High-school teacher faces discipline for … reminding students of their Fifth Amendment rights

posted at 8:01 pm on May 28, 2013 by Allahpundit

Thanks to the outcry online, replete with major sites picking up this story plus the obligatory petition, I’m guessing that this guy will not in fact be disciplined.

Alternate headline: “School administrators mull whether to bring boatloads of bad publicity upon themselves.”

John Dryden was collecting the surveys before class when he noticed the students’ names were printed on them. He looked to see what was being asked and noticed questions about alcohol and drug use.

Dryden told his students that they had a Constitutional right to not incriminate themselves by answering questions on the survey…

The results were to be reviewed by school officials, social workers, counselors and psychologists to “screen” students to figure out who needs help. “We can’t help them if we aren’t aware of their needs,” said Superintendent Jack Barshinger.

Dryden had warned all three of his classes, and when the survey was given at the end of the day, other teachers noticed students were refusing to take the survey. Dryden suspects one of these teachers told administrators he had advised students.

He claims the Fifth Amendment was on his mind because he’d been teaching the Bill of Rights recently. The school board’s reportedly holding a closed-door hearing tonight to discuss the matter. Two complicating factors here. One: Even Dryden doesn’t believe that the survey was designed as some kind of dragnet for busting teen potheads. The point, allegedly, was to “screen” for kids whose substance abuse might be a sign of suicidal tendencies. But because the students’ names were on the surveys, in theory the document could have been used to prosecute them. One obvious way around that would have been to assign numbers to each survey instead of names and then, after the results were tallied, broadcast a request for particular “numbers” whose results looked bad to meet with the school’s counselor. That’s less effective than knowing for sure which kids are at risk and forcing them to talk to someone, but it solves the incrimination problem and protects a bit more of their privacy. Alternatively, if you wanted to be more aggressive, you could have notified parents before the survey of what their child’s number was and then trusted them to find out later if the results for that number had set off any warning bells.

Two: Parents were told in advance that their children could opt out of taking the survey as long as they did so before April 17. Not until the next day was it finally administered. All Dryden did, really, was remind students belatedly of a reason to choose not to participate. It’s unclear to me after reading several stories about this whether the kids themselves knew before then that they could opt out, in which case they’d already effectively been informed of their right to remain silent, or whether only their parents had been told on the assumption that they’d decide on the child’s behalf whether he/she would complete the survey. Assuming it’s the latter, that’s probably what this kerfuffle is really about — a teacher essentially telling students that they didn’t have to obey their parents’ wishes about whether they should participate in a particular class assignment. Here too, if you’re worried about parents being out of the loop, there’s a way to loop them back in. Instead of making a kid fill out a survey against his will and potentially incriminating himself, let him refuse and then let his parents know of his refusal. How they handle the matter from there is up to them. Maybe they’ve got a little libertarian on their hands, in which case congrats. Maybe they’ve got a kid who’s troubled and this is their first inkling that there are problems afoot. If I were a kid, I wouldn’t be happy about the school notifying my parents. If I were a parent, I wouldn’t be happy if the school didn’t.

Exit question: Don’t most high-school students know that drugs are illegal? How many honest answers do you suppose the school would have gotten to the question “Do you take drugs?” when the student’s name is printed on the top of the page?


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“How many honest answers do you suppose the school would have gotten to the question “Do you take drugs?” when the student’s name is printed on the top of the page?”

lmao..exactly.
Adults wouldn’t answer honestly either.

bazil9 on May 28, 2013 at 8:06 PM

YAWN

TX-96 on May 28, 2013 at 8:06 PM

What kid is dumb enough to detail his booze and drugs use in writing and pass it along to TPTB?

whatcat on May 28, 2013 at 8:08 PM

“I’ll take the fifth”but I prefer WC Fields interpretation!

Dryden did the right thing to protect “the children”.

tim c on May 28, 2013 at 8:08 PM

How many honest answers do you suppose the school would have gotten to the question “Do you take drugs?” when the student’s name is printed on the top of the page?

Depends on how many don’t take drugs. Whatever that number is.

Also, it may depend on how many dimwits think Tylenol is a drug.

farsighted on May 28, 2013 at 8:10 PM

Guy looks like The Dude.

Typhoon on May 28, 2013 at 8:11 PM

Reason number 843 to send your kids to private school or homeschool. The government asking these questions is always going to be creepy, and people refusing to answer them is always going to be protected.

Send your kid to a private school, though, and they are actually free to punish kids for obnoxious speech and you can be (reasonably) certain they aren’t acting as proxies for a police state.

Nessuno on May 28, 2013 at 8:12 PM

I’m shocked this wasn’t in Maryland.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on May 28, 2013 at 8:14 PM

The survey is part of measuring how students meet the social-emotional learning standards set by the state

Urf. Can only imagine the BS intrusive questions on it.

All hail the omnipotent government.

kim roy on May 28, 2013 at 8:14 PM

The fascist rot in this country is disgusting.

Resist We Much on May 28, 2013 at 8:15 PM

You would have to be crazy to send your children off to these indoctrination institutions. So glad I do not have kids.

tom daschle concerned on May 28, 2013 at 8:17 PM

One obvious way around that would have been to assign numbers to each survey instead of names and then, after the results were tallied, broadcast a request for particular “numbers” whose results looked bad to meet with the school’s counselor. That’s less effective than knowing for sure which kids are at risk and forcing them to talk to someone, but it solves the incrimination problem and protects a bit more of their privacy.

That sounds like a really complicated (expensive) way to ask students to voluntarily talk to their counselor.

aryeung on May 28, 2013 at 8:17 PM

Adrian: Once again we’ve got our friend from military intelligence. Can you tell us what you’ve found out about the enemy since you’ve been here?
Adrian as Gomer: We found out that we can’t find them. They’re out there, and we’re having a major difficulty in finding the enemy.
Adrian: Well, what do you use to look for them?
Adrian as Gomer: Well, we ask people, ‘Are you the enemy? And whoever says yes, we shoot them. [Pause] It’s very difficult to find a Vietnamese man named Charlie. They’re all named Nyugen or Doh or things like that. It’s very difficult for me.

Count to 10 on May 28, 2013 at 8:18 PM

Who doesn’t think the information wouldn’t be used against a kid who gets in trouble for something else? “You better behave from now on or we’ll report to the police and tell your parents you drink and smoke pot. Oh, yeah — and cigarettes, too.”

School administrators are not above that kind of dirty tactic. To try keeping him in line when he and one teacher didn’t get along, the principal threatened, “We know your girlfriend’s father doesn’t want her dating until her senior year. If you don’t watch yourself, we’ll call and tell him you two are a couple.”

They even hauled his girl into the office one time to pressure her to file a sexual harassment complaint against my son because they kissed on the school bus.

Administrators, and teachers aspiring to one day become administrators, are politicians in a way. We all know how politicians are.

Liam on May 28, 2013 at 8:18 PM

The Fifth Amendment only applies for government officials, we serfs don’t get that right.

rbj on May 28, 2013 at 8:18 PM

…but its ok if the school nurse sets a student up with family planning without parental consent…what a mess this country is.

tractah on May 28, 2013 at 8:18 PM

What does this survey have to do with education?

GeorgiaJarhead on May 28, 2013 at 8:19 PM

How many honest answers do you suppose the school would have gotten to the question “Do you take drugs?” when the student’s name is printed on the top of the page?

Hmmmm…. I wonder how states like Colorado are handling such questions…

Resist We Much on May 28, 2013 at 8:19 PM

What kid is dumb enough to detail his booze and drugs use in writing and pass it along to TPTB?

whatcat on May 28, 2013 at 8:08 PM

We are talking about the ones drinking booze and taking drugs; but, yeah, I see your point.

aryeung on May 28, 2013 at 8:19 PM

social-emotional learning standards set by the state

Chilling. Combine this level of intrusiveness with the simple fact that Johnny kant reed ur spell neether, and you have all the indictment you need of the current state of public education.

massrighty on May 28, 2013 at 8:20 PM

To try keeping him in line…

Liam on May 28, 2013 at 8:18 PM

Meaning my son when he was in high school

Liam on May 28, 2013 at 8:21 PM

Who doesn’t think the information wouldn’t be used against a kid who gets in trouble for something else? “You better behave from now on or we’ll report to the police and tell your parents you drink and smoke pot. Oh, yeah — and cigarettes, too.”

School administrators are not above that kind of dirty tactic. To try keeping him in line when he and one teacher didn’t get along, the principal threatened, “We know your girlfriend’s father doesn’t want her dating until her senior year. If you don’t watch yourself, we’ll call and tell him you two are a couple.”

They even hauled his girl into the office one time to pressure her to file a sexual harassment complaint against my son because they kissed on the school bus.

Administrators, and teachers aspiring to one day become administrators, are politicians in a way. We all know how politicians are.

Liam on May 28, 2013 at 8:18 PM

Heck, even if the school administrators didn’t play dirty, this could become part of some permanent record that the police could eventually get a hold of.

aryeung on May 28, 2013 at 8:21 PM

Well America when you give up your kids to the state…..this is just part of what you get…you bunch of losers and cowards.

CW on May 28, 2013 at 8:22 PM

I’m shocked this wasn’t in Maryland.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on May 28, 2013 at 8:14 PM

Maryland’s even more of a commie hangout than Illinois. I can only imagine what kinds of questions students are asked without parental knowledge in the filthy hell hole Martin O’Malley has created.

Happy Nomad on May 28, 2013 at 8:25 PM

Well America when you give up your kids to the state…..this is just part of what you get…you bunch of losers and cowards.

CW on May 28, 2013 at 8:22 PM

We were told we need to give up this idea of privatization of children. They are to be raised by the collective.

-Melissa Harris-Perry.

Happy Nomad on May 28, 2013 at 8:26 PM

Teaching kids to lie – great education system!

OldEnglish on May 28, 2013 at 8:27 PM

Heck, even if the school administrators didn’t play dirty, this could become part of some permanent record that the police could eventually get a hold of.

aryeung on May 28, 2013 at 8:21 PM

Same with the military. If a kid was a toker at age fifteen but cleaned up his act before graduation, his chances of such a career could be hurt.

Liam on May 28, 2013 at 8:28 PM

Another solution for a student. Answer truthfully and then put the principal’s name at the top of the sheet.

kurtzz3 on May 28, 2013 at 8:28 PM

On the other hand…

I have seen middle school age students claim all sorts of off-the-wall behavior just to shock adults – and then get a big laugh with their pals. There were no names on the survey.

So the school has bogus data; expensive and education-robbing “programs” are developed for problems that are wildly exaggerated.

Educators that want to be social workers are thrilled.

KCsecurity1976 on May 28, 2013 at 8:29 PM

Another solution for a student. Answer truthfully and then put the principal’s name at the top of the sheet.

kurtzz3 on May 28, 2013 at 8:28 PM

LOL Five day suspension and anger management classes for the student, though. Liberals have no sense of balance or humor.

Liam on May 28, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Exit question: Don’t most high-school students know that drugs are illegal? How many honest answers do you suppose the school would have gotten to the question “Do you take drugs?” when the student’s name is printed on the top of the page?

These ARE government schools, so you don’t know for sure if many really think for themselves.

mogilla on May 28, 2013 at 8:32 PM

We were told we need to give up this idea of privatization of children. They are to be raised by the collective.

-Melissa Harris-Perry.

Happy Nomad on May 28, 2013 at 8:26 PM

It takes a governmental village.

CW on May 28, 2013 at 8:33 PM

LOL Five day suspension and anger management classes for the student, though. Liberals have no sense of balance or humor.

Liam on May 28, 2013 at 8:30 PM

As I recall the penalty for impersonating a gestapo officer was harsher than that

halfbaked on May 28, 2013 at 8:43 PM

Exit question: Don’t most high-school students know that drugs are illegal? How many honest answers do you suppose the school would have gotten to the question “Do you take drugs?” when the student’s name is printed on the top of the page?

One place I lived the students were stupid enough to post facebook pictures of themselves drinking beer at some party. The school decided to discipline those who they could identify (in school suspension or some such punishment no criminal prosecution). Well guess who the parents were mad at? It wasn’t their lil darlin’s

My point is much of the outrage is predicated on the idea that these parents give a damn. They could all be perfectly happy leaving the raising of their kids to the collective.

Happy Nomad on May 28, 2013 at 8:46 PM

We were told we need to give up this idea of privatization of children. They are to be raised by the collective.

-Melissa Harris-Perry.

Happy Nomad on May 28, 2013 at 8:26 PM

It takes a governmental village.

CW on May 28, 2013 at 8:33 PM

And, MHP is one of the governmental village’s idiots.

Resist We Much on May 28, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Am I crazy? I had to read this multiple times to even have a clue where this school is. Is it too much to ask that the city and state be posted in an obvious place? It needs a dateline.

If I have overlooked this info, I apologize in advance.

Thanks.

francesca on May 28, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Kids don’t know their rights, but they do know how to lie on a survey. The whole opt-out thing doesn’t matter. Failing to opt-out doesn’t waive your rights.

Unless the kids are given a guarantee that the survey is anonymous, they shouldn’t expect honest participation. What if this survey ended up in their student file and came out much later in life to bite them? That could very well happen.

High schoolers should be taught their rights in detail. Most ADULTS let alone high schoolers, don’t know that they can refuse to talk to police as a general rule. I had LAWYERS ask me to research the issue before, on behalf of clients with doctorates. A lot of people think that if you refuse to answer police questions, you can end up in trouble in some way.

kaltes on May 28, 2013 at 8:47 PM

They could all be perfectly happy leaving the raising of their kids to the collective.

Happy Nomad on May 28, 2013 at 8:46 PM

You’re all too right. When I was once a security officer for a private community, I was amazed how many parents have a not-my-kid attitude, even when I had witnesses.

Liam on May 28, 2013 at 8:48 PM

“Are there any firearms in your home?”

No, we’re not trying to register guns. Honest, we’re not.

CurtZHP on May 28, 2013 at 8:58 PM

My concern is the conditioning to answer questions to a govt. official as part of schooling. I once caught after hours an assessor walking through my unfinished doing an appraisal. As a govt official she apparently had no idea was violating the Fourth Amendment and was offended when I ran her off. Should have had her arrested. The Statutes provide a perfectly legitimate way to handle the situation by first asking permission and how to handle it if it was refused.

CW20 on May 28, 2013 at 9:01 PM

High-school teacher faces discipline for … reminding students of their Fifth Amendment rights

…good for him!…heck with the other drones!

KOOLAID2 on May 28, 2013 at 9:13 PM

Anyone who thinks those “educators” want this kind of personal information on those kids so they can “help” them is a fool. This is the kind of information the state wants in its back pocket so it can erode parental rights down the road if need be. I told my children from day one of school — do NOT fill out any forms that ask for personal information. Bring ‘em home to mom and dad. WE will decide.

Rational Thought on May 28, 2013 at 9:28 PM

This is the kind of information the state wants in its back pocket so it can erode parental rights down the road if need be.

Rational Thought on May 28, 2013 at 9:28 PM

In NJ, the arm of government responsible is Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS).

Parent fights school administrators for dishonestly treating their kid, and the kid claims to smoke pot? Call DYFS to start an ‘investigation’ on the family. Once that organization gets involved, like in most other states, it’s hard getting out of their system. Impossible, really, if they don’t want to let go.

Liam on May 28, 2013 at 9:39 PM

Never underestimate the stupidity of people – don’t forget 53% voted for Obutthead.

rgranger on May 28, 2013 at 9:41 PM

Our wonderful education system at work. What over-paid drone thought up this questionnaire? And did they even think of running it by the local district attorney?

GarandFan on May 28, 2013 at 9:54 PM

I heard a caller on Rush today talk passionately about “government re-education camps”. I usually just stop at describing public schools as “government schools” but I think his version is better. I’m using it from now on.

BubbaCluck on May 28, 2013 at 9:56 PM

Speaking of Students:

(CNN) – Seven million students are about to get a tough lesson in economics.

Interest rates on student loans subsidized by the government will most likely double to 6.8 percent on July 1.

The increase will affect one-third of all undergrads who have subsidized loans that are awarded based on economic need.

Undergraduates with unsubsidized loans have been paying 6.8 percent since 2007.

Congress and the White House agree something should be done to prevent the increase. They just don’t agree on how to do it.

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill that would stop the rates from doubling now, but allow them to rise later.

President Barack Obama vetoed it, calling it the “wrong approach.”

Attention: low information voters…….

Rovin on May 28, 2013 at 9:59 PM

Assuming it’s the latter, that’s probably what this kerfuffle is really about — a teacher essentially telling students that they didn’t have to obey their parents’ wishes about whether they should participate in a particular class assignment.

…and the Bill of Rights be damned!

We can’t have Commie, unionized public school teachers telling kids about their rights…or anything really. Only parents can teach kids about their Constitutional rights..or anything else. The fact that most parents are pretty ignorant is beside the point at HA Land. Funny how around here “parents” are god-like beings with infinite wisdom, while most “voters” are dumba$$es who vote in the likes of Obummer and sundry other nincompoops into office…aren’t these pretty much the same people? Or is it that all parents are well-informed Conservatives?

Minors certainly have curtailed rights but that doesn’t mean they don’t have any, especially when it comes to the possibilities of facing LE and the court system.

So how can parents tell if their kids are on something? Lesseee…they can search their rooms and their vehicles, they can keep tabs on who they hang out with, when and where, they can smell their breath if they suspect something, check out the pupils of their eyes, have their urine and/or blood tested, monitor their social media, inspect their cell phones…maybe just ask them. What a concept.

The State and their underlings simply can’t throw a dragnet over everyone in the hopes of catching someone doing something they shouldn’t be doing.

Now, if this survey had been backed by, say, Moochelle Obama asking about their eating habits, there’d be a couple of hundred hits on this thread by now. I’m guessing that Commie public school teacher may not have had a problem with that one…but what if he did?

The man did the right thing…he did what a teacher is supposed to do. He didn’t force the kids to do or not do anything. The students themselves made the choice based upon the circumstances once their teacher made them fully aware of the possible consequences.

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 28, 2013 at 10:57 PM

What does this survey have to do with education?

GeorgiaJarhead on May 28, 2013 at 8:19 PM

Not a damn thing. It has everything to do with the public school system attempting to parent the children who attend rather than trusting actual parents to do it.

dkmonroe on May 28, 2013 at 11:07 PM

I think that this was a test to find out which students were stupid. I f not then we know that whoever thought this up is stupid.

Why don’t they just have counseling sessions with each student and ask the questions then? They would then be able to observe which students were really good liars and which weren’t

Vince on May 28, 2013 at 11:38 PM

The larger issue that many have commented on is the data retrieval. Read about the “Social Emotional Learning” standards the IL legislature approved in 2003…and adopted and implemented in 2005. Now with Common Core and the State Longitudinal Data Systems, this information is not in the aggregate, it is identified by student name or identifier. This identifying shift is due to Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, changing the regulations of FERPA (Family Education Rights Privacy Act), which is a Congressional Act. Now individual students can be tracked which is new to educational data gathering and reporting. The information can be given to various federal agencies and third party research and educational firms. There is some question on the national level whether he exceeded his authority (and a lawsuit by the Electronic Privacy Information Center) by changing the act, but what else is new with this administration?

http://www.missourieducationwatchdog.com/2013/05/teacher-advises-students-of-their_26.html

Behavior and attitude tracking information is necessary for the ILDS (Illinois Data System) to gather for completing student data sets. Now you might understand why the school was a bit upset with John Dryden informing his students supplying this information might not be constitutional and impinged on their 5th Amendment rights. The school doesn’t worry about constitutional rights. It’s worried about the data gathering for the data system as mandated by Common Core state standards.

manateespirit on May 28, 2013 at 11:39 PM

That’s less effective than knowing for sure which kids are at risk and forcing them to talk to someone,

LOL. A bunch of brain-dead teachers and administrators are going to be able to pick out “at-risk” suicidal kids (I guess that school has them popping themselves off left and right) through some idiotic survey? ROFLMAO!

Do you know how dumb the people are in the Education field? I mean, really.

A school’s job is to try and teach basic education, not to “screen for suicidal tendencies”, whatever the heck that might entail. WTFFF?

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 29, 2013 at 12:05 AM

Also, it may depend on how many dimwits think Tylenol is a drug.

farsighted on May 28, 2013 at 8:10 PM

Uhm, it is a drug. Just not a “controlled substance”.

From last year over some advil:

http://www.myfoxhouston.com/story/18512997/2012/05/17/teen-hauled-away-for-a-half-tablet-of-ibuprofen

FYI, prescription ibuprofen is usually 800mg doses. Over the counter is 200mg doses.

oryguncon on May 29, 2013 at 12:21 AM

Teachers trying to find out who smokes weed to “raid” their lockers.

Tater Salad on May 29, 2013 at 12:49 AM

Don’t most high-school students know that drugs are illegal? How many honest answers do you suppose the school would have gotten to the question “Do you take drugs?” when the student’s name is printed on the top of the page?

“Taking drugs” is not a crime you can be charged with. You have to be charged with something more specific, e.g., possession of cocaine. Of course, kids might not see the distinction, and adults might try to coerce a confession if the kid’s already admitted to breaking some drug-related law.

calbear on May 29, 2013 at 1:04 AM

The teacher is right. They don’t have to be surveyed. About anything.

virgo on May 29, 2013 at 1:17 AM

Ya know, to be fair, IF I had been handed this question in High School, I would have listed every single drug I had ever heard of!

No, I did not actually do any, but that is how I would have handled this sort of nonsense.

Just think of it, two or three weeks of school sanctioned class cutting, while shinning on some wanna be do gooder counselor!

There was a reason the counselors used to tell me to get the hell out of their offices.

Bwaaahahahahahahaaaaaa!

Freddy on May 29, 2013 at 1:21 AM

Public schools, apparently accepting the fact that they suck at actual education, resort to such intrusive, unnecessary activities to make themselves feel as if they are actually accomplishing something . . .

BigAlSouth on May 29, 2013 at 5:07 AM

The MMPI-2 test was a standard test given to all who worked the nuclear sites years ago, almost 500 questions and you were reviewed after the test. We referenced the test as the nut test. it took so much time to test the thousands of workers that finally some bright person thought of a data bank to store all the results and it was no longer a qualification mandatory for employment. Some of these jobs were only for a few days or weeks but the rules were the rules. The radiology course also took about a week to get through and again a data bank was kept for this too. The education departments in our schools sit around thinking up these tests for the students and act like they are doing the students a favor when all they doing is trying to justify their paychecks. Most graduating high school students find it difficult to properly fill out an employment application. It’s really sad.

mixplix on May 29, 2013 at 7:49 AM

No wonder teachers don’t have time to teach readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmetic, they’re too busy data mining. More of the libs just want to help crapola.

Kissmygrits on May 29, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Hmmmm…. I wonder how states like Colorado are handling such questions…

Resist We Much on May 28, 2013 at 8:19 PM

I live in a very conservative enclave in CO, and parents actually talk to their kids about such things…

Those “other” enclaves? well, let’s just say, that’s why CO is so Blue…

kirkill on May 29, 2013 at 9:45 AM

The results were to be reviewed by school officials, social workers, counselors and psychologists to “screen” students to figure out who needs help. “We can’t help them if we aren’t aware of their needs,” said Superintendent Jack Barshinger.

First, why is the school system engaged in more than reading, writing, and arithmetic?

I’d be real interested in seeing the entire “survey”.

BobMbx on May 29, 2013 at 11:59 AM

One place I lived the students were stupid enough to post facebook pictures of themselves drinking beer at some party. The school decided to discipline those who they could identify (in school suspension or some such punishment no criminal prosecution). Well guess who the parents were mad at? It wasn’t their lil darlin’s

Well, I would be mad at the school too. It isn’t their effin business what my kids do outside of the campus property (especially if said kids are keeping their grades up). If I discover my kids aren’t acting responsibly or they’re doing dangerous stuff, I’ll deal with them myself. They shouldn’t be punished by the school for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

TMOverbeck on May 29, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Exit question: Don’t most high-school students know that drugs are illegal? How many honest answers do you suppose the school would have gotten to the question “Do you take drugs?” when the student’s name is printed on the top of the page?

Sort of fuzzy on the details after a couple of decades, but I remember reading a news article about a drug / alcohol use survey in the eighties (IIRC) which cited a tremendously high percentage of students as users.
When challenged, the surveyors replied that, since they knew most kids were using drugs, whenever they got a reply claiming the student did not, they simply threw it out.

AesopFan on May 29, 2013 at 10:50 PM