by Donna Jack
This post deals with the dangerous growing tendency in this country to consider a person guilty until proven innocent.
I grew up in an America that was filled with freedom and liberty. One of the main principles in this country had been: “A man is innocent until proven guilty.” Even when I was a child I saw this principle being eroded away.
A quotation from a legal dictionary says: “The people of the United States have rejected the alternative to a presumption of innocence — a presumption of guilt — as being inquisitorial and contrary to the principles of a free society.”
If a false accusation is spread, the accusation has a negative effect on a person’s reputation and can alter life for them. To maintain a free society, as opposed to a lawless mob society or a dictatorship, people must be considered innocent until they are proven guilty.
There is a growing tendency in this country to consider a person or group guilty based solely on something someone says (gossip).
Ask yourself: Would I want others to believe lies they hear about me? Unfortunately, since this practice is so prevalent, it is easy to join in with the slander gang.
Slander takes place when a person tells one or more persons untruths about someone else intending to hurt the reputation of that person. Slander is a civil wrong (tort) and can be the basis for a lawsuit. That is why there has been talk of a lawsuit against the wording in the recent petition calling for the recall of the three new members of Colorado Jefferson County Board of Education (Jeffco BOE). The petition was filled with lies about these three board members (elected November 2013) with the intent to damage their reputations and force them out of office.
A real-time example of slander (lies meant to hurt reputation) is the recent petition recall of the three republican majority members on the Jeffco BOE in Colorado. But this slander was being spread long before this petition materialized. The unions, PTA and people behind the recall of the three republican majority members began the lies during the election of the new board members.
Even with all the lies out there during the last election, these three reform candidates, Ken Witt, Julie Wililams and John Newkirk, were elected November 5, 2013. Linked is the school district page showing all members on the board.
Two days after the November 2013 election of these three new board members, Cindy Stevenson told a reporter that she had been thinking of retirement for a while. In that publication Stevenson announces her retirement at the end of the school year and the reporter says “Stevenson said her focus during the next eight months is to ensure that reforms are in place and that the district’s leadership is on the same page.”
To see a February 8, 2014 example of slander against these board members soon after they were elected, go to the blog piece about the February 8, 2014, 10 minutes and 57 seconds Jeffco BOE meeting. It is filled with slander (and yelling) meant to destroy the majority on the board. Security ended up asking chairman Ken Witt to end the meeting because of safety. Notice that neither Cindy Stevenson, nor democrat board members Jill Fellman and Lesley Dahlkemper did a thing to try to control the mob, but actually encouraged their misbehavior.
At that meeting, superintendent of schools Cindy Stevenson, only a few days after the new board members were in office, said that she was unable to do her job because of the new board majority. What happened to her plans to stay until the end of the school year to ensure reforms and other things? What could the new board members possibly have done in so few days to “cause” her to choose to leave the school district she was committed to help before retiring at the end of the school year?
The mob was screaming “respect” “transparency” etc. while they themselves were being disrespectful and would not allow the board to conduct their business. In retrospect, the brand new majority members (only around a month since their election) should have had security escort out the trouble makers, and then continue the meeting. That’s easy to say, but they were blindsided by the mob. They have learned a lot since then.
Though people still come to disrupt the board meetings, the board majority has learned ways to minimize disrespectful outbursts, and conduct their business at their meetings. People who had been afraid to attend meetings, now feel safe attending the meetings.
Please note that Democrat board members Jill Fellman and Lesley Dahlkemper have not lent a helping hand to encourage order at the meetings at that time or since then. In fact they encourage disobedience to rules and order.
Since then, Cindy Stevenson, the two democrats on the board, the unions and others have wrongly accused (slandered) the board majority concerning a number of things. Even students have joined in slandering the board members, at the coaching of their teachers and others. The repeated lies have incited people to hate these members. Many of the people supporting this recall do not realize how they are being used to hurt innocent people. They just parrot the slander they hear, and believe the truth is a different opinion that is wrong.
The recent petition circulating that asked people to support a recall of the majority on the Jefferson County School Board, was filled with lies (slander) stated as obvious truths.
Slander and deception have been trademarks of those individuals and organizations that have worked against the republican majority both during the last board election and ever since.