On the Seventh Day Lower Merion School District Loses Another Motion to Dismiss

Welcome Lower Merion residents!

We're glad you stopped by. Go ahead and register for a free account to get the benefits of being a member, including:
  • Access to all of our posts and comments
  • Your own profile including an avatar, buddy lists, and other social networking features
  • The ability to send private messages to other users on this site
  • The ability to chat and interact with other citizens and voters in and around Lower Merion.
Creating an account is easy. Register now!

(Don't live in Lower Merion? That's okay. We won't hold it aginst you.)
Tags:
xf14ae's picture
Offline
Last seen: 27 weeks 6 days ago
Joined: 2008-11-20 :49
Posts:

Plainttiffs Doe rested their case today after obtainining testimony from:

Lisa Fair-Pliskin, who despite having grown up in LMT, attended Ardmore Junior High and Lower Merion Hihg, advocated for the placement of ABC House in LMHS because her synogogue sponsors it, and having just been thanked by the ABC House in January of this year for sponsoring them, did not know that the ABC House program is specifically for "childern of color" to obtain educational success. She also doesn't know why she wrote "what happened to no racial isolation?" and isn't quite sure where African-Americans live in LMT.

Gary Friedlander, resident of Penn Wynne and parent of students at Penn Wynne Elementary, also doesn't know where African-Americans live in LMT. This, despite South Ardmore sending children to that community's elementary school for thirty two years.

Ted Lorenz (not on the Board any longer) also had amnesia, and did not know where African American students live, despite them attending the same school as his children. He did not know either that 3R restored choice to LMHS zoned children. He said he thought that choice was only for LMHS walk zone students, not for all students zoned to attend LMHS.

Susan Guthrie, who also doesn't know where African American students live, can't remember memos she produced, can't remember being at meetings dismissing scenarios, can't remember questions she asked at meetings or statements she made, but is sure she didn't think about race. Or, at least she can't remember thinking about race. She did admit that the board was aware of the community’s concerns re. race. Arnold then asked her about a spreadsheet she created on Jan 12, 2009 in preparation of her public remarks that evening before the vote on 3R. This spreadsheet referenced both “Diversity” and “Ardmore” (right next to each other). She said that this just reflected her noting that these issues had come up in the process, but she didn’t see them as linked. She said that the “Ardmore” item reflected that two board members wanted a plan that didn’t split Ardmore. The judge asked, “what did you mean by Ardmore?” to which she replied, “At this point I have no idea.”

At this point Plaintiffs Doe rested their case. LMSD's attorney Judith Harris then made a very long-winded motion to dismiss, which the Judge denied before Plaintiffs' attorney could even begin to rebut. Judge Baylson reiterated what he wrote in his Memorandum and Order in Summary Judgement: This case is a perfect application of the Supreme Court's ruling in Arlington Heights vs. Metro Housing Development Corp. He must consider and weigh the 'contemporary' evidence - memos, meeting minutes, recordings, emails, etc. against the testimony provided. He explained that under Arlington heights, circumstantial evidence must play a role. He noted that the plaintiffs have “a great deal” of circumstantial evidence. However, all SB members have testified that race did not play a role in their decision. He said that this is what makes this a difficult case, and “so we’ll proceed.”

Having lost their last motion for Dismissal, this case will now go to Verdict.

LMSD presented their first witness, Dr. Claudia Lyles, currently director of curricular instruction at the Cherry Hill School District, and a former colleague of McGinley’s at Cheltenham. She had no involvement with LMSD's redistricting. Cheltenham is a smaller district, 35% minority students (25% African American, 10% Asian) with one high school so the situation is not similar. She also testified that it often does not matter how many students share your ethnicity, you can still feel racially isolated so the quantity of students doesn't really matter that much. Though, she admitted, the smaller the numbers, the greater the chance.

Testimony resumes tomorrow, during which the District is expected to complete their case. One more trial day - Monday, May 3 is scheduled, likely for closing arguments, after which the case goes to the Judge for consideration and verdict.

4
Average: 4 (8 votes)
Your rating: None

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
xf14ae's picture
Offline
Last seen: 27 weeks 6 days ago
Joined: 2008-11-20 :49
Posts:

It's been pointed out to me that the School Board heard a presentation from Diane Nissin, Director of the ABC Program here, on Jan 11, 2010 - just a few months ago.

Link to the tape here starting @ 22 minutes. During her presentation Ms. Nissin says several times that the A Better Chance (ABC) program, here in LMSD since 1973, is a program for promising minority students. She says this several times.

Yet now, three months later, Lisa Pliskin doesn't know this.

5
Average: 5 (4 votes)
Your rating: None

"I hope it will be said we taught them to stand tall & proud, even in the face of history & the future was made new & whole for us all, one child at a time." - Brian Andreas

politeia's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 6 days ago
Joined: 2008-07-30 :00
Posts:

Absolutely disgraceful by these school board members.

There is no doubt they are all lying under oath in reference to their knowledge in their roles as school board directors - and Lorenz is a former Senior Deputy Attorney General.

EDIT: I was thinking about this in reference to how a blogger on these blogs mentioned that a recent Republican award ceremony for Jenny Brown was attended by all white people.

What does this thread say about the progressive nature of the Democrat controlled school board if we are to believe (and that’s a big if) what the school board directors are saying?

Are they saying that they are so thoughtless to progressive causes that they have no idea where African Americans live in Lower Merion and they have no idea that the ABC house in Ardmore provides educational opportunities to minorities?

It is not my intent to make this a Republican vs. Democrat thing, but it is interesting to note that when it comes to race-based redistricting, Democrats say they are as lily white as Republicans are purported to be.

Now I grew up in Gladwyne and went to Episcopal Academy. Some may call this a sheltered environment, but my liberal Democrat mother did not allow that to happen, and my father who came from working class stock made sure I did not forget what he learned growing up.

In fifth grade I befriended an African American boy my age playing basketball and my dad would drive me over to this friend's home in South Ardmore to play. It was apparent to me as a fifth grader that South Ardmore was where African Americans predominantly lived in Lower Merion (and yes, I received an excellent history lesson from my mother when I asked why - and how did my mother know this when she did not even grow up in this state, let alone Lower Merion?).

In my teens I visited the ABC house because my mother was friends with the director and I got to experience what that wonderful program was and is all about.

How is it that public school board directors, some of whom have lived in Lower Merion their whole lives, are unaware of these simple and common knowledge facts, yet I knew this as common knowledge as a kid growing up in Gladwyne who went to EA?

=================

Brotherhood of Thieves

~ As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence.

4.555555
Average: 4.6 (9 votes)
Your rating: None

 

 

carla's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 2008-01-03 :36
Posts:

Say LMSD fans, have you seen the new blogger in town up here -

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

If this is her "for real" I guess it's more fun over here on this blogsite after all?

0
No votes yet
Your rating: None

"Well behaved women rarely make history" - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

dmuth's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 22 hours ago
Joined: 2005-09-13 :35
Posts:

This user has not identified themselves as Ru, so let's not go making any assumptions here.

In fact, let's stop right now with obsessing over every user who signs up on this website. The goal here is NOT to chase off new users.

5
Average: 5 (2 votes)
Your rating: None
politeia's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 6 days ago
Joined: 2008-07-30 :00
Posts:

While I argue my points strongly, I treat fellow bloggers with respect.

I am all for some good debate. Whomever this new blogger is, I can guess his/her views and I always welcome differing opinons and thoughts.

=================

Brotherhood of Thieves

~ As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence.

5
Average: 5 (2 votes)
Your rating: None

 

 

carla's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 2008-01-03 :36
Posts:

No one is obsessing, I found it interesting all things considered if it is her. If it is NOT her, I don't think it's nice for someone to use her name like that.

5
Average: 5 (1 vote)
Your rating: None

"Well behaved women rarely make history" - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

dmuth's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 22 hours ago
Joined: 2005-09-13 :35
Posts:

Unless it's "leet speak" for the phrase "are you for real?".

Peeking at Ruvani's blog, she's apparently moved onto other things. So should we. If she's not openly complaining about us anymore, I see no need for us to beat the greasy spot where the horse used to be.

0
No votes yet
Your rating: None
outtathere's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 28 weeks ago
Joined: 2009-12-31 :04
Posts:

Doug, sorry for 'plagiarizing' you. Didn't notice you had already said it.

BTW, how is "leet speak" defined?

What is NNNN-KA? Ran across that one time.

As to Ruvani, I hopped over there too, last week. She seems to be once again, happily discontented and self-absorbed in her various missions. More power to her.

0
No votes yet
Your rating: None

"The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.":Gil Scott-Heron 1970 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGaRtqrlGy8

dmuth's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 22 hours ago
Joined: 2005-09-13 :35
Posts:

Leet speak is an alternative spelling for words online:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leet

...will tell you WAY more than you'll want to know.

0
No votes yet
Your rating: None
outtathere's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 28 weeks ago
Joined: 2009-12-31 :04
Posts:

Took me a minute to figure out what you were getting at.

Looking at the screen name I saw it to mean "are you for real".

What does this mean?

"NNNNKA"

0
No votes yet
Your rating: None

"The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.":Gil Scott-Heron 1970 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGaRtqrlGy8

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.