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Middlebury College suspends student in 9/11 flag grabbing

Middlebury College suspends student in 9/11 flag grabbing

We previously wrote about Anna Shireman-Grabowski, a Middlebury College student who, with non-student activists, removed a flag memorial on 9/11 this year remembering the victims of the World Trade Center attack, claiming solidarity with the Native American Abenaki tribe:

My intention was not to cause pain but to visibilize [sic] the necessity of honoring all human life and to help a friend heal from the violence of genocide that she carries with her on a daily basis as an indigenous person. While the American flags on the Middlebury hillside symbolize to some the loss of innocent lives in New York, to others they represent centuries of bloody conquest and mass murder. As a settler on stolen land, I do not have the luxury of grieving without an eye to power. Three thousand flags is a lot, but the campus is not big enough to hold a marker for every life sacrificed in the history of American conquest and colonialism.

The Abenaki tribe, however, wanted no part of Middlebury 9/11 flag-grabbing, for many reasons, not the least of which was that the lawn in question was not a tribal burial ground as Shireman-Grabowski claimed.

Now Middlebury College has suspended Shireman-Grabowski, via the Addison Independent:

The lone Middlebury College student that took part in the vandalism of a 9/11 memorial on the college’s campus has been disciplined, the college said in a statement.

Anna Shireman-Grabowski was suspended for one year for violating several college policies, including “General Conduct Standards, Respect for Persons and Respect for Property.”  The college did not name Shireman-Grabowski, but she identified herself as a participant in an online post shortly after the incident. Excerpts of this post were published in the Independent last month….

Shireman-Grabowski appealed the suspension, but it was upheld Oct. 9 by the Middlebury Community Judicial Board. The CJB is made up of four students, one staff member, two faculty members and one dean. Middlebury College spokesman Stephen Diehl said Shireman-Grabowski, a senior, will be eligible for readmission in the fall of 2014.

Middlebury College’s official statement states in part as follows:

During the incident, several Middlebury students confronted the individuals and following a brief confrontation were able to retrieve some of the flags. Those flags were returned to their positions. Other students purchased additional flags and added those to the commemorative memorial.

On Sept. 24, the College convened the Middlebury Community Judicial Board to consider disciplinary charges brought against the student. The board found the student responsible for violating the following College policies: General Conduct Standards, Respect for Persons, and Respect for Property. It imposed a sanction of a one-year suspension, which was upheld on appeal on Oct. 9.


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She should still be criminally charged. Because of the number of flags involved, I believe it would be a felony theft.

    Valerie in reply to Mannie. | October 18, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Oh, she could be criminally charged, and I hope she isn’t. Suspension, which gets the idiot out of the other students’ faces, is an effective remedy. The judicial system is not equipped to get a good result with this kind of person.

    There’s always a sick puppy on campus. One of my friends in college was like this. He was a bright kid who came from a very strict family, and then he discovered radicalism, marijuana, and the joys of living in filth. After several adventures he wound up on “social probation,” and eventually spent two years instiututionalized. Criminal charges and jail would not have helped his situation. From what I know now of good counsel, counseling was very likely what he needed. I hope he is well, by now.

    I saw an article recently about the parents of one of the children killed at Sandy Hook. They’re scientists, and they’ve decided to seek funding for a study using brain scans to evaluate young, violent offenders. I think this young woman would be a good data point for this study.

      ThomasD in reply to Valerie. | October 21, 2013 at 10:31 am

      “The judicial system is not equipped to get a good result with this kind of person.”

      Just what kind of person do you think her to be? Please clarify because absent such an explanation you argument is a nothing but a hollow assertion.

      I have no direct knowledge of the perpetrators, but based upon the facts available it seems quite safe to conclude that her actions were criminal. In other words, she is exactly the type of person the judicial system is equipped to address.

      Ans whether the result is ‘good’ depends on one’s perspective. But even so, it would seem hard to argue that a conviction was not just.

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to Mannie. | October 18, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    She doesn’t care. She will get hired as an MSNBC intern, a White House aid or as an “analyst” for the Annenberg Foundation. Or, she might even be appointed to a cushy Federal job, such as Mt. Rushmore Traffic Cone Coordinator.

…and to help a friend heal from the violence of genocide that she carries with her on a daily basis as an indigenous person.

Oh, shut up. Face it. You’re useless. Inventing ridiculous things you might be doing isn’t going to change that. Mitigating imaginary violence being “carried” by someone else is just such a ridiculous thing.

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to Pablo. | October 18, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    If this dumb bit*h really wants to help American Indians, she needs to go to some of the Federal Welfare Reservations of the Dakotas, Oklahoma, New Mexico or Arizona and help people who are being killed by “Federal Assistance”.

    Anyone who can spend a week on The Rez and not hate government largesse is either blind, stupid or both.

I had not heard previously that some Middlebury students had returned some of the stolen flags and replanted them, and had purchased additional flags. Good for them. There’s hope yet.

The way things have been going on campus lately, I expected the flag-planters to be arrested and expelled for littering, and the flag-yanker to be offered a full professorship.

    MaggotAtBroadAndWall in reply to georgfelis. | October 18, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Yeah, I wish they’d published what the vote count was. As vile as dishonoring a memorial to 9/11 victims is, I bet the vote was not unanimous to discipline her. It must have been hard for some on the committee to vote to discipline her for acting out on the beliefs she’s been taught. That’s what $57,000 a year in tuition and admission to an elite private liberal arts college bought her: hatred for her country because of perceived historical wrongs; a psychotic obsession with “white guilt” that will last a lifetime; and a career agitating for “social justice”.

    She could be a young version of Barack Obama, or any current writer at Salon.

      Barack would have never been bothered to actually do any of the physical work of plucking and bagging.

      Oh, he’d have instigated to be sure. But doing the dirty work, Or taking the heat is just not his style.

But if you are a public school administrator, removing American flags is appropriate, on Cinco de Mayo. Because Mexicans may be offended, and get violent.


It should become a term of derision, like a “Lewinski”.

It works on so many levels…

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to Ragspierre. | October 18, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    A future “White Indian” of the Buttinsky tribe, originally from an area just west of Poznan. However, after Casimir the Great expelled them from their tribal lands, they wandered until they settled in Lower Manhattan, where they hunted bargains and affordable Co-Ops and fished for compliments at the local watering holes.

Is this the kind of pablum they teach at that school?

“help a friend heal from the violence of genocide that she carries with her on a daily basis as an indigenous person”

words fail me.

Stunning act of responsibility for the school to take. I’m still shaking my head in wonder. Does anybody else have a problem with the glib statement “as a settler on stolen land”? Seems to me that she has the notion that there is some legal immunity that arises if the nexus is attenuated by generations. While that is an interesting if flawed legal theory, it utterly fails in the arena of perfect political correctness in which we now reside. Sort of running a ponzi scheme – LE never seems to see the booty as legitimate profits.

And these are the typical Obama voters. Heaven help us.

Without a permanent boot-print on her big ass what kind of a big deal is this suspension?

Bet she’ elected class president!

The sanctimonious piety, the pure self-righteousness of her BS is amazing,

Great! Equally important, however, is the little twit still employed as a writer for

What she has ‘visiblized’ is her own stupidity. She should be psychologically screened before being allowed back on campus. Isn’t this the kind of malignant narcissism that shows up in serial shooters that everyone wishes in retrospect had gotten help??

    joeyjmiller in reply to DaMav. | October 19, 2013 at 6:36 am

    The nice thing about liberal kooks is that when they go off the rails you know they’re not going to have or know how to operate a firearm

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

“…help a friend heal from the violence of genocide that she carries with her on a daily basis as an indigenous person”. What a complete load of pretentious steaming adolescent excrement. Unless her friend was actually there during the violence of genocide I’m pretty sure there is no healing necessary. It must have taken this girl hours and many re-writes to come up with a statement that bad. Oh, and this line, “I do not have the luxury of grieving without an eye to power.” What the hell does it mean? It’s enough to make me gag. She no doubt spent hours visualizing what the outcome of her stunt would produce. It just didn’t turn out the way she hoped it would.

    Mannie in reply to GUEST9999. | October 18, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Exactly. My late wife was part Cherokee. (The rest, ironically was Cowboy; a name you’d recognize.) her n-Great Grandmother walked the Trail of Tears. Yeah, she was passionate about it, and no fan of Andy Jackson, but trauma? She would have kicked your arse for suggesting that. She hqad too much living to do.

The Drill SGT | October 18, 2013 at 3:04 pm

It’s worth quoting the whole part about the local Indian Chief’s remarks:

“Don Stevens, chief of the Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe, called the vandalism “disgusting,” and believes the protesters were acting to promote their own political beliefs.

“We didn’t know anything about this and if we had we certainly wouldn’t have sanctioned it,” Stevens said.

He said that Abenakis do not publicize the locations of their burial sites in order to protect them, and that he has no knowledge of any such sites on the Middlebury campus. Stevens said that even if the site of the memorial had been a burial site, the American flags placed in the earth would not have been a desecration.

“Our burial sites honor our warriors and their bravery,” Stevens said. “Putting flags in the earth to honor bravery would not be disrespectful.”

Stevens served in the U.S. Army; his father fought in Korea and his son served in Iraq as a member of the National Guard.

She was disciplined? I’m surprised.

She was actually suspended? I’m really surprised.

For an entire year? Now I’m leaning back in my chair.

Indian claims to land are vastly overblown in my opinion.

First off, I’m sorry but if you don’t have a real military and system of government you are going to get squashed during that period of time. The American indians are not the first ones to have the boot of an empire on their faces. Were they treated with the utmost respect and fairness? No. Is there a bit of revisionist history and exaggeration on both sides? Absolutely.

Here’s how I look at it.

Look how many (or how few) people occupy the same land mass that Indians claimed as their own before white man settlements. Claims to that land are vastly overblown because if you can’t occupy an area with sufficient population or police it or at least secure its borders then you have no claims to it.

I’d say the same to the nomadic tribes of Africa and the Middle East. In modern context, It’d be like me flying over and finding an unclaimed part of unsettled Asia, sticking a flag in it, and flying home then declaring war and attacking when someone settles in “my land”.

BannedbytheGuardian | October 18, 2013 at 5:53 pm

Why. Is anybody at that stupid place anyhow?

Would you go & waste 4 years at some liberal arts college when the economic prospects for graduates are bleak?

Get yourself into a place with a curriculum that leads to employment.

They are all useless & expendable.

Anna Shireman-Grabowski…

Grab-ow!-ski. Flag grabbing Grabowski. “Grabber” Grabowski.

Crabby “Grabby” Grabowski.

Any other fun names we can come up with?

I’ve been a long time gone from this most excellent blog, thanks to real life making unreasonable demands on my time, but I saw this post and have to briefly return to congratulate Middlebury College. Bill McKibben has been kicked upstairs to “Distinguished Scholar” and (I am told) mostly out of daily contact with impressionable underclassmen, and now this misguided girl has been disciplined. What the hell is going on at Middlebury?

Her parents obviously bear a lot of the blame for raising their daughter to be a bozo, and I hope the cold water splash in the face hits them too. Most lefties seem to be immune to corrective actions but maybe this young nitwit will be different.

PersonFromPorlock | October 19, 2013 at 11:42 am

If I know one thing for sure, it’s that I’m not the one to write a book titled “The Sins of the Victims” that describes how Amerindian tribes slaughtered each other, Black and Arabic Africans sold their fellows into slavery, Asians made ferocious war on one another and so on. But somebody should.

Enough with the injured paw and the piteous whimpering!

RobinGoodfellow | October 19, 2013 at 7:20 pm

“Visiblize”? Her noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.