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Teacher Troubles Online
Those who reach out get a hand-slap: I would hate to be a teacher in this country ["Offline," Lauren Smiley, feature, 9/14]. The culture is so messed up here — a culture of suspicion, paranoia, alarmism, backstabbing, and fear. A fake superficial bling-bling culture of poverty, broken people and complacent ignorance. Kids don't know whether they're coming or going. It doesn't surprise me that someone like Terry Braye — or anyone who is sincere and reaches out — would end up in jail and fired in this toxic climate.


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No apologies: That was a very strange piece. The guy reminds me of the creepy teacher at every school who managed to make girls feel alternately loved and victimized through what Smiley portrays as "loving" behavior — like shoulder rubs, etc. Smiley seems to ultimately decide that he was acting inappropriately, but only after pages and pages of apologetics decrying the hypersensitivity of modern education. It's unclear to me how she could think backrubs, sex talk and references to penis size are even arguably okay for a junior high school teacher. Whether or not he was "grooming" these students, he definitely crossed lines that should make him ineligible to be around young kids. Junior high is hard enough without having to worry about the penis of the band teacher.

A 60-year-old man shouldn't be friends with 12-year-olds on or off Facebook. That his circle was dominated by children rather than people his own age is almost enough in itself to creep me out.

Just some thoughts. It was an interesting article, I would just say Smiley should not be shy about calling the kettle black, so to speak.

Bill P

San Francisco

Don't cross that line: Interesting read (and well written — thanks to the author and editor). I had some special teachers growing up as well, but they never crossed that "line," which usually meant touching. Even 30 years ago that was wrong. Braye just doesn't "get it;" I have a feeling that he never will. Good luck to him in his next (new) endeavor.


Web Comment

Just Another Chowda House
Longstanding restaurant is now a tourist trap: Oh snap! I guess since they are the "Clam House," they should stick with perfecting their clam linguini, clam chowda, and other clam dishes ["The Old Clam House Ain't What She Use to Be," Jonathan Kauffman, Eat, 9/14]. It's nice to see a newly renovated restaurant on Bayshore, though!


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Save Yourself from Train
The saddest S.F. band alive: A truly odious band on every possible level ["Save Yourself, San Francisco," Ian S. Port, Music, 9/14]. The fact that even five seconds of anybody's day is taken up with such cloying, empty, overwrought, middle-manager music is nothing short of depressing. Crap!

Conan Neutron

Web Comment

Blog Comment of the Week
In response to a blog post about The Help's white audience: Hurts like hell, but we gotta tell it like it is ["W. Kamau Bell's Mom Guest Blogs: The Help, or, Comforting White People," the Exhibitionist, 9/14]. Good ol' U.S. wants to write this out of collective memory and thought. Maybe when all the old folks pass away, (I'm born in 1960) the young will not know anything about these horrible conditions sustained by the black peoples. Big media keeps the slaving imagery out there and fresh. I won't shut up on this either. No one who experiences these grave injustices, put upon hundreds of years of family should ever shut up. Open up and keep talking about it, like the Jews do!


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