JUSTICE FOR JAMI
I have been trying now, for 4 years to report serious crimes of child abuse in North Dakota, and have received unsuccessful results because it’s the official who are doing the abusing, and law enforcement and the courts protects its officials and agencies from prosecution.
Indian women and children do not report serious crimes of abuse and rape because they know that the state will end up dismissing the perpetrator, and blaming the victim, which is what happened to rape victim M H when she was expelled and Jami when she was set up to replace MH. And I was fired and charged with misconduct for reporting to authorities, which means as a teacher, my teaching days are over, along with my personal and professional reputation. I reported child abuse of Native Americans to every conceivable authority, but they all said it wasn’t their jurisdiction. The set up girl, Jami, was so constantly hounded by kids taunting her about being raped in Warwick school, the lie perpetuated by the school administrators to avoid reporting, that she committed suicide at the age of 14. Racial issues and equal protection that have never been decided when a case involves Native Americans.
A federal judge, who can authorize a federal special investigation leading to the indictments of these North Dakota officials and officers of the court who feel they don’t have to obey child abuse laws. Right now, states attorney James Wang has advised the Social Services Board to toss out my complaint before even hearing the Report by giving me a token 10 minutes. States Attorney Wang was instrumental in advising the Board not to investigate institutional abuse at Warwick Public School, and abetted Social Services in the destruction of my original 29 page Report to School Board Members, which superintendent Charles Guthrie then tampered the 29 page report, and altered the fact that he expelled the real rape victim and set up newly enrolled Jami to replace her. He then accused me of falsely reporting rapes.
Jami Rose Jetty was a student of mine, Dakota and Ojibwe, 12 years old, bright, very interested in her history and culture, and wanted to do something for her people, the Dakota. She showed me a book she was reading, Lakota Woman, and told me she wanted to be like that, to do something like what Anna Mae Pictou Aquash did, and she had many questions about Leonard Peltier, to whom she was related. She was particularly interested in the American Indian Movement. She wanted to be an activist and stir her people to stand up for their rights. She was a very unusual girl, who, if she had lived, would have become a great civil rights leader. Very unfortunately, she became a pawn in superintendent Guthrie’s successful plot to circumvent child abuse laws. To accomplish this, he abused Jami by making her believe that I had said she had been raped, totally untrue, but believed throughout the school and the community. Very sadly, Warwick Public School administrators convinced Jami’s parents that I started this rape rumor about their daughter when it was really supt. Guthrie who said that Jami had been raped, to disguise the fact that he had expelled the real rape victim to cover up the fact that he had deliberately chose not to report the rape of the expelled student to Social Services when it became known to him and the administrators. Guthrie worked with the music teacher, Steve Michels, who coached a few select girls to fan the fires that I was telling students that girls were being raped in Warwick School. When I discovered what was going on and reported this to Social Services and the school board in a 29 page Report, Guthrie fired me from my teaching position, charged me with misconduct by accusing me of talking about Leonard Peltier. When I published the true facts on my website, www.lakotaperspectives.com, Jami read it and knew it was the truth. She tried to convince her parents, who still believed the lies Guthrie had told them. Two years later, and two schools later, Jami could not escape from Guthrie’s girls who continued to hound and chase Jami with Guthrie’s lies, “We heard you were raped at Warwick School.” Finally, with all her hopes and dreams of becoming an activist destroyed by administrators who abused Indian students, Jami’s world became an unbearable hell hole designed by superintendent Guthrie and his clever attorneys, Gary Thune and Tiffany Johnson, who felt it was more important to spare their jobs and licenses than to obey child abuse laws. Finally when Jami couldn’t convince anyone of the truth, not even her own mother, she decided life wasn’t worth living and Jami hung herself at age 14.
As Jami’s teacher, and a mandatory reporter, I have a duty to report what I know of the facts that led to Jami’s suicide. I met with Benson County Commissioners to ask that they convene a Grand Jury to investigate Jami’s death.
I have been informed by Benson County Social Services secretary that I will have only 10 minutes to present my 960 Report on the death of Jami Jetty, and that Social Services Board has already decided they will not order an investigation because Millie Banet claimed that the Spirit Lake Tribe had been given jurisdiction. I wrote a letter to director Paul Olson, copying all Board members, and received no answer as to who made this decision. I asked Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, to enforce open record laws, but he said it wasn’t his job. I am shocked at how North Dakota can refuse to investigate suspicious deaths when the perpetrators of abuse that caused the death are state officials.
I was shocked because I am a mandated reporter, the first person/witness evidence in which I will prove that many of the uninvestigated abuses committed by Warwick Public School administrators, including refusal to report a student rape, expelling the rape victim when they discovered the student told me in class that she had been raped, then setting up newly enrolled Jami Jetty to replace the rape victim by questioning her about a rape, then telling Jami and her parents that I told them that Jami had been raped. Warwick Public School is a state run school under jurisdiction of the state of North Dakota, with an all white staff and an all Indian student body. Superintendent Charles Guthrie, principal Gene Riedinger, counselor Shirley Tiokiason-Erickson, and teacher Steve Michels, spread rumors and lies that I had said that Jami had been raped. that led to Jami Jetty taking her own life. Contributing to Jami’s death by failing to uphold child abuse laws, tampering with witnesses and evidence were attorneys Gary Thune and Tiffany Johnson of Pearce & Durick from Bismarck, along with a lawyer from Devils Lake, Ulysses Jones, with the knowledge and cooperation of states attorney James Wang and sheriff Rohyer, deputy Shawn Benet, agencies Social Services Millie Benet, director Ed Forde, agency ND Human Resources Ed Meier, Job Service who falsified facts and evidence, hearing officer Dave Clinton, assistant attorney generals Michael Pitcher, Doug Bahr, Doug Anderson, Education Standards and Practices Board as advised by assistant attorney general Bill Peterson.
When I asked the official paper, Benson County Farmers Press to post notice, he refused, stating that, “We will not publish your letter to the editor because we have no intention of being used in your vendetta.” This is a violation of my First Amendment rights of free speech and free press. The public has a right to know the topic being discussed at the Benson County Social Services meeting, violating North Dakota’s open record laws, NDCC 44-04-20(6) which mandate that the public has a right to be informed of agenda of public meetings.
Officials are doing everything they can to prevent me from presenting my mandated lawful 960 Report to the Social Services Board because the large number of officials involved in circumventing child abuse laws, including the states attorney who advises this Board. In short, North Dakota officials have treated Native Americans in an ugly racist way, which has never been addressed. In other words, Native Americans have no rights in North Dakota, and the State does not enforce its child abuse laws when it concerns Native Americans. This case raises the issue of Indian rights, which has never been squarely addressed by the Constitution or statutes. Are Native Americans citizens, and if so, why do they not enjoy the same protection and due process as other Americans? Native Americans who were not already U.S. citizens were granted citizenship in 1924 by the Congress of the United States. It is said that Native Americans today have a unique relationship with the United States because they may be members of nations, tribes, or bands of Native Americans who have sovereignty or independence from the government of the United States. Sounds good, but in reality and in this case, it means that the Indian has never been recognized as a U.S. citizen with rights equal to that of any other race. The reservation system has become a way of subjagating Native Americans by destroying their identity and way of life, and taking control by installing a puppet government answerable to the United States. The United States applied the reservation system to the South after the Civil War, and has continued to apply the reservation system to countries around the world to build itself into an Empire, as evidenced by Iraq and Afghanistan.
My 960 Report of Child Fatality will give this Board an opportunity to see that Jami’s death is fully investigated and that the perpetrators of child abuse are brought to justice, thus rectify a long, overdue inequality existing in American. I reported a rape to the school administrators as told to me in class by a Native American girl. The problem is that the administrators got by with not reporting the rape as mandated by NDCC 50-25.1-03 by saying that the rape happened on an Indian reservation and the tribal police and tribal court was handling it. (Ex A and C), thus blurring the real issue that the refusal to report happened in a state run school.
Schools and other officials are routinely using sovereignty or jurisdiction as a reason not to obey child abuse laws when it concerns Native Americans. Sovereignty/jurisdiction is routinely used as an excuse to deny Native Americans constitutional rights because Indians are regarded as independent from the government of the United States. Separate but supposedly equal still exists in schools on reservations, and the most vulnerable of Native Americans, the children, have no constitutional rights to protection from violent crimes, or from administrators who abuse students. The very agencies and law enforcement officers refuse to even hear about cases involving Native Americans. The problem is much bigger than the issues in my 960 Report; it goes back to the fact that the government, who is the maker of the laws, has never come up with a fair, consistent set of laws, starting with the treaties, regarding Indians. The Fourteenth Amendment was a political piece of work, deliberately excluding Indians from due process and equal protection. The Civil Rights Act of 1868 did not address the rights of Indians, who have largely been left out of civil rights in America.
The courts have not shed any light on current treatment of Indians. Indians rarely, if ever, have any opportunity to bring a 960 Report before Social Services, where these issues can be addressed. It takes a white person such as myself, who refused to go along with the racist scheme of things, and dared to stand up and report the fragrant abuses being perpetuated on Native American students in Warwick Public School. Why did the agencies and courts not investigate serious crime? It was more that jurisdiction; it was because they would have to obey the law and the Constitution in regards to Native Americans. Victims of violent crimes are ignored and forgotten by the white apartheid system that exists in North and South Dakota. The only time white America recognizes an Indian is when the justice system routinely charges the Indian with a crime he did not commit, and the Indians are routinely sent off to prison without any due process.
Since the 960 Report involves states attorney James Wang, don’t you think it is conflict of interest for him to advise the Social Services Board and commissioners to toss out my 960 Report and refuse to assess it? Does the official newspaper need to publish subject matter of the agenda if so asked?
I have been invited by Bill Windsor to tell my story in his documentary movie, Lawless America, with a website by that name, which I intend to do. History has repeatedly shown that justice and freedom has never been granted by courts or governments with their military, but by a groundswell of people who had access to publication and media.