Unprofessional political cartooning from the Toledo Blade.

Unprofessional political cartooning. With TPS’s 96,000 days of missed school due to suspensions(in school and out of school) and expulsions it would seem that this would be a matter of concern not a matter of derision from the Toledo Blade.

Darlene Fisher’s advocacy for what is right for the children at TPS should not elicit a personal attack from the Toledo Blade. Suspensions and expulsions are not laughing matters, as a student not in the classroom learns nothing. Suspension and expulsions are the leading cause of the District being in Academic Watch. The District being in Academic Watch is the leading cause of families leaving Toledo looking for better educational opportunities for their children.

The fact that the President of the BOE, Steve Steel, is married to a TPS school teacher and TFT member who already controls too much of the issues that pit student academics and achievement against teacher comfort is cause for concern, not laughter.

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by the Blade of being a mouthpiece for Darlene Fisher, I offer this disclaimer: I have not talked to nor discussed this cartoon with Darlene Fisher or anyone in her family.

Listen to Darlene Fisher's reaction to the Kirk Cartoon in the Blade


The editorial cartoon implies that Fisher's motives for bringing up the issue of Steven Steel's conflict of interest is childish and cause for suspension is a personal attack.

Since when should anyone be "attacked" in this manner because they are doing their job by assuring that the Board is putting the public's interests first and that the board and not an entrenched self interest that is concerned about their own welfare first and not the children of Toledo sits on the side of the negotiating table representing our interests.

It is one thing to disagree with Fisher on the facts (even if they forget some of the facts), but to launch a personal attack by stating that her motives are about power and control (since when do they read minds) and then attack her character with a tasteless personal attack in the form of an editorial cartoon can only draw suspicion to their motive for such an attack.

Their editorial was enough to tell me that the Blade is part of the status quo and fears that change may upset the apple cart. It also appears that the Blade is waging a vendetta against Fisher, and Torres to some extent, as this was just another in a long string of editorials suggesting that she has some desire for power and control.

I certainly have not observed any instances where Fisher seems to be putting herself ahead of her responsibilities to the community. (Disclaimer: I have known Fisher for over 15 years since our children went to school together at Elmhust elementary.) If she were interested in a further political career, taking on issue after issue just to be beaten up by the Blade would not be the way to do it.

The Blade starts their editorial, A problem with perception, by saying, "IT'S always better for people serving in positions of public trust to avoid even the appearance of impropriety." They then immediately proceed to contradict themselves by suggesting that Steel's perceived conflict of interest should not be cause for him to recuse himself from the negotiations process.

The Blade editorial used a time honored approach of focusing very narrowly on the issues that would legally preclude Steel from voting, discussing or deliberating on the TFT contract. In the process, they ignore the deceitful way in which Steel kept a November 3, 2005 Ohio Ethics Commission letter to him private for over two years. In proceeding in this manner they purposefully fail to discuss the broader implication that Steel's perceived conflict of interest undermines the public's confidence that the Board is focused first on representing the public's interests in negotiations.

At a time when public trust is essential to support a renewal levy, the Blade suggests that Steel can do whatever he wants to do.

The Blade continues to demonstrate that every political leader in Toledo must adhere to the "Blade way" or face personal attack.

BTW - In many respects Ben Konop's efforts to bring transparency to county government by declaring conflicts of interest and rooting them out is not much different that what Fisher and Torres are doing. Konop gets a pat on the back. Fisher actions are grounds for suspension.

Disagreeing with an elected official is one thing, but resorting to a personal attack to vilify someone is quite a disgusting act that has no business coming from the local daily. Unfortunately for all Toledo, most of us have come to expect this behavior. But we certainly don't need to tolerate it!

And I agree, the issue of suspensions is no laughing matter at TPS!

You will find more information on the saga of the "conflicted" Toledo Board of Education President Steven Steel at TPSINFO.COM after 6 PM, Monday, January 28th. We will have all the documents for review including the legal counsel's opinion, the Ohio Ethics Commission letter and more.

i take it they didn't put this on their website. it's crap like this that makes me happy i don't buy the blade. waste of money and trees.


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IT'S A CARTOON!!!!!!!!!

Those fundamentalist wackos, that threatened to kill those Dutch cartoonists a while ago for printing a cartoon that was supposed to have contained an image of Muhammed. So, are you saying that Darlene is your Muhammed? Are you starting a new religion or something? ........And, you wonder why no one takes you seriously.....

had been focused on the TFT or about a teacher, just who would be "crying" foul now. And frankly I would have considered a personal attack not based upon facts as inappropriate.

Yes, it is a cartoon. But the implications are that debate about the TFT sitting on both sides of the negotiating table, a valid concern for anyone interested in policy making that represents the public's interests and not a special interest group called the TFT, should be suspended. We should no longer discuss this as the all powerful local daily smacks those that dare suggest the status quo must end or refuses to discuss issues that are impacting negatively on Toledo's children!

I'm certain Fisher has a thick skin and if the Blade thinks this will make her back off - well, watch and listen.

The Blade has been taking pot shots at all of us who saw the train wreck coming for some time now. It never has stopped us - but we should expect a modicum of civility in a debate about issues critical to the future of Toledo.

I do not take you seriously.

You lack couth, compassion, tolerance, and sense.

But you exude stupidity, apathy, ignorance, lack of judgement and did I mention stupidity?

Spare us sensable people your drivel and just read the posts.

see above picture....that is what you sound like.

Given that you're using graphics to make your point in one of three, yes that's three, consecutive posts minutes apart - I'd say you may be just as unhinged at the response to the cartoon as they seemed to be by the cartoon.

Now get to work, don't you have students waiting ?

I'm guessing Darlene has tough skin. At the end of the day the points brought up about the conflict of interest with the Board President and TFT, TPS performance, TPS suspenisons, MOUs, upcomming Levy, student enrollment, available capital to buildings & special need students, etc. etc are all real serious issues that can no longer be discounted. Doing nothing is now no longer a safe option. All these issues combined have become a freight train picking up speed.

Unfortunately, it appears TPS and the BOE would rather go down rabbit trails on bank financing, cartoons, state officials, other issues instead of dealing with incredibly tough decisions that TPS faces.

I think they are scared that the State, Feds, and most importantly, the Local taxpayers won't bail them out for their history of bad choices and they don't know what to do. The blame game ultimately does not put money in the bank.

I forsee a state takeover of TPS within 3 years.

" forsee a state takeover of TPS within 3 years"

By who? the Government? They already have it!!

I believe TPS is going to be facing a significant cash crunch within the next 3 years that will compound their current problems and force a state take over due to debt obligations encountered.

They replace all elected Board members with state officials and start making financial decisions until the TPS system is heading in the right direction - Union strike rules would be temporarily suspended.

In short, local control is removed and financial / business accountability is implemented by the State of Ohio until the ship is turned around.

My thought process is based upon the inability of TPS to make tough decisions now, high capital costs, high labor costs, lower student enrollment, lower graduation rates, high captial needed to fund large population of special need students, declining local tax base, increase charter school enrollment, local tax resistence to higher than surrounding area school levies, higher lifetime legacy costs, high legal costs, great TFT resistance to significant change, lack of state or fed bailout availability, etc... These are leading indicators to a failing district.

I believe Darlene is about 3 years ahead of her time, the cartoon is just another lead indicator of where TPS is heading.

Exactly what the Urban Coalition has said for several years now. The Board is unable to bite the bullet and make the politically unpopular decisions that would assure future financial stability.

You have done you homework!

When I looked at this cartoon - I was shocked. I'm just asking, but if a 5th grader was caught with that same cartoon and another students' name on it - wouldn't they be punished for that?

Would, oh say a ten year old student, drawing this cartoon in one of the TPS fifth grade classrooms find that the teacher thought it acceptable conduct?

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

Why did you change the 7th grader to a 5th grader? Does the two years in age make a difference in your 'simple question'?


For crying out loud, it's a joke, they print them everyday, they don't mean anything, they are just good for a laugh.

Get over yourselves.

is the "Moo HAA MEDD" comment a slap at the Muslim faith or a slap at me personally and the Muslim faith?

Either way--------- "So, are you saying that Darlene is your Muhammed? Are you starting a new religion or something? ........And, you wonder why no one takes you seriously.....-----------is an unacceptable comment. Prayerfully, you are not a real teacher, only someone with the Internet name of Teacher.

Muslim extremists rioted in response to a political cartoon, i.e.: they made a big deal out of nothing. It's an apt comparison given how angry some people seem about an editorial cartoon. Maybe next time you should do a little bit of research instead of insulting a religion and looking like a bigot.


"Show me a man who lives alone and has a perpetually dirty kitchen, and
five times out of nine I'll show you an exceptional man." -Charles

There's a city full of walls you can post complaints at

to this: "Another simple question...
Submitted by tpsteacher24 on Mon, 2008-01-28 12:56.

Why did you change the 7th grader to a 5th grader? Does the two years in age make a difference in your 'simple question'? "

Well, the reason I corrected my post is that I realize most 7th graders are not ten years old.

What the hell kind of teacher are you anyway? Do you use these tactics on your students if they express an opinion that isn't in keeping with yours?

Shaming and belittling people who have said NOTHING to you or about you - if you're a teacher with that kind of behavior - I am very glad I have no students in your class.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

Simple solution---just don't read The Blade.

In many cases I would agree with you, but in this case your answer is a bit simplistic.

When the press acts in an irresponsible manner, citizens should call them on it.

If we don't call them on it, we can't complain if they keep doing it.

Certainly one can stop reading the Blade. Unfortunately, others still read the Blade!

Check this out:Lip Service in America

Its' not like The Blade published an article attacking Darlene Fisher. It was a cartoon, not an article.

How come its' been ok for the Toledo Free Press to allow Kevin Milliken to attack the Mayor in sometimes distastefully way's in his weekly column without any backlash?

Can someone explain the difference...maybe I just don't understand the technicalities of journalism, but I would say both aren't considered journalistic articles, but one gets criticized while the other does not.

I did not know that Milliken was still writing for the Free Press. According to a search of the Free Press site, the last article he wrote was 9-21-07.

If you have a problem in the future, call them on it. But you can't expect others to stand up for what you believe.

"If you have a problem in the future, call them on it. But you can't expect others to stand up for what you believe."

Nope. The only problem I have is unbalanced criticism. It appears more as a vendetta than a valid criticism when its' not applied across the board.

People here hate the Blade, so they TARGET the Blade as opposed to target the actual issue at hand - distasteful reporting.

I've called to task and failed at getting the media involved in the community to look out for it's citizens and advertiser clientele.

The one thing that has always cracked me up about that Blade place is that they have done just about everything to prohibit growth with those lame editorials and such that it's a wonder anyone can participate in commerce.

Same goes for TFP, with whom I've had "weak journalism" issues with, that racist publication and that other racist publication, the radio stations, well, except for Troy, so far he and Maggie are the only local media touching TOPICAL issues,

So I, being credible, can clearly say that the editorial cartoon in question is politically motivated to undermine Darlene's integrity, and it just shows the mentality of the newspaper, and it's editorial staff, that's reliant on consumers to purchase products advertised by local merchants.

And that same newspaper is directly involved in the mass exodus of the consumers that these advertisers rely upon.

Make sense yet?

I agree with you about holding the media accountable. I was being a little ironic with my comment, since I often get that reply when I question other media types in town.

Somewhere I read that of the 96,000 suspension days, 48,000 were for dress code violations. Preventing a student from attending school because of the way they are dressed also means keeping him/her from having opportunities to learn. In some schools, the suspension doesn't come until the student's 4th dress code violation, so it's not being done lightly, but it does seem like there could be better/more productive consequences.

Attending school doesn't mean your learning. Education is what you make of it. If your going to attend without following the rules, without going home to parents who have interest in your homework and completing it on time, etc. Following the dress code is education in of itself for kids -- its' called discipline and respect for the rules.

Question: Were the suspension day's full day's off, or is just sending the kid home to change and to come back considered a suspension day?

Suspension does sound a little harsh. Instead, I'd suggest the schools mandate after school detention where the kids can mop the floors, wipe down chalk boards and windows and desks, etc.

I agree with your points. Nicely stated.

Grievance time - can't have kids do jobs that adults would get paid for - reason #101 for changing the collective bargaining agreements.

Government needs to be an at-will employment agency.

Are you serious thats really against union rules, having kids do work around the classroom as discipline? No wonder why the school system is out of whack.

Yes, I'm serious.

Examples from personal experience:

When my son was a freshman (about 9 years ago), he used the eraser of a pencil on a "dirty" desk to leave a message for the kid who sat in the seat the next hour. There was no profanity involved, but the message was definitely hateful. He knew better, but peer pressure can get the better of even the best kids.

The student pointed it out to the teacher who referred my son to the dean. The dean sent home a notice of intent to suspend for vandalism. Of course, I called the dean and explained that vandalism was defined as permanent defacement of property, i.e., destroying property. This act was so far from vandalism, I had to wonder if it was aimed at his "activist" parent instead of modifying the behavior of my son.

As I was discussing the situation with the dean, I suggested a more appropriate method of punishment would be to have him wash down all the desks. The dean's response was that he could not do that, it would result in a grievance by the union. I laughed, but he was not joking.

Sidebar - I took care of discussing the inappropriate remark my son made! There was no suspension! My son got my point and to my knowledge he never did anything like this again. 15 year old kids in most cases need a steady hand and a determined parent to help them through the issue. (Neither of my children were ever suspended - although they had a few youthful indiscretions.)

Continuing - my son attended TTA and the kids (in many cases much more tech savvy than the adults) installed the distance learning equipment (large screen, computer, etc.) and installed the software and got it working. The union filed a grievance even though this was an excellent opportunity for the students to get "hands on" learning.

So, I joke not.

When I was about 11, I along with a couple of my friends "egged" the side of the school as a Halloween prank. We were "ratted out" and the principal made us clean the side of the building. Much more effective punishment and a lesson learned. You ever clean dried egg off of anything - I never forgot it!

Today, adult interests at TPS take precedence over the preparation of our young people to give them the best possible opportunity to live a happy, productive and prosperous life and this is just one of many examples.

It is a political cartoon for God's sake. Purnhurt - chill out. Nobody attacked Mohammad or Muslims or religion. I think a point of political cartoons is to rile people up a bit - to wag a finger, so to speak. And yes, the fundamentalists wanted the death sentence to the cartoonist who depicted Mohammad in a less than perfect way. I still believe freedoms in this country & I do not believe in banning anything. It sounds like some of you believe that the Blade should not have been permitted to use that cartoon, or that the cartoonist should have not even drawn it. This country is getting so absurdly politically correct it'd be laughable, if it wasn't so scary where we, as a country, are headed. Grow thicker skins & learn to smile.

is the farthest thing from 'trying to be funny' with a cartoon. He's just another overpaid puppet of J.R. Block, and every 'cartoon' he does echoes his master's viewpoints. And most of his ('Kirk') works are deliberately insulting, rubbing someones face in the dirt even after the paper has gotten its way,or twisting the knife in a wound. Usually, his crap is directed toward a group of people who feel or think a certain way, but in many instances, it's directed at an individual as well. It makes me sick to think this lapdog piece of sarcastic slime has won awards.


 "They keep talking about drafting a constitution for Iraq.Why don't we give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, and we're not using it any more".


'I used to have compassion, but they taxed it and legislated it out of existence.'


Forgot-his 'cartoons' (merely hate-filled continuations/addendums of Block editorials) were the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back with me, and caused me to stop buying/reading the paper.


 "They keep talking about drafting a constitution for Iraq.Why don't we give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, and we're not using it any more".


'I used to have compassion, but they taxed it and legislated it out of existence.'

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