Brickbats

Ron Tuitt was fired from his job as a second-grade teacher in Paterson, New Jersey, for urinating in bottles during class and forcing students to take the bottles to the restroom and flush the contents. Court documents claim Tuitt did this at least three times a week between 2006 and 2011. Peter Tirri, president of the city’s teachers union, defended Tuitt and said he was being unfairly treated because of his popularity with students.

A Turkish court has given classical pianist Fazil Say a 10-month suspended sentence for defaming Islam on Twitter. One of his tweets mocked the rapid call to prayer at a local mosque, with Say jokingly asking if the announcer had a woman or alcoholic drink he was in a hurry to get to.

Hawaii state Rep. Faye Hanohano (D-Puna) apologized for using racial slurs to describe state employees. When the workers were hanging art in her office, she complained that she didn’t want anything made by “Haoles, Japs, or Pakes.” That’s whites, Japanese, and Chinese to those not from Hawaii.

Antonio Martinez was walking between his home and his family’s bakery when a San Diego sheriff’s deputy decided to stop him and ask about a domestic violence incident. A neighbor tried to explain that Martinez has Down syndrome and wasn’t doing anything wrong, but the deputy pepper-sprayed Martinez, struck him with a baton, and took him into custody for possible obstruction of justice. Martinez was later released without charges.

Officials with Ohio’s Clark Shawnee School District barred Ethan Clos from returning to kindergarten until he gets rid of his mohawk haircut. They say it violates a ban on distracting dress or grooming. When a local TV station asked why Clos must change his haircut while a local high school coach had been allowed to sport a blond mohawk, Superintendent Gregg Morris said the two situations were completely different. 

Former Princeton, West Virginia, police officer Christopher Winkler was in his uniform when he met a 17-year-old boy and tried to get him to perform oral sex on him to pay off a debt. Winkler pleaded guilty to bribery and faced up to 10 years in prison. But Judge William Sadler instead gave him a 10-year suspended sentence and ordered him to serve up to five years home confinement.

After police in Bloomfield, Connecticut, arrested Joseph Stravinkas, they reported he’d been standing on a street corner and pulled out a rifle as a motorcade carrying President Barack Obama passed by. The next day they acknowledged he’d actually been arrested a half hour before the motorcade passed by after someone spotted him plinking cans with a BB gun in the backyard of a house near the motorcade route.

Charles Oliver

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