Thursday, August 22, 2013

“Who are you going to believe, me or your own lying eyes?”

Attributed to Groucho Marx, this question comically underscores the almost universal belief that our own eyes tell us the truth. But do they?

In Rose City, Michigan the arrest of Neal Erickson, a teacher at a local Middle School, prompted an outpouring of support for him. Erickson was arrested in December for molesting a 14 year old male student. He pled guilty to first degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and was sentenced in July to serve 15 to 30 years in prison. Several teachers in the school district, a former student, and his wife wrote letters of support for Erickson to the judge.

Erickson’s wife, Toni Erickson, minimized her husband’s behavior by pointing out that we all make bad choices, we all make mistakes. And even though Erickson confessed, she said: “The Irony of this situation is that Neal’s actions were made public by an anonymous Individual that simply wanted to embarrass the school district, and expose others.” She went on to claim that the victim wasn’t really harmed: “While I acknowledge that Neal’s conduct with Cody [the victim] was wrong. I do not believe he was damaged by Neal’s actions and I base my opinion on my personal Interaction with Cody, both before and after Neal’s actions.”  (more...)

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