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A Comment on the Rafe Esquith Situation

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Author: dianeravitch

A reader in Los Angeles sent this reflection on LAUSD’s demand for Rafe Esquith’s personal financial history.

“This whole thing getting really wacko.

“Can an employee—under threat of being fired—be compelled by his employer to turn over private
information such as this—i.e. 15 years of tax returns, loan documents, monthly bank statements?

“I mean, why stop there? Why not demand all your private diaries or journals? All your computers with all the personal data, internet activity, emails etc.? How about your
medical records? Your private written correspondence?

“This is especially ridiculous in this case, as the employer refuses to divulge the foundation for such a demand, or the suspicions, or the
testimony/evidence that warrant this demand to give up one’s privacy?

“And again, THESE INVESTIGATORS ARE NOT AGENTS OF ACTUAL LAW ENFORCEMENT!!! They’re
retired LAPD detectives working as bureaucrats in a public school district!!! WHO THE HELL DO THESE GUYS THINK THEY ARE???!!!

“In your own life, if a past employer — New York University? or whomever? — sicced two investigatorson you who demanded this of you, what
would you have done?

“I would have been left utterly speechless. Could this even be possible in the U.S.?

“Whatever happened to the Constitutional right to privacy?

“This is as at least as bad as quid-pro-quo sexual harassment—i.e. “have sex with me or you’re fired”—in its enabling of the employer to use the threat of losing one’s job, livelihood, income, etc. as a way to take away one’s basic civil liberties and innate human dignity.

“This is way bigger than Rafe’s case.”

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