Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lower Education

Face it, right now you're thinking about how many of your co-workers this could apply to:

Ms Bishop, who has four children, obtained a PhD from Harvard University in 1993. She began teaching at the University of Alabama in 2003. She was told last year that she would not get a tenured, or permanent, position and that this was her last term. Colleagues described her as a brilliant researcher but a poor teacher and communicator.

She held her regular anatomy and neuroscience class on Friday before going to a faculty meeting at a university building in Huntsville, Alabama, where she allegedly pulled out a 9mm handgun and began firing. Witnesses said that she then left the room and dumped the gun in a lavatory before being arrested.

When she was led away, she told local television: “It didn’t happen. There’s no way. They’re still alive.”

But wait! It gets better.

The shooting has prompted police to reopen the case of her younger brother’s death in 1986. The police chief in the Boston suburb of Braintree said at the weekend that Ms Bishop, then 19, was freed after his predecessor apparently halted the investigation. “I don’t want to use the word ‘cover-up’. I don’t know what the thought process was at the time,” Paul Frazier said.

Ms Bishop shot her brother Seth, 18, a violinist and prize-winning science student, with a shotgun during an argument, he said. She was arrested at gunpoint after allegedly pointing the gun at a car to try to force the driver to stop.

A former auto-body worker claims Amy Bishop put a gun to his chest and demanded a getaway car just minutes after she shot her brother to death 24 years ago in a controversial case that is now being reviewed.

The police chief at the time, John Polio, apparently ordered officers to free Ms Bishop and declare the shooting accidental. “I spoke with the retired deputy chief who was . . . responsible for booking Ms Bishop. He said he had started the process when he received a call from then police chief John Polio, or possibly from a captain on Chief Polio’s behalf,” Mr Frazier said. “He was instructed to stop the booking process. The release of Ms Bishop did not sit well with the police officers.

According to the police chief, Ms Bishop’s mother, Judith, was a public official who sat on a police personnel committee. Apart from a short entry in the Braintree police log the case file on the death, including a seven-page report, has disappeared.

Hmmm. Bumped off an inconveniently smarter sibling? Just a baby bird pushing the weaker ones out of the nest to get all the worms. Natural selection. Nothing more to see here. Move along.

Oooh. What about this?

Grieving relatives of three professors gunned down at a university faculty meeting questioned why their accused colleague was hired despite a dispute with a former boss who received a pipe bomb and the shooting death of her brother.

And this sure doesn't describe anybody you work with...

...had described Bishop as “not being able to deal with reality” and “not as good as she thought she was."

So much for the good old days when you hoped your kid got into college for a draft deferment, since a war zone was a dangerous place where they could get shot.

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