Tag Archives: scandal

Shame on LA Weekly

27 Sep

A blog on the LA Weekly website posted an entry earlier today supporting the belief that the suicide of Rigoberto Ruelas, a Los Angeles elementary school teacher, was not motivated by the L.A. Times value-add analysis published weeks ago. The author of the post, J. Patrick Coolican, belittles Officer Tony Mendez who believes Ruelas’s suicide may have been motivated by the poor evaluation he received in the L.A. Times analysis, ridiculing Officer Mendez for not having a degree in psychiatry. And as any zealous truth-seeking reporter, Coolican is not deterred by the delicate nature of the subject matter. No sir, he further rails on Officer Mendez because “as in any suicide, there are many questions unanswered: Did he suffer from a history depression?  How was his family life? What kind of life did he lead outside work? Dr., er, Officer Mendez offers no clues to any of these questions.”

…luckily we have Dr., er…, Reporter Coolican to enlighten us that perhaps contrary to what Officer Mendez believes, “[s]uicide is one of the most mysterious of all human mysteries.” Coolican also provides overwhelmingly enlightening insight into Ruelas’s psyche by indicating that “to pin the blame on what amounts to a bad performance review at work is quite a thing.” Except that, as Coolican fails to recognize or acknowledge, most bad performance reviews are private, the results shielded even from immediate colleagues. They do not usually reach well over a million people in print, with the potential to reach several millions more via a freely accessible website for weeks after the issuance of the review. Coolican also readily ignores that anyone could be so serious about their profession especially since “Ruelas was named along with hundreds and hundreds of other ineffective teachers among the 6,000 the Times scored in its series.”

Yes, apparently Mr. Coolican has vanquished Officer Mendez’s claims by showing how ridiculous it was for him to delve so deeply in Ruelas’s personal motivations and psyche. Its not like his part of his job is to help determine the cause and nature of deaths of persons in his jurisdiction, or anything… oh wait. How silly indeed for one man to publicly proclaim he might even begin to understand why another has been moved to take his own life…