October 13, 2016 9:03 pm ET
Hearing impaired Teacher with 20 years of good service fired by BCPS, pleads for help
Photo credit/letters to the editor.com
People often ask me why I write this column, and the following will explain my reasoning, as well as explain why I will never stop.
One day not long ago, a community leader recommended that someone in desperate need of help reach out to me.
After a couple of communications and getting our schedules straight, since she had two special needs children, we picked a time and a location to meet at a local library.
I guess it’s the police instinct still rooted in me. I get a feel for what is real and what goes into a pile when I look a person in the eye.
When I arrived, she was sitting quietly and meekly at the front entrance of the library. She had a pile of papers and binders.
A cop learns to sense things, and I sensed a person waiting desperately for someone who would be able to help them in a time of desperate need. She had no idea who that person would be, but I could sense that she was hopeful.
When you look a person straight in the eyes, that person doesn’t have to say a thing—the eyes are the window to the soul, you know. When you focus on the eyes, trust me you will get the truth.
Her eyes did not lie. They made no attempt to hide the turbulence that lay before them. Instead, her eyes pleaded for someone, anyone, to come to her aid.
We had to find a location in the library because she cannot hear and only reads lips, which is one of the reasons we had to meet in person.
In these types of situations, whether it be police work or investigative journalism, there is a sense of (and this is a strong word, but one that is appropriate) panic.
I saw plenty of panic in those eyes.
Why would I choose the word panic? Well, there are several reasons.
One deals with the sense of urgency she felt in her plea for help. Have you ever been to a doctor and felt like you had to speak quickly before the doctor moves on to the next patient waiting just outside the door? Time is of the essence.
Also, people who are humble never want to be a burden. I could see her reaching deep inside for the right words to say while trying to read my lips.
She fumbled through a mountain of papers to reveal the truth about her plight—one that is destroying everything she and her husband worked for. Many of us, if faced with a similar situation, would collapse under the strain. But she continued to look through the darkness, all while trying to relieve the burden on herself and others.
There were so many things that she wanted to show me, as if she had to prove she was telling the truth. I knew how she felt.
Not knowing me, she felt every second counted and I might say no, there is nothing I can do.
Speaking of truth, I will go into more detail about that in one of the follow-up articles on this story. It is the tale of a government that must be swept out of power because of the treatment given to people who spent decades helping others.
This story has to deal with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), which is a cause near and dear to me.
Seeing the pain in this mother’s eyes as she described her long, arduous ordeal at the hands of Baltimore County Public School officials, and knowing what they put this woman and her family through, made me wish I was back on the job with a pair of cuffs in my hand.
I found out that her husband was still working after suffering a stroke and a heart attack in an effort to save what little the family had. Their situation has been looking very grim, especially since her husband’s employment was not guaranteed due to his age and medical condition.
I provided assurance that I would do everything I could do to help this wife and mother—a 20-year veteran of the BCPS system who earned a Master’s Degree despite being deaf and was unceremoniously dumped by a ruthless school system run by tyrants who view our tax dollars as a stepping stone to a higher plateau.
Mind you, she had an outstanding work record, which is why this situation is so egregious.
However, after all of that, I had a moment that ripped apart my heart strings; and, after 39 years of police work, I thought my heart was hardened to handle just about anything.
The last thing this desperate mother asked me was:
“DO I OWE YOU ANY MONEY?”
I was stunned.
I flashed back to a moment when I was wearing my badge and gun and someone was pleading for help, not knowing how things work in this screwed-up world.
Here was a woman who is at the end of the line asking me if she owed me any money for my assistance.
The really sad part was that I knew she had no money but was willing to fight for her family at any cost.
I told her that I am an investigative journalist, and I investigate situations like this in order to help people without expecting anything in return.
It’s difficult for me to describe the emotions I felt. I went through a similar experience but I had a good pension.
She and her family could lose everything.
If you, for a moment, think I’m pulling your leg, then you need to read this email I received from her:
Sent: Sunday, October 09, 2016 9:02 AM
To: ‘Buzz Beeler’
Subject: a list of documents
Last night, my husband was not in the right frame of mind and cannot remember what you requested. We had 2 letdowns this past week, he was not accepted for a job he interviewed and the EEOC dismissed my case, we are very upset and depressed. We are hurting financially and we are getting tired of eating cereal for dinner.
Can you provide a list of your request of information, I have 3 binders full of documents and emails from BCPS. I recently sent my lawyer an email requesting all the PIAs and FOI from EEOC.
Thank you for helping us.
(Note: the family has no lawyer. No lawyer would take the case. I will have something to say about that later.)
After you read this, if you think your government is working for the CITIZENS of this country then you need to think again.
And to think that Mr. Kamenetz, according to the Sun, wants to run for governor.
I’m just getting wound up thinking about how this desperate mother asked me if she owed me any money.
It breaks my heart just thinking about the fear and bewilderment in those desperate eyes that gave the county 20 years of her life and how that county is now destroying her family’s lives.
I’ll sum up this way. The other day I received a phone call from a friend who complained about the smell near the treatment plant on the east side of the county. My response was:
The whole dam county stinks.