' I am entirely certain that twenty years from now we will look back at education as it is practiced in most schools today and wonder how we could have tolerated anything so primitive.' John W Gardner
I have agonized about whether I would share what has been going on in my life for the past month. I like to keep my personal life separate from my professional life, but sometimes the two worlds collide. I have dedicated the last four years of my life promoting the benefits of social media and raving about how wonderful it can be, but during the last month I have experienced how ugly it can be when it is used as a weapon. Over the last couple of weeks I have been targeted by some of the lowest life forms on the planet. One woman called my boss and told him I had no business being a teacher. She also had the audacity to post where my 17 year old daughter works for over 13,000 people to see. All of this has taken place on Facebook.
What did I do to upset these people? I stood up for a very good friend who has been accused of killing a dog in cold blood. This person is a deputy sheriff and has worked closely with my husband for over 13 years. He is more like family than a friend. My local paper posted a couple of different updates about how this officer shot a dog while on patrol on their Facebook page. I made a few comments where I urged people to examine all of the evidence before forming a conclusion about what happened and the next thing I know I am being torn apart on the JusticeforBos Facebook group.
The family of the dead dog formed this Facebook group just hours after their dog died, ostensibly to raise awareness about animal cruelty. However, the vast majority of the comments were not left to provide support to the family, but rather to take cheap shots at this officer as well as other local law enforcement officers. The main ring leader of the group is a man whose family harbors deep-seated resentment toward my friend because they believe he “murdered” one of their family members many years ago. There were never any criminal charges and their civil case was thrown out twice.
I believe so strongly in this person and I will not be bullied into not supporting him. I watched for weeks as thousands of people joined the JusticeforBos Facebook group and called for the resignation, termination, and in some cases, the murder of this officer. They claim that a short 3 minute segment of video proves this man is a killer. They claim they have even more video that backs up their story, but it has yet to be produced. They fail to acknowledge the numerous pieces of evidence such as the necropsy (which show the dog was shot as he was facing the officer and NOT while he was running away and eyewitness accounts that back up the officer.However, none of this matters to me. I KNOW that this officer had to shoot this dog because it was aggressive and it lunged to attack him. His word is all I need.
I started a new blog because I did not want to share the horrific things on this blog that I shared on there. The video and slide show contain graphic images and vulgar language so please be mindful of where you view them. There are dozens of screenshots from the “secret” Facebook group that illustrate the extreme level of hate and contempt these people possess. I have provided links to the articles from my local paper as well as the statement of support from the attorney representing the police department, embedded the surveillance camera footage, and linked to the summary of a lawsuit that has been brought up again. If you want to know more about the background of this story then please visit High Road.
I have shared all of this because I want some good to come out of this nightmare that I have been living for the last month. I am requesting that you leave a short comment on the post I wrote called Setting the Record Straight in support of law enforcement officers everywhere. They have an unbelievably difficult job which is made even more difficult when they are openly harassed. My wish is for the High Road to have numerous supportive comments directed at all law enforcement officers. They need to know that people believe in them and that they matter.