers ( cops ) constantly observing them and itching to bust them, so the alternatives should be at least as focused on as the opposition.

Kids should be taught to never allow themselves to be interrogated by cops or school administrators about anything that even remotely might indicate illegal activities, and to demand a parent or lawyer before asnwering any question put to them concerning legal issues. Lawyers should explain all of the safeguards we should all know to protect them from coercive interrogations, including the right to remain silent, the right to counsel and all the other protections needed these days.

Kids should understand that they should never give consent to any cop for any reason, especially when they are at the high school level and driving cars to school. If kids are empowered to stand up to cops, and other authority figures, they would know as adults the dangers of allowing cops to have any chance to get them to give up their rights or to speak to them without counsel. It is a fact that the majority of adults still do not know that they can refuse consent requests and that they never have to answer any questions asked by cops. In fact, kids should be given " rights cards ' with printed instructions on how to respond to confrontations with cops.

If the majority of citizens knew and used all their rights, we would see cops give up on their intimidation and lies to gain access to information and property they have no legal right to. If every time a cop asked some poor driver for consent to search, he got a firm NO as an answer, sooner or later the cops would get the message : Your days of bullying and intimidating are over, and if you violate any rights you will answer for it. We have the power to change the cops attitudes and demeanor by simply making them aware that we will not tolerate their tricks and lies, and in doing so protect and defend the Constitution, a document that most cops have absolutely no respect for...most cops think that anyone who refuses to trample the protections we have are uncooperative, but we should care nothing about what cops want or think. Our only concern should be to undermine any and all attempts by the cops to circumvent the warrant requirements and our rights, and that means beginning early, when kids are young.

Empowerment means the courage to take a stand against abusive and intimidating cops, which in turn will lead to a situation where the cops are forced to play by the rules, obey the laws and respect our rights. Cops cannot be trusted to do the right thing, so we are mandated by common sense and a committment to the common cause to educate all kids as to how to take the tools the cops use to abuse the system away from them.

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