Saturday, October 06, 2007

Presumption Of Innocence

I learned a huge lesson the other day about the importance of giving people the presumption of innocents, or more specifically, what can happen to you when you are not given the presumption of innocence.

I was part of a conversation that got a bit heated and things were said that two minutes later I regretted. Some of those comments were passed on to others by the other party in the conversation but paraphrased to mean something that was not intended and certainly was never said. That was then spun again and 10 days later I was accused of being "emotionally abusive" in a letter and the letter also questioned what other forms of abuse might I have committed against that same person. I was never asked my side of what happened, I was never given the opportunity to explain exactly the words that were used or the context. Just got a note from someone that had heard about the conversation the same day it happened, someone that I had seen and spoken to every single day from the day of the original conversation to when I got the note 10 days later.

The irony of this is the person who mad the emotional abuse claim is a Seattle area public school teacher, not a Seattle Public School teacher. I am going to venture a guess that if a student made an accusation against this same person and was reprimanded or disciplined in any way without the teacher having a chance to tell their side of the story, they may not see that as a fair situation.

And the issue that started the heated conversation, the one that had been dragging on for a week solid which was going to lead to serious issues for all involved. It appears to no longer be an issue. Would I resolve this the same way again, not a chance.

Presumption of innocence. Its a nice thing if you can get it.

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