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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Investigations Continue for the California Wildfires; Michelle Obama Makes Headlines with Her Speech in a Kansas High School; Measles Virus -- A Cure for Cancer?; West African Leaders to Discuss How to Bring Back Kidnapped Nigerian Girls; Firefighters in California Wildfires Encountering Firenadoes; Veterans Affairs Undersecretary Resigns; Teacher Gets 10-Day Suspension After Being Caught on Camera Hurting a Kindergartener; Thirty-Three Intimate Letters Between Jackie Kennedy and Irish Priest to be Auctioned Off Next Month
Aired May 17, 2014 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(UNKNOWN): Our investigations continue into the cause of these fires. And they will continue until -- hopefully, we're satisfied with the -- with the results.
(UNKNOWN): We have worked very hard, Senator Isakson, to root out these inappropriate uses of -- of the scheduling system and these abusive -- it's absolutely inexcusable.
MICHELLE OBAMA, FIST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: So today, by some measures, our schools are as segregated as they were back when Dr. King gave his final speech.
(UNKNOWN): Even going to the school the next year, the year after, he'll still have to see hear if she's present in the building. That's probably going to scare him.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: All right, good morning, everyone. Obviously, an awful lot to talk about. But we're so glad to have your company. I'm Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell, 7:00 here on the East Coast. This is "New Day Saturday." And we're starting this morning with those devastating wildfires in California, hundreds of thousands of people affected. And now, charges have been filed against one of the three people arrested for alleged arson.
PAUL: Here's what we know. So far, about the fires themselves, more than 27,000 acres have been scorched near San Diego. Nearly 200,000 people have been told to evacuate. Take a look here at what it looks like here at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. Firefighters there, good heavens, trying to contain a fire that erupted overnight.
BLACKWELL: Let's go to San Marcos, the firefighters -- they're making progress. But the dry temperatures, the strong winds there, fueling the flames again. PAUL: And you know, I mean, gosh, those flames are so ferocious. In fact, a terrified homeowner told the "L.A. Times" one neighborhood looked like a scene from, quote, "Armageddon." I mean, that's how they saw it.
BLACKWELL: And it's -- it's not over yet. Thousands of homes still in jeopardy. Let's bring in CNN's Dan Simon in -- in San Marcos.
What's the latest this morning, Dan?
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, guys. Well, you know, those flames are obviously dramatic. But the one thing that you really feel when you're here on the ground is the smoke.
It's just been unrelenting, pretty much everywhere you go in San Diego County. This is one of the -- the hardest-hit areas. This is San Marcos, California.
You can see this home is -- is completely charred. You can still see the smoldering ruins. This was certainly somebody's dream house. They had a great view of the San Diego area.
One thing I can tell you, though, is the conditions on the ground, the weather is dramatically better. The wind has died down. The temperatures are cooler.
So that's enabling firefighters to get an upper hand on things. I can tell you that here in San Marcos, the fire is now 50 percent contained. The containment numbers are rising over Camp Pendleton as well.
So things definitely looking better but obviously, firefighters keeping a close eye on things. They've got a lot of resources more than a -- thousand firefighters on the ground and of course, a lot of aircraft during the day dumping water, dumping retardant on some of those hot spots.
PAUL: Dan, we're going to -- we're going to talk in a moment about these three people arrested with this (ph). But I wanted to ask you, I was reading that one resident said that she saw the smoke.
She knew it was time to get out. But she didn't know where to go because all of the places she would normally take her family were also in danger. Do you know where people are and how they're doing?
And are they allowed to get back?
SIMON: Well, we know that evacuation orders have been lifted in -- in several areas. Right now, we're told that it's basically in the hundreds of people that have been evacuated.
There are some evacuation shelters. So that's where some people have gone. Other people have gone to stay with -- with friends and family. But -- but certainly, for some people, it's -- it's been a -- a huge inconvenience, to say the least, and especially, you know, if your home is in an area where -- where there's some trouble but that your home is intact, they're still not letting you back in.
So it -- it can certainly be a problem.
BLACKWELL: All right, Dan Simon for us there in San Marcos, California.
Dan, stand by. We'll get back to you soon. But I want to get to Captain Mike Muller. He's with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
PAUL: Mike, thank you so much for being with us. We appreciate it.
MIKE MULLER, CAPTAIN, CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY AND FIRE PROTECTION: Good morning.
PAUL: Good morning to you, too. Let me ask you, what do you know about the arrests that have been made?
MULLER: We know that the city of Escondido took two people into custody yesterday for a fire that was set in their city. Right now, there's a unconfirmed report.
And Sheriff Tom Larson (ph) hasn't taken anybody into custody as far as the fire investigation. So I know that there is definitely two in custody for a -- a possibility of arson on one of these fires.
But we're still working again very closely with law enforcement. We want to find the cause of these fires and get them out to the public as soon as possible.
BLACKWELL: Mike, you know the terrain there. You know the forest. And the -- the conditions there are conducive to starting these fires. It's happening earlier than it typically would in the season.
But do you believe it's more than just a coincidence that this number of fires started in such a small period of time?
MULLER: Well, you know, here -- the -- the difference in these fires is, one, we're in May. And the conditions and -- and you explained it right there, May -- we never see Santa Ana winds and -- and critical fire conditions like this. So you have to remember, a lot of these fires, depending on the vicinity, we had a wind-driven fire.
And we have what's called ember throw. So an ember can travel up to a mile, mile and a half past where a fire ignited. And it can start another fire. So we have to be very, very vigilant on how we do our investigation, when we release the information to make sure that if something was suspicious or if something was going to come up, that we make sure that we are a hundred percent before we release anything, to make sure that there's something there for us to prosecute.
PAUL: So Captain Muller, one point there was a report that all but one of the fires was suspicious. How do you determine whether arson was a factor? MULLER: Well, I can tell you, yes, depending on the area and where they were at and where the fires -- where the point of what we call point of origin, where they originated from is not only is Sheriff Tom Larson's (ph) investigators with San Diego Sheriff county-trained in -- in -- in what we would call incendiary (ph) devices, some type of time device, also camp fire law enforcement is part of that. So they look at, one, the -- the directions the fire burnt, how it burnt.
And usually, there's something left behind. If somebody is going to do something like this, they need some type of evidence that our investigators get a hold of and start to bring that case to fruition.
BLACKWELL: So are you expecting that you'll go back and find something as simple as whatever the incendiary (ph) device was?
MULLER: Well, you know, I -- I'm personally not an investigator. But I can tell you that that's something they're definitely going to look at and grab some type of evidence or see what is going on.
But again, they're investigating nine fires right now. That's going to be a huge, huge operation. We're talking several investigators at different points, different areas.
They're going to have to take into consideration, like I said, the ember throw, where did this fire travel, where was the wind blowing. So it's still going to take a while for them to look at that.
BLACKWELL: Our fire Captain Mike Muller, thank you so much for joining us.
MULLER: Thank you, sir.
PAUL: God speed to you and -- and all the firefighters there, too. Hope they stay safe.
PAUL: We know that the weather is a big part of the reason that this has exploded, so to speak.
BLACKWELL: Yes, let's get to meteorologist, Alexandra Steele with an update on the conditions in Southern California. Are they getting better? Are they getting worse?
ALEXANDRA STEELE, CNN METEOROLOGIST: They're getting better. Like, you know, after listening to the captain, however these fires started, the ground work was already laid, if you know what I mean. And that is because we have had dry conditions, the recipe for these wildfires, no matter the incendiary device that may have started them.
Dry conditions -- we've had that incredible record drought. Hot temperatures -- we've had that, incredible, record stretches of heat and also these very strong Santa Ana winds. So we have seen a change in the weather pattern.
Drought conditions as bad as last year was, worse than the 1800s, and this year, exponentially worse already -- the entire state in one of three of the worst stages of drought already. So everything coming together for this.
In terms of the temperatures, we've had such incredible heat. Of course, as of late, in Los Angeles, let's say, we've had temperatures in the 90s. Those temperatures are coming down. The temperatures are coming down.
The other weather element to this is the direction of the wind. The wind speeds are important. But the direction from which the winds come is of the most importance.
We're going to watch and see that wind change direction from the hot, offshore Santa Ana to an onshore flow, which brings us cold, California Pacific water, brings that moisture into the atmosphere. And look what we have today, showing us a dense fog advisory.
No one's ever appreciated a dense fog advisory more. What is fog? It's water. It's atmospheric water so finally, some atmospheric water.
So with this, we are seeing increases of humidity. And that is some good news. So of course, the fire outlook is still tough, especially farther inland when the temperatures are continuing to be warmer.
But weather forecast, favorable -- temperatures are coming down. Humidity is coming up. The fire forecast is less, though, guys, because this year is already five times the average.
So fire forecasts certainly less favorable than the weather conditions in the short term.
PAUL: All right, Alexandra Steele, thank you so much for the breakdown.
BLACKWELL: Let's talk about another case involving a fire. Two men had been convicted of causing a destructive wildfire in Southern California in January. Prosecutors say, embers from an illegal campfire they started ignited dry grass.
And that led to the 2,000-acre Colby fire. Remember this one? It burned 2,000 acres in Los Angeles Country and -- and nearby, Glendora. Now, they'll be sentenced in August. A third defendant goes on trial Tuesday.
PAUL: So six decades after America's schools were desegregated, the First Lady has really blunt words about the subject in the place that started it all, Topeka, Kansas.
BLACKWELL: And this morning, we're talking about a potential breakthrough in the battle against cancer. Could the measles virus hold the key?
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLACKWELL: New this morning, 60 years after landmark Supreme Court case desegregated America schools, the First Lady says, the nation's schools are in danger of sliding backward. She didn't mince words talking to high school seniors in Topeka, Kansas, the very place where the Brown versus Board of Education was filed.
PAUL: Yes, and Mrs. Obama says, too many students go to school with kids who look just like they do.
OBAMA: Brown is still being decided every single day, not just in our courts, in schools but in how we live our lives.
PAUL: Our Alexandra Field joins us now from New York.
So is it true, Alexandra, that the experts agree with the First Lady, schools are becoming more segregated?
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Christi, Victor, that's what the numbers are showing us on this, the 60th anniversary of that landmark decision. Of course, Brown versus Board of Education said the racial segregation of schools was unconstitutional.
You heard the First Lady point out her concerns very clearly in the speech that she made last night in Topeka, Kansas. Now, we're looking at this report released by the Pew Research Center.
And it shows a trend that is worth talking about on the anniversary as well as for all of us right now. Essentially, what this report is telling us is that the percentage of Hispanic students in schools where minorities are the majority is rising.
Same can be said for black students. In 2010, we're seeing that 79 percent of Hispanic students were in primarily minority schools, 76 percent of black students and just 15 percent of white students. So what we heard the First Lady say is that she believes that many school districts have pulled back on their efforts to integrate schools.
OBAMA: So today, by some measures, our schools are as segregated as they were back when Dr. King gave his final speech. And as a result, many young (inaudible) are going to school largely with kids who look just like them.
And too often, those schools aren't equal, especially ones attended by students of color, which too often lag behind with crumbling classrooms and less-experienced teachers. And even in schools that seem integrated, according to the numbers, when you look a little closer, you see students from different backgrounds sitting at separate lunch tables or trapped in the different classes or separated in the different clubs or activities.
FIELD: You heard part of the First Lady's speech right there. This is certainly a speech that people are going to be talking about today, Christi, Victor.
But the First Lady also told these graduates -- high school graduates, she urged them to take on the topic of prejudice, to talk about the issues of segregation. She wants these young people to really take on the topic and -- and not shy away from talking about it.
BLACKWELL: So the -- the question is, why, Alexandra. Why the continued segregation in -- in schools?
FIELD: Well, one of the things the First Lady was talking about when you heard her mention this, not really an idea, but when you heard her say that she believed that districts have pulled back their efforts to integrate, one of the things that she pinpointed was a move from, you know, suburban, from urban to suburban areas. So part of it is sort of a -- that demographic shift that she sort of highlighted.
But she also took this head-on and said this is something that we need to be thinking about. This is the thing that we need to be talking about.
It's something that we need to be actively working to fix, because when you see that the number of non-white students in these primarily non-white schools is rising, that's a trend that we probably shouldn't be seeing right now, Christi, Victor.
PAUL: All right, Alexandra Field, thank you so much.
BLACKWELL: Thank you, Alexandra.
Another, and this, to me, when I read the headline, was that it's startling. Could a cure for cancer be found in another disease? We'll talk about that. One woman says that she is living proof.
BLACKWELL: So this sounds like a contradiction, like...
BLACKWELL: ...it doesn't really make sense that you can treat a disease with a disease.
PAUL: Yes, but that's what doctors did exactly for a cancer patient. And you know, the results weren't as startling. They were promising.
Our Senior Medical Correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, has more for us.
Good morning, Elizabeth.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor, Christi, this is such exciting research. Let me tell you what they did. At the Mayo Clinic, there was a 50-year-old woman who had multiple myeloma, a blood cancer. And nothing was working.
So doctors said, well, we're going to try something very experimental. What they did was they gave her massive doses of the measles virus, just millions upon millions of these viruses.
And what they found was that the woman became cancer-free. The multiple -- the multiple myeloma went away. Now, why would measles do that? well, they're really not sure.
But you know, they noticed that there was a boy in Africa many years ago who had a huge tumor. And then he happened to get the measles. And the -- and the tumor just went away.
So they think there's something about the measles virus that actually attacks cancer. And then they engineered the virus to do several things. First of all, they engineered the virus so that it would really, really, really attack cancer.
And they also engineered it so that people wouldn't get measles from the treatment. Now, a couple of things I want to add here.
They tried this out in five other cancer patients. And it didn't work very well. Secondly, this woman for whom it did work well, her -- her cancer did come back about nine months later.
But they were able to give her a little bit of radiation and in fact, now, she still remains cancer-free. So of course, what everyone wants to know, is this a new treatment for cancer now, right now, it's not.
It still needs to be studied a lot more. But if they get similar results like this, this may be a treatment for some people who have cancer.
BLACKWELL: ...that is amazing. Elizabeth Cohen, thank you.
PAUL: So firefighters that are battling in California, it's more than the flames that there are issues with. The winds are creating this phenomenon known as firenadoes.
BLACKWELL: And in Georgia, the body of an elderly woman has been found days after someone killed and decapitated her husband.
PAUL: Twenty-eight minutes past the hour right now, I am Christi Paul and this...
BLACKWELL: ...is Victor Blackwell. Listen, I'm watching on Twitter here. Someone said, Carlos Watson (ph) has officially reemerged. He's on "New Day" right now. Not Carlos Watson (ph). PAUL: Victor Blackwell, people.
BLACKWELL: Good to have you with us.
BLACKWELL: We'll start this half with five stories we're watching this "New Day."
PAUL: Yes. And first of all, in Paris, West African leaders are set to meet in a few hours to discuss how to bring back the kidnapped Nigerian school girls. In the U.S., the House Foreign Affairs Committee is going to hold a hearing next week on the same issue.
More than 200 girls are being held by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.
BLACKWELL: Number two, a plane crash has killed five senior officials in Laotian government, including the country's defense minister. News agency's report, the Air Force plane went down today, near the border with Vietnam on its way to a memorial ceremony.
Now, among the dead was the first woman to serve as the president of the Laotian National Assembly. And all 18 people were on that flight.
PAUL: Number three, General Motors has agreed to pay a record $35 million fine for delaying the recall of faulty ignition switches. The federal investigation found the company waited 10 years before it alerted drivers of the problem.
And in some cases, the glitch forced cars to suddenly shut off while driving, disabling air bags as well. That problem, by the way, has been tied to at least 13 deaths.
BLACKWELL: Number four, police in Georgia are now investigating a double murder because the body of 87-year-old Shirley Dermond has now been found. Two weeks after, friends discover her husband, Russell Dermond, dead in the couple's million-dollar waterfront home, he had been decapitated. Well, Shirley Dermond's body was found in a lake near their home.
And police say, she was abducted sometime after her husband was killed.
PAUL: Number five, at least one person has been charged with arson and connecting with raging wildfires in Southern California. Now, he's not accused of starting it but of adding more brush to the flames. In the meantime, firefighters are making some headway, it seems. Six fires, though, are still burning as we sit here talking to you.
Nearly 20,000 acres have been charred thus far.
BLACKWELL: Well, one phenomenon the firefighters have been encountering is fire tornadoes, also known as firenadoes. Look at these twisters. It's fire that can stretch a hundred feet into the air.
So the question is, how do these fire twisters form? Meteorologist, Alexandra Steele, is here to explain.
How does it happen?
ALEXANDRA STEELE, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Right. Is it a fire? Is it a tornado? It's actually a fire that's acting like a tornado because of the rotations. So let me show you some ingredients to this firenado.
And here, what really happens is when we talk about fire and you've seen it with all these fires we've seen in California, they really create their own weather, don't they, because what happens is at the base of these fires, what we see is kind of its (ph) eddy (ph) being created. So this warm air with this fire -- I mean, hot air -- rises. And these temperatures can reach hundreds of degrees.
But what happens as these temperatures warm, this warm air rises and really, the key to this firenado is what's here at the base. It's all this dry vegetation. So the drought, the heat, all of this is into these firenadoes.
You can't have all of that without that. So with all of this brush, this dry brush at the bottom, it releases the carbon into the air. What's carbon? Well, it's combustible.
So we're going to see it all rise. And then it finds this oxygen and it breathes the life into it. So take a look at this. This is an animation that was created to kind of give you another picture about it.
You know, what happens, of course, it can be huge. So what we've seen in terms of diameter, these things can be two miles in diameter and they could be three miles in height. So these things are truly massive.
And you could see this image, how insane this is with this rising motion. So a firenado -- no, it's not a tornado. But in essence, it was created by the weather because without the drought, the driest they've ever been, without the heat, the record heat that they've seen, this wouldn't be possible because the key ingredient really is this dry vegetation that burns as fire as fuel as oxygen as energy and creates this rotation of fire.
PAUL: All right, Meteorologist Alexandra Steele, thank you for the demonstration.
BLACKWELL: Making it clear.
One day after testifying alongside the Veterans Affairs Secretary, the VA's undersecretary for health has resigned.
PAUL: Yes, this move comes amid a growing scandal, as you know, of the wait times and care at veterans' hospitals. And the claims came to light after a month-long investigation by CNN. Back to CNN's Erin McPike with more.
(UNKNOWN): Do you solemnly swear...
ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: One day, after testifying next to Veteran's Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki about fixing problems, this high-ranking V.A. official resigned.
SHINSEKI: Starting next week, we're going to work our way down.
MCPIKE: Shinseki announced the resignation and the White House put out a statement saying, quote, "The President supports Secretary Shinseki's decision." Left unsaid, Robert Petzel, the Undersecretary for health care at the V.A. already planned to retire in September.
SHINSEKI: Makes (ph) you mad as hell.
MCPIKE: Shinseki and the White House have rejected calls for his resignation in the wake of a CNN investigation at this V.A. Medical Center in Phoenix. Sources say at least 40 veterans died while waiting for care, many kept on a secret waiting list to cover up delays.
The President's Chief of Staff, Denis McDonough, tried damage control with CNN's Jake Tapper.
MCDONOUGH: The President, as soon as he heard about this latest outrage in Phoenix called Rick and said, you know, Rick, I need to know exactly what happened. I need to know exactly the accountability measures that you have and that you can institute.
And if it's not enough, then let's change it and make sure that we hold people, too (ph), accountable (ph).
MCPIKE: Shinseki's own damage control, the inspector general audit he ordered.
SHINSEKI: We are broadening that look. What I've committed to is whatever comes out of this, whatever is substantiated, actions will be taken.
(UNKNOWN): Secretary Shinseki...
MCPIKE: Even for some Democrats like Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, that I.G. review is good enough.
BLUMENTHAL: Only the FBI has the resources as well as the expertise and authority to do a prompt and effective criminial investigation.
MCPIKE: A prospect Shinseki isn't ready consider.
SHINSEKI: I'm counting on the I.G. to provide us a comprehensive review of whatever criminal actions may be required.
MCPIKE: But with the I.G. report not due out until August, that may not be fast enough for Democrats anxious about the political fallout in November.
BLUMENTHAL: Certainly, the system itself needs to be changed. And there needs to be a changing of the team, a changing of the guard. Some folks are going to have to be shown the door.
BLACKWELL: All right, Erin McPike joins us now from the White House.
Erin, what is -- it's called descato (ph). What are people saying about the sudden resignation yesterday?
MCPIKE: Well, Victor, some Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill just aren't buying it. They're suggesting this is some sort of maneuver by the Obama administration, specifically, Jeff Miller, he's a Republican Congressman who is the Chair of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.
And he put out a strongly worded statement yesterday afternoon. He said that this resignation is, quote, "the pinnacle disingenuous political double-speak." And he said, characterizing this resignation just -- as a resignation, rather, just doesn't pass the smell test, specifically because Petzel was already stepping down in September.
And there hasn't been a real reason given for why this resignation happens.
PAUL: Good point. All right, Erin McPike, we thank you.
BLACKWELL: Thank you, Erin.
A teacher in Ohio has enraged parents around the country after they saw this video. Apparently, you could see her pinning a kindergartener against the wall, grabbing his jaw and his neck.
And she didn't stop there.
PAUL: All right, listen, people, it is a rule shared by millions of parents, do not put your hands on my kid. One teacher in Ohio crossed that line in a big way when she was caught on camera really roughing up a six-year-old.
BLACKWELL: Here is the video. Look for yourself here. Barb Williams, who is the teacher, she confronts this kindergartener coming out of a bathroom, pins him against the wall, grabs his jaw there.
PAUL: Oh, my goodness. And yes, and if that wasn't enough, she picks him up by the shirt here and his head hits the back of the wall. Her punishment, a 10-day suspension without pay, which some are calling nothing more than an extended vacation, since of course, summer break is about to begin.
BLACKWELL: And we've got two attorneys with us to talk about this. Paul Callan, CNN Legal Analyst, Joey Jackson, HLN Legal Analyst, good to have both of you this morning.
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Nice to be here.
JACKSON: Nice to be here (ph), Victor.
BLACKWELL: So the parents say, their boy's head was bruised. And the teacher should be fired. Is this a fireable offense, Paul?
CALLAN: Well, I think it is a fireable offense. I mean, this 10-day suspension strikes me as a slap on the wrist looking at that video. She's a teacher, though.
And there's probably a union contract. So she would have the right to a due process hearing. And sometimes, it's a very involved process terminating a teacher.
But certainly, this conduct seems beyond the pale for a kindergarten teacher.
PAUL: Yes, Joey, actually, we know that the tape is in the hands of the Hancock County Sheriff now. They're investigating. How plausible do you think charges are?
I have to tell you, people on my Facebook and Twitter pages have been enraged over this, saying this is an assault. This is child abuse. What do you say?
JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: As well, they should be outraged, Christi. And the fact is is that there's a simple difference and a major distinction between disciplining a child and engaging in corporal punishment to this magnitude, OK?
And the fact is is that this could rise to a criminal investigation, which it has and a prosecution. And simple assault in Ohio, you have to establish that there was either harm caused or an attempt to harm the child.
And this is certainly not the way the teacher behaves. And to the point Paul was addressing regarding discipline, I think we could see that 10-day suspension change quickly in the event that the criminal prosecution ensues here, Christi.
BLACKWELL: So the attorney, Paul, for the family, told our -- our sister network, HLN, that the boy has gone through, and this is a quote, "a great deal of emotional drama." They say his -- the parents say he's withdrawn.
He's not talking about the incident. He -- he likely will need counseling. Who should pay for that? Is that the school district's responsibility? Or should it be, Paul?
CALLAN: Well, interesting question. And -- and the truth of the matter is, unless a lawsuit is filed, the parents would be responsible for any medical treatment that the child would require. On the other hand, if this attorney files a lawsuit against the teacher and the school district, what usually happens is negotiated settlement. And the school district would end up picking up the tab for whatever psychiatric treatment would be required. You know, I -- this -- the whole thing, though (ph), so I think shows what a major cultural change we've had in America.
You know, this kind of corporal punishment was -- was pretty common 30, 40, 50 years ago. But we don't tolerate it anymore. Things have changed. Times have changed.
And teachers better change if they think that's the way you discipline a child.
PAUL: You know, a lot of people have been asking, what led up to this? You know, did the child do something? In the video, you can clearly see he's just walking out of the bathroom.
But I -- I did read up that the dad had asked the principal to move the child back in November because of something that was going on with the teacher. Does it matter, though, at this point? When you look at that video, does it matter what preceded this?
I mean, in this incident, as I said, he's just come out of the bathroom.
BLACKWELL (ph): Right (ph).
JACKSON: The answer, Christi, is, no, it doesn't. The fact of the matter is is that teachers have an obligation to be teachers. And they certainly should exercise and exert control in a way that's patient and in a way that's responsible so we know that children are children.
They act up. They potentially misbehave, OK. But you, as a teacher, should know that this is not appropriate at all. And even back in the days that Paul was speaking to about corporal punishment, what was common is, maybe you paddle the child on the buttocks, right, a little bit.
Maybe you'd smack the hand of the child. But to throw the child against the wall to this measure and in this magnitude, it shouldn't happen. And the fact that it did means that there are consequences here.
And so whatever might have led up to this, Christi, be a teacher, be the adult and understand that not all children are perfect, as are adults. We're not perfect either.
BLACKWELL: And apparently, that wasn't the end of it. Reportedly, the teacher took the kid into a bathroom and screamed at him for two minutes more...
CALLAN: Well, you know, Victor, what -- what frightens me about it, too, is she's got a lot of kids under her care.
BLACKWELL: Yes. PAUL: Right.
CALLAN: And if she's doing this with this kid, how many situations occurred which were not filmed involving this teacher.
BLACKWELL: True, well...
PAUL: Yes, we -- we don't know.
CALLAN: They -- they -- yes, they should look into this very carefully.
PAUL: Well, we know she's been with the school district for 14 years. And they said she's -- the district said she's a good teacher. But we'll have to wait and see how this plays out.
Paul Callan, Joey Jackson, thank you both so much.
JACKSON: Our pleasure.
CALLAN: Thank you.
JACKSON: Have a great day.
PAUL: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: Well, falling out of love, apprehension about marriage, belief in god, newly discovered personal letters from Jackie Kennedy are giving the world a rare glimpse into the mind of the iconic first lady.
PAUL: Forty-eight minutes past the hour right now. Man, are we getting a unique look now at the thoughts, the concessions, even the doubts of one of America's most iconic and -- and really private first lady, of course, Jacqueline Kennedy.
BLACKWELL: Thirty-three intimate letters between a young Jackie and Irish priest are set to be auctioned off next month. Now, this shows a maturation (ph) of a high society girl into the Jackie O. we think of today.
Now, they also reveal her innermost feelings and insecurities about love, family and her husband's wandering eyes.
PAUL: And in fact, in the letter about (ph) John F. Kennedy, before they wed, she wrote, quote, "He's like my father in a way, loves the chase, is bored with the conquest and once married, needs proof he's still attractive so flirts with other women and resents you."
PAUL: Interesting that she wrote that prior to their wedding, a presidential historian, Douglas Brinkley, joining us now. Mr. Brinkley, thank you so much for being with us. We appreciate it. Now, before we get to Jackie, we have to get to -- to what's (ph) out (ph) here (ph).
BLACKWELL: To the news. We've got to get to the news. We (ph) brought (ph) you (ph) to talk about Jackie. But you know, First Lady Michelle Obama last night made some -- some news when she took on segregation in schools before a crowd of high school students in Topeka, Kansas.
What do you make of the statement she made that the country is in danger of sliding back to, you know, 60 years ago, when Brown versus Board of Education was argued.
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: I think it's one of her most powerful statements as First Lady. And it's, as you mentioned, it's fitting. It's on the 60th anniversary of Brown.
But the disparity between what public schools are in our urban areas compared to suburban areas, parts of America where you have largely African-American populations in school districts, are abysmal. And so she's really kind of opening up to have a national conversation.
Have we gone far enough since Brown versus Topeka in 1954?
PAUL: Let's listen to part of her speech here because she really did, I think, put an environment, a sense around what it's like in schools these days.
OBAMA: So today, by some measures, our schools are as segregated as they were back when Dr. King gave his final speech. And as a result, many young people in America are going to school largely with kids who look just like them.
And too often, those schools aren't equal, especially ones attended by students of color, which too often lag behind, with crumbling classrooms and less-experienced teachers. And even in schools that seem integrated according to the numbers, when you look a little closer, you see students from different backgrounds sitting at separate lunch tables or trapped into different classes or separated in the different clubs or activities.
PAUL: OK, that certainly make you think about even as adults...
PAUL: ...where we sit, what we do. But was there anything, Mr. Brinkley, about -- was there anything political about this, any political motive, do you think?
BRINKLEY: You know, I think Michelle Obama is really a child of the civil rights movement. And she gets very moved on any occasion where she gets to talk about Dr. King or commemorate Meg Drabbers (ph), Rosa Parks or somebody. So I think she used this venue to make a political speech.
It was set to be a historical moment. But this is one of the most outforward she's gotten yet as First Lady to appear (ph) wanting (ph) to start to look at the disparity and inequalities of our school system and talk about race between young people. It -- it tells you then in 2014, she may be starting to front-burner her political activities as First Lady, not just sitting a little more in the shadows as she's been.
PAUL: All right, Presidential Historian, Douglas Brinkley, stay with us obviously, because we want your reaction, too, in just a minute, here on these newly revealed letters by former First Lady Jackie Kennedy as well. Stay close.
PAUL: Well, we are back with Presidential Historian, Douglas Brinkley, to talk about the newly discovered letters of Jackie Kennedy. And they reveal some really intimate thoughts and doubts and fears that, you know, we didn't know about before.
BLACKWELL: Yes, there's one passage I want to read here in which she writes and I think we can put it up here, "That world," speaking about her world, "That world can be very glamorous from the outside, but if you're in it and you're lonely, it could be a hell."
What have we learned about -- just maybe torment is too strong of a -- of a word, but the discomfort that she felt during her time as First Lady?
BRINKLEY: Well, you know, well, I think Jackie Kennedy has always been a background figure, as I just mention, you know, first ladies tend to be. But these letters reveal that she was -- had a -- a kind of a stewing concern about loneliness in politics and not just about her husband's faithfulness, but whether she was going to be able to be happy. She adopted (ph) a priest, Father Leonard (ph) from Dublin, and would write him these letters and used him as sort of a confessional, told him whatever she really felt.
It's a fascinating relationship. By the end of it, you see the Kennedy's marriage was doing well at the time of her death. But she loses faith in god and -- and writes to the priest. I might have to -- if I go up to heaven looking for Jack, I want to find him.
But I'm -- I'm angry at god. And so but she was keeping this channel open with her counselor and healer, Father Leonard.
PAUL: Well, she also wrote of JFK after they met, she wrote, quote, "If he ever does ask me to marry him, it will be for rather practical reasons because his career is this driving thing with him."
It's almost as -- do -- I mean, do you read that as her realizing that career came first for him?
BRINKLEY: Yes, I think she thought -- it comes out in the letters, she thought her husband was an opportunist, somebody with charisma, somebody that she was going to have to share with the world, she wasn't going to be able to claim him for herself. This made her scared.
This made her sad at times. But she decided to buy the ticket and take the ride. By the end of the letters, you know, she's now re-fallen, if you'd like, in love with her husband in 1963. And in '64, she's just a -- a woman in mourning.
BLACKWELL: You know, you said just a moment ago, Professor, that she used this -- this -- this priest and -- and these letters as a confessional. Now, this college, Ohalo's (ph) College in Dublin, they're -- they're auctioning off, is there something dishonorable?
I mean, is this -- is there...
PAUL: Do (ph) you (ph) feel (ph) uncomfortable (ph)...
BLACKWELL: ...precedent for this to -- to sell what was a confessional to a priest no less?
BRINKLEY: Well, I -- you know, it is curious. But if she -- she may have had priests here in the United States she was talking to for comfort. But she wouldn't have written them letters.
This was a priest she befriended. And she have (ph) the transatlantic correspondence going. As a historian, I see things up for auction all the time, special collection. Libraries in America are getting documents like this often.
I guess it would be hard to believe that they would be hidden away or tucked away. You wish somebody would have them and donate them to an -- the Kennedy Library in Boston, for example. But the world doesn't look, you know, look at things like that.
Money -- money rules in the end. But it's an -- it's an interesting collection. It's going to be very important for people working on biographies of Jackie Kennedy and -- and President Kennedy.
PAUL: You know, she also wrote, "I -- I have to think there is a god or I have no hope of finding Jack again." You mentioned that one. That was a letter that -- that showed, despite any indiscretions, you know, or problems in their relationship, she loved her husband and really struggled with his assassination.
She went on to say, I think god must have taken Jack to show the world how lost we would be without him. But that is a strange way of thinking to me.
BLACKWELL: We are...
PAUL: Did she ever overcome that, do you think? BRINKLEY: Well, the one thing -- these are -- she's in love with -- with her husband. And people that -- that admire the Kennedys can look at these letters and recognize, there really was a real marriage and a marriage based on a lot of love.
And she has a lot of longing at his time of his death.
PAUL: All right. Well, Presidential Historian, Douglas Brinkley, we thank you so much.
BLACKWELL: Thank you. And thank you for starting your morning with us.