Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Bringing the politics of WOJ to the Andover Public schools

UPDATE Jul-26-2007:

The title has been altered from the original. Read the comments for a discussion between a commenter (Matthew), former student of the professor and myself on the subject of Francis.

Original Content:

Dread Pundit Bluto is reporting on the activities of a teacher, Ron Francis, who works in the town I live in, Andover Massachusetts. He is paid by my tax dollar and is using his science teaching position as a platform to convey the anti-Israel anti-American propaganda of a radical group called Wheels of Justice, which describe Palestine and Iraq as occupied territories.

This is a clip from their "Mission" statement:

To speak honestly and openly about Palestine/Israel, one must recognize that the Israeli military occupation continues a legacy that began in 1947 with the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians to make room for the State of Israel. The violence suffered by Israelis and Palestinians will continue as long the roots of the conflict remain-colonization, occupation, displacement, apartheid and the denial of the right of Palestinian refugees.


Here are their 'Action Focus' bullets:

Promote solidarity with Iraqis and Palestinians under war and occupation.


This means get the suicide bombers together, so they can share tips on the best cell phones and plastic explosives to use in killing evil American and Israeli occupiers, in the name of peace of course.

Cultivate, promote and take nonviolent direct action for peace and justice.


Cultivation of young minds is like agriculture. WoJ will bring the fertilizer. Once your kids head pops out of the soil, a terrorist reaper will come by to collect it.

Build and strengthen networks of action groups in states visited.


Good idea. Maybe we can break the network up into little chunks called 'cells'. Then we can give each cell a special task to get the job done. WoJ will take the non-violent part, and well...

Engage in advocacy with elected and appointed officials; challenge pro-war and pro-occupation officials in public.


We can start this process by labeling those who oppose us as pro-war, instead of supporting peace through victory. We can also label them as pro-occupation instead of people against the idea of terrorists controlling half of the worlds oil wealth. This way, we get to challenge them on our terms.

Engage in mass media campaigns.


We can start by getting Reuters to photoshop more of those Palestinians suffering in the streets.

Raise material support for home rebuilding, refugee aid, and advocacy work.


Of course. God knows how much material is collapsed and how many innocent refugees are created every time a suicide bomber re-ignites hostilities with his/her religious peace mandate. But hey, if Hamas and Hezbolla can win hearts and minds through social welfare, why not WoJ and Ron Francis?


To pawn this type of delusion on the minds of kids, in a U.S. public school setting, after all of the concessions and olive branches extended in the name of this farcical peace process, is just too much to bear. Basically it means eliminate Israel. They are a colonist occupier. Your kids should be made aware of this. Forget the Arabs using the Palestinians as suicidal cannon fodder. Poo poo. We all know it is the evil Jews and their evil American henchmen. After all we are about peace, so it must be good.

Of course, the ACLU is defending this insufferable moron's right to poison the minds of children at my expense.

FYI:

Town of Andover

Dr. Claudia Bach
Superintendent of Schools
36R Bartlet Street

Andover, MA 01810

978-623-8501

cbach@aps1.net

Enjoy.

Oh yeah... Don't forget to vote:



Point Five
Radioactive Liberty

32 comments:

The Conservative UAW Guy said...

Sickening.
Kind of makes me embarrassed to be a part of (part time, of course) academe.
But at least you know how I roll on that political stuff! ;)

FIRST!

RT said...

He does this during class? Science class? What an ass.

Uber said...

How on earth does he manage to work this into conversation in a science class?

I would think this behavior would be squashed like a bug due to wasting valuable time on off topic matters if not the content itself (as if the content isn't reason enough).

Peakah said...

Is there any wonder why I want to be in the school my kids are to attend? To protect them from filth like this...

Great analysis Insol.

RT said...

To be honest, and you're going to laugh, when I saw the title of your post, I thought, "Wow! An ex-hockey player is a rogue teacher." I think I had a brain fart, don't you?

Insolublog said...

Cug – Anyone from our camp, inserting themselves in the academic environment, should not feel embarrassed by the environment. They should feel empowered to change the environment and educate these uneducated educators.

RT – With a capital A.

Uber – Simple. They do what our government does.

They bend the rules.
Then they break the laws.
Then they challenge the people to do something about it.
Then they sit back and enjoy the apathy.

Peakah – Unless you are absolutely sure, or you can invest yourself in the process, I would advise to cut your losses and opt for private schooling. Your kids only have a single shot at the brass ring.

RT – Uhhh. I guess so!

AHSski1 said...

Whoever wrote this makes me incredibly upset. First of all, have you ever had this individual has a Physics teacher? In my experience, he has never once, brought politics to ANY class discussion. His main excitement revolves around kinematic equations, the dot product, and other various scientific studies. You are incredibly ignorant and biased and have caused propagande around a should-be respected member of the Andover High School community. He has had nothing but a positive influence on my science studies, and leaves his personal opinions outside of the classroom. I am appauled by your comments.

Anonymous said...

AHSski1 put my thoughts into words. Dr. Francis is the best teacher at the high school. I am so lucky to have him as a teacher. He has never once said anything about his political views. He only talks about physics. Last year his class performed the 2nd best in the country on the AP exam. It would be the biggest mistake if AHS let dr.francis go.

Insolublog said...

I am not surprised he is walking on eggshells now.

From the JR Telegraph:



Francis admitted in another Andover Townsman article that he paid four Andover students to canvas in Somerville for the Somerville Divestment Project.

Danis says that a teacher who pays students to advance his twisted political views should be investigated immediately.


I call that bringing his politics into the classroom. Maybe you should telegraph your grievances with the many articles in respected publications, instead of this blog. I suspect you will simply ignore the situation, in favor of your anecdotal experience.

Anonymous said...

I see from your "About Me" profile that you are incredibly well read, and presumeably an authority on the complex issues involved in the Middle-East mess. But seriously, even if you could read, the history books used in U.S. schools are full of lies and distortions regarding what has happened in Palestine since 1948. There are a few brave souls in this country trying to point out the unpleasant truth about Israel and the United State's complicity in the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, and Ron Francis is one of them. Try using your brain to think for a few minutes. What, do you imagine, drives Palestinian children to stand in the path of Israeli tanks and throw stones at them? Think hard. Do a little objective research and you will be horrified by what you find.

Insolublog said...

Hmmm. A gratuitous insult followed by a tired conspiracy theory. There is no doubt that the sources you would cite, would be as clean and unvarnished as the driven snow.

You are right about one thing; The school halls and books are quite rife with the lies and propaganda of tinkerers. Unfortuneatly, Francis is one of those tinkerers.

Anonymous said...

"Tired consiracy theory?" What on earth are you talking about? Go and find a U.S. school textbook from the 1960's or 70's. I came across one recently that even had a watercolor illustration of Palestinian farmers abandoning their farms in 1948 and fondly waving goodbye to incoming Israeli settlers as they walked away. Reading through your blog again, I realize that you don't have a clue. But it's not really your fault. Here's a challenge for you - find out why Harvard University refuses to allow any debate on the "Palestinian Issue" anywhere on campus.

Insolublog said...

I guess Harvard was too busy inviting Jew hating dictators like Iranian President Mohammed Khatami to absorb the adulation of a liberal audience. I have no doubt that, given time, they will soon get around to giving some Palestinian Reuter's reporter, who dragged a dead child around for the cameras, plenty of awards for courageous journalism; Another one of your heros, no doubt. But that's ok. It's not your fault.

Matthew Malloy said...

Hello Insolublog, I am a former student of Dr. Francis' and when I found this blog on the internet I was appalled. In my AP physics class in 2005, 10 out of 17 students completed a test which ranked them in the top 200 physics students in the country. Ronald Francis is an incredible teacher who taught all of his students invaluable lessons in not just physics, but problem solving as well. Neither myself, nor any of my many friends who have taken a class from him would support your empty claims that he uses his class time to "convey anti-Israel anti-American propaganda". You throw around words like "jew-hater" and propaganda, but you are the one filled with hate. You are filled with hate for someone you do not know, and if you had spent even one hour of classtime with, you would feel sorry and embarassed for this ridiculous blog. Dr. Francis himself is well-known around the entire school for keeping his personal life incredibly private. However, now, thanks to your article, you have people thinking he "does this during class? Science class? what an ass" and that he "[wastes] valuable time on off topic matters". These claims along with all of yours about how Ron Francis conducts himself are unfounded and false. If you have accomplished anything with this particular blog, it has been to undeservedly spread extremely harmful misinformation about a teacher who has done nothing in his Andover High School classrooms but work to ignite a passion for physics in his students. In reading your blog, I have wasted more of my time than was ever wasted in any of my physics classes at Andover High School.

Sincerely,

Matthew Malloy
(mgm39@cornell.edu)

Insolublog said...

You know what appalls me Matthew? It is the obtuse arrogance of your posturing yourself before me, as a former student, who has the one and only opinion of merit in your particular sample space.

Here is another former student, Eric Danis, expressing his opinion.

I suppose, because he is not a member of Hamas and he is (uugh) living in Irael, his observations are polluted by his associations. Oh well. It took about 15 whole seconds of Google work to exhume this data.

Through the cataracts of my hate filled blindness, I cannot possibly be expected to understand this wonderful, misunderstood flower of the enlightenment, who you are defending.

By the way, Danis' letter was published in a local Newspaper, under paid subscribers; not a humble free blog with its limited readership. So, by all means, go pester the genuine sources of your angst, directly. I promise, if he is exonerated by facts, in the public eye, I will retract my opinion.

Until then, he will be just another victim of the vast zionist media conspiracy, who think people that wrap their children in batteries and dynamite are the victims of international abuse. Maybe that award winning physics knowledge can produce more effective suicide belts. It worked for the scientists of the Third Reich.

Insolublog said...


There is LOTs of biased material, critical of your buddy, at this blog.


There are plenty of quotes by your teacher, admitting to paying
students to canvas neighborhoods for his little 'project'. More
zionist conspiracies. Obviously.


Here are some pictures.


All of this sudden interest in this old post of mine may actually
lower the Google info entropy figure and page rank. Maybe I should
launch a fresh post, filled with all of the links I have been finding.

Matthew Malloy said...

Hello Insolublog,

While you have done your research, you have not talked at all on my point. I am not saying that Dr. Francis does not support Hamas. Honestly, I do not know an incredible amount about his political opinions. However, the reason I do not know as much as you or Eric Danis do about Dr. Francis' political opinions is because I have not spent my time researching them. Instead, I have spent my time, and hundreds of hours of it at that, in class with Dr. Francis. I had Dr. Francis as a teacher every other day for 82 minutes for 2 years of school. This means in 246 hours of classtime with Dr. Francis, I have learned less about his political opinions than you did in your 15 seconds of research on Google. While I'm sure Eric Danis means well, if it had not been for him and other people like him attracting so much attention towards Dr. Francis, not nearly as many people in Andover would know about his political opinions. Eric Danis tells a sad and horrifying story about his connections with this issue, and it is a story that I cannot even full grasp since I have never been put in a situation anything like that. However, in his goal to define Dr. Francis as a teacher who is unfit to teach at Andover High School, it is irrelevant. As are all of his other information about Dr. Francis' involvements outside of the classroom. The issue at hand is whether Dr. Francis tries to impose his beliefs on other students during class. The issue is NOT what these beliefs actually are. With this blog, whether you mean to or not you are painting a picture of Dr. Francis as a physics teacher who uses his classroom as a way to propagate his beliefs when this simply is not true. If you want to talk about how bogus and morally out-of-touch his beliefs are, be my guest. However, do not falsely try to call into question his ability or morality as a teacher.

Sincerely,


Matthew Malloy
(mgm39@cornell.edu)

Insolublog said...

Well, Matthew, I will have take your word on your own experience and observations. I do mean that sincerely. Perhaps what you say is true, that you have never personally observed the professor's political activities, regarding normal class hours.

However, more than one of the cited sources, has the professor himself admitting the paid canvasing of Andover homes by students of his class, on behalf of his political organization. He also directly organized and scheduled the use of public facilities, by an organization known to support Hamas.
Somehow, a non-null component of the student population found themselves in concert with the professor's activities. As an engineer myself, I propose the statistical probability of random chance, to be remote.

Even if random chance is to be attributed to the connection, the professor knew they were students from the school; he admitted it. He should have known this would ignite a conflict-of-interest connection to his public employment position. He should have also known that the politics of Hamas is downright incendiary, in the physics of public perception.

Matthew Malloy said...

You are correct that Dr. Francis paid four Andover High School students to go door-to-door for SDP. However, I believe this took place in Somerville not Andover, but this isn't a particularly important detail to me. One of my friends, and classmates, was one of these four students and has posted replies on Eric Danis' blog which you directed me to. My friend was part of an after school group which discussed the Palestinian and Israeli situation in the the Middle East after school. This group was not started by Francis but by another fellow student of my friend who wanted to "educate students about US-supported human rights abuses against Palestinians". While I know little about this topic, and while you may disagree entirely with this groups' opinions, what is important is that this group was started independently of Dr. Francis. Dr. Francis later on became an "informal advisor" to the group, however. Furthermore, my friend was only offered this position after seeking Francis on his own initiative and telling him about his interest in matters in the Middle East. This information is all on the blog you directed me to, and it is all information I have heard or read from my friend.
Also, it is true that Dr. Francis helped organize and schedule a presentation by the organization "Wheels of Justice". However, this presentation took place in a history class where topics like this should be discussed. Once again, my problem is with the false idea which is being propagated that Dr. Francis used his physics class as a means to unprofessionally promote his polical ideas. There is no doubt that Dr. Francis worked hard to promote his ideas about the Middle East. However, he absolutely did not do so during his class time.

Sincerely,
Matthew Malloy
(mgm39@cornell.edu)

Matthew Malloy said...

Hello Insolublog,

I have also found this direct quote from Eric Danis, the former student of Dr. Francis you cited.

"I moved from Andover, Massachuetts to Israel over five years go, so the day-to-day happenings in my hometown are largely off my radar screen. However, Andover High School (AHS) physics teacher Ron Francis, a former teacher of mine, first caught my attention when I saw an article he wrote in February of 2006...Francis' article was posted on the website of 'Somerville Divestment Project' (SDP), a group he founded in Somerville..." - Eric Danis

Danis' voice is by far the most prominent (and the only, for that matter) of any former student who is speaking against Francis. This quote clearly demonstrates that Eric Danis had to go out of his way to encounter any attention-grabbing political opinions of Francis. Furthermore, this opinion was found not in anything connected to AHS, but at the Somerville Divestment Project's website.

Eric Danis uses Francis' political opinions to question whether he is "fit to teach". 10 out of the 17 students in my class ranked in the top 200 physics students in the country, and according to another poster one of his classes ranked 2nd in AP physics tests scores. Also, not one former student has mentioned Francis using class time to discuss matters relating to the Middle East. Hearing the question "Is Dr. Francis fit to teach physics?" is a joke to anyone who has had him.

When the phrase "physics ron francis" is searched on Google, the first thing that comes up is "Ron Francis, teaching Physics and Jew hatred in Andover High School". During my first post, I was angry and unnecessarily mean. I apologize for that. However, the title to this blog is incorrect and hurtful. I urge you to please change this title or erase this blog to prevent the further spread of this misinformation.

Sincerely,
Matthew Malloy
(mgm39@cornell.edu)

Insolublog said...

Matthew,

I take your point on the connection people make on a Google search. I still support the title technically, since by simple logic assertion, he teaches both things, perhaps not coincidentally, but in totality. You have made it clear that, in your opinion and the opinion of peers far less eloquent, that the professor's class was not used in the conveyance of his political beliefs.

My post makes it clear that the connection to 'Wheels of Justice' is the offense here, since supporting this organization on public school property, with the intention of having a student audience, is an act of teaching, whether it was extra-curricular or not, whether the support was indirect or not.

All that being said, you have a valid criticism of Danis and I believe a valid point regarding Google. I know people make conclusions and connections at first glance. I also know people, myself included, who divorce their passionate political views from their jobs. So, there is technicality and reality. So, I will adjust the title and add a disclaimer.

Matthew Malloy said...

Thank you. I appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

He is currently my Physics teacher.
I did not know any of this just until now. I still respect him. He does not mention anything like that in classes anymore. He is one of the greatest teacher i've ever met. I mean, there is no other teacher like him in the world. He is devoted and he's a great person.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Francis is currently my physics teacher at Culver City High School, in California. As Matthew has said, he is the most private man I have ever met, unwilling to discuss even musical preference in the classroom environment, and in addition, the smartest and the greatest teacher I have had the pleasure of studying under. None of the 100+ students in his five classes knew a thing about his political views until a student decided to google his name. This website was the first hit, and the news spread slowly through the huge school. To say he uses his classroom as a forum for his political views can be viewed only by a reasonably minded individual as slander, and the continued existence of this blog posting will tarnish his otherwise impeccable reputation as an educator for years to come.

Jack Fairley

Anonymous said...

mr francis owns

azina2 said...

Hey i'm currently a student of Dr. Frncis at Culver City High School. N i agree with matt and Jack (whom i love) that dr. francis doesn't convey any secret message or personal feeling into his classtime other than pure love for physics. "His utter devotion to the gods of physics" quoted by Adrian, my friend, is quite entertaining. I may not enjoy the class that much becouse i do not posses a love for physics however Dr. Francis is a good teacher who doesn't show bias. once i asked him what he thought about the election and he told me that he doesn't discuss politics in school. Who ever started this must not have enough things to fill out his day or something. And the only reason i came upon this was from rumors around school about are new teacher. love Azeena!

Insolublog said...

Guys,

I know this is a source of stress, which seems to stain the character of a person who has presented himself, dramatically, in the classroom to your sensibilities.

Do you understand the post and its contents in detail?

I made a deal to change the title with the commenter Matthey Malloy, since he took a courageous stand for his argument. He followed up on my research, which is important to the issue, and argued his case on the results of his contemplation.

Do you realize that every time you lodge a protest, in the comments of the post, you refresh the Google page rank statistics, that put this post at the very top of the Google search page on Dr. Francis?

I respect people that make their case.
I am a reasonable person, who would retract this article, given proven facts, that cogently contradict those reported in the linked sources of this article.

Constitutional rights to object to publicly uttered ugly feelings and expressions are absolutely crucial to the survival of our democracy. This may not speak to the physics of mass inertia and stored kinetic energy, but it speaks to the inertial and kinetic energy of political expression and consequences.

Make an argument. I will listen.

Tell me what YOU think the first, second and ninth amendment to the Constitution means, and why they are so important.

I am not sure that Dr. Francis can answer those questions in a way that would satisfy our founders.

Eric said...

InsoluBlog,

You seem to be confused on some of the relevant facts:

- Ron Francis paid Andover students of his to work for his political organization. This is immoral and unethical, and an abuse of a position of power. How did he find out those students wanted to work for his org.?
- Ron Francis solicited AHS students to sign a petition against the administration at Andover High School (he literally passed out a petition to them).
- Ron Francis, a PHYSICS teacher, arranged for a Palestinian hate group to come speak at Andover High School, and then was part of an effort to block a more balanced group from speaking. Bringing in a group outside your field of specialty that perfectly matches your extremist political view isn't bringing your views into the school?
- Ron Francis has said that he supports suicide bombers and that he would consider becoming one if he were a Palestinian (despite the fact that these bombers frequently kill both Arab and Israeli school children)
- Ron Francis has used the worst kind of anti-Semitic stereotypes in his writings, including saying that "zionists" (aka Jews) control the media and politicians.
- The environment at AHS became so uncomfortable among the faculty that one of the teachers who claimed s/he was intimidated for holding divergent political views considered filing a complaint
- Tommy Meyers, the Head of the Andover School Committee, wrote a letter to the local paper explicitly endorsing Francis' political views, and he signed the letter with his full position listed.

I am not sure why you are backing down in the face of comments from former students. Francis CLEARLY brought his politics into the classroom (paying students to canvas for a political org) and he has made some truly REPUGNANT statements (I don't understand why you are worried about his supposedly good name being sullied on Google. He has sullied it worse than anyone else ever could).

I am not sure why the students responding to this blog post (if they are indeed students) have not condemned Francis' blatantly anti-Semitic comments and tactics. Do they support suicide bombings, as Francis does? Do they think an Israeli student could possibly be comfortable in Francis' class?

Eric D.

Eric said...

Azina2 wrote, "Who ever started this must not have enough things to fill out his day or something."

No, actually the person who started this was deeply concerned about the fact that an Andover teacher was getting Andover students to spread his anti-Semitic hatred (he supports a boycott against one country in the entire world: the Jewish country of Israel) by having them get signatures for divestment from Israel. He also arranged for a hate group to come speak at AHS. Nothing has happened at your school YET, but I would keep my eyes open if I were you. It is NOT a good idea to judge a situation that you do not know about (what happened in Andover).

Good luck,

Eric D.

Eric said...

Matthew Malloy wrote:

"Honestly, I do not know an incredible amount about his political opinions."

You seem intelligent. Take a minute and read his writings (in his own words). A simple Google search will show you plenty. Why are you avoiding the issue of his political views? Do you support suicide bombings? Do you believe "zionists" (aka Jews) control the media and politicians? Francis does.

"While I'm sure Eric Danis means well, if it had not been for him and other people like him attracting so much attention towards Dr. Francis, not nearly as many people in Andover would know about his political opinions."

I cannot apologize for drawing attention to a bigoted anti-Semite. Are you Jewish? Because I know for a fact that some Jewish AHS students felt uncomfortable in Francis' class when his comments were exposed. Do you think African-American students would feel comfortable in the class of a teacher who very publicly ran a KKK Website in his or her free time?

"However, in his goal to define Dr. Francis as a teacher who is unfit to teach at Andover High School, it is irrelevant. As are all of his other information about Dr. Francis' involvements outside of the classroom. The issue at hand is whether Dr. Francis tries to impose his beliefs on other students during class."

Really? It's irrelevant that Francis PAID students to canvass for his political org? It's irrelevant that Francis passed out a petition to his students during school time? It's irrelevant that Francis, a PHYSICS teacher, brought in a current events/history group whose views just conveniently matched his own to come to speak to students during school (aka classroom) time? It's irrelevant that the Head of the AHS School Committee wrote a public letter supporting Francis' POLITICAL views and signed it with his job title?

I think your apologist comments defending a hate speaker who abused his teaching authority are irrelevant.

I look forward to hearing what you think about the content of Francis' political views....

Eric

Eric said...

Jack Fairley wrote, "Dr. Francis is currently my physics teacher at Culver City High School, in California...None of the 100+ students in his five classes knew a thing about his political views until a student decided to google his name...To say he uses his classroom as a forum for his political views can be viewed only by a reasonably minded individual as slander...."

You are a current HS student in California, and yet you claim to know with a certainty that past events that happened on the opposite coast in a high school you have presumably never set foot in are "slander." How exactly do you know this?

What did you think of Francis' political views after you googled him?

Eric

Eric said...

In my haste, I mis-typed:

Meyers is "president of the Andover Education Association" (head of the Teachers' Union).

Sorry,

Eric