Category Archives: Fifth Amendment

Teacher in Hot Water For Educating Students About Constitutional Rights and Fifth Amendment

schools education and propaganda machine

It’s a sad day when a teacher in the United States can’t teach his students about their constitutional rights. This is the case for a Batavia High School teacher who advised students that they had the right to remain silent rather than answer questions on a survey from the school.

But do students not have the right to know that they have the right to remain silent so as not to incriminate themselves? Once you write information down,  you  no longer have control of how it’s handled. The school even had a police officer stationed on campus. Should someone teach students that they have the right not to tell people if they have (even accidentally) don’t something that could incriminate them. Did you know that people are convicted on charges frequently even though they had no idea that they had committed a crime?  It’s something to think about.
How long would this written record follow these students? How would it have been handled later? Would it be in their file at graduation and get passed on to anyone else? Do written records ever get stolen or inappropriately handled? Do people who don’t have authority ever see them? Is there any guarantee that people who do have the authority to see them suddenly become infallible and never (even accidentally) use the information to the detriment of the student?

Warning Lands Batavia Teacher in Hot Water

Article posted: 5/25/2013 8:00 AM

A Batavia High School teacher’s fans are rallying to support him as he faces possible discipline for advising students of their Constitutional rights before taking a school survey on their behavior.

They’ve been collecting signatures on an online petition, passing the word on Facebook, sending letters to the school board, and planning to speak at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

Students and parents have praised his ability to interest reluctant students in history and current affairs.

But John Dryden said he’s not the point. He wants people to focus on the issue he raised: Whether school officials considered that students could incriminate themselves with their answers to the survey that included questions about drug and alcohol use.

Dryden, a social studies teacher, told some of his students April 18 that they had a 5th Amendment right to not incriminate themselves by answering questions on the survey, which had each student’s name printed on it.

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.

School district officials declined to provide a copy of the survey to the Daily Herald, saying the district bought the survey from a private company, Multi-Health Systems Inc., and the contents are proprietary business information.

They did provide the script teachers were to read to students before the test.

It does not tell students whether participation is mandatory or optional.

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 asked about drug, alcohol and tobacco use, and emotions, according to Brad Newkirk, chief academic officer.

The results were to be reviewed by school officials, including social workers, counselors and psychologists.

The survey was not a diagnostic tool, but a “screener” to figure out which students might need specific help, Newkirk said.

Superintendent Jack Barshinger said teacher support for doing a survey grew after several suicides by students in recent years. Students and staff typically said they had no idea those teens were in distress.

“We can’t help them if we aren’t aware of their needs,” Barshinger said.

The results will also be compared from year to year, to see if interventions offered work, he said.

School officials have already reviewed the surveys and have talked to some students about their answers.

Day of the survey

Dryden said it was just “dumb luck” he learned about the contents. He picked up surveys from his mailbox about 10 minutes before his first class. Seeing students’ names on them, unlike past surveys, he started reading the 34 questions.

“Oh. Well. Ummm, somebody needs to remind them they have the ability not to incriminate themselves,” he recalled thinking. It was particularly on his mind because his classes had recently finished reviewing the Bill of Rights. And the school has a police officer stationed there as a liaison, he pointed out. Barshinger said the results weren’t shared with police.

“I made a judgment call. There was no time to ask anyone,” Dryden said. If the survey had been handed out a day or two before, he said, he would have talked to an administrator about his concern.

Instead, he gave the warning to his first-, second- and third-block classes. The test was given to all students during third block.

He suspects it was a teacher who told the administration about what Dryden had done, after the other teacher had trouble getting all the students to take the survey.

But he had also spoken afterward with administrators about the questions. “So I was already on the radar,” he said.

Dryden faces having a “letter of remedy” placed in his employment file. He said this week he is negotiating the matter with district authorities.

Only a school board can issue a letter of remedy, which informs teachers their conduct was improper and could have consequences up to dismissal, according to state law.

Barshinger declined to speak about Dryden’s specific situation. The board will discuss the matter in closed session Tuesday. Any action, however, would have to take place in open session.

Dryden mentioned his situation to a former student, Joe Bertalmio.

The campaign

Bertalmio was outraged. The 2002 graduate, who took one class with Dryden, credits him with teaching him how to examine positions and make logical arguments, no matter where one stands politically.

schools education and propaganda machine“Back it up — give me evidence,” is what Dryden taught, Bertalmio said.

Bertalmio posted the news on Facebook, where it was noticed by fellow graduates. Parents of current students have also joined in. There are more than 1,000 signatures on the “Defend and Support John Dryden” petition at the, although many seem to be repeats. He has also urged people to write letters to the Batavia school board, plans to speak at the board’s meeting, and may have a rally before the meeting. A Batavia alderman told the city council Monday he plans to attend the meeting in support, and encouraged other people to do so.

Stick to the issue

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.

He would rather focus the discussion on the survey.

“I have asked people (the supporters) to talk about the survey. I think I am a sideshow,” he said. “This (the survey) was rushed and it wasn’t vetted.”

“I’m not a martyr,” he said. “I’m trying to refocus people’s attentions. Calm down.”


Smallest Lie to Federal Agent Is a Crime, High Court Rules | They Can Lie All They Want

Obama Lies about lying

As you can see, this article was published  in the LA Times in 1998. So, apparently, this is how long this law has been in affect.

So let’s get this straight. Since 1998 it has been a felony to tell even a tiny lie to a federal agent. It doesn’t matter if you are NOT UNDER OATH… No matter when or where you fib to a federal agent, you are a criminal.

If a federal agent says, “Pardon me. I see you are hopping up and down on one foot and looking anxious. Perchance, do you need to use the restroom?” and you say, “No” because you’re in a hurry or something, or just don’t want to discuss your personal business with a complete stranger, well, you’ve just committed a felony.

The inverse of this law apparently does not apply to any federal agent. Obviously, they can lie to you all they want for any reason whatsoever or no reason at all. Obama can, and does, lie to the press, to congress and to you and there no penalty whatsoever. Presumably he might be in trouble if he lied under oath, but that’s only if the other parts of our federal government are organized and motivated and even care enough to do anything about it.

We are the peons that have no right to know any truth or facts or secrets of any governmental stuff at all. They are the all-powerful and god-like Oz.

Remember the fifth amendment and say nothing. That is totally legal and constitutionally protected. That’s the best policy according to law professors and any good attorney.

Click here to find out how to protect yourself from legal action for $17 a month.

Obama Lies about lying

Smallest Lie to Federal Agent Is a Crime, High Court Rules

January 27, 1998|DAVID G. SAVAGE

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that a single false statement to a federal agent, including a simple “no” to an accusation, can be punished as a crime.

The justices refused to make an exception for a person who, when confronted by a tax agent or federal investigator, denies he has done anything wrong.

The law makes it a crime to utter “any false statement” to a federal agent, and “the word ‘no’ in response to a question assuredly makes a ‘statement,’ ” said Justice Antonin Scalia for the 7-2 majority.

Monday’s decision in Brogan vs. U.S., 96-1579, marks the second time in two weeks that the justices have said honesty is the only policy for someone who comes under federal investigation.

Last week, the court said the Constitution does not give public employees a right to deny accusations that later turn out to be true. That 9-0 ruling reinstated various punishments of five federal employees who initially denied wrongdoing.

By coincidence, the two rulings come amid the uproar over whether President Clinton lied about his relationship with a former White House intern. Neither decision is likely to have a direct effect on the president’s plight, because he has not been found to have lied.

However, the court’s opinions show that false statements of any sort can be punished, even when they are simple denials that are later shown to be untrue.

It has always been understood that a person who lies under oath can be charged with perjury.

Five years ago, the court went a step further and said anyone who lies on the witness stand and is later found guilty can get an increased sentence.

Justices John Paul Stevens and Stephen G. Breyer dissented.

Monday’s ruling arose when a union official in Boston said “no” when asked by federal agents whether he had accepted bribes. When the truth came to light, he was prosecuted for taking bribes and making a false statement to federal agents.


Can You Afford Equal Protection Under the Law? Protect Your Family From Legal Issues

Legal concerns

It’s easy to understand why people are concerned these days about legal issues.

We seem to be bombarded with legitimate reasons to be concerned about potential legal problems that could arise without notice.

In fact, my whole blog is a testament to why someone might need access to a good attorney – even when they didn’t do anything wrong.

Consider These Staggering Legal Statistics:

  • 15 million lawsuits will be filed in 2011 across the U.S.
  • A new lawsuit every 2 seconds
  • One lawsuit for every 12 adults
  • 21 U.S. states are facing a medical liability crisis
  • $248.1 billion = the cost to the U.S. tort system (personal injury) in 2009, or $808 per person
  • The cost per capita of tort related lawsuits has increased 800% between 1950 to 2009

What would it mean to have a good attorney on your side when you need it? To help in case:

  • You are audited by the IRS
  • You have a Dispute with a contractor or business
  • You’d like to have a contract reviewed before you sign
  • You need an attorney to write a letter on your behalf
  • You have an emergency after hours

How many times have you wished you could call an attorney just to ask a question but didn’t because of cost?

That’s is why, in my opinion, every family in the United States should have a product called Legal Shield.

What is Legal Shield?

The basic Legal Shield membership is around $17 a month and it offers everything mentioned above. It’s access to a defense attorney, help with IRS audits, an attorney to write a letter on your behalf or review a contract for you.

One membership covers an entire family and the benefits increase every year for five years.

For More Information click HERE for a short video overview.

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