Everything is over. Done. Kaput. Finis.
The lawsuits are done. We settled both suits (I believe last time I discussed this, one suit had been settled). A tremendous weight has been lifted off my shoulders.
I can't say enough about my wife who unconditionally stood by my side through all this craziness the last, almost, 5 years and showed me such strength when I was at my lowest. She turned out, as I would tell her, to be my Yoko Ono.
Enough also can't be said for my brilliant lawyer Bryan Glass as well as his partner Jordan Harlow. Both Bryan and Jordan are beyond honorable men and lawyers and both complement each other in very unique ways. If you are in trouble with the DOE and need a lawyer you can not go wrong at all with either. Just don't bring up the Red Sox with Jordan. He for some reason thinks they are going to win the World Series this year.
Anyway, it is time for me to move on.
I'm thinking this today for some things I have read about this week.
One, is the articles in the Post earlier this week (I refuse to even link to them) about the Renewal Schools. Someone, I shan't say who, tried to rope me into commenting for the articles. I didn't want to. That chapter in my life is over. It is time to move on. I don't need the attention. I don't need to be the center of the teacher universe.
Another article is from one minor NYC newspaper about a teacher suing the DOE.
I wish this teacher the best. But sometimes, and I learned this, there is a time to say enough is enough. As a lawyer who is a close personal friend of mine once shared with me, "Our system is not about justice, it is about how money I can get for you." And, "You never know what a jury will do."
There are two kinds of justice. First is Revenge, and if this is your aim, your soul and katra will wither and die. Then, there is True Justice, in which a wrong is righted, but it must be for the correct reasons.
Let God or whatever deity or spiritual power you believe in, take care of the "Revenge" (I don't even like using that word).
I didn't want my lawsuit to consume me nor define me. Yes, there were times that I wanted blood (figuratively). There were also times through this lawsuit, that I got very down, that I said "FUCK IT!", and just wanted to quit.
But I could let it define me, or give up. There are much more important things in my life. One, is my peace of mind, my mental state. The others are right here in my house. My wife and my son.
My marriage was at times strained due to the lawsuit. But my wife was very involved in my case. Coming to court. Reassuring me. Strengthening my resolve.
My son needed me too. In fact, I needed him more. He will be 16 this June and entering college in two years. I can't, could not, and would not, neglect my role as his father for this lawsuit. He needs a father full time. If anything good came out of this I believe he has a better understanding of how to stand up for himself, and for those who need help the most.
I see how some have become so consumed with their own lawsuits. One person I know, and I won't share his name, has continuously taken bad advice from the wrong person (time
after time) and has practically lost his mind wallowing and chasing every windmill both real and imagined.
Nor do I have any inclination that my lawsuit was going to deliver teachers to the promised land of freedom. I'm not that full of myself. I am happy with who I am.
Not every teacher can fight back like I, or others have. That is something that some just can't wrap their brains around. All I can do, and I have reached out and been reached out to, is give any teacher in distress what their options are, everything and anything they can do, and let them make the choice that is best for them. And at that point, support them unconditionally, in anyway that is required.
And another thing I have realized. For all the crap I have been through, there have been teachers that are much worse off than I can even fathom. I know I might have my moments, but there but for the grace of God go I. How can I truly grow and move on as a person and a teacher if I think I had it bad ,when so many of my brethren are hurting and in deep, deep pain?
I am not giving up the struggle for our schools, our communities, and our educators. But the wise thing to know is when to use the chisel instead of a hammer and to remember the difference.