The Chinks in the Superintendent’s Nig­gardly Education

by Bruce Anderson, October 21, 2009

It all started last March when Dennis Boaz, Ukiah teacher's rep, wrote to his union that Ukiah Unified had made only niggardly offers to teachers during union negotiations.

Bryan Barrett, an assistant superintendent for the Ukiah Unified School district, was deeply offended by Boaz's communication, especially by Boaz's descrip­tion of Ukiah Unified's pay and benefits offer to dis­trict teachers as niggardly.

Barrett wrote to the Ukiah Teacher's Association:

“This memo is formal notice to UTA that Mr. Boaz's communication is insulting and unacceptable and undermines his credibility as a spokesperson for UTA. Racism or suggested racism has absolutely no place in this district, in relationships between the dis­trict and the union, and in negotiations… As you may know, several teachers have personally apologized and we have to question whether Mr. Boaz can continue as a spokesperson for teachers and for the negotiating team. His credibility and integrity are certainly at issue.”

A veritable Klansman was representing the Ukiah teachers!

The scholarly Barrett, accumulating linguistic sup­port from several of the more righteous Ukiah teach­ers as he went, and perhaps imagining himself as John Brown on the march to Harper's Ferry, quickly enlisted the aggressive support of none other than the Mendocino County Superintendent of Schools him­self, Paul Tichinin, previously not known to rouse himself for anything other than raising, then defend­ing, his annual compensation of some $120,000 for doing, well, whatever it is that Tichinin does.

Tichinin was also outraged that this particular N Word had been deployed by a local teacher, and deployed in print at that, lying boldly on the page like it belonged there.

This Boaz fellow had to be stopped.

Tichnin, cutting his usual two hour lunch back to an austere ninety minutes, gathered his leadership team around him and, together, they crafted this emphatic message for Mr. George Young, California Teachers Association representative:

“The words [Boaz] used were completely unaccept­able. The comments are racially charged and show a complete lack of respect and integrity (sic) towards Dr. Nash, Ukiah Unified District Superin­tendent.”

Dr. Nash is black.

She hadn't complained because, it seems, alone among the school superintendents of Mendocino County, she knows that niggardly is not an ethnic slur.

The thoroughly vilified Mr. Boaz teaches at South Valley High School. He is now suing Ukiah Unified in small claims court for the small claims maximum of $7,500. He says he's suffered “loss or injury to his reputation, character and feelings” by being accused by Barrett, Tichinin and unnamed kindred illiterates of “racism” or “suggested racism.”

Mr. Boaz has indeed been libeled.

Of course, he may also be the slyest provocateur seen in Ukiah for many years. He had to have known his bosses were educationally handicapped, if not learning impaired. The briefest exposure to edu-prose, a few seconds of their fractured rhetoric and one is aware he's in the presence of boobs, if the ladies pre­sent will please accept boobs as a synonym for dum­mies, not an inelegant reference to female breasts.

Certainly Mr. Boaz had to have anticipated… Surely he knew that the educational leadership of this county was… Then, again, niggardly has never offended an educated person before — well, there was that depressing case in Washington D.C. — but who could have imagined that the men and women respon­sible for the educations of children in progressive, enlightened Mendocino County would not know…

Boaz forthrightly admits he wrote that the “tenor of the negotiation tactics of the D.O. (district office) has become increasingly negative and niggardly,” innocently assuming the word is an adverb meaning “In a niggardly manner, parsimoniously, grudgingly, sparingly,” three synonyms certain to also send Men­docino County school administrators scurrying for grants to buy dictionaries, probably the ones with pic­tures.

Boaz says he's suffered “emotional distress, result­ing in loss of sleep for a period of more than a month,” and is “emotionally distressed” whenever he thinks about, well, thinks about being described as a racist by defectively educated educators.

There was nothing niggardly about Tichinin's errant denunciation of Boaz as a racist. Tichinin not only upped and did it, he got his fellow dunces to sign on: Gary Barr of the Potter Valley Unified School District; Mark Iacuaniello of the Point Arena School District; J.R. Collins of the Anderson Valley School District; Don Armstrong of the Fort Bragg Unified School District; John Markatos of the Laytonville School District; Catherine Stone of the Mendocino Unified School District; Dennis Ivey of the Round Valley Unified School District; Cindy Biaggi-Gon­zalez of the Manchester School District; and Debra Kubin of the Willits Unified School District.

It will take more than a few applications of Spic ‘N Span to disguise the chinks in the niggardly educa­tions of Mendocino County’s spooked school admin­istrators, especially if the faggots of their bitched edu­cational breastworks ignite and the dikes of their deficient learning can't retard the steep slope of their deficiencies and they all go poof.

For God's sake, don't tell Tichinin that all over Mendocino County cafeteria ladies are sneaking shitakes into our school's salad bars!

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