PTA embezzlement alert: This time, it’s West Virginia

West Virgiaia State Police will investigate the possible embezzlement of more than $30,000 from the Johnson Elementary School PTA in Bridgeport. Details are few and people aren’t returning reporter’s calls.  Here’s what’s been reported, but be warned there’s a lotta yada yada in this article.


Thornbriar Press: Ordering info for librarians

Pdf version

Dear Librarian:

Thank you for your interest in Thornbriar Press, a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association. We are a small, growing company. Our plan includes adding two titles annually; we currently offer two titles: Brambleman and Chain Gang Elementary.

Brambleman, with a publication date of May 15, has just begun to attract the attention it deserves, regularly gaining four- and five-star reviews. Chain Gang Elementary, cited for its “acerbic wit” in Publishers Weekly, has been termed “Required Reading” at PTO Today magazine. We will be more than happy to furnish you with copies of reviews upon request.

Our books are available through Ingram, or you may order directly with Thornbriar Press.

We offer the following discounts:

1 book: free shipping (US)
2-4 book: 10% plus free shipping
(US) 5 or more books: 20% plus free shipping (US)

Please send inquiries and purchase orders to or to Thornbriar Press, 3522 Ashford Dunwoody Road Suite 187, Atlanta GA 30319 (Tel: 404-909-0189).

Jonathan Grant

Title: Chain Gang Elementary
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Author: Jonathan Grant
Description: A tale of war between a PTA president and a grade school principal, with casualties at a four-star “School of Excellence.” It’s funny. It’s not so funny.
ISBN: 978-0-9834921-0-8
Price: $16.00 Distributors/Wholesalers: Ingram




Title: Brambleman
Genre: Contemporary/Paranormal Fiction
Author: Jonathan Grant
Description: Homeless writer completes dead man’s book about racial terrorism in Forsyth County, GA, becomes convinced he’s been chosen by Higher Power to wreak vengeance upon evildoers. Things go horribly wrong.
ISBN: 978-0-9834921-2-2
Price: $18.95
Distributors/Wholesalers: Ingram

Lose-lose in DeKalb County school budget vote

These were hard, tough, and bad choices to make. But it could have been worse.

A divided DeKalb County School Board has passed a budget that raises taxes and increases class sizes. This wasn’t pretty to watch, but I wonder what the dissident board memebers were doing—besides posturing, of course.   

There will be fallout, of course. This will further damage teacher morale. Meanwhile, DeKalb parents are calling real estate agents. More bad news ahead for them.

Money quote, from the Atlanta-Journal Constitution:

“They act more like middle school students trading insults than adults trying to pass a serious budget,” David Schutten complained afterward. He’s the president of the Organization of DeKalb Educators, a teachers advocacy group. Despite the deep cuts, including the two furlough days and the loss of 200 paraprofessionals, he said he was satisfied with the outcome. After all, the board had tossed around the idea of cutting 300 paraprofessionals and adding a third furlough day.

Read it and weep.

Don’t like your PTA president? Plant drugs on her!

Meet Kent and Jill Easter of Irvine, California

That’s what a couple of Irvine, California parents did, according to police.  They were lawyers, too, although—based on the evidence—not very good ones.  Twice, they unsuccessfully sued their alleged victim, Kelli Peters, a school volunteer and PTA president at Plaza Vista Elementary School. Apparently, they were unhappy with the way Peters treated their son when she worked at the school.

Having failed in those legal remedies, they took it a step further, police determined.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

The tip was an unusual one, especially in a city often ranked as the safest in the nation.

The caller, who identified himself as a concerned parent, told an Irvine police dispatcher that he had seen a woman driving erratically, parking at Plaza Vista School, and hiding drugs in her car’s back seat.

He had more help to offer: He knew the culprit’s name. And he had a license plate.

Based on that call on the afternoon of Feb. 16, 2011, Irvine police pulled school volunteer Kelli Peters from the elementary school classroom where she was working and searched her car. They found a bag with marijuana, Percocet and Vicodin. She insisted the drugs were not hers, and had no idea how they got there.

When detectives tried to trace the call, authorities say, they found that it had come from the business center of a Newport Beach hotel. Police say surveillance video revealed the tipster to be Kent Easter, 38, a parent at Plaza Vista and a lawyer.

This week, Easter and his wife, Jill, also a 38-year-old attorney, were accused of trying to frame Peters, currently the school’s PTA president, in retaliation for what they alleged was her ill treatment of their young son at the school.

The Easters face felony charges of conspiracy to procure false arrest, false imprisonment, and conspiracy to falsely report a crime, charges that could bring three years in prison if they are convicted.

“I’ve seen some bizarre stuff,” Irvine Police Lt. Julia Engen said. “I’m not going to say it’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen, but it’s definitely a unique situation I’ve never seen before.”

Read more.

Adidas Shackle Shoes: de rigueur footwear at Chain Gang Elementary

Shackle Shoes by Adidas

This product (pulled from the shelf following protests over the racist imagery it evokes) is Stupid Beyond Belief—especially when you consider the fact that they’ll only function properly when you cross the cuffs. By the way, their suggested retail price was about what you’d expect to pay to post bond on a misdemeanor charge.

Still, I’m pretty sure Miz Rutherford would have endorsed them as authorized footwear for detainees at Malliford Elementary School (aka Chain Gang Elementary). For a fee, of course. Read more.