Tuesday, March 17, 2015

DANGEROUS MINDLESSNESS: Michigan Teacher Faces Misdemeanor Trespassing Charge For Refusing To Leave A Public Meeting

March 17 UPDATE: Chris Savage at Eclectablog has been ahead of the pack on this story, and has more breaking news! Mr. Ikens, who had the temerity to express his views in public, has ruffled the feathers of all-squeal-and-no-bacon Tea Party charter school wannabe Pasquale Battaglia!

-March 15, 2015:
The Livingston Daily reports that public school teacher Glenn Ikens, shown at left in a Livingston County jail booking photo, is facing a misdemeanor trespassing charge for refusing to leave a February 28 meeting hosted by American Classical Academy Brighton Holdings. 

The group, headed by Pasquale Battaglia, plans to turn the shuttered Lindbom Elementary School in Brighton into a charter school.

The Daily reports that Prosecutor William Vailliencourt confirmed that his office has filed a misdemeanor trespassing charge against Ikens. The charge carries a penalty of up to 30 days in the county jail and/or a $250 fine. 

Jay McNally, publicist for the newly named Livingston Classical Academy, said Ikens was "asked to leave the facility because the owner of the building, as noted in the police report, 'feared for my safety and that of our guests.'"

"Mr. Ikens has attacked Mr. Battaglia personally many times in public meetings and in writing," McNally's statement said.

When Brighton officers arrived, Ikens still refused to leave even after he was told that he faced arrest.

Ikens told police he felt he had a right to be at the meeting because he is a taxpayer and ACA was turning the building into a charter school that would receive government funding.

Ikens, a high school teacher in Dearborn, has been a vocal critic of Battaglia, whom he believes is trying to insert religion and politics into education.

Ikens, who lives a couple blocks within the former elementary school, was unaware the meeting was private because the invitation his friend showed him read, "Come one, come all."

McNally told the Livingston Daily in a statement today that the meeting was not advertised to the general public "precisely because of the fear it might be disrupted by our vocal critics."

However, here's a March 3 Livingston Daily quote from mouthpiece McNally that appears to show him singing from the other side of his smile:

“In the spirit of forgiveness, we don’t intend to press charges. We pray for Glenn Ikens and his wife that they will find healing, and we invite him and anyone else to hear about what we are doing,” McNally said. “We have nothing to hide.”

Apparently, they do have something to hide.

Holly-based Tea Party activist Pasquale Battaglia is working overtime to create a taxpayer-funded “Christian academy classical academy” in Brighton. Battaglia, a man who uses social media as his personal bullhorn, has been scrambling for years to open what he calls “a classical education program” supported by Hillsdale College. (On January 26, Miss Fortune the broke news about Battaglia's financial backer, revealing that fellow Holly resident and "angel investor" John Berry's RJB Holding Group provided the funding for $1.45 million dollar purchase.)

As its website indicates, the Barney Charter School Initiative of Hillsdale College promises that any charter schools it helps launch “will train the minds and improve the hearts of young people through a rigorous, classical education in the liberal arts and sciences, with instruction in the principles of moral character and civic virtue.”

In 2013, Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn described minority students as "dark ones" during a Michigan state legislature subcommittee hearing regarding the adoption of Common Core State Standards. 

I guess Pasquale Battaglia must have forgotten Luke 6:29: 

If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also.

Of course, with Battaglia, you don't know which cheek he'll reveal!

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