I wouldn’t want just an apology…

June 6th, 2008

If I were this guy, viagra unhealthy I’d expect a little groveling with my apology.

According to the Gallenbergers, help the matter started with an inquiry Arlene received from another parent through an online support group for parents of autistic children. The Gallenbergers’ son has autism.

The reading wall of a Tosa School of Health Science and Technology charter school classroom showed simple directions and line drawings to help struggling readers decode words.

Arlene Gallenberger thought the wall might show the parent a glimpse of the kind of reading assistance available at the charter school, so she asked her husband to snap a photo when they took their children to school.

On Feb. 19, Dave Gallenberger stepped in the room, quickly snapped the photo and started to leave.

At that point, he was approached by charter school teacher Jean Shanower, asking who he was and why he was taking photos in the classroom.

Gallenberger said he provided his name. Shanower said he did not identify himself.

A few parents who were standing nearby identified Gallenberger as a Wilson parent, according to the statements they later gave police, including his wife, who explained to Shanower why Dave took the photo.

Eventually Shanower telephoned Principal Jenny Keats, who had been out of the building that morning. She told her that there was an unknown man taking pictures in the classroom and she was concerned, according to police reports.

Police contacted
About 90 minutes later, Shanower called Barb Nicholson, the mother of one of her first-grade charter school students, to come to the school for a meeting at 11:30 a.m. that day.

The Nicholsons had been questioning the school’s reading curriculum for a few months, and the teacher apparently thought the Gallenbergers and Nicholsons were in collusion to get a picture of the reading wall, which they deny.

School district phone records show that just before 11:30 a.m., and shortly after as the Nicholsons arrived for their meeting with Shanower, several phone calls were made between the school resource officers, Keats, Superintendent Phil Ertl’s office and district cell phone numbers.

The police arrived and talked to Shanower, Keats and the Nicholsons.

At 3:30 p.m., Dave Gallenberger received a call from the Wauwatosa Police Department asking him to come to the station to talk about the events that morning. When he and his wife arrived at the station, Gallenberger was arrested for disorderly conduct.

OK, let’s get a couple of things straight…

1.) As a tax-paying parent, this guy should have the right to take a picture of anything he wants at a school (excepting photos intended for prurient uses).

2.) Parents don’t answer to teachers. Teachers answer to parents.

3.) Teachers are public employees…WE’RE their bosses. What goes on in the schools WE pay for is our business.

4.) The cops involved should be disciplined. Arresting him AFTER the fact on what is generally a bullshit charge (disorderly conduct is a catch all that means “well, you didn’t really do anything illegal, but we don’t like what you did”) is reprehensible.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. grumps  |  June 6th, 2008 at 9:55 am

    1) Strangers taking pictures in elementary classrooms without asking permission is scary ground.

    2) You don’t enter someone’s workspace without introducing yourself. That’s common courtesy.

    3) Teachers answer to parents through a school admisitration and through scheduled conferences. Customers don’t get to go into Shopko and start berating clerks. Parents don’t get to start telling teachers what to do in their classrooms.

    4) You’re right. An apology is owed and groveling would be appropriate. Gallenberger should have been arrested for trespass, at least. He should apologize to the officers for the waste of their time on his rude behavior and he should apologize to both the teacher and her students for the disruption to their class time.

  • 2. elliot  |  June 6th, 2008 at 10:06 am

    1.) What’s scary about it? It’s a public classroom. He wasn’t taking pictures of kids. He was taking pictures of the facility. A public facility that he pays for with his tax dollars. Are you saying we shouldn’t be able to see or photograph public property?

    2.) I agree with that. But, according to the story, there was no one in the room when he took the picture. The teacher came up after he took the picture.

    3.) The parent didn’t tell the teacher what to do. In fact, the teacher tried to tell the parent what to do after the fact by having him arrested. (And I’m assuming you’ve never been to a Shopko?)

    4.) This last point shows we’re pretty far apart on this one. I will say that it’s my guess that the courts will side with Gallenberger and me after he sues. (Just as they already dismissed the charge against him.)

  • 3. elliot  |  June 6th, 2008 at 10:09 am

    I’d like to add that if this guy did burst into a working classroom and caused a disruption, I’d feel differently. But, reading between the lines, this looks a lot more like a teacher trying to punish a parent because the teacher thought the parent was questioning her teaching methods.

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Being in a wheelchair gives you a unique perspective on the world. This blog features many of my views on politics, art, science, and entertainment. My name is Elliot Stearns. More...

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