Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013)

Posted by The Zodiac | Movie Reviews | Saturday 17 August 2013 7:30 am

Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013)


When I first saw the trailer for The Butler, I knew I’d have to see this in the theaters and finally had my chance opening night. I’m glad I did. My biggest focus wasn’t so much on the storyline but the significance of the events and the way the director portrayed them.

The Butler starts in the beginning of Cecil Gaine’s (Forest Whitaker) life of him taking a photo with his mother and father in the cotton field when the plantation owner’s son decides to rape his mother and kill his father when he confronts him with a simple “hey!” Cecil is taken in by the plantation owner as a servant inside the house and that’s when he’s taught something every Black person in America has been taught – the art of the two faces. The subject rarely comes up but in a White-ruled/owned America, Blacks have had to have two different faces: one they show each other and one they show White people…many times to avoid being subjects of stereotypes. (YouTube “TV reporter turns ghetto in 3 seconds for an example).

From there, he grows to not only learn how to serve but to be invisible to the ones he’s serving. He leaves the plantation to go out on his own in a racially-charged America only to break into a house, due to hunger, and run into the house’s butler. The butler teaches Cecil the ropes of being a butler and from there, he grows into his position mastering his skills. When the older butler is offered a job in Washington DC, he reccommends Cecil instead and the story of his life begins. Cecil waits on a particularly unlikable politician who spouts out racist Jim Crow nonsense and Cecil serves without showing indifference. This impresses the politician who passes word to the White House looking to refill a butler position. Cecil marries Gloria (Oprah Winfrey), has two boys, and is hired for the job. He hangs with friends, one being the wild character played by Terrence Howard who winds up being a backstabber.

The story touches on certain issues that shape American history almost through the eyes of Cecil but without involving him. It’s complicated but the subtle touches on history through either the news or conversation were a good touch. It reminded me of my parents and how they must’ve grown up in this country as well as how family talks went on in our household. The movie spoke of Emmit Till, the murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, The Freedom Riders, Bloody Sunday, Sit-ins, Black Panther Party, the power and racism of the word “nigger” (nigga) and a lot more through Cecil’s serving of eight Administrations.

Some of the casting took me aback as I didn’t expect them to show up and….there they were. Liev Schreiber as Lyndon Johnson, Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower, John Cusack as Richard Nixon…But they all did a pretty good job in their short roles. Without going into detail, stand out roles were suprisingly by Lenny Kravitz, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Cecil’s son Louis Gaines played by David Oyelowo, who was loudly doing what Cecil was quietly doing.

The end of the movie tied up nicely showing through one man’s life what was necessary at a time to help the progression of Blacks. It had a lot of Field N!666er vs. House N!666er themes and methods used where one would be portrayed in that manner: Louis Gaines vs. Cecil Gaines, Malcolm X vs. Martin Luther King, jr, Party Gloria vs. Sober Gloria, Revolutionary vs. Butler…The two faces. See this movie and come out knowing what some people had to go through just to improve conditions so many today seem to turn a blind eye to believing “the past is the past”.’

NJ teacher admits to having sex with teen student

Posted by The Zodiac | Uncategorized | Saturday 10 August 2013 8:00 am

teachersex-erin-haskellA southern New Jersey school teacher has admitted having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student.

Ocean County prosecutors say 32-year-old Erin Haskell of Barnegat pleaded guilty Tuesday to sexual assault. She will have to register as a sex offender and faces up to 10 years in prison, but will remain free on $300,000 bail until she’s sentenced.

Haskell was a Spanish teacher with the Toms River Regional Schools district. She worked at the Intermediate South school in Beachwood, where she also served as faculty advisor to the drama club.

In return for her guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to dismiss other charges Haskell faced, including aggravated sexual assault.

Authorities have said the relationship took place last year, between June and September. The sexual activities occurred in both Beachwood and Barnegat.

Source: http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=9198094

Ahwatukee, AZ teacher accused of sexual conduct with student

Posted by The Zodiac | Uncategorized | Saturday 10 August 2013 7:56 am

teachersex-david-depuydtAn Ahwatukee teacher was arrested by Phoenix police on suspicion of engaging in sexual conduct with one of his students, according to the Phoenix Police Department.

Police on Sunday received a report with allegations that 27-year-old David DePuydt had committed various sexual acts with a 15-year-old female student of his, according to a police report.

DePuydt is a secondary teacher at Horizon Community Learning Center on 48th Street south of Chandler Boulevard.

A police investigation discovered that DePuydt and the female victim were in a “relationship” for about seven months, the report said. The relationship stretched from January to July of this year, according to the report.

DePuydt later admitted the acts to detectives, police said. He was arrested on suspicion of six counts of sexual conduct with a minor.

A letter sent to parents of the school’s students on Monday said DePuydt was suspended from his position without pay pending the results of an ongoing police investigation.

DePuydt was the photography and world history teacher for this school year.

Horizons Community Learning Center, a K-12 school, started classes last Monday, according to a school spokeswoman.

Source: http://www.azcentral.com/community/ahwatukee/articles/20130805ahwautkee-teacher-accused-sexual-conduct-student-abrk.html

Illinois teacher arrested for sexual assault of student

Posted by The Zodiac | Uncategorized | Saturday 10 August 2013 7:34 am
teachersex-jenee-blackertA Belvidere North High School teacher faces criminal charges.¬¨‚Ć She’s accused of having sexual contact with a student.
Police arrested poplar grove’s Jenee Blackert on Thursday. Investigators say a 17-year-old student reported the inappropriate contact on Sunday, July 28th.The 30 year old social studies teacher was charged with four counts of criminal sexual assault and taken to the Boone County jail. She’s since bonded out.At Belvidere North High School, parents and their teenagers spent the day picking up school schedules and getting ready for the new year, with a teacher’s recent arrest in the back of their minds.”I’d be scared to death if it happened to one of my kids,” says Carol Klein, the mother of two high schoolers.

WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Gary Monto, who’s daughter is going to be a Senior says, “It’s just not right.”

Returning to the classroom means new clothes and school supplies. Klein and Monto say they are preparing their students with something more. Their children will start the school year with some real-life advice.

“We talk about it with my daughter about how to be safe, and know the signs. If you’re uncomfortable, get out. Get out fast,” says Monto.

“I talk to my kids about people who should touch them and who shouldn’t touch you, and making sure that they’re aware it could be anybody,” says Klein.

Belvidere School Superintendent Michael Houselog says the high school is cooperating with investigators.  Blackert is on unpaid leave until further notice.

“I’m sure that they’ll do whatever they need to do to make sure that these kids are safe,” says Klein.

Investigators say the contact between Blackert and the student did not happen at Belvidere North High School, although they wouldn’t say exactly where.

Criminal sexual assault is a felony, which means if Blackert is found guilty, she could face four to 15 years in prison.

This is not the first time a Belvidere school district teacher was charged with sexual assault.

Back in 2008, another Belvidere School District, Loren Leoni, a teacher and volleyball coach  was charged with a similar crime. She got 48 months of probation and had to register as a sex offender.

Source: http://www.wrex.com/story/23093160/2013/08/09/belvidere-north-teacher-arrested-for-sexual-assault-of-student

Dallas high school teacher arrested after alleged sexual relationship with student

Posted by The Zodiac | Uncategorized | Saturday 10 August 2013 7:11 am

teachersex-lesley-ann-sharpA Dallas high school teacher is accused of having sex with her freshman student.

Lesley Ann Sharp of Collin County was arrested Thursday on charges of having an improper relationship between educator and student, possession or promotion of child pornography, tampering with physical evidence and perjury, documents show.

Sharp, 24, was released from the Collin County Jail on $29,500 bail early Friday.

DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander said Friday that Sharp has been placed on leave pending the outcome of the criminal case.

Sharp — an English teacher at Hillcrest High School — is accused of having sex with a male minor more than 25 times. Documents say the sexual intercourse occurred in her car in a parking lot, her apartment and his apartment while the student’s parents were not home.

Sharp is also accused of exchanging thousands of messages of sexual content, including explicit photos. The affidavit listed a dozen obscene terms that were used more than 1,500 times in the text messages.

Sharp and the student “exchanged 116 telephone calls, 173 multi-media messages and 15,371 text messages” between May 2013 and July 2013, records show.

Officials say Sharp synced information from her iPhone and her school-owned laptop.

Before handing the computer over to investigators, Sharp deleted both “iTunes and backup directories,” records show.

The information was later found “in an allocated space on the hard drive.” Digital copies of text, photo and iMessages were also recovered.

Court documents say that three days before her arrest, Sharp was told there was an investigation pending, and she warned the student to delete all photos and messages.

In a written statement to DISD, Sharp denied having sexual contact with the student.

“Sharp engaged in the behaviors through a belief that she and student would never get caught,” the affidavit said.

Sharp’s mother, Rhonda Sharp, told The Dallas Morning News on Friday to “stay away.”

“We don’t have a comment,” Rhonda Sharp said. “Just that DISD should worry about other stuff instead of what they’re worrying about.”

It is unclear whether Sharp has an attorney.

Sharp graduated from the University of Texas in Dallas in December 2011 and was certified by the Texas Board of Education in 2012. She was hired as a high school teacher last October.

Source: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime/headlines/20130809-hillcrest-high-teacher-arrested-after-alleged-sexual-relationship-with-student.ece

Crime NJ teacher accused of having sex with 15-year-old male student

Posted by The Zodiac | Uncategorized | Saturday 10 August 2013 6:47 am

teachersex-kalee-warnickAn English teacher in Wall, N.J., has been accused of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student.

Kalee Warnick, 22, was arrested Tuesday on charges of third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact and second-degree having a sexual relationship with a minor, according to the Asbury Park Press.

The complaint stated that the incident was reported to police on July 14.

Warnick, a first-year teacher and 2008 graduate of Wall High School, also worked as a summer home instructor.

The boy‚Äö√Ñ√¥s family attorney, James Maggs, told the Associated Press that the teenager has gone through a “horrible ordeal.”

Warnick will plead not guilty, her attorney, Alton Kenney, told the Associated Press, “because she is, in fact, not guilty.”

Wall Township Board of Education president Eva Applegate said in an interview with the Asbury Park Press that she was aware of the case but could not comment on it.

“The board will be discussing the employee’s contract renewal in a closed session next week,” she said.

A Facebook group called “Kalee Warnick is innocent until proven guilty” was created on Friday in support of the young teacher. It had about 280 members as of Saturday morning.

“She has been accused and charged with crimes that do not describe her character. I will never accept the fact until the truth is revealed,” the group’s description reads.

Warnick was released after posting $50,000 bail. She is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 6.

Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/nj-teacher-accused-sex-15-year-old-student-article-1.1416690#ixzz2bZdC5Uxa

High school teacher, Bridgette Miller accused of having sex with student in classroom

Posted by The Zodiac | Uncategorized | Saturday 10 August 2013 6:34 am

teachersex-bridgette-millerA teacher at Chicago Vocational Career Academy was ordered held on $150,000 bail after being charged with having sex with one of her students, prosecutors said.

Bridgette Miller, 39, got the 17-year-old boy’s cell phone number from another student and the two began texting each other, prosecutors said.

They met for the first time on March 17 and had sex behind a Walgreen’s near 87th and Cregier Avenue, prosecutors said. Then on March 22, the boy and the teacher had sex in the teacher’s classroom, prosecutors said.

Police found text messages that mentioned sex between the two, prosecutors said.

Miller, of the 1100 block of North Hamlin Avenue, is charged with criminal sexual assault, prosecutors said.

According to the school’s website, Miller is a medical technology teacher at the school, 2100 E. 87th St. The boy was in her class.

Chicago Public School officials said Miller resigned from the district on June 1. Officials were unable to provide any additional details.

Source: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-08-09/news/chi-cps-high-school-teacher-accused-of-having-sex-with-student-in-classroom-20130809_1_high-school-teacher-classroom-prosecutors