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Alex Merritt’s 2 Teachers Bullied Him At School. Now The Teachers Are Suing?

alexmerritt1

Dennis Carlson, superintendent of the Anoka-Hennepin School District in Minnesota, insists he’s been trying to “correct inaccurate statements about students who have committed suicide over the past year.” As in: “Inaccurate statements” about school officials ignoring reports from parents and students about anti-gay bullying, like the kind that led Justin Aaberg to kill himself. The Minnesota school district is supposedly home to a whole swath of suicides, as well as “regular torment” that fortunately didn’t lead some kids to take their own lives. Like Alex Merritt (pictured), a straight student who claimed two of his own instructors targeted him. And now those teachers say the state illegally violated their privacy by outing them as the accused bullies.

Walter Filson yesterday filed a complaint against the state, saying it illegally identified him as the teacher who — and you’ll pardon us for not having much sympathy here — volunteered Merritt to take part in a fashion show in front of the class “because he enjoys wearing women’s clothes” and also intimating Merritt had a “thing for older men.” Filson’s complaint follows that of Diane Cleveland, the second teacher Merritt fingered in his harassment charge filed with the Department of Human Rights; Cleveland successfully sued the department in July for the same thing.

While both teachers were found culpable — at least enough that the Department of Human Rights granted the Merritt family a $25,000 discrimination settlement — their names were never released as part of the case. But then the department identified them both on its website in a “Case Of The Month” feature, triggering their suits.

So what we have here are two teachers suing the state over violating their privacy, when these two teachers were deemed responsible for the torment of children. I’d say hang ‘em out to dry, but I guess we already have. And that’s why they’re upset.


  • 72 Comments
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      I can’t wait to see the Diane Cleveland / Walter Filson It Gets Better video.

      Dec 24, 2010 at 4:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tallskin
      Tallskin

      these two teachers are a cunch of bunts, and I hope they lose their absurd lawsuit.

      Dec 24, 2010 at 5:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gene
      Gene

      Those teachers fail the humanity test. It is bad enough that kids bully other kids, but when the teachers, who are supposed to educated adults, indulge in the sadism of bullying then they should be hung out to dry with a rope around their necks whist standing on a block of ice that slowly melts.

      Dec 24, 2010 at 5:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ForeverGay
      ForeverGay

      We should know their names. Why were they given privacy protection after they committed a crime?

      Dec 24, 2010 at 5:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Matt
      Matt

      Was there some privacy lock put on the case that was suppose to protect these teachers – what Judge would give/extend privacy protection to teachers bulling their students??? And where is the teachers association in taking away their rights to teach..or the school district performing the customary firing? Although, I am sure Texas would hire em in a minute.

      Dec 24, 2010 at 6:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jacknasty
      jacknasty

      I think the teachers are awful horrible people. However, if the settlement guaranteed them privacy than their names should have been kept out of it. I can’t believe any judge would have agreed to that, but apparently that is what happened so they do have the right to sue and will most likely win.

      why they were allowed to keep their jobs is the biggest mystery.

      Dec 24, 2010 at 11:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bubba in TX
      Bubba in TX

      Well, what do you expect? It’s Texas…oh, wait a minute, you mean this kind of stuff happens in places OTHER than Texas?!?!

      Just a little PSA to remind people (like Matt, for instance) that not everyone in Texas is ass-backwards, and not everyone outside of Texas is a saint.

      (To be clear: I am not a native Texan–I moved here for work. And yes there are many people in this state, including but not limited to politicians, that I can not stand, but we’re not ALL bad down here.)

      Dec 25, 2010 at 2:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stephen Thorn
      Stephen Thorn

      As a former public school teacher, who taught both middle school and high school for 15 1/2 years, these so-called professional educators are an embarrassment to the teaching profession…

      Dec 25, 2010 at 4:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lee B.
      Lee B.

      To be clear, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights did not find these teachers guilty of anything – in fact, they did not conduct an actual investigation and never even bothered to talk with these teachers. They just “assumed the teachers did not contest the allegations”. The district simply settled with the parent. The reason the department was found to be in error by the courts was that they put the names of the teachers on their website implying they were the focus of the investigation, when the defendant was the school district.

      I agree the district should have paid a fine. If the allegations were true, the district teachers should have been fired. If the allegations were false, the district should have stood up for their teachers wrongly accused. The fact that the district played the middle and left someone out to dry is the real problem.

      When blogs like this don’t take any time to investigate their stories like real journalists, they simply give the school board cover. School board members can call those pushing for change liars or sensationalists and hide from taking action. I urge everyone who reports on this district to take the time to get their facts straight. Inaccuracies may make those outside the district feel like they are helping, but they are actually getting in the way of real progress for students on the inside.

      Dec 25, 2010 at 6:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AdonisOfFire
      AdonisOfFire

      They should be hanged, dismembered and fed to stray dogs!

      Dec 25, 2010 at 9:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hephaestion
      hephaestion

      I wish I could sue my former asshole teachers. I had some doozies… complete assholes who belittled me in front of the class & school for “acting gay.” I hope those motherfuckers – and all teachers like them – fry in hell. They encouraged other kids to torment me every second of every day for years and years. Mr. Walker and Coach Henderson I’m calling you out.

      Dec 25, 2010 at 10:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      Public saftey trumps any claims of privacy, so the Dept. of Human Rights did the right thing by identifying these cretins.

      I hear people saying bullies grow up to be losers, but that’s not always the case. Some grow up to be teachers, policemen, politicians.

      Dec 26, 2010 at 9:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Walt Filson
      Walt Filson

      The whole story never came out and will not untill all the cases are resolved. Some facts have come out. (Read the Pioneer Press Article) The student was referred to the Vice Prinicpal. Although the “alleged” harrassment had been going on the whole year the complaint was filed after the referral. The boys story changed. First the actions were alleged to have occurred in front of the class than when it was discovered there were no witnesses, at least against Mr. Filson, than the actions took place in private. He hated guns and would never touch guns but he went into the Army Reserve. Now he is studiing to be a Police Officer, just like his teacher was. The allegation about Ben Franklin has changed to Abraham Lincoln and back again. I was never interviewed about the allegations by the school district. I am under no discipline from the district because they determined the only thing I did wrong was possibly not do enough to stop harassement. The Department of Human Rights never spoke with neither my self or Ms. Cleveland.
      I had a number of GLBT students in my class. If I had harrassed one why not others? No other student has joined in saying they were mistreated in my class, that alone would tell you something.
      The allegations the Department of Human Rights posted were never even part of the complaint.
      Prior to this happening I was dealing with a son with cancer, he has been battlingit for 7 years. I also had a son who had been in Iraq three times and was going thru a divorce. I was concerned for my four grandkids. But the negative press about this and the way I have been portrayed was to much and I decided not to return to teaching until the issue was resolved. I was never placed on leave by the district.
      I hope some of you will do a lillte research and discover for yourself the facts. I can only state my case it’s up to you to decide.
      Discussions about wrongs are good and healthy as long as the facts are right.

      Dec 26, 2010 at 10:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      Districts don’t hand out $25,000 settlements without a reason. The MDHR findings were based on investigations by the district and the department. Bringing it back into court could backfire against the district who assumed the case was SETTLED.

      Dec 26, 2010 at 11:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Walt Filson
      Walt Filson

      Think about the amount paid out. If you were a gay student being harrassed by two teachers for a full school year would you have settled for that? If the facts were there it would have been a multi-million dollar case, not $25,000. The district just tried to get it over and get back to the bussiness of educating.

      Dec 26, 2010 at 12:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      A suit against the MDHR is going to difficult to limit to privacy, and if they’re challenging any of the findings or rulings, impossible. My advice to Walter and Diane is … bring it.

      And maybe enroll in some second career education classes, because yeah..

      Dec 26, 2010 at 12:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • brazan3
      brazan3

      Teachers have the biggest inpact on children after their parents. They need to be paid and trained more like doctors. Otherwise you just continually get people becoming a teacher as a fallback career and end up with losers like these two.

      Dec 26, 2010 at 1:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hakeem Marhesh
      Hakeem Marhesh

      I am surprised at the hatred here on assumption and accusation. It was not long ago that the same thing would happened in my country. If you were accused on being gay then many persons would accuse you without so much evidence. Many would claim they were afraid of letting you be around children with no cause.
      Now I see the same happen here by people who should know better. It is best I think to let us watch and see the outcome first.

      Dec 26, 2010 at 2:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      You all really need to get over the “innocent gay victim” belief in which no gay person has ever done anything dubious and its always the fault of the people that “victimized” them. I know damn well that many kids lie about teachers repeatedly. School boards settle cases all of the time to get them out of the way.

      I had a teacher in 7th or 8th grade that said that the word “gay” had been bastardized by a bunch of disgusting people right in the middle of a classroom of around 30+ students. If only it was popular to sue teachers for harassment back then I could have been rich.

      Dec 26, 2010 at 3:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      If the teachers are alledging that the accusations are false, they’d be suing the district and the student to clear their names. But they aren’t. They’re suing for lack of ass coverage.

      Dec 26, 2010 at 4:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @Kev C: Why would they sue their own bosses? Actually, I’m not even sure they can sue their own boss. Depending on the state, some states have laws against being able to sue your employer.

      Lets just call this what it is. You guys can’t possibly believe that a 15 year old kid could have made all this shit up (because after all 15 year old kids never lie to get out of trouble) although there are no witnesses, his story has changed repeatedly and the school board never full investigated.

      If this kid was a “straight” female instead of a gay male, you guys would be screaming about how this girl was trying to ruin the lives of the teachers (especially if one of the teachers was a lesbian).

      Dec 26, 2010 at 5:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Walt Filson
      Walt Filson

      @Kev C: One step at a time.

      Dec 26, 2010 at 5:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • edgyguy1426
      edgyguy1426

      It’s obvious that the whole school district is in denial about bullying and for good reason. The slew of lawsuits that have already been successful probably has then scared shitless. @Walt Filson:”I am under no discipline from the district because they determined the only thing I did wrong was possibly not do enough to stop harassement.”

      To me (possibly) ‘not doing enough to stop harassement(sic)’
      is enough in my book to forego the title of ‘teacher.’

      Dec 26, 2010 at 6:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anna
      Anna

      @ForeverGay:
      Okay Mr. Filson has never had a fair trail and in this country you are assumed innocent until proven guilty. Or do we now live in another country where anything goes????

      Dec 26, 2010 at 6:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anna
      Anna

      @jacknasty: Maybe because it was all a lie in the first place.

      Dec 26, 2010 at 6:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anna
      Anna

      @ForeverGay: Because no crime was committed it was a lie from the beginging……..just a nasty lie!

      Dec 26, 2010 at 6:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anna
      Anna

      @Kev C: Not true….first things first first the state for their lasc of judgement and then the district and then the student and is mom…in that order.

      Dec 26, 2010 at 6:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anna
      Anna

      @Kev C: Bringing it back into court…how stupid ar e you …Mr Filson never got a trail in the first place. This has never been to court. Yes Virginia…there is a Santa Clause and people know they only have to use the popular, and they will recieve 25K to go away and not say a thing…better than buying a ticket to Lotto.

      Dec 26, 2010 at 6:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tim W
      Tim W

      Lets build a time line.

      1.Alex threatens to bring a gun to school
      2.Alex gets into trouble
      3.Alex blames the teachers, one of which is the one who caught him.
      4.Alex’s mom sues the school
      5.Alex’s mom gets ‘go the hell away money’
      6.Alex joins the military, which any charges filled against him are dropped and he doesn’t have to appear in the courts.

      Seems to me the kids full of it.
      also, i find it funny that it’s people from this area who are defending the teacher and it’s people from elsewere who have no idea whats going on attacking them.

      Dec 26, 2010 at 7:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alex K
      Alex K

      I had both mr. filson and mrs. cleavland as teachers when I went two step, and they treated everyone with respect and they where the best teachers I ever had. I know that very many of there former students are outraged that this student (who I think is lying) brought false accusations all because the teachers are people he dosent like. I hope everything gets straighted out and that people realise that the teachers are inoccent

      Dec 26, 2010 at 7:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      I read the settlement agreement. Walter says no investigations, but they claim they did 2 investigations. Walter says no evidence, but they say they have sufficient and corraborated evidence. Gee, it sounds like everyone has it in for poor Walter and Diane. Walter should be a man and cop to it and apologize.

      Dec 26, 2010 at 7:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kristin
      Kristin

      Seriously… To all of you that say the teachers are at fault you have no idea… You weren’t there so you DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPEND. I happen to know one of the teachers VERY well and to even think that he would bully a student because of the life they chose is REDICULIOUS! You are the igonorent ones for believing what the media tells you! The media hypes things up and blows them out of the water just to have a good story… I stand behind the teachers it is awful for what these kids are going through being bullied by other kids but the teacher I am standing by is an upscale outstanding memeber of the community and WOULD NEVER put down a student. So before you judge you should get all of the facts.. Remember teenagers like to take things and make them bigger than what they are…. If you are a parent you should know that.

      Dec 26, 2010 at 8:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kristin
      Kristin

      @Kev C: And you believe everything the settlement says..

      Dec 26, 2010 at 8:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kristin
      Kristin

      Maybe you should get all the facts before you judge… You weren’t there you don’t know what happend. If you knew these teachers you would have no doubt in your mind that they didn’t do what they are being accused of. The media hypes everything up to make a story. Get the facts before you judge seriously.

      Dec 26, 2010 at 8:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      I have known Walt Filson for many years. During that time, Walt has continually shown himself to be a gentleman and a man of high moral conduct. He has always treated me and others I know with respect. Although I wasn’t actually sitting in the classroom when this “alleged” incident took place, I must say I would be completely shocked if it were true. It simply seems so far out of his character as to be absurd. I sincerely believe when the “whole truth” comes out, that these teachers will be vindicated and there will be many people who will owe them an apology.

      Maybe i’m way off base here though. I mean, 15 year olds would never lie to get themselves out of trouble would they?

      Anyways, good luck to these teachers as they attempt to restore their good names and get this mess straightened out.

      Dec 26, 2010 at 8:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      @Kristin: Here’s what I believe. Alex could not have anticipated winning a settlement when he complained, and so that motive is not credible. But Walter Fison is suing with the anticipation of a $ettlement.

      The complaint wasn’t a problem as long as his name was secret and his job secure. But now it’s not, and he’s trying to make a profit from his mistake. He’s gambling because he’s got nothing to lose, so he might as well sue some and hope to get lucky.

      That’s what I think.

      Dec 26, 2010 at 9:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      So, teachers supposedly bullied a straight student and we’re debating this issue *here*?
      It’s like the story on the hockey player who got bullied: I feel sorry for anyone who gets harrassed, but I’m not seeing much of an LGBT connection. There are other stories out there that might be a better fit.

      Dec 26, 2010 at 9:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      Walter, you should just man up and come clean.

      You didn’t think the gay jokes were that bad.
      They were sort of cute and everyone laughed at them.
      No one seemed to be bothered by them.
      But you and Diane kept on picking on the same one or two students and calling them gay.
      Day after day, making them the butt of jokes.
      Because it always got a laugh from the class.
      Because it’s fun to make fun of queers, right Walter?
      Everyone does it, right?
      You didn’t intend any harm.
      You didn’t think anyone would be offended.
      Whoops!

      And now, everyone thinks loveable Mr. Filson is the worst teacher in the world. But that’s what you did, Walter.

      Dec 26, 2010 at 10:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anna
      Anna [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @Kev c Too bad for you….this one will not turn out the way you wish….Mr Filson has friends who really are GLBT and they are willing to let it be known. He is better than you know or want to think too bad you go to the gutter. Mr. Filson is what the others say a decent, good man and it is the young man Alex who will be coping up not Mr. Filson.
      @ Jeff, thanks for your support, it will not be miss placed. The truth will come out and you will not be blown away.
      @ Kristin thanks too for your support. So many former students still come by to say hello and let him know he still is the best teacher they ever had in all 16 years of school. I know the truth will prevail.

      Dec 26, 2010 at 11:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      @Anna: Yeah well, Walter was probably trying to hit on Alex because he looks like a big closet queen.

      Dec 27, 2010 at 1:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian Miller
      Brian Miller

      America’s AWESOME expensive and atrocious public education bureaucracy strikes again.

      Chances are high that the teacher’s union is defending the bullying teachers.

      And it takes some real arrogance to claim that activities that happened while in the employ of a public school district during work hours in front of dozens of students are “private” and entitled to protection as such.

      But they’ll try anyway.

      Dec 27, 2010 at 8:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian Miller
      Brian Miller

      @Jeffree: I feel sorry for anyone who gets harrassed, but I’m not seeing much of an LGBT connection.

      You are aware that bullying based on LGBT sexual orientation — perceived or otherwise — is an LGBT issue, right?

      Dec 27, 2010 at 8:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian Miller
      Brian Miller

      @Walt Filson: The boys story changed.

      Then sue him, his parents and the District for defamation. If the situation never occurred, you’ve been defamed and have an actionable tort.

      The fact that you’re claiming “violation of privacy” for homophobic actions on the job appears to be a pretty clear indicator that the issue is NOT whether the situation happened or not, but rather your anger at being caught in the act. Feel free to prove me and all your other critics wrong.

      Dec 27, 2010 at 9:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anna
      Anna [Different person #1 using similar name]

      YOu accusers are all stupid and no the teachers union isn’t defending Mr.Filson, like the district they also didn’t do a good job. We live in a country that is no longer interested in knowing the truth it seems we just want to stick it to people and destroy their lives because one disturbed young adult wanted it to be. I hope all of you who are so judgemental have someone do tis to you so you will understnad what it is like to not be guilty of any of this but have your life torn apart because of an angry person who was angry with the world. By the way there was another teacher who taught with Mr. Filson everyday side by side and no one has talked to him yet either. This is such a misscarriage of justice it isn’t funny. The real GLBT person should be angry at this youngman for using them, because he isn’t gay.

      Dec 27, 2010 at 9:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bob
      Bob

      ** cues up ‘Pink Floyd – Another Brick In The Wall’ **

      Dec 27, 2010 at 10:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lee B
      Lee B

      Cleveland was not a union member at the time – yet when this first broke, the district implied that they couldn’t take action because of the union. I am sure the union did take action here though to make sure they got due process (ironically, the MDHR doesn’t seem to care much about that which seems to a basic human right to me) – good thing too as it is open season on teachers. Teachers see about 150 students and 300 parents a year, and it’s only a matter of time before someone makes a false accusation. The union out there is pretty progressive on LGBT issues though. Currently, the teacher’s union out there is working to change a bad “neutrality” policy, get more protection for gay teachers, and get better training for teachers on LGBT issues. Teachers who have trouble with gays often don’t join the teacher’s union because of these positions.

      Dec 27, 2010 at 11:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @Anna: We live in Gaytopia here at QT. Its a magical land where the gay person is always the victim and the straight person is always the perpetrator.

      If a gay man broke into someone’s house robbed them blind, stole their car, rand over their dog and then went to jail for a month because of it, we would blame the court that sentenced them to jail, the victim for not locking his house and the dog for getting in the way.

      Dec 27, 2010 at 11:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @Kev C: So, you think the teacher is “gambling because he has nothing to lose,” but you can’t use the same exact reasoning for the kid. Also, the kid wasn’t going after the law suit, he was just trying to get out of trouble. Gay kids and straight kids lie every single day about teachers in order to try to get out of trouble. Hell, they lie about parents too. There are countless false allegations made about adults by teenagers every single day from “my parents beat me” to “my teacher called me a homo.”

      Dec 27, 2010 at 11:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @Kev C: I love how you can infer what you believed happened with absolutely no first hand knowledge, no evidence and no trial. It must be nice to be all knowing.

      In this country you get an actual trial before people are allowed to think you are guilty of anything. Your pretty little narrative reeks of your belief that all gay people are saints and all straight people are sinners. IF ONLY it actually worked that way.

      Dec 27, 2010 at 11:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @Kev C: Seriously dude, you are so freaking one dimensional. You can’t win an actual argument that the straight guy in question isn’t the most evil person in all of creation, so now you need to gay wash him.

      Get it through your head!

      STRAIGHT =/= BAD anymore than GAY =/= AUTOMATICALLY GOOD

      Dec 27, 2010 at 11:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @Brian Miller: Why would he sue the child? Seriously? Maybe he just wanted it all to go away and thought that it had. Maybe he is actually a good guy and didn’t want this little brat to suffer even more than he “already had.”

      Dec 27, 2010 at 11:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      @Daez: Unlike you, I research my opinions thoroughly. I did say “bring it” because we don’t know all the facts, but I have reason to believe that Walter and Diane said humiliating things to more than one student and the charges against them have merit. Oh, and they should be fired.

      Dec 27, 2010 at 12:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Daez – Don’t argue with Kev C, he’s a one dimensional moron. Mr. Filson’s statement above is very reasonable. A settlement statement does not legally prove any evidence (as Kev C suggests – think of the word SETTLEMENT and what that means – TO DROP THE MATTER, SETTLE!) (chuckle) If something was proven, it would be a verdict. I actually worked for an attorney firm – 25K these days is what someone else said “go the hell away money.” As to another poster – why didn’t Mr. Filson sue when the boy’s story changed? Maybe he doesn’t want to spend the rest of his life in court suing and countersuing. Maybe he doesn’t want negative things dredged up that have nothing to do with the case. Unscrupulous greedy attorneys will do anything to win. Do YOU want every aspect of your personal life examined? It could be something as innocuous as going to an adult bookstore but that might not look so good at a trial but hardly proves you’re “anti” anything. Get it?

      Dec 27, 2010 at 1:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • edgyguy1426
      edgyguy1426

      So now Filson has brought all the trolls here from school to defend his ‘honor.’ But he has admitted above that he was found to have (possibly) not done enough to stop harassment. Where’s the honor in that, all you people that know this man and are defending his integrity? If a teacher doesn’t stop harassment in the classroon from other students or even a colleague, then there is no honor or integrity in that.

      Dec 27, 2010 at 1:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      #54 no toliet wad, “possibly” means you’re human and you might have made a mistake. The full sentence was “not enough” meaning the teacher did something. If the sentence was “the teacher’s response was woefully inadequate” then they would probably need strong discipline including the possibility of firing. Oh dear, there is a form that word “possible” again. Not a problem for those of us who can read, and know that every detail is NOT in a blog or the newspaper. Or even how about this: newspapers exist to sell newspapers NOT to inform the public. Call the newspaper of a large city near you and ask what a full page ad is. Several thousand dollars at least……Not that there is anything wrong with making money, but it just makes the point that the newspaper exists to sell newspapers, they are NOT a public service.

      Dec 27, 2010 at 4:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mlbumiller
      mlbumiller

      its a state angency, which means all actions, monies, reports, etc are public record. the teaches should have been fire!!!

      Dec 27, 2010 at 4:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anna
      Anna [Different person #1 using similar name]

      Thank you # 55, you see how in the world does a teacher with 35 students stop every single statement in his or her classroom without violating each students right to freedom of speach. Duc taping teir mouths shut is not a good idea either…but with the use of cell phones and twitter, and face book and you tube inthe class rooms…why didin’t someone put it on their phone and send it around the world if this was all true. I wonder……why this wasn’t put on you tube…..can’t tell me this was true or it would have been put on some divice and sent around the world…liar liar pants on fire it sounds like to me. Every teacher out there better start recording every move they make…to prove their innocence.

      Dec 27, 2010 at 4:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      #56 and all public records are true and factual? No errors, no prejudicial remarks in them? Uh, who controls what goes in there? Do you think it is the teacher?

      Dec 27, 2010 at 4:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      @Jaroslaw: Newspapers make money by providing a service to the public. But if the newspaper is printing false information they can be sued. As yet, no suit has been filed against Newsweek or any other paper who reported the story .. which frankly, makes the teachers look guilty.

      And maybe they look guilty because they are guilty. So guilty. So very very very very guilty.

      Dec 27, 2010 at 5:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Kev C – Life IS NOT black and white. Newspapers are not going to print flat out lies, usually. They can print disparaging things. They can allege. They can print someone’s opinion, there are nuances.

      Your reputation can be completely ruined and the newspaper technically told the truth. The accusation can be as large as half the front page and the “corrections” or retractions can be a tiny half-inch box at the bottom of page 47A that no one will ever see.

      DO NOT be so naive and type such simplistic drivel.

      Dec 27, 2010 at 11:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Also, Thanks ANNA for your kind remarks.

      Dec 27, 2010 at 11:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      @Jaroslaw: THis is not a court but a public message area. It’s not like they are calling him a pedophile. Just some dumbass teacher who likes to make homo jokes in school. He’s not being tarred and feathered. He’s not even being threatened with a beating. But kids who are gay, or accussed of being gay, are.

      But he is pretty self-serving and his petty concerns extend to himself and no one else. He’s accused of verbally abusing a kid .. and guess what? He’s still verbally abusing the same kid in public! Gee, do you think he has a problem?

      Dec 28, 2010 at 12:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Kev C – I see comments all over the map here and esp. that the teachers should be fired. Not by you true enough, but really, all I see are accusations. If the district settled out of court just to make it go away, then the teachers are guilty of nothing, even if they “really did something.” Please note that is a big IF.

      Look at comment 9, Lee said the teachers weren’t even talked to and then he advocates firing them! What precisely did the Dept. of Human rights base their decision on? I will repeat 25K is “go away” money. Proves nothing.

      And you never did respond to Daez, if the teachers “have nothing to lose” can’t that same logic apply to the kid? He can accuse all he wants and it doesn’t prove anything.

      I don’t want Gay kids or anyone else abused by teachers. But I just don’t think we have all the info.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 6:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lee B
      Lee B

      Jaroslaw, you’ll notice in comment number 9 I say “if” the allegations are true they should be fired and if not they should be exonerated. In watching this story I’ve noticed that people are often misquoting or misreading things. It’s like the kids game telephone, only instead of whispering, we are reading carelessly. I see the most errors come from confusion between the role of school district officials and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. The school district did investigate and gave these teachers some additional training but no discipline. From what I hear from teachers in the district, they rarely pass up the chance to discipline someone when they can. The MDHE asserts the district didn’t do enough, but hasn’t made a good case why they came to that conclusion. Personally, I don’t think anyone has made a real case for firing these teachers and on such weak evidence, what’s happening to them in the media is wholly unfair. Add to that the fact that a teacher can get into some major trouble for violating student data privacy rights if they try to tell their side of the story, and you can see why teachers are between a rock and a hard place when accused publicly.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 12:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Lee, sorry, you did say “if” but at the same time your argument is kinda circular. This isn’t going any further, barring some giant lawsuit, the human rights dept. did NOT interview nor were they even required to get both sides, so when I made my comment I was thinking “well, how are the allegations going to be proven?” do you know what I mean?

      It seems amazing that these teachers supposedly made jokes daily and nothing happened prior to the complaint. The media is generally unfair, as I already said, Businesses exist to make money. Kev C doesn’t believe this apparently, but they do!

      Oh, Kev – here is a perfect example of telling the absolute truth while in effect “lying.” I was interviewed for about 5 minutes once for extra features on a DVD. The final product quoted me two times, out of context and DID NOT include the questions of the interviewers. I looked like a complete idiot and the way it was spliced, it made me appear to say things I did not. I truly hope you are never on the other end of the proverbial stick and find out the hard way.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 1:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J.T.
      J.T.

      It’s amazing to me the way that people who are “bullied” so easily become bullies themselves at the first opportunity. This Mr. Filson and his friends are on this site’s comments section basically PLEADING with people for a little mercy and yet these advocate-types are saying things like “hang them”. Ever notice how the worst people always claim they are protecting kids? Well that’s not limited to just anti-gay preachers you know…

      If you’ve ever lived in a small town before, you know that one of the most effective ways to bully someone is to pretend to be “the victim” or to pretend to be “defending the victim”… It’s called a witch hunt and it’s a real classic move that gay people should be very familiar with by now.

      Take a look in your mirrors, kids… Are you possibly the one thing that you accuse everyone else of being?

      Jan 3, 2011 at 9:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      JT – you think it is bad here? Do a search for the actual newspaper articles (I did to try to find out more info) – and read the comments. They are positively heartless. The teacher has been completely pilloried to the point where he had to take off from work and when he tries to explain his side, the commenters say ‘he’s playing for sympathy.” I posted some comments saying something like “he’s telling his side, you’d like the same courtesy wouldn’t you?” These morons think teachers have no rights at all. Of course if the shoe was on the other foot they would be screaming bloody murder.

      Jan 3, 2011 at 12:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • brandon
      brandon

      you all need to stop, you dont know the whole story alex merrit is a damn liar and wants to start stuff with everyone andthere is wayyyyy more to the story than this artical portrays.

      Jan 3, 2011 at 8:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John
      John

      I’ve known these two teachers for well over 5 years and I’ve worked closely with with one of them and also helped teach Alex and no offense but, he’s no “victim”. There is a lot more to this story then what the media has released. You all should know better to believe everything the media has to say. Whether it be from Alex or Cleveland or Filson. The media twists things around like crazy just to get a “story”, what people want to hear. What will get them ratings.

      I had the Startribune interview me in the middle of all this and the whole time the writer/reporter kept turning the things I was saying around to fire shots at both teachers. In the end not one word of my interview was put in the paper, because it wasn’t what she wanted to hear.

      Ask yourselves this, if these teachers are so “guilty” and deserve to be “hung” why haven’t they been fired from their jobs? Because I ASSURE you that neither one has been fired and both could return to work if they wanted too. If they were “guilty”, why would they be suing Alex and the district?

      In the end, unless you were in the classroom and witnessed this happen, then you don’t know the facts. All you are going off of is 2nd or 3rd hand info. We all know that things change from what the original story. Like in school, you can say “susan was seen at the mall with johnny” a few people later, susan is pregnant with johnny’s kid”

      Again, in the long run you all are going off of information that isn’t good, some maybe but I assure you most isn’t from what I’ve read. You think the teachers are the bullies here, when really you guess threatening them are.

      Jan 3, 2011 at 8:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dutchman
      dutchman

      Hey, just who are these scumbagged teachers, and what are there names? How bout give me a call and my people and I will come over there and fix these assholes over. They won’t take responsiblity for their misconduct as teachers so why don’t someone get even with them and all those preppie bullies as well. Call us, well put them all in serious nightmare they’ll never forget!

      Oct 16, 2011 at 2:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the liberator
      the liberator

      @brandon: Listen here you stupid little bastard, I have heard that you’re among those bullies over there whom have tormented Alex and the rest of those victims. Better read this asshole, your damn lucky that I’m not related to anyone in that “hick” district of yours, because I’ve fixed and bled bullies like you all and even sodomized a young jock that harassed one of my relatives. I even struck a teacher back in high school and was no doubt arrested and charged for it. That’s FUCKIN’ right all you punks, I’ve done it, and even got thrown in jail for all that. And I would even do it again. So let’s just hope what I stated here in writing, just might change you thought process before you try to defend all the scumbagged bullies!

      Oct 16, 2011 at 2:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Klaudia
      Klaudia

      I knew alex because I lived in the same town as him and he is not a victim, he is a liar who starts drama with people for no reason, he isnt well liked at all..just knowing his personality and what he has done in the past, this story is totally fabricated ! I dot believe he was ‘bullied’

      Oct 9, 2013 at 1:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alyssa
      Alyssa

      Hey guys. I’m Walter Filson’s oldest granddaughter :) I’m 16 and I’d just like to let everybody here know who he really is… He practically raised me, he taught me so much growing up and he taught me how to be an amazing person (or so I’m told). It breaks my heart to see that many of you believe the thoughts and ideas of media and teenagers, that’s why I’m hoping you take my post as seriously as you do this “story”. I’m a major advocate in my school in Texas about gay rights. Many of my friends are LGBT teens. They’re amazing people and you know who taught me that? My grandfather. I’ve been beaten up before standing up for LGBT teens and friends but my grandfather has always been there to tell me that I’m doing the right thing. So in my opinion if you believe any of the crap that medi and lying teenagers have told you, I’m personally inviting you to shove it. What they say he did? Bull. I know his humor and it’s NOTHING like what it says. He never would hurt somebody in such a horrible way. And by the way I was brought here because on of my friends, who is also an advocate in the same way I am, was researching came across Kev C’s comment. And a personal comment to you sir… I don’t care what your idea of me or my comment is. I’m not here to yell at you or stoop to the level of most of the people on here who are being as hateful as possible and just rude to people they don’t know… I’m here to let you know that my grandfather is an amazing man who wouldn’t do any of this. If you’ve gotten this far then thank you for reading. I wish the best to all of you and will keep your hateful hearts in my prayers and in my deepest wishes of luck to you that you will find happiness in your heart.

      Jan 1, 2014 at 8:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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