The Permanent Ban

I’ve been blogging for almost four years.  In all those years, I have never blocked anyone from ever commenting again on this blog.  In reaction to the post about the Delaware Spa Party and State Rep. Mike Ramone, one commenter crossed the line in a major way.  I’ve developed thick skin over the years but what I will NEVER tolerate is someone going after my family.  Especially my son.  This person wrote “Do you even have a kid who has special needs !! You are con -artist !!”.  I initially left the post up because I know this person and believe her to have good intentions but bad judgment.  But as her comments continued, including out-and-out lies, I had to take them down.  It is not something I like doing at all.

While many in Delaware seem to be angry at me over the Nudist Party post and the ramifications of that post, this blog is primarily about education.  I will fully admit this post was out of my usual realm.  It was not mean-spirited in nature or meant to be some personal attack against Rep. Ramone.  When I received the tip, and saw the accompanying verbiage on the website and Twitter account, it suggested something entirely different than what Ramone talked about on WDEL.  Had it been completely innocent in appearance the way Ramone made it out to be, I wouldn’t have touched it.  But obviously, Ramone agreed with that sentiment and the nudist party was shut down.  While some described my post as “Puritanical” in nature and that I pre-emptively judged Ramone, I tend to use some humor and sarcasm in posts at times.  Most of what I write is about bad things so for my own sanity I try to inject some levity in posts.  And let’s face it, a post about a state legislator that owns a business that hosts nudist parties is not something you read about every day.

Ramone suggested in his interview with Dan Gaffney that he questioned the motives behind this.  He mentioned it was done in an election year.  If I truly wanted to crush Ramone in an election year, I would have put this post out right before a primary if he faced one or closer to the General Election.  As I mentioned in a comment, I don’t have a beef against Ramone.  I don’t always agree with his bills but there are some I’ve liked.  I’ve joked with Ramone at Legislative Hall at times.  I am not a diehard Republican nor am I a staunch Liberal.  I’ve said this a million times but the banned commenter seems to think I am working for some Liberal agenda here.  One commenter demanded I apologize to Ramone.  I thought about it all morning, and yes, I will apologize to Mike Ramone publicly.  I’m sorry my post led to a decision that destroyed a 25 year tradition at your place of business.  If this was truly an innocent and “kind” gesture (as Ramone repeatedly said in his radio interview) it is certainly a shame it is now gone.  But that was not my decision.  It was my decision to write about it.  Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine WDEL would pick up on it and talk about it to the extent they have in the past few days.  I’ve seen other Delaware political blogs write about very outlandish and crazy stuff without that kind of attention drawn to it.  But I understand this blog resonates with many parents, teachers, legislators, students, and Delaware citizens because the heart of it is about education.

As for the commenter, I sent that person a private message indicating why I blocked her.  I truly hope she understands but that is her own conscience she needs to grapple with and I certainly hope she has a moment with herself and the way she projects herself.  Others have expressed the same thoughts about her to me.  I don’t believe she is a bad person but terribly misguided.  This is what modern politics has done to many people.  It is a true shame.  So many people in this country have morphed into one side and one side only.  There are ALWAYS gray areas.

Meanwhile, I will continue to write…

A Quick Note About Comments On This Blog

I’m not one for moderating comments. But if a comment goes into moderation, it is usually because it is from a first-time commenter. I read all those comments. One came across today with some very harsh suggestions for an elected official. I do not condone that on this blog. I may have issues with some elected officials, but the actions suggested are NEVER justifiable under any circumstances. I understand things are very heated with Regulation 225, but let’s use a bit of decorum moving forward. This is not the News Journal’s Facebook page. I want to hear from my readers, but I can’t allow certain things to be said about anyone, whether I like them or not. Not to mention that the very suggestion of some of those actions is illegal under Delaware State Code. Rant over.

An Important Message About Comments & Articles On Exceptional Delaware

As a parent, the topic of opt-out is VERY personal to me.  It reaches right into our home.  But we have to realize there are those who have differing views.  It’s what makes us America.  As proponents of opt-out, we may disagree with those views, but we have to allow others to express their opinion, otherwise we are taking away their ability to make their own choices.  But what should not be tolerated are attacks that cross the line, that delve into matters that should not be a matter of public record and have no bearing on the issues at hand.

Delaware is a weird little state.  So many citizens either work for the state, are married to someone who works for the state, or have relationships or are friends with someone in that capacity.  I know they say opposites attract, but the reality in most situations is we tend to associate with like-minded persons.  With that being said, comments in this blog reflecting these situations beyond the topic at hand will either be moderated or deleted.  If someone speaks out publicly and they themselves introduce it into the matter of public opinion, that’s one thing.  Or if an extreme conflict of interest washes over into something that affects the public interest, than I believe that should be addressed.  But comments that either have no bearing or have the ability to deeply offend someone really shouldn’t happen.

We are all adults, but if you are writing a comment and that little voice goes off inside your head saying “Should I be doing this?”, please listen to that voice.  I get attacked all the time over on Kilroy’s.  But I also comment freely over there and I know I will get attacked.  I see Kilroy’s as the wild west of the blogs in Delaware.  Some examples of things I have written about on here are Family Foundations Academy.  I wrote about personal relationships within the school.  They were already a part of the official public comment period on the school, and it clearly created a severe conflict of interest for the school.  So that, in my opinion is fair game.  I have also written about a married couple who hold high positions in a state Department and one of their contractors.  Do I believe that is a conflict of interest?  Yes.

I posted an article yesterday about two educators in our state and their connections with outside companies.  They both publicly commented against opt out in a public forum.  Do I think they hate children? No.  I don’t think anyone goes into teaching because they don’t like kids.  Do I disagree with their ideology?  Yes, in regards to opt out and standardized testing.  They may be the greatest teachers in the world, but I firmly believe they are doing a disservice to children in opposing opt-out.

It has been a rare occasion where I have had to delete a comment.  It’s not something I enjoy doing, but I will if I have to.  None of this changes my viewpoints on any of the issues I speak about.  But we have to remember we are all people, with real feelings and emotions.  Respect goes both ways.  Thank you, and let’s fight the good fight, no matter which side we are on.