07.05.07, 10:59 AM #1
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Ham sandwich leads to hate crime and lawsuit...
A student at Lewiston Middle School (Maine) took a leftover ham from an Easter dinner that another student had brought to school for lunch and placed it in the middle of a table of Muslim students. The student was apparently encouraged by his peers.
The incident happened one day before the school recess for April vacation. An internal school investigation ensued. Disciplinary action has been taken against one student. The Lewiston Police Department, through the Lewiston Middle School resource officer, reported the incident as a potential hate incident to the Maine Attorney Generalís office to investigate. It is the policy of the Lewiston Police Department to report possible hate/bias incidents to the Attorney Generalís office. There has been no comment on the incident from the Attorney Generalís office to date.
Additional facts regarding the school investigation:
The ham was in a plastic bag and was to be consumed by the student who brought it to school and who was in the process of eating the ham. Students who were at an adjoining table noticed the ham and approached the student with a proposition to place the ham at a table where Muslim students were seated.
The student who brought the ham to school did not bring the ham to school with the intent of using it for any other purpose other than consuming it. Another student sitting with the student who brought the ham offered to take the ham and place it at the table with the Muslim students.
The student who moved the ham to the table was the student who received disciplinary action. It was the schoolís determination that the act was hurtful and degrading to a segment of our student population. The disciplinary action to suspend the student involved was an appropriate response in light of the circumstances. No other student was disciplined.
Which now leads us to the lawsuit...
LEWISTON, Maine -- A school administrator in Lewiston who said he was ridiculed and harassed based on a bogus news story is suing.
Lewiston School Superintendent Leon Levesque is seeking $75,000 in federal court in Portland to deter what his attorney Bernard Kubetz characterized as irresponsible reporting by Fox News Channel.
A Web site posted a parody of the school district's response to a prank in April at Lewiston Middle School. Levesque suspended a pupil for tossing a ham bone on a table occupied by Somali students, knowing the Muslims would be offended.
The lawsuit contended that Fox reported the parody as fact on its "Fox and Friends" show on April 23.
Levesque said he was overwhelmed for days with phone calls and hate mail, including threatening calls to his home.
A Fox News spokesman said the company does not comment on pending lawsuits."Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.Ē -- Gen. George S. Patton
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