Thoughts I Have

Archive for May, 2010

Teacher Not Indicted In Student ‘Hit’ Case


Teacher Not Indicted In Student ‘Hit’ Case
By Curt Yeomans
cyeomans@news-dailycom
Posted: 11:55 PM May 27, 2010
Taken from The Henry Daily Herald (our local newspaper)

A former Mundy’s Mill High School special education teacher, who allegedly sought a “hit” on a 16-year-old student, whom the educator believed to be gay, will not face criminal charges in Clayton County Superior Court, the county’s district attorney said on Thursday.

The teacher, Randolph Forde, had been facing a charge of making terroristic threats against the student, for allegedly offering a 17-year-old classmate of the student $50 to kill the 16-year-old, on Oct. 9, 2009.

The case had been bound over from Clayton County Magistrate Court on Oct. 14, but it sat for several months, waiting to be handled by the grand jury. In January, the Clayton County Board of Education terminated Forde’s employment, upon the recommendation of a tribunal panel, which heard two days of testimony from witnesses.

District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson said she brought in “nine to 10” witnesses, including the intended victim of the alleged “hit,” to testify before the grand jury on Wednesday. In the end, however, the evidence did not prove to be enough to sway jurors toward handing down an indictment, she said.

“They returned a ‘No Bill,’ which means they did not find probable cause to hand down an indictment,” Lawson said.

Forde’s attorney, Borquaye Thomas, said the next step for his client is fighting to get the educator’s job re-instated with Clayton County Public Schools. Thomas said he plans to file an appeal of the school board’s decision to fire Forde, in Clayton County Superior Court today. “We’re working on getting his job back,” Thomas said. “I’ll be happy to just get that.”

The teacher’s attorney said the State Board of Education has already upheld the Clayton County school board’s decision, although no decision regarding Forde has yet been posted on the Georgia Department of Education’s web site.

Even though the grand jury has decided not to indict Forde, Clayton County Public Schools officials, in a written statement, said the district will not reverse the previous decision to fire the teacher.

“The matter regarding Randolph Forde’s employment with Clayton County Public Schools is closed,” according to the district’s written statement. “Mr. Forde, like any other person, can apply for any position posted by the district.”

Terance Madden, an Atlanta-based attorney for the family of the 16-year-old student, contends the alleged request for a “hit” was tied to an incident which occurred a week and a half earlier, in which Forde allegedly took the youth out of a math class, and asked him if he was gay. A day after that incident, there was allegedly a verbal argument between Forde and the youngster, in the same math class.

On Oct. 9, Forde is alleged to have approached the 17-year-old at his school bus, and offered him money to perform the “hit.” The teacher allegedly identified the 16-year-old victim as the intended target, by writing the youngster’s name on a piece of paper for the 17-year-old.

Thomas said the grand jury’s decision to not indict in the case was not a surprise to him, or his client, because it was “what we expected, based on what we knew about the facts of the case.”

With the grand jury’s decision, the criminal portion of Forde’s case is likely over, according to Lawson. But, the family of the intended victim of the “hit” will continue to push the DA’s office for some sort of legal punishment for Forde, according to attorney Terance Madden. “We want the district attorney to use every, and any means to prosecute this case,” he said.

The family’s attorney said the 16-year-old student is “devastated” over the lack of an indictment, and blamed Lawson for it.

Lawson said, however, that she gave the grand jury all of the evidence she had, and it is ultimately up to the jurors to decide if there is enough evidence to hand down an indictment. “It is the ethical duty of a prosecutor to seek the truth, and that is why I presented all of the evidence that I had, and the grand jury made it’s decision,” she said.


It’s Time To Earn Your Wings


Every spring birds settle into nests in order to hatch their eggs. We have a large wooded property and many, many birds make their spring/summer homes here.

Each year there are families of House Wren’s who inhabit nests that their ancestors built on the top ledges of columns on our front porch. They are small birds and require minimal space for their nests. These same nests have remained undisturbed for years. They are quite beautifully built with fine twigs and thick moss nestled around the exposed sides. The nests are lined with a collection of human hair (donated by my sisters who take their hair trimmings and leave them in the front yard for birds to find and use just for this purpose) and downy feathers. It’s really quite something.

Nature is unforgiving and some of the eggs get bumped out of the nest before they hatch. Usually the Wren’s hatch 3 eggs in their little bungalows. After a few weeks of nurturing the newest members of the Wren family are ready (some more than others, lol) to be encouraged to leave the nest by their mother.

The mothers stop bringing scrumptious meals on the fly to the little birds. They will perch in a branch of an oak tree just off the porch near the nests. They sit there and make calls to the little fledglings and the young ones will make calls back in protest hoping for another meal. Eventually the little fellows gather their courage enough to take that leap of faith and flap their wings. They fly away into the new world and the mothers take flight as well. They do what ever it is that birds do and teach their young how to find their own food.

This year one of the fledglings refused to leave the nest. The mother sat just a few feet away and called to the little one all day. The little one called back to her. We listened to this all day thinking this little one wasn’t going to make it. Maybe he was too weak, maybe he was injured or crippled in some way or maybe he was just stubborn. We knew it was not our place to interfere if there was any hope of his joining his family.

As the sun began to set the mother’s calls were silenced but the little one continued to plead. I knew the mother had given up. Not knowing what we would do if he was abandoned and left to die we fetched the ladder and went to the porch. It was obvious he wanted to leave the nest because he was flapping his wings furiously. As we drew closer it was also obvious one of his little legs was caught in the twigs of the nest. We climbed up to the nest and gently loosened his bind. He was terrified of us, of course, but he was also very relieved to be set free. He took flight in the direction of the old oak tree and as he flew past I saw his mother join him in flight. She had not abandoned him at all. She was waiting for some reason.

I wonder what was going through her mind? Did she know the little guy was trapped? Was she waiting there so he wouldn’t be alone when his end came? I must believe she felt as much relief as he did when he flew away. A mother’s love is unconditional regardless of the species.

This was such a sweet, heart-warming experience I had to share it with my friends here and elsewhere. It did bring up so much emotion within me that I admit some tears of joy did flow.

I miss my mother so much.


This Gorgeous Guy Needs Our Help


This Gorgeous Guy Needs Our Help!!!

This is Ryan. He is a college guy who had surgery on his knee and can’t work this summer to help pay for his tuition next year. His college is running a competition for a free year of tuition. The winner will be the student with the most hits on their youtube video.

His video is 44 seconds long and it costs us nothing to click it and see him begging for our help.

He has a sweet voice, he’s very easy to look at and he is hoping for the gay community to help him win this competition.

So, if you would like to give Ryan a “Hand” with the “Hard” job of reaching the “Climax” of this competition please view this video as many times as you can. Send this invitation to all the gay people you know. Post it on every forum and every site you visit. Let’s show the straight world how we can unite. Let’s get “Behind” Ryan and help him win!

I hope this works and who knows – if he wins and we helped him do it he might decide to make another “video” especially for us sometime. A video that will help us reach our “Climax” – LOL!!!

Here is the youtube link:

Remember, watch it as many times as you can before August 1, 2010 and rally our brothers to do the same.


Murder At WalMart


MURDER AT WALMART

Tired of constantly
being broke & stuck in an unhappy marriage, a young husband decided
to solve both problems by taking out a large insurance policy on his wife
with himself as the beneficiary, and then arranging to have her killed.

A ‘friend of a friend’
put him in touch with a nefarious dark-side underworld figure who went by
the
name of ‘Artie.’ Artie explained to the husband that his going price for
snuffing out a spouse was $5,000.

The
husband said he was willing to pay that amount, but that he wouldn’t have
any
cash on hand until he could collect his wife’s insurance money. Artie
insisted on being paid at least something up front, so the man opened
his wallet, displaying the single dollar bill that rested inside.
Artie sighed, rolled his eyes, & reluctantly agreed to accept the
dollar as down payment for the dirty deed.

A few
days later, Artie followed the man’s wife to the local Super Wal-Mart
store. There, he surprised her in the produce department & proceeded
to strangle her with his gloved hands. As the poor unsuspecting woman
drew her last breath & slumped to the floor, the manager of the produce
department stumbled unexpectedly onto the murder scene. Unwilling to
leave any living witnesses behind, ol’ Artie had no choice but to
strangle the produce manager as well.

However,
unknown to Artie, the entire proceedings were captured by the hidden
security
cameras & observed by the store’s security guard, who immediately
called the police. Artie was caught and arrested before he could even leave
the store.
Under intense
questioning at the police station, Artie revealed the whole sordid plan,
including his unusual financial arrangements with the hapless husband
who was also quickly arrested.

The next day in the
newspaper, the headline declared…

(You’re
going to hate me for this…)

‘ARTIE CHOKES 2 for $1.00 @ WAL-MART!’


Memorial Day In America


MEMORIAL DAY

In the United States we have many national holidays.

Some are frivolous and some are not.

This is a list of our National Holidays for 2010:

In my opinion Memorial Day is the most appropriate one of them all. We should ALL observe this day with reverence and humility.

The military men and women who have given their lives in defense of our nation deserve to be honored above all others. They are often sent into harms way for the wrong reasons and yet they go. They are often given faulty or  inadequate equipment to accomplish what ever mission is given to them and yet they go. They enter the combat zone knowing their very lives are in jeopardy and yet they go.

Aerial view of Arlington National Cemetery

I have known so many who have served. I have known a few who never returned. From VietNam to the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and every deployment in between the list goes on. I am so proud of those who joined voluntarily or those who were conscripted.

Deer grazes among the headstones

I have never been a war monger, a “Hawk”. I have always been against killing. Unfortunately we live in a very dangerous world where men go to war with each other. I understand the need for a strong defense and I’m willing to support our military by whatever means necessary. The countless boys (and recently girls) who have worn the uniform of our armed forces and gone into battle without question or hesitation and have returned home  in one piece or have been wounded or killed should be honored above all others.

Soldier decorating graves with flags

I was just thinking of a close friend of mine in high school – Laren, Laren Hill. He was 18 and joined the army so he could go to VietNam. I never heard from him again. It seems like I think of him every Memorial Day. He was such a beautiful boy and so macho. I just wonder how many others will join him in the legions of our honored dead.