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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Updates on McLaw & How to Resolve Conflict

The Atlantic updated their article. At last, a good reporter. Thank you, Jeffrey Goldberg. Through no fault of the writer, the article clarifies some things, but not others. He is trying to get to the bottom of this.

Despite all the articles boldly claiming the contrary based on their reading into the lawyer's statement, the school's reaction was, in part, due to parents complaining about the books: "But some citizens did react to [the books], there were citizen complaints based on the book..." which doesn't surprise me. The original article wrote: "some parents tell WBOC they are concerned about safety." Yeah, they were. They probably prepared for the 2012 Mayan Armageddon, too.*

"McLaw had built a model of a school building in his home" -- "a" model, not any particular school, so it was likely research as well. It is not uncommon for writers to build a large database of information about a subject, draw maps, etc. to make sure the world they create is credible. Evidence dismissed.

I'm not sure about this: "asked an administrator to move classrooms, to one near the 'point of ingress and egress' of the school." That is bizarre although it gets more confusing why he would talk about his mother in this context.

One crime he is clearly guilty of: He is too enamored with $4 words**. Probably he should serve hard time in the halls of academia.* That may cure him.

Update updated: A response from McLaw himself this time. 
"I used to be in architecture and engineering. And as a result of that, as a hobby I built miniatures. And I built a miniature of a cruise ship, a miniature of a house, and a miniature school. Now given the situation, they have only focused on the miniature school,"
How did they get a hold of this model? Anyway, it seems even less incriminating than it wasn't to begin with.

It'd be nice to read the actual letter. I'm guessing the recipients didn't understand it due to McLaw's penchant** for $4 words. Maybe, if the letter comes out (not that it should or has to), I will side with those who messed up McLaw's life. But right now, their story is contradictory and incoherent.

* Jokes. 
** I use them, too, sparingly.

Conflict Resolution:
I am not opposed to parents defending their children. The passionate parent sometimes attacks while uninformed. Here's a simple resolution process that has been around for millennia: 

  1. Ask your kid to resolve it. Have them call their teacher if need be. You may never need to get involved.
  2. Gather information. Get your kid to say everything he knows. Ask, "Why did your teacher do/say that? Did you do something that caused this? What are you leaving out? You know I'm going to ask your teacher, so you'd better tell me everything."
  3. Discuss the situation with teacher and your kid (try to understand where your kid's teacher is coming from). 
  4. If it's not resolved, go up the chain: Principal, Superintendent, Board. 
Skipping steps in the conflict resolution process may cause unnecessary problems.

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