September 21, 2011

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Patrick Laverty

The North Providence school system is getting national notice for letting cameras into their schools to help film the documentary "Bullying: Words Can Kill". This is a problem that is finally getting some notice around the country, as it has gone on for decades.

We have seen multiple examples of suicide among school children (like this, this and this) because of bullying and the newer version, cyberbullying. The previous kind of bullying is what probably all of us saw growing up on the playgrounds. The biggest and seemingly toughest kid in school would get what he wanted by either verbally or physically intimidating other students. Now, the cyberbullying has extended itself to the internet where rumors and stories can reach dozens or hundreds of classmates in seconds through email, texting, Facebook or Twitter.

It's great for the kids themselves to learn what are the results of this bullying, and what it does to others. Take the example of one eighth grader

“I never hurt anyone,” Berdecia says. “I called them names, spread rumors and said stuff.”
This student was invited to join the school's anti-bullying campaign and he eventually came to see the light.
"I thought, ‘No one should be treated like that."

So why is it that an eighth grader can figure out that "no one should be treated like that" but adults still haven't? Even professional, educated adults working in professional fields? Or worse, why is it that others in the field of education work so hard to eliminate this behavior among the students of their schools, yet implicitly condone this behavior among adults and peers?

This week, the Deputy Executive Director of the National Education Association of Rhode Island was convicted of cyber-stalking. The NEARI is one of the two organizations in RI that represent school teachers. Another NEARI officer, Secretary Louis Rainone has been involved in a number of altercations as well, including comments to the East Greenwich School Committee "All of you who voted for this will burn in hell." Then at a State House demonstration where someone was videotaping the proceedings and after Rainone attempted to prevent the filming and was informed of the cameraman's First Amendment rights to film, he replied "My First Amendment is that I’m gonna take you outside and stick this [camera] up your ass." Most recently WPRO's Bob Plain recorded an encounter with State Rep. Jon Brien when Rainone offered to step inside the elevator and "show you how charming I can be".

Is this all behavior that the teachers condone? Implicitly, they do. They pay these people to represent them. While North Providence is represented by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) not NEARI, other schools in the state have their own anti-bullying efforts. Some of those schools are represented by NEARI and are represented by Leidecker and Rainone. Here is a list of cities and schools who are represented by NEARI*:

  • Barrington
  • Bristol/Warren
  • Burrillville
  • Chariho
  • Cumberland
  • Davies
  • East Greenwich
  • East Providence
  • Exeter/West Greenwich
  • Foster
  • Glocester
  • Jamestown
  • Little Compton
  • Middletown
  • Narragansett
  • Newport
  • New Shoreham
  • North Kingstown
  • North Smithfield
  • Ponaganset
  • Portsmouth
  • RI School for the Deaf
  • Scituate
  • Smithfield
  • South Kingstown
  • Tiverton
  • Westerly

Until the teachers at those schools step up and tell their NEA that this behavior is intolerable both in the schools, around town and on the internet,
they are implicitly condoning this behavior and are involved in hypocrisy between their leadership and the lessons they're teaching at school.

* - information gathered from

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

I decline to give personal identifying information here for three reasons:

National Education Association of RI
International Association of Fire Fighters Local 799
Providence Fraternal Order of Police

I have personally witnessed harassment and bullying form each of the above unions. No political position is worth risking my job or the health of my family.

Posted by: Dan at September 21, 2011 1:57 PM

Thank goodness no one engages in cyber-bullying on this blog. If they did, we know you'd immediately jump to the defense of those being targeted. Puh-lease! You guys crack me up sometimes.

Posted by: Russ at September 21, 2011 2:27 PM

That's why we like you Russ. When you have nothing intelligent to offer you don't hide it. Then again, it would be nice if you switched up your routine a little.

Posted by: Max Diesel at September 21, 2011 2:43 PM

Ditto, Russ. The attacks here have toned down over the years, most likely because I ignore them, bit the internet is an ugly place, especially blogs and newspaper comment sections. I try to conduct myself on line as I do in person.

Posted by: michael at September 21, 2011 2:49 PM

Personally, I think it's a real stretch to call this "stalking" simply because someone somewhere was offended. You'd think the so-called libertarians over here would jump to the defense of the 1st Amendment. Their silence speaks volumes, doesn't it.

Posted by: Russ at September 21, 2011 2:59 PM

Really, Russ? You're trotting out the old slow-news-day on RIFuture "silence is deafening" argument? Pretty lame, even for you.

Posted by: Dan at September 21, 2011 3:15 PM

Russ, do you consider what Leidecker was convicted of to be "acceptable" and should be considered legal?

Posted by: Patrick at September 21, 2011 3:28 PM

" you consider what Leidecker was convicted of to be 'acceptable' and should be considered legal?"

Acceptable to whom? That's not really my concern. My concern is protecting political speech and not just political speech that doesn't "alarm, annoy or bother" someone. I mean seriously, we're in favor of criminalizing this?

[Leidecker] created an e-mail account for a fictional person named Walter Flatus. That’s the same name as a character in a popular children’s book, a dog who passes gas.

Leidecker also set up an e-mail account for a second person, “Doug Gablinski.”

Then, Leidecker created a chain of e-mail communications that made it appear as if the two characters were talking to one another.

In one exchange, the fictional Gablinski character wrote the following to the fictional Flatus: “Bridges, smidges. Don’t bother calling me. You’re unhappy? Wah! Wah! Wah!” The Gablinski character also says Flatus should chill out.

I immediately thought of this (which was hilarious btw)...
"The Real ‘Fake Steve’ Unveiled"

The parlor game that has captivated high-tech insiders for the last 14 months has come to an end after The New York Times’ Brad Stone unmasked the man behind “The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs,” a blog that channels and lampoons Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive and one of the world’s most famous businessmen.

The persona’s snarky voice and penchant for unflattering nicknames has captivated an audience which is clearly tickled by the portrayal of Mr. Jobs as a difficult and egotistical leader, as well as by the personal and professional attacks he directs towards other high-tech companies, tech journalists, venture capitalists, open-source software fanatics and Silicon Valley’s overall aura of excess.

Posted by: Russ at September 21, 2011 4:21 PM

Russ asks: "Acceptable to whom?"

After I had already asked (emphasis added) "Russ, do you..."

But I guess it's already answered...

"That's not really my concern."

Posted by: Patrick at September 21, 2011 4:33 PM

So do I consider it acceptable to me? Who cares? But if you're so interested in my feelings now... no, I was not personally offended by what I read of this in the newspaper.

Posted by: Russ at September 21, 2011 5:12 PM

Liedecker should be fired and I hope he walks right out into the arms of Dan the watchman Gordon.

Posted by: Eastbayguy at September 21, 2011 5:34 PM

I don't know about "cyberstalking." Consistent with its progressive platform, Rhode Island has no shortage of silly nanny-state laws. That may very well be one of them, but Liedecker is at least guilty of criminal harassment, and possibly criminal impersonation, which I do not consider simply "political speech." We have juries to decide such matters. The police were right to at least investigate and arrest him.

But this is all really just a red herring from Russ (as usual). Legal or illegal, Liedecker's conduct was immoral and alarming and served no legitimate purpose. It was meant to, at a minimum, confuse and antagonize Rep. Gablinske, if not make him fear for his safety or identity. Meets any definition of bullying I've ever seen, which was the original purpose of the post (the hypocrisy of NEARI and teachers for supporting them). NEARI members created or supported (my guess is both) extremely childish and inflammatory websites targeting members of the Board of Regents as well, but if we listed all of their abuses, we'd be here all day. Crowley's outrageous public behavior could fill a phone book on its own.

Eastbayguy apparently wants to be the next cyberstalking test case, considering his extensive rumor/harassment campaign against Rep. Gordon through multiple fake accounts, some of which are confusingly similar to the Representative's name. I wonder what his personal stake is.

Posted by: Dan at September 21, 2011 6:18 PM

Dan I have never written from any name even close to resembling Dan Gordon. Nor have I spread any rumors about him. My stake is that I know just how bad of a guy we have put in office. The very reason you site for not using your real name is the same as I feel about Dan. Do you really think a man who is an tea party east bay patriot one day and then talks about joining the Democrat party is a stable guy.

Posted by: Eastbayguy at September 21, 2011 7:56 PM

I decline to give personal identifying information here for three reasons:

Add a fourth

All the time you spend unproductively writing the same crap on blogs and you knows what else when you should be working.

Posted by: Phil at September 21, 2011 8:23 PM

Eastbayguy - So Justin was lying when he said that you have logged in under different names from the same IP address? And multiple other "new users" just happen to be echoing the same exact attacks as you on Dan Gordon?

Phil - Most of my posts are made in the morning or at night, but I'm also a salaried employee, not hourly, and I'm allowed to take breaks throughout the day. You have no firsthand knowledge of my work habits or requirements, so stop with the libel. I have asked you several times already. Is this the only way you know how to debate? Through lies and personal attacks? P.S. What was your business named again? I can't find any record of it online.

Posted by: Dan at September 21, 2011 8:34 PM

No he wasn't lying and he never said nor did I ever write any posts from any version of Dan's names Should it be a surprise to you that many people are now posting against this vile man. Did you expect his support to grow since the revelations about his violent history have become so well known.

Posted by: eastbayguy at September 21, 2011 8:57 PM

I am not sure,but notice the use of "sites" in place of "cites"by eastbayguy-it's the same kind of homonym confusion exhibited by Pat Crowley all the time.Hmmm?
Dan-why do you feel the need to answer Phil at all?justifying yourself to people who never add anything but invective here is a waste of time.
I am not claiming I don't engage in ad-hominem crap,but I do try to provide accurate information most of the time.
Oops-Phil has indeed provided info on Hope Island oysters-after all,he stands to make a few bucks thereby-what a capitalist.
I can't engage with Russ the block quote robot-it's like talking with HAL.

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 22, 2011 5:02 PM

Joe - There is no digital record of a "Hope Island Oysters" ever having existed in Rhode Island. My guess is that Phil is a liar.

Posted by: Dan at September 22, 2011 5:32 PM

Joe, you certainly are smarter than you look. How did you figure me out.

Posted by: eastbayguy at September 22, 2011 5:53 PM

"Is this the only way you know how to debate? Through lies and personal attacks?"- Dan

My guess is that Phil is a liar.
Posted by Dan at September 22, 2011 5:32 PM

Posted by: Phil at September 22, 2011 7:22 PM

Phil - I actually talk about political issues here. You just attack people. I'm questioning whether something you have told us here is accurate. And the only reason I'm doing that is because you wrongfully accuse me of defrauding my employer, which is libel.

Can you explain why there is no record of your business?

Posted by: Dan at September 22, 2011 8:04 PM

Pat-I've read enough of your stuff(what does that say about me?)to notice that you rarely have incorrect usage,but for some reason you substitute a homonym spelled differently,and of course sounding the same,and thus the sentence is understandable-it's a "signature"of yours.
In the course of my job I learned to listen carefully to everything someone said to me and it applies equally to written communications.

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 22, 2011 8:12 PM

Joe, I guess the sarcasm was not clearly expressed in my writing. I am not Pat Crawley and have never met the man. Just keep tilting at windmills old pal.

Posted by: eastbayguy at September 22, 2011 9:26 PM

Well,you have the same problem he does with homonyms.
Crowley isn't from the East bay but he got his first real notoriety there(duck suit).
So,one up for you anonymous trickster.

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 22, 2011 10:17 PM

Dan-I don't think Phil has a company called Hope Island oysters-I believe he's referring to some local subtype of oyster-who cares?They look like snot anyway.

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 22, 2011 10:20 PM
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