[nfbmi-talk] Channel 3 Text Article on Christine Boone Interview
jj at bestmidi.com
Thu Feb 25 02:54:37 UTC 2010
Former director of blind training center breaks her silence
February 24, 2010 9:42 PM
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - She was fired for letting blind student shoot
pellet guns, but now the former director of the Michigan Commission for the Blind's
Training Center is breaking her silence.
Newschannel 3 sat down with Christine Boone to share her side of a controversial
Until now, Boone had been reluctant to talk, fearing what the state could do to her,
but now that the dust has settled, she's offering her thoughts, and it's something
that many in the blind community have been waiting for.
"I just have a very unique set of circumstances," said Boone.
Boone was a successful attorney, but says her true calling was to rehab the blind,
something she did at the MCB Training Center, but she isn't jumping to take credit.
"I would never flatter myself so much as to say I exclusively empowered those guys
to do that," said Boone.
However, Boone's students, who have protested her dismissal, say she should get credit,
and have taken to the streets to voice their frustration.
"I am so humbled, really, that people would stop what they're doing, that they would
stand out in the cold in support of me," said Boone.
Boone believes the blind can do nearly anything anyone else can, so she had a marksmanship
class at the center. She says that class was stopped, and then cited as the reason
for her firing, all of which she says was done without an investigation.
"No one ever even saw the place where the class is taught or spoke to the teacher,
or spoke to the other staff members about their roles in designing the class," said
Boone. "That just feels like a reaction that isn't fair."
Boone also suspects her dismissal was hard on the staff she left behind.
"I think people at the center are scared now," said Boone, "and I don't blame them."
Many of those protesting Boone's firing have cried foul that she was fired over using
firearms on state property. They say the pellet guns used in the class were not firearms
under Michigan law, and they believe Boone has gotten a raw deal.
"It's hard to read that you are guilty of serious safety violations," said Boone.
Despite her dismissal, Boone hopes the focus goes back to the blind.
"The people who live in Michigan who are blind and visually impaired deserve good
programs," said Boone.
Newschannel 3 has made repeated attempts to talk to Pat Cannon, the director of the
Michigan Center for the Blind, but we have not been successful. When we asked a spokesperson
why Christine Boone was let go, we were told it was for poor performance, no mention
was made of the marksmanship class.
J.J. Meddaugh - ATGuys.com
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