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U.S. News
John Gardner: Stanton Heights school teacher

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

John Gardner of Stanton Heights is still writing "On the Wings of Adversity," a book about making the best of bad situations.

John Gardner is still working on the book that got him into trouble one day last year. (Steve Mellon, Post-Gazette)

He's still on the Pittsburgh schools' substitute teachers list.

And he's still trying to find the silver lining in the one-day suspension he received a year ago because of his scribblings about Osama bin Laden.

Gardner, 52, was suspended as a substitute at Rooney Middle School on the North Side because of notes for his book that he'd written in the margins of a newspaper.

He said the phrases, which he heard on newscasts, included: "Osama bin Laden did us a favor. He vulcanized us, awakened us and strengthened our resolve." A school police report said Gardner had only written "Osama bin Laden did us a favor."

With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, Gardner explained the misunderstanding, was paid for the day and put back on the substitute list.

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