Fellow Americans, I’m worried we might be losing something that’s sacred to the foundation of our republic: namely, the right to be totally catty bitches and assholes in our private talks and text exchanges. I won’t shed any tears over a certain racist dirtbag L.A. billionaire who got secretly taped demeaning employees and fans of his pro basketball team, among many others. But it’ll be interesting to see if (and how) the sticky privacy questions surrounding his case get played out in a court of law rather than the mob of public opinion.
However, I can’t help feeling a tiny bit of sympathy for Mya Asberry, principal of Dan Powell Intermediate School in Everman ISD. A teacher’s union rep filed an ethics complaint with the state board because Asberry, who’s reportedly popular with many students and parents, used language that was “coarse” and “egregious.”
To clarify, Principal Asberry didn’t get on the Dan Powell p.a. system one school morning and announce: “Lunch today is nasty-ass, ya’ll. More pepperoni pizza and tater tots. Motherfuckers were freezer-burned last week, so I hope the geniuses in mess hall figure out how to turn on the goddamn deep fryer. Shit.” That would be a coarse and egregious public address to students and staff.
However, Asberry was ratted on for being crude (and worse, highly opinionated) in personal text messages she exchanged with selected friends and co-workers. Screen grabs were shared with authorities of course. So far, the most potentially troubling remark she made appears to be a criticism of Spanish-speaking kids for having lower test scores than English-speaking ones, but her intent and aim are not self-evident. “Boy those Spanish ones don’t look good, perhaps we should try ENGLISH!” Given that most of her text complaints were reportedly targeted at teachers, it’s unclear who Asberry was criticizing here.
(Standard blogger proviso: If Principal Asberry turns out to be some crazy anti-Latino jerk based on texts that haven’t sufaced yet, then I will immediately withdraw my inadequately informed quasi-defense.)
But her other offending texts are mostly opinions –– including complaints about teachers who don’t use resources effectively –– that could be fair or unfair, but aren’t in themselves outrageous. (“It seems the more we do the worse they get! Trifling shit!” she says about either teachers or students.) One thing Asberry is clear about: She really really wants to win a Texas state principal-of-the-year trophy she’s currently a finalist for. “They not gon fuck me out of this award!” she texted, lyrically expressing how all of us feel when we want an accolade so bad, we can taste it.
Principal Asberry, if this is the worst they’ve got on you based on your private personal correspondences, then I hope you’re not only cleared, but you win the state award. If necessary, I’ll write a letter of recommendation to help you bag that fucker.