Teachers in MI stand behind a colleague convicted of rape - Glenn speaks to the victim’s father

On radio this morning, Glenn shared the story of John Janczewski, a resident of Rose City, Michigan whose son was molested by a teacher, Neal Erickson, at Rose City Middle School. The sexual abuse happened on several occasions when Janczewski’s son was in 8th grade. The boy is now a sophomore in college.

Erickson was convicted of statutory rape after a picture surfaced of the boy in a compromising position with the teacher. On July 10, 2013, the judge sentenced Erickson to 15-30 years in prison, but six educators and one school board member came out in support of the teacher and asked for leniency. According to The Detriot News:

Before the sentencing, six teachers and two retired ones wrote letters to the judge asking for leniency.

None of the teachers condoned what Erickson did. Instead, their letters focused on his 17 years of teaching, describing his popularity with students and teachers, how hard he worked and how often he volunteered for school functions.

Parents in the town have since called for the firing of the teachers and board member who have defended. The town has balked at the requests claiming the firings would result in expensive litigation that would drive the city into bankruptcy. Tonight at the Ogemaw Heights High School auditorium at 7pm, there will be a meeting to decide the fate of the administrators.

Glenn spoke with Janczewski this morning about the impact this ordeal has had on his family, who have endured a string of vandalism and threats since the verdict was handed down.

Below is a transcript of the interview:

GLENN: John, how are you, sir?

JOHN: I'm doing great. Thank you, Mr. Beck.

GLENN: I'm sorry that we have to meet under these conditions. I would imagine the conversation we had for the last couple of days had to be -- your son has -- did you guys know at all? Did you have any idea at all that this was going on?

JOHN: No. We had no idea at all. I basically, when it first started happening at about 13, 13 and a half years old, I chalked it up to puberty, but as it got worse, I said to myself, going through puberty myself, I was never that bad.

GLENN: What was happening?

JOHN: What was happening is he began to hate me. He began to lash out at me. We had physical battles. I was worthless to him as time went on. And we are a close family, we tell each other we love each other. That all diminished. And it never came back. And it just got worse.

GLENN: Is it back now?

JOHN: It is back now. Now we text and talk at least two to three times a week, maybe sometimes four; where over eight years, he wouldn't even talk to me. He didn't bother to take the time. We were -- we appeared to be a happy family on the outside, but on the inside, we were torn apart and tearing apart. It was horrible. For eight years, I lost my son that I'll never get back for over eight years, some of the best years of his life, growing up I lost, that are gone forever.

GLENN: So I don't want to be the guy that asks you the questions, so feel free -- nobody's going to say a word about you not answering a question and I do not mean to be rude or pry. It is none of our business.

JOHN: Please go ahead.

GLENN: The picture, how did the picture come out?

JOHN: What had happened is somebody sent the picture to the board of education the superintendent, the principal. And they sent it in an e-mail, and then they sent another e-mail, more pictures will follow. And four days before it came out, my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer.

GLENN: Oh, dear God.

JOHN: She was diagnosed and told about it on a Wednesday. On that Sunday back in October, four days after that, the state police were in my driveway and they showed up and they -- when they showed up, they had a picture of our son and asked if that was our son and they stated right there, he was molested by a Rose City Middle School teacher called Neal Erickson.

GLENN: So you had to -- first of all, how is your wife?

JOHN: My wife isn't doing very well. She's been through two breast surgeries. When she did radiation, on her last couple of visits of radiation, they do x-rays each week, and they told her it's in her lungs now.

GLENN: How is her relationship with your son?

JOHN: It's always been okay, but he has lashed out with her, but now her relationship is really well with him. My son and I are trying to open a new chapter and a new book, and try to start all over again.

GLENN: Was your son relieve that had this came out?

JOHN: He was relieved, yes. He's held this inside for eight to nine years. Psychologically, imagine that on a young boy, having to hold that in and be threatened all the time and hold that inside him? What a way to grow up and enjoy the best years of your life.

GLENN: So now there's two parts of the story we have to get to. One is the teachers that came in support, how many people with living in your town?

JOHN: Approximately, I would say 6,000 to 8,000.

GLENN: So it's a small town. And it is a small town school. I would imagine that your values are not New York City values.

JOHN: Right.

GLENN: And these teachers -- it had to be shocking for the teachers to come out and say, well, we don't know. The totality of this teacher's life and career is not so bad.

JOHN: Right.

GLENN: What exactly is the case they're making here?

JOHN: The case they were making is it was a one-time incident, you know, that the child could have stopped it. He was groomed and he was a predator.

GLENN: So the community, they want these teachers fired.

JOHN: Right. Right.

GLENN: They do?

JOHN: Yes, they do. They want the teachers fired, they want Mike Eagan recalled and taken off the board.

GLENN: Who's Mikey?

JOHN: Mike Eagan is a member of the school board. He sat on the molester's side. His wife, Amy Eagan wrote a letter.

GLENN: So tonight at 7:00 at the auditorium -- how do you say the name of your --

JOHN: Ogemaw Heights High School at 7:00 in the auditorium.

GLENN: And there you have to decide the fate. They are saying if you fire these teachers because they will sue, it will bankrupt the town.

JOHN: That's what they are saying, but as a molester, that does not matter. He molested a child.

GLENN: But they will say that it is just their right to free speech, so why should they be punished for free speech? Have we lost him?

Below is a transcript of the interview:

GLENN: We are talking to John Janczewski, he lives in Rose City, Michigan, where tonight they are having a meeting at the auditorium at 7:00 p.m. to decide the fate of teachers who openly supported a pedophile, saying that's an awful long risen sentence for a teacher we all know and love. No, no. We didn't know the whole raping of a child part. Now, they will say they have freedom of speech, it will bankrupt the city because they will all sue, but do you want somebody who says hey, lock, 15 to 30 years for raping of a child, an 8th grader is a little harsh. Do you want them teaching your child? I don't think they have the common sense to do it.

And bankruptcy's all the rage nowadays. So anyway, John is put in this horrible position and it's his son that was raped and there's something else that we have to talk about. You have now been the victim of violence, your family has, John. Can you tell me what happened to your garage?

JOHN: We had some threats on us, and they wrote letters on our house. The letters were YWPITY. You will pay. I told you.

My wife had threats on her right after July 10th sentencing. Then what happened, I called the state police, they said if we have any issues, call us back. Lo and behold, two and a half days later, 1:30 in the morning on a Saturday, I was awaken to a bomb sound going off, and then I went to the window to find my garage was on fire and engulfed in flames. My camper on the side of my house. If I wouldn't have woke up, we could have all died. We could have all not been here doing anything right now. That's what happened?

GLENN: Why would they do that to you? What is your motivation?

JOHN: Because we are speaking out against these teachers, because they're wrong. They took an oath when they did their license to be a teacher and that is to protect the child, and getting back to the money issue, it would bankrupt the county. Since when do we put a price on a child? Since when? It is wrong. How many teachers are going to turn a blind eye? These teachers cannot be trusted, they cannot be trusted.

GLENN: John, I wish I could stand there with you tonight. Mercury 1 is a -- has a charity that I started and we talked to them and normally don't get involved in things like this, but I think one of their founding principles is to bring people hope, and so we are going to take care of your garage and rebuild your garage.

JOHN: That is so awesome. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You know, I've got to tell you something else. Could you believe a church posted bail for him? A church just down from my house, that back in April, he came into where I work and I asked him, I said I'm losing my faith in God. My wife has cancer, I have MS, my son was molested. Can I talk to you. He said I'm going on a cruise for two weeks. I will call you then. It's been an awful long two weeks, hasn't it. And he was in court, sitting on Neal's side, and that church posted bail for a child molester.

GLENN: What church is that?

JOHN: Prince of Peace Church, Father Stonebeck. It's just unbelievable.

GLENN: John, move to Texas. I don't think -- I just don't think I have seen a family kicked in the teeth as much as your family has been kicked in the teeth, but I will tell you this. I'm sure in a town your size, there are -- out of 6,000 people I bet there's 4,000 that stand with you and know what you are going through I don't know John.

JOHN: This community has been so supportive for tonight, they made T-shirts, my son's favorite color, blue, and we are all going to be wearing them and they all say support the Janczewski family. We want all these teachers fired, we want the board member to step down, which he will not. He'd rather cost the school district $30,000 than have him recalled. That's how sick he is. It's just unbelievable. We would like to get out of this as Eagan to step down, fire the teachers, have background checks on teachers and every six months have them go through a training, how to spot signs of a child molestation?

GLENN: You're not asking for lawsuits, money, you're not asking for anything. You just want to make sure -- I mean, they didn't catch it the first time. They didn't catch it with your son. And how they can say it only happen this had one time. How do you know? Did they know this was happening?

JOHN: Yeah. They turned a blind eye. The community asked a question at the last board meeting and they said through the board members, there's six of them, would you want these teachers to teach your grandchildren or your children. All five of them said absolutely not. Mike Eagan grabbed the microphone and said I would have no problem with none of this. I would let them teach my children or grandchildren.

GLENN: I don't know, we will continue to follow the story. And our heart and our prayers go out to you. Just know there are millions of Americans who have heard this story now and will keep you and your family in their prayers. God bless, my friend. We will talk again.

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.