To deflect attention from the troubled institution known locally as “Hezbollah High” and its spiritual leader, the Detroit News and the Dearborn Press & Guide both portrayed the report in a false light as nothing but a demand to banish Arabic from Dearborn schools.
As I wrote yesterday, none of the local coverage on the MLI report even mentions Fadlallah. But we did get to read comments from Imad Hamad explaining that the First Amendment protects the inalienable right of an immigrant from hearing anything at his local public school but his native language.
Unfortunately, anyone reading the MLI report for himself has to contend with its back-asswards style combining descriptions of serious problems with chipper language meant to say, “everybody’s doing their best!” and “we’re all winners here!”
For example, see how long it takes this writer to say “Imad Fadlallah has created a hellish workplace for his staff”:
The dynamics of Fordson are complicated at best. A significant number of the teaching staff, parents and students indicate a belief that the current Principal has the best interest of students at heart. Without question, he has many supporters who believe in and support the direction in which he has been taking the school. However, many of those staff who support the current Principal also point to areas where he needs to improve if he is to gain the support of the entire staff.How's that for burying the lead? Rather than quote more of this unhelpful prose, I’ve tried to excavate the main problems the MLI report identifies:
[BUT] For many staff, a culture of fear and uncertainty exists, and for them, we believe the work environment at Fordson has been in the recent past, and remains now, very hostile. . . .We believe that some staff has [sic] interpreted the Principal’s passion as anger—others do see this as a problem area or even a concern. [Emphasis added].
--Fadlallah has created a culture of “fear and uncertainty,” and a “hostile” and “intimidating” work environment, for staff, students, and parents;
--There is distrust between various groups and individual staff members, divided along lines of their relationship with Fadlallah, so serious that “meaningful progress” will be “difficult at best”;
--Many Fordson support staff and administrators believe they’ve been treated by Fadlallah and his people “unfairly and/or unprofessionally”;
--If Fadlallah remains on as Principal, there are sure to be “additional complaints from staff” and, necessarily, “corresponding investigations of fact to be conducted”; [note use of plural];
--Fadlallah needs to be made to understand that his “former methods of ‘motivating’ staff” are unacceptable;
--Fadlallah needs a set of expectations imposed on him by the Superintendent—in writing—that he must follow; he also needs a coach—one not accountable to him;
--While everyone has seen improvements in Fadlallah’s behavior this year, credit for that goes solely to the presence of MSI monitors— everyone surveyed believes as soon as the monitors are gone, “the Principal will revert to prior behavioral approaches”;
--Fadlallah “needs to be seen in the hallways and classrooms more often” [except when he’s on Hezbollah missions in Southern Lebanon], and “[h]is appearance must be viewed as being supportive as opposed to being a threat” [exactly, just like when he’s on Hezbollah missions in Southern Lebanon].
--The “administration” (Fadlallah and his pets) also are seen by staff and students as employing blatant favoritism (“There is no room for special favors or exceptions!”);
--Fordson students routinely roam the halls during classtime, and security is so lax there’s no control over who comes into the building or leaves. This may be due, the report placidly suggests, to a “buddy” system between some students and security staff, a problem that "should be considered” because it “diminishes the possibility that the security staff can effectively assist with the control of the student population.” (Oh?).
Fadlallah was already in trouble last year for allegedly slapping a student, then applying "community" pressure to cover it up. Then there was the matter of his unlawful firing of wrestling coach Trey Hancock because of his Christianity ("Fordson Principal Pile Drives First Amendment"). Shortly after the Israel-Hezbollah war in 2006 Fadlallah abandoned his post to go help out his cousin in south Lebanon inventory Hezbollah's remaining rocket supply. In July 2008 the anti-religious outfit Americans United of Michigan documented how:
Numerous church and state allegations against Fordson’s principal, Imad Fadlallah, came pouring into AU-Michigan’s office in May and June. The allegations: a sign placed in the school library reading “Have You Embraced Islam?”; the school’s policy of serving exclusively halal food in the cafeteria; allegations of unreasonable religious accommodations granted to Muslim students and staff; discrimination against non-Muslim staff and students; discrimination against non-Shia Muslims; and the questionable termination of Fordson’s long-time wrestling coach.[NOTE: The "Have You Embraced Islam?" poster was reportedly displayed prominently in the media center in Dearborn High as well.]
What are the chances that Fadlallah, no matter how bad a principal he is and how many civil rights and other laws he violates, remains on the job because the Dearborn School Board is terrified of crossing the Muslim community? And that Fadlallah sees his mission as ridding Fordson High School from the filthy influence of the infidels? (The report notes the "many of the traditions of the past have been discontinued (i.e. pep assemblies, honors recognitions programs, etc.)" ). And that the Muslim community already considers Fordson High an inalienable part of the Ummah?
As a case in point, consider the Victim Triumphant tone that the Arab American News used last summer reporting how Fadlallah was supposedly "found innocent" at a school board meeting of the charge that he'd slapped that student:
But there is a larger issue involved here and that is no less than the future of Fordson. The student who was the focus of the allegation never stated that he was slapped but did say that he was pressured by staff members to make the claim. And from the passionate testimonies of parents and students who showed up at the meeting in the hundreds to support Fadlallah, it became clear that an evangelistic effort is underway at Fordson, pitting a few of the staff and an outside group against the 90% Arab and Muslim student population.
("The fight for freedom at Fordson").
What is it exacty Fordson's 90% Muslim population needs to be "freed" from? And isn't someone attacking Islam all it takes to justify jihad?