Washington post story

Today in our social media class here at K-State college, we had the privilege of speaking to 2 guys (via 3-way phone call) that were involved many years previously in a court battle over child abuse. This was in the Washington Post newspaper. I’ll briefly describe some of the details of what happened.

On September 11th, 2001 Joshua Kaplowitz was charged with assault on a 7 yr old boy. Yes, it was just prior to the attacks on the Worlds Trade Center. Josh was an elementary teacher in DC’s inner-city and the boy, Raynard, was a student in his class.

From my reading of the story, I could sense a major unruly classroom full of very disobedient kids. I personally would never have had the patience shown by Mr. Kaplowitz to his kids. Raynard repeatedly asks to go to the bathroom (this stunt has happened many times) and because of all the unruliness of the classroom and Mr. Kaplowitz desperation, he leads the 7 yr old out of the classroom by his hand on the top of Raynard’s back and sends him away to the bathroom.

Later the kid accuses Joshua of  throwing him down to the floor out in the hallway, eventually leading to his arrest. This arrest had devastating effects that were long lasting to Mr. Kaplowitz and his future career.

Fast forwarding,

Out of the blue, Josh gets a friend request on Face Book from Raynard:

1/23/2012, 2:37 pm

Raynard Ware

Hey, Mr. Kaplowitz I’m Raynard as you can see. I just wanted to say I’m doing well. I graduated high school with a 3.6. I also had scholarship offers from Georgetown, Yale and Morehouse. I choose to attend Morehouse because I felt I wasn’t prepared for Yale or Georgetown. … I’ve re-evaluated the past incident and I just want to say I apologize for everything that happened. I would really appreciate it if I could hear back from you. ttyl!!

 WOW! That had to be a huge surprise to Josh. His decision to accept the offer wasn’t one that was quickly decided. Joshua still felt the pain inflicted all those years ago. He never even told his kids he had been a school teacher and his wife asked him if he hasn’t already had enough.

Joshua eventually confirmed the request.

The 2 of them have since built a relationship and have put the past behind them.

Back to the class phone call…

We all got to ask each of them a few questions of our own choosing, and got to hear from Josh and Raynard their responses and current affairs. I can’t quote either of them on their responses, but they seemed to be happy and at peace with each other. They were able to forgive and forget I guess.