[nfbmi-talk] Michigan Agency Lies Are Cracking

Fred Wurtzel f.wurtzel at comcast.net
Thu Feb 25 04:22:04 UTC 2010

Watch www.nfbmi.org for updates.


Commission's story about Boone's firing is cracking.  Today, agency changed
story.  For the past several weeks, the Commission has maintained firing was
about guns.  Now they say performance.  Where's the beef?  Boones
performance has been stellar according to Cannon's ratings.  I guess if one
lie doesn't work, try another.


February 24, 2010 9:42 PM

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - She was fired for letting blind student

pellet guns, but now the former director of the Michigan Commission for the

Training Center is breaking her silence.

Newschannel 3 sat down with Christine Boone to share her side of a


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

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

something she did at the MCB Training Center, but she isn't jumping to take

"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

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

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

"I was fired for violating a civil service work rule banning firearms from

facilities that means that the state is attempting to redefine what is a

Under state law, a firearm is defined in Michigan as; 'a weapon from which a

projectile may be propelled by an explosive, or by gas or air. Firearm does
not include

a smooth bore rifle or handgun, designed and manufactured exlusively for

by a spring, or by gas or air, BB's not exceeding .177 caliber.'

"if a .177 spring activated pellet gun is a firearm, then even someone who's

necessarily an advocate for the second amendment has to say wait a minute,
our second

amendment rights are in serious trouble here," 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

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

was made of the marksmanship class.

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