Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Marken v. Santa Monica-Malibu USD (Cal. Ct. App. - Jan. 24, 2012)

One theory of quantum physics says that there are an infinite number of parallel universes.  If that's true, in several of them, I assume I teach mathematics to high school students rather than law to law students.  And, sad to say, if there are indeed an infinite number of universes, I assume that in some of them, I'm accused by a student of sexual harassment.  I'm fairly confident that my reaction to being wrongfully accused would be a strong one, even if -- as in this case -- I admitted that I had indeed engaged in some potentially inappropriate conduct (but denied the remainder).

But despite the vastness of infinity and the massive variation that entails -- and boy do I feel tiny right now -- I feel confident that even in that situation, in the overwhelming majority of universes, if someone accused me of sexual harassment and I was disciplined but returned to the classroom, I would not initiate a huge litigation in an attempt to keep the underlying documents from inquiring parents.  It'd take time.  It'd take money.  And it might well result in a published opinion that repeatedly mentions my name and where I teach.  Resulting in far more publicity and scrutiny than just turning over the documents.  Which is not what I'd feel like spending my hard-earned money on.

But in the present universe, some people make contrary choices.  Including one teacher at Santa Monica High School.  And because of that choice, you can read all about it if you'd like.