Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Haze Under Harvard

It's above-the-fold.....

"Harvard revokes admission to at least 10 students for offensive Facebook posts" by Laura Krantz Globe Staff  June 05, 2017

Parents spend years warning their children about the consequences of posting offensive messages and photos on social media. The situation unfolding at Harvard right now might be the ultimate case study.

At least 10 high school seniors who were admitted to Harvard this spring had that acceptance yanked after administrators discovered deeply offensive messages and racist images they posted to a Facebook group chat.

Among the students who lost their seats at Harvard College is the daughter of major donors to the university, according to correspondence reviewed by the Globe.

I'm sure they can $urvive without them.

Screenshots of some of the images and messages, posted on The Tab, a news website about universities, show the students mocking sexual assault, the Holocaust, minorities, suicide, and child abuse.

According to the Harvard Crimson, which first reported the story, the group was called, at least temporarily, “Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens.”

Huh. What this is telling me is you have an abiding supremacism based on cla$$, and that isn't surprising given Harvard's reputation as the training ground for elite leadership and the staffing the bureaucracies. 

After someone alerted the admissions office about the controversial posts, Harvard asked the students responsible for the materials to each submit a statement to explain their actions, according to a copy of an e-mail from an admissions officer to a student that was reviewed by the Globe.

Harvard College declined to comment on the admissions status of individual applicants. A spokeswoman said the school reserves the right to withdraw an admission offer for a variety of reasons, including if the student engages in behavior “that brings into question their honesty, maturity, or moral character.”

Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor emeritus and civil liberties advocate, said the college’s actions establish a dangerous precedent.

“Punishing students academically for their political views or their personal values is a serious mistake,” Dershowitz said, adding that he did not see the memes and had no first-hand knowledge of the situation. “These actions are not consistent with the spirit of the First Amendment.”

He said it might have been better to admit the students then require them to discuss their posts with an adviser.

“Judging other people’s humor, even in the worst taste, just strikes me as somewhat dangerous,” said Dershowitz.

I hate to agree with him, but he's right. You are only in favor of free speech, humorous or otherwise, if you are in favor of speech you oppose. Everyone is in favor of speech they agree with. As much as I hate it, the new$papers have a right to spew; it's my job to counteract it and point out the inconsistencies when possible.

According to one student, events unfolded like this......

I don't want to know. That's my right.


I left the link there for you; it's your right as to whether you want to see how events unfolded.

"Harvard draws the line on free speech" by Joan Vennochi Globe Columnist  June 05, 2017

FREEDOM OF SPEECH is not just “freedom from censorship,” Harvard’s president, Drew Gilpin Faust, just told the Class of 2017. It is “freedom to actively join the debate as a full participant.”

So much for that lofty theory. When it comes to practice, Harvard University just rescinded acceptances for at least 10 prospective students, the Harvard Crimson reports, after they traded sexually explicit memes and messages targeting minority groups, in a private Facebook chat. According to the Crimson story, by Hannah Natanson, the admitted students formed a messaging group entitled, “Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens,” and sent messages and other images “mocking sexual assault, the Holocaust and the deaths of children.” One called the hypothetical hanging of a Mexican child “piñata time.”

I suppose I'm glad I won't be living to see this desensitized generation's ascent to power.

That’s ugly language, allegedly coming from young people entitled — and dumb enough — to post it without worrying about the consequences. But there’s also something creepy about Harvard’s policing of it — especially since Faust dedicated her 2017 commencement address to a passionate defense of free speech and the battle raging over it on campuses across the country, from trigger warnings to the rights of conservative speakers to address college audiences.

We have seen how that has gone.

Many will agree these students crossed a line and forfeited the right to engage in unfettered debate, at least at Harvard. But what’s the next line of unacceptability? What if a private Facebook chat involved a screed against Elizabeth Warren, expressed support for a Muslim travel ban, or labeled as fascist Harvard’s effort to ban social clubs? Private schools write their own discipline codes. But with this action, Harvard is sending a message with a classic free-speech chill: You can say anything — but not here. 

I have to admit, I'm a little wrong footed here. It's strange seeing the Globe defend the sort of comments that are alleged.

The issue of revoking admission has come up before at Harvard, most recently involving the case of Owen Labrie, the St. Paul’s graduate who was accused of sexual assault. While never formally confirming that Labrie was barred from attending Harvard, a spokesman at the time told the Crimson, “An offer of admission can be rescinded if a student engages in behavior that brings into question his or her honesty, maturity, or moral character.”

So how does that explain all the war criminals and looters that have come through there?

Looking back now on all the sex abuse scandals at all the elite prep schools that have come to light since, it looks like that kid was hung out to dry. That's not excusing what he did, it is simply recognizing the straw man scapegoat quality of the initial incident.

If you’re convicted of a crime, the decision to withdraw an admission offer makes sense. If you post something offensive on a private Facebook page, that’s a very different standard of judgment. After this, why would any prospective student take the risk of posting anything remotely edgy? And could enrolled students, not just newly admitted ones, be expelled for posting similar thoughts?

Yeah, shut it all down so the only thing that can be said or typed is approved and correct thought. 


Look on the bright side: you can always enlist.

Now below the fold:

"Former Somerville athletes say hazing went undetected before assault" by Bob Hohler Globe Staff  June 05, 2017

Somerville’s mayor and school officials have insisted for nearly four years that they did all they could to prevent members of the high school soccer team from indecently assaulting three teammates during a city-run summer sports camp in the Berkshires. They described the incident, which involved the crude use of a broomstick, as an isolated crime.

But three former captains of the Somerville High School soccer team and at least five other players who attended the 2013 camp have testified under oath that the broomstick assault was preceded that weekend by numerous incidents of sexualized misconduct that purportedly went undetected by Somerville coaches and chaperones who were responsible for supervising the student-athletes. 

I didn't highlight or anything because this kind of stuff just gives me the willies. The absolute violation of personal autonomy is beyond any words I can use to describe it.

The two juveniles who pleaded guilty to the assaults and served 13 months in youth detention facilities also gave sworn statements that they were victims of hazing or sexual misconduct at Somerville’s sports camp the previous summer.

Okay, but shouldn't that make them less likely to commit such behavior?

Somerville officials, including Mayor Joseph Curtatone, who helped organize the 2013 camp and served as a volunteer coach and chaperone for the football team, have stated that they acted properly in every way.

Oh, man, he's connected to this in an on-site way. Even pleading ignorance and incompetence doesn't cut it. And he's still mayor? Won a reelection?

The disclosures were made in the federal civil rights case of another 2013 soccer camper, Galileo Mondol, who is suing the city for more than $1 million. Mondol alleges his life was shattered after he was falsely accused of participating in the broomstick attack.

He was frightened to come forward, too.

Mondol, then a 17-year-old transfer student from Thayer Academy, was attending a Somerville school sports camp for the first time. He initially was charged as an adult with aggravated rape of a child under 16, among nine other counts, until the charges were dropped 20 months later.

One of the victims also has filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Somerville, Curtatone, and school officials, alleging their “deliberate indifference to sexual assault and sexual harassment’’ created the environment in which he was accosted.

They were worried about concussions.

The dispute comes amid state and national efforts to curb hazing by holding coaches and other school officials accountable for the actions of students under their supervision.

On Beacon Hill, antihazing advocates are pressing for a state law that would mandate training for coaches and require school officials to report hazing incidents, as they are required to do with bullying.

As for the two students who were convicted of the assault, both were undocumented immigrants, one from Brazil, the other El Salvador. Those two boys went from being alleged victims to perpetrators, which antihazing specialists say is not uncommon. They paid for their convictions both by serving 13 months in detention and facing immigration problems.

First of all, don't tell Trump.

Second of all, that's what comes with being a sanctuary city. Now, I don't know what was the background of these kids. There could be mental problems, trouble adjusting to America, exposure to gangs. That's the point. You open up the gates and you can't be sure who is pouring through.

Lastly, I was told above they plead guilty. That's not a conviction. A conviction comes from a judge or jury after a trial. Just a minor point of parliamentary procedure is all. You may continue, counselor.

While the young Brazilian remains in the area, the Salvadoran boy was less fortunate. He had fled to the United States when he was 10, after his brother was murdered in their native country.

Earlier this year, rather than be detained and deported because of his wrongdoing at the Somerville sports camp, he returned to El Salvador, where he faces an uncertain future in one of the world’s deadliest countries outside of a war zone.....

Strange attitude toward sodomizing sex abusers, isn't it? They must have some special status or something.


Screw that, what's going on at Pats mini-camp?

Just happened to catch my eye on the turn-in is all.