* It turns out that Mark Kirk wasn’t a nursery school teacher, as he and his campaign have both claimed. Instead, he apparently assisted a woman who ran a “play group” for kids in a church basement and just played with the kids…
A leader of the church where Representative Mark S. Kirk of Illinois, a Republican candidate for the United States Senate, claimed he worked as a nursery school teacher said on Friday that he had overstated his role there. […]
“He was never, ever considered a teacher,” Ms. Grubb said in an interview after researching the history of Mr. Kirk’s association with the nursery school for two days. “He was just an additional pair of hands to help a primary teaching person.”
The Methodist church in Ithaca, N.Y. has been trying to determine whether Mr. Kirk worked there after The New York Times reported on Thursday about the brevity of Mr. Kirk’s teaching experience. Eight longtime members of the church, including two former pastors, said in interviews this week that they did not recall having a male nursery school teacher in 1981 when Mr. Kirk said he worked there. […]
In an interview on Friday, Ms. Grubb said that she told a representative of the Kirk campaign of her concerns when they reached out to her on Thursday to try to verify Mr. Kirk’s time at the nursery.
Ms. Grubb said she spoke to the teacher who led what was then a “play group” organized by parents that met in the church basement. The teacher had a “vague recollection” of having Mr. Kirk as a work study student, but she did not remember his name. She added that Mr. Kirk did not have any major responsibilities at the play group, such as creating lesson plans, and he was only an assistant who played with the children.
This is what Kirk’s campaign spokesperson was quoted as saying yesterday…
“One of his jobs was a nursery school teacher with the responsibilities one would expect.”
I “expect” a teacher to, you know, teach. Not play with kids.
It just gets weirder and weirder with this guy.
…Adding… I’ve moved this here from a previous post. I do agree with the Giannoulias campaign about this point…
The Kirk campaign did take issue with a portion of The New York Times story that quotes a 2006 speech by Kirk on the House floor about school safety where he recalled “the kids who were the brightest lights of our country’s future” and “those who bore scrutiny as people who might bring a gun to class.”
The New York Times reported that a Kirk campaign spokeswoman said the congressman was referring to his nursery school students - not his students at the London private school. However, campaign spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said Tuesday, the clause “brightest lights of our country’s future” referred to nursery school students while the “bore scrutiny” clause referred to a few students at the prep school in London.
[Giannoulias campaign spokesman Matt McGrath] countered, “That’s even more absurd. They’ve gone from bizarre to absurd.”
That was a high-class private school in a hoity-toity London neighborhood. There’s just no fathomable way that people were concerned about kids bringing guns to that English prep school in the early 1980s.
Also, will the Sun-Times now retract today’s goofy editorial?
*** UPDATE *** From NBC5’s Mary Ann Ahern…
“He was never, ever considered a teacher.”
That’s a church leader from upstate New York talking to The New York Times about her memories of Mark Kirk’s stint as a work study student. […]
Kirk declined to talk about his teaching history today as he left an endorsement session with the Illinois Education Association.
When asked about his history he said “not doing anything today.”
“Not doing anything” except meeting with the IEA on the same day that yet another “teacher” story broke. Oh, the irony.