Saturday, November 18, 2017

#MeToo Jay Shaplow Retired ELA Teacher at Ardsley Middle School

When I started teaching in 1995. I called Jay Shaplow my former 7th and 8th grade ELA teacher from Ardsley Middle School to share with him that he was one of my role models as a teacher and I plan on teaching in a style like him.

But not completely in his style. There are always exceptions.

I didn't recall it for years after the incident that occurred when I was in 8th grade in 1978. Not even when I called him in 1995. But a few years later I recalled it, shared it with a colleague during my third year teaching and didn't say anything to Shaplow when I ran into him at the Westchester County Center when the Ardsley High basketball team was in the Section 1 playoffs.

But it is has been vivid in my mind for years and I have even shared it with classmates on Facebook. In fact one former classmate remembers the incident.

Back in 1978, the 8th grade had gone on a class trip. My recollection is we had gone to Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson. Someone else recalls it as we being at Rye Playland. What we both agree upon is the following: we were leaving and on the bus either getting ready to leave or had already left. I was sitting, not alone, in the front seat of the bus next to the door. Shaplow was sitting in the seat behind me. Shaplow then started talking to me.

"Hey, Zucker, how do you masturbate?"

 "How often do you masturbate?"

 He seemed quite interested in my responses.

At the time I was 14 years old. Legally, not an adult, but nothing more than a child who lived at home with mommy and daddy and still, I think, had a bedtime.

Stupidly, I engaged Shaplow in this conversation and after the bus ride that was the end of it. But who knows how Shaplow was affected and in what manor.

I guess when I started teaching I looked back on it and realized it was fucked up for a teacher who was at the time 28 years old to be engaging in this perverse type of conversation with a 14 year old boy.

I never told my parents. I never told the principal at the middle school. Not until I was an adult and teaching and knew of that any and all of my actions as a teacher would have both negative and positive ramifications on my students did I share this experience. But I am happy I did. I got validation.

I have kept quiet. But no more. My wife had been violated as a young girl. I know others that have been violated as well. What I went through in no way compares to what these others have gone through. But.

Was Shaplow's banter an attempt at grooming? He knew how fucked up my home life was. And if this was "grooming" was I the only 14 year old boy he attempted this with in his 30+ years of teaching? And if this was "grooming," did his attempts ever come to fruition in his 30+ years of teaching?

What does the Ardsley Union Free School District and the Ardsley Police Department know? What does the community of Ardsley know?

Let's just get one thing straight. Whether he was doing it to be a smart ass, a comedian, thought he was being hip, or any benign reason, Shaplow fucked up and was wrong. If this was his grooming methodology, there are not enough words to say what should or should've happened.

Hopefully, some good can come of this. Perhaps Shaplow not only talked to another 14 year old boy in this manner, but worse, took it to another level.

I know without a shadow of a doubt that Shaplow spoke to me in this manner. He was wrong. He was unprofessional. He violated the trust between student and teacher. This needs to be out there.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Mazel Tov UFT!!

A hearty handshake is extended from us here at SBSB to our leadership at the UFT for not only being at the forefront, but for having the foresight, to not only oppose Proposition 1 in this past Tuesday's statewide vote, but also in the defeat of the aforementioned proposition. Kudos!

Not only that, the UFT is publicly preening itself in self-adulation as a teenage boy who has lost his virginity in playing its part. Yes, the emails, the phone calls, the robo-calls, and even the text messages from real people got 82% of voters to say heck no to Prop 1.

Just how much is the UFT kvelling in it's unprecedented "win?" Let's just look at Facebook...

So here is what I, and I am sure many others want to know. Why can't the UFT put the same time and effort in for its members that it does for defeating a NYS Constitutional Convention?

Why can't the UFT put the time and effort into doing away with the fair student funding which is keeping many qualified teachers from permanent positions?

Why can't the UFT put the time and effort into fixing the ATR problem?

Why can't the UFT put the time and effort into exposing abusive principals?

Why can't the UFT put the time and effort into make our union a true democratic union in which different ideas are debated and respected?

Why can't the UFT put the time and effort into enforcing our collectively bargained contract?

Why can't the UFT put the time and effort into ensuring that every member, whether active or inactive gets every last cent due them of monies owed since 2009, regardless on how one left the DOE?

Why can't the UFT put the time and effort to have ensured that we all get our retro in one sum, in 2015, instead of waiting until 2020 or 2021, both over a decade from when we should have had a contract and a raise.

Why can't the UFT put the time and effort into just doing the right thing? Really? Is it that difficult?

My dad used to tell me you can do anything you want when you decide to put your mind to it. Maybe the UFT should listen to what my dad had to say.