The first hater to jump into the fray was Miss Fricken. She said I was the one who was unethical, because I disrupted classes that other students had paid to attend. I thought that was a bit of a stretch. Even if what she accused me of was true, is that really an ethical question? One thing led to another, and finally one of the haters chimed in, claiming that the fact I was fighting my expulsion instead of quietly accepting it and moving on with my life showed that I didn't understand the Manitoba Teacher's Code of Ethics.
It's funny because that took me back to the day the very first volley was fired in the campaingn to kick Marty Green out of school. Back in Professor Bell's class, he used to present us with little scenarios for group discussion, which often involved those types of ethical dilemmas which are familiar to philosophy students as one form or another of the "rowboat problem". In this particular scenario, we were to put ourselves in the shoes of a student teacher who was assigned to classroom observation, and was then shocked at the way the teacher was mean to one of the young kids. The student teacher remembered that before she went to class, the principal had hinted to her that she might have some concerns about what was going on in there. What should the student teacher do? I said she should tell the principal what she saw.
One of the other students in my group disagreed with me. She not only disagreed, but she told me in no uncertain terms that I was being unprofessional: that it was against the Manitoba Teachers' Code of Ethics to do what I had suggested. If I had something to say against a colleague, I was obliged to speak first to that colleague before going "up the chain" to lodge a complaint at a higher level. That student was Jennifer Babcock.
I told Jennifer I disagreed that I was being unprofessional. Jennifer retorted that I was simply wrong: people who knew more about these things than me had devised rules of conduct, and I had better follow them. I toild her I didn't think I needed to read someone's "Code of Ethics" to know what was right or wrong.
After class, I noticed Jennifer out in the hallway speaking in hushed tones to Professor Bell. Later that evening, I got a call on my cellphone. It was Professor Bell. He told me that my dominating presence in class discussion was causing a chilling presence which inhibited others from participating. I immideiately told him if he had any complaints he should put them in writing and send them to me by email. He refused, and I told him the conversation was over.
The next morning, I sent Bell the following email:
Pursuant to your phone call of yesterday evening, if you have any complaints about my behavior in class, please convey them to me in writing so that I may respond to them.Bell was not willing to put anything in writing. He replied:
Sorry if my approach went over poorly. I don't have an office and I am on campus only around class time. This really isn't something I would want to trade emails about. If you wish to talk I always stick around after class for an hour or more. Maybe we could meet for coffee. If you feel I am off base on this we can simple drop the topic. I will leave it up to you.
Sincerely, Dave Bell
But Professor bell did not "simply drop the topic", as he said in his letter. He went to the Dean. And so did Jennifer. And from that day, no one said a word about my behavior in class until the Dean's secretary contacted me. By that time they had put together a dossier on me which would ultimately get me kicked out of school, including complaints from Bell, Metz and Cantor. I've told you about Cantor's complaint, and how she admitted on the witness stand that it did not represent her own true feelings about my behavior. Bell's lie was even more blatant: in his letter, he simply says "My attempt to discuss this situation with Marty was ended abruptly and impolitely by Marty." No, Professor Bell. It was ended when you twice refused to put your complaints in writing.
Article Seven of the Manitoba Teacher's Code of Ethics reads:
"A member directs any criticism of the professional activity and related to the work of a colleague to that colleague in private. Only after informing the colleague of the intent to do so, the complainant may direct in confidence the criticism to appropriate officials through the proper channels of communication."I already said that I don't believe much in Codes of Ethics, but Jennifer Babcock clearly does. Was she following the Code of Ethics when she went behind my back to Professor Bell, and later to the Dean, to complain about me? Was Professor Bell when he told me he would "simply let the matter drop" and then went straight to the Dean? Was Professor Cantor when she wrote her poison pen letter?
Or does the Code of Ethics not apply to people like them, whose are so pure of heart that even their shit doesn't smell?