Misdemeanor Conviction and Getting Credentialed

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Ophelia, Jul 25, 2007.

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  1. Ophelia

    Ophelia New Member

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    My sister wants to be a teacher, but she has a misdemeanor on her record for solicitation in which she pled no contest. Can she ever get credentialed in California? The misdemeanor conviction is more than 5 years old. She has really turned her life around since then and is excited about the prospect of doing something meaningful with her life.
     
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  3. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Her best bet is to check out the California Board of Education page. It should have that information somewhere on it. I know we have several California teahcers on here, too, maybe some of them will know.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    There have been several discussions on the forums about credentials after convictions- I think there was a recent one about DUI in Calif... I understand that people can 'turn their lives around'...I just wonder though about some of the convictions that we are discussing here...solicitation? Aren't there enough sex scandals involving teachers to put oneself through the possibility of school community finding out this news about their teacher????:2cents:
     
  5. La Profesora

    La Profesora Cohort

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    I dont think my school would hire someone who had been convicted of solicitation. There is just a wide open door for problems. Sorry, but glad she has turned her life around
     
  6. Ophelia

    Ophelia New Member

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    I know an alarming number of credentialed teachers who have been caught selling drugs and having inappropriate relationships with students. But these teachers had no criminal record. I think it is unfair that a person who made a mistake over 5 years ago and has led an exemplary life since that time does not even get the opportunity at a career she really wants just because her mistake is in a file somewhere.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    There are teachers who have had no previous record who have been convicted of crimes- AND then they lose their teaching jobs. Knowing someone has been convicted of a crime (and a serious one like drugs or numerous DUIs or stealing or soliciatation...) well, hiring someone with that kind of record is taking on a big, KNOWN risk....and the risk is with KIDS. (and taxpayer money...) There are so many highly qualified teachers out here who have led exemplary lives who can't get jobs -- a person with a serious conviction is facing too much (if not an impossible) of an 'uphill climb'...
     
  8. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Every action has its consequence. As I say to my kids, 'You should've thought of that before you ________.'
     
  9. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    Can't remember the exact quote, but: "...and Jesus knelt and wrote something in the sand..."

    We don't know what the circumstances were. In my juvenile delinquent classes, we watched a documentary that spanned 2 years in the lives of "street children" in Seattle, WA. This documentary was filmed in the 1990's. There was a 12-year old girl whose mom, a waitress, sent her out on the streets to make money. While she was counting out the money her daughter brought home, they asked her if she felt in any way....wrong. She said, why should I? She is making more money in one day than I could make in a week.

    I used to read "Cosmopolitan" magazine when I was a brand new adult. The day I stopped reading it was when I read an article about college girls and married women making "extra money" by prostitution! And the writer was talking like it was a good idea, and giving suggestions. I couldn't believe I was reading that. I have never touched that magazine again.

    What I am saying is that despite our personal feelings about it, we don't know how this person ended up where she was. Morals have really slipped in the decade or so. In my cj classes we also had many guest speakers who had been convicted of drug-related crimes (of which this is one) and who had turned their lives around completely and were speaking to us because they were now in counseling, or probation, or some field where they were now helping the people better than anyone else could because they had been there. And this person could do that too. Whether in teaching or not. I know there was a group of students in my credential program who would go out drinking after every class and, though adults, acted like it was cool or the thing to do or something. I didn't get it. And I didn't like knowing that some of these could end up being my kids' teachers. But if a person has "turned their life around" maybe they deserve a chance.
     
  10. princessa48

    princessa48 Companion

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    I don't know what California's laws are regarding teaching credentials. But, solicitation is just one of those things that I don't think could be overlooked. I mean no offense here, but I would never want my child in a class with a teacher who had that checkered of a past. Sorry, but morals are morals, and I just would not be willing to accept that. I think most school administrators would agree with me on that one.
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I'm all for people who have 'turned their lives around' going out into the world and doing good (and doing well...) JUST NOT IN A CLASSROOM.
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    This is pretty much how I feel. All things being equal, I would prefer to work with the teacher who has no criminal record over the one who does.

    I do think there is a difference between crimes committed by someone under age 18 and someone who is a legal adult. It's much easier to accept a "mistake" that took place when a person was 17 than when someone is 25. When you're an adult, you need to know better.

    For the record, I don't view DUI and related offenses as "mistakes"... They are serious crimes for which I strongly believe people should receive more than a slap on the wrist. If that means a person needs to consider a different career choice, then so be it.

    I was truly shocked to see how many people here have DUIs and related offenses on their records. It almost seems commonplace! I certainly don't have any, and none of my friends do either.

    I realize I sound judgmental, and I guess I sort of am. Choosing to jump behind the wheel when you know you've been drinking is reckless, dangerous, and stupid, and it should warrant some pretty severe consequences.
     
  13. princessa48

    princessa48 Companion

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    I completely agree. I can't believe how commonplace these types of offenses are. I guess I was just naive enough to believe that this didn't exist in my profession. I'm sure most educators are upstanding citizens, but I am shocked at how many aren't. These are criminal actions, not juvenile offenses. I don't care how long ago the crime was committed. I'm all for forgiveness, but I don't think that teaching is the right profession for people with that type of background. Just my opinion.
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    princess- I don't think many of the people who have come online asking about convictions and credentials HAVE teaching jobs. They are wondering if they can get credentialed and get a job despite their convictions. I think colleges and universities should be HONEST with students about the availability of jobs in the first place, how hard they can be to get for capable teachers and how convicted individuals should think MORE THAN twice about entering this profession in the first palce as it is gong to be difficult, if not impossible, to get credentialed and get a job...:eek:
     
  15. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    After reading this thread, which is a very serious one at that, I have decided to pass this kind of valuable information on to my students. I don't know how just yet; journal entry (discussion), literature, etc. I know teens don't particularly listen, and they think it will never happen to them, but if I can get the importance of thinking before you act across to one or two students, then it is worth it!
    I have read a great deal about Face Book and My Space and how some of the content on personal entries have hd negative impact on people applying for jobs. Do people realize that putting a picture of yourself drunk at a party is basically inviting the entire world into your life? Kids (and Adults) need to realize there are consequences to their actions. Teaching Literature will give me many opportunities to drive that point home. I hope!:huh:
     
  16. Discouraged

    Discouraged Rookie

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    Not Likely


    I am now 34. When I was 19, I was arrested because my Grandmother lied. She later admitted she lied, however it remains a part of my record. I haven't been in any trouble, other than speeding, in over 15 years. My certificate is on hold while the documents I had to send in are being reviewed. No charges were ever filed, and I did not do anything wrong, other than being 19 and not believed by the officers at the time. Both my grandmother and I were supposed to be arrested since we each claimed the other had hit us. She again lied about needing to stay home and care for my Grandfather. She was not arrested, but I will always have an arrest on my record for "Domestic Violence" in spite of the fact that I was innocent.

    My point is, if I am being investigated for an arrest in which no charges were ever filed, and this happened over 15 years ago, no doubt she will be under scrutiny for an actual charge, solicitation no less, that happened 5 years ago. Perhaps she would be better served counseling youth since a history and "Turned-around" life would be appreciated rather than scorned!
     
  17. Sweet2Teach

    Sweet2Teach Rookie

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    I guess I am the minority on this site, but that is what reassures me that I am in the correct profession! I have wanted to teach my entire life. Who knows the circumstances of the situation. Why limit someones passion because "we don't think they can measure up to us?" I have made mistakes, nothing major, but I can admit that. Every person on this Earth has made bad decissions and some people pay a huge price for that. Obviously the offense matters, but we need to listen and not judge. If we listen then we may still not agree and choose to not hire this person, but at least we listen! I guess I just like to keep an open mind.:)
     
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Discouraged- can you have your record expunged?

    Sweet2Teach- the truth is we are judged as teachers...we are fingerprinted, background checked, told to jump through this testing hoop and meet new standards: NCLB, Highly Qualified, etc...The reality is that there are MANY highly qualified capable teachers with no criminal records who do not have jobs. Even if a district could hire someone with a conviction, wouldn't they prefer to hire someone with impeccable references? As a parent I would prefer that a former prostitute or drunk was not teaching my kid- no matter how they have turned their lives around. There are plenty of other career fields out there that do not come under as much scrutiny as teachers. As professional educators we should hold high standards for ourselves and expect the same from our colleagues. :2cents:
     
  19. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Does "solicitation" mean what I THINK it means?? I'm a bit surprised she was able to get into a college of education program at her university. Hmm....
     
  20. Sweet2Teach

    Sweet2Teach Rookie

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    As a parent I would prefer that my child's teacher is HONEST and nonjudgmental:2cents: Imagine what you are bringing to your kids with such a judgemental view. EVERYONE makes mistakes. Obviously teachers are held to a very high standard and I absolutely meet that standard. My point is: When we are sitting in the teachers lounge, who are we to judge another teachers trials and tribulations. If they are in a district then obviously they have proved themselves. You are entitled to your opinion, as am I:woot:
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I am honest- I am giving you my honest opinion that those with convictions are going to have a VERY HARD, or impossible time getting hired. Read the job seekers forum- it's tough enough out there for capable qualified teachers. I know everyone makes mistakes- that's how we learn. Mistakes are opportunities. I'm glad the friend of the OP learned from hers, as I have learned from the mistakes I've made in my past. However when the question about getting credentials with a soliciatation conviction is asked we all should be honest here: It's not going to fly in MOST districts-if any at all...
     
  22. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    It is always admirable when someone changes their ways. I also feel awful for those who are wrongly accused or convicted. However, there have been far too many cases of predators in schools, churches, and other youth organizations to take any chances with vulnerable kids. End of discussion, in my opinion.
     
  23. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    I feel very uncomfortable with this too. But I'm trying to be like my girls' Godmother explained to me. She said that we never can compare sins, because we are not God and we do not know how He sees it. She said that the sin of being rude to someone could be just as bad as murder--which I am sure you will find as shocking as I did, so please don't yell at me--because how do we know that our rudeness did not then cause this to happen and that? She told me this about 10 years ago and it took me a long time to half way accept it. And Jesus said the worst sin is pride because it leads to all others, and he also associated with everyone, including those others. No, I don't want my kids learning bad morals. Believe me. And this particular one I find upsetting on so many levels. I learned more than I ever wanted to know about the things people can do to each other in my cj classes. I'm just trying to see the dignity in everyone. I'm sorry if I offended anyone here by what I said.
     
  24. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    It has nothing to do with forgiveness. Christians believe that every human being is worthy of forgiveness (if they repent) because they are created in the image of God. I'm not disputing that. But, just because you can forgive someone, doesn't mean they are suited to a particular job.

    Someone consistently rude and combative will probably not get hired to be a career coach or a motivational speaker. Someone convicted of arson probably won't ever get hired as a firefighter. A check forger probably won't ever be hired by a bank. See what I mean?

    It's one thing if the job doesn't involve children or other vulnerable people. When it does, the standards and expectations should be the highest.
     
  25. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    For me, it's not about judging. It's simply about trusting the person you hire to treat the children right. Some people do actually change and yet others lie and hide. As a parent, I would be very nervous because the fact is, I'm not that person and I don't know what's really going on. It's a trust issue for me, not a judgemental one. I have a really hard time taking my child to ONE babysitter much less switching. There is too much crazy victimization going on in schools and other places with children. Just trusting another human being with our children is risky enough, but like Czacza said, it is a "known" risk. What's funny is as a coworker (if I wasn't thinking about kids) it wouldn't bother me at all especially if I could see she was a good person. As a parent, the thought of my kid's schools hiring someone who has certain types of "checkered pasts" would get me nervous and probably upset. It's not about her, it's about my child.
     
  26. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    Daisy, you are right. I do see what you mean. And I don't know what the answer is. I'm actually judgemental (sp?) about these things, this is something I would not want to know about a teacher. I made it clear how I feel about selling any life on the surrogate mother thread. I was really suggesting that there are other careers, but I didn't want to sound discouraging or disparaging. Because people do have to be able to redeem themselves, or what else would they do?

    I have to say that I feel just as concerned with a teacher who has current and multiple DUI's, or who has sold drugs. If you have sold drugs, you tell me right there that at least at one point in your life you were a "predator" because you sold death and destruction to someone, maybe a child. Tells me how you see people. Alcoholics are selfish and don't care about anyone else. That would scare me. If you are teaching and you get a DUI, how do I know you're not drinking when you're in the classroom? What's to stop you? Anyone who can be corruptible is scary to me, most especially in the "helping" fields where people are trusting and depending on them.
     
  27. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    By the way, I don't have a clue to whether she can get a job or not. But you can obviously see the barriers she will face, at minimum.


    I don't understand the DUI really but as far as drinking, I don't equate that as worrisome in the classroom. Many young adults go through the "drinking" phase. It's almost a rite of passage with many.
     
  28. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Just for the record:

    I know a NUMBER of people who have been in AA for years. Alcoholism is a disease, not a personality trait.
     
  29. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Until the 50ish teacher shows up in the classroom drunk. After he just crashed his car into a tree at 7am in the morning. And has blood running down his face. Then it affects the school/ and children.
     
  30. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    Alcohol affects judgement, lowers inhibitions, and so on. I definitely wouldn't want a practicing alcoholic anywhere near my kids. It may not be a personality trait, Alice, and I say this very very respectfully, but it sure does affect their personalities. I don't see any difference between a drug addict and an alcohol addict. Alcohol is just sadly socially acceptable. That's my opinion, Alice, I'm not arguing with you! You my wise friend, me no argue. :)
     
  31. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    We've been discussing on AtoZ about people partying and drinking. Then we discuss how we don't feel people who drink/get drunk should be in a classroom for "known risk" reasons. I'm not saying known alcoholics, etc wouldn't be a risk but drinking at a party and getting drunk is not the same thing in my opinion. Shoot we have some good teacher parties that involve some of that. Alcoholism and social drinking are two different things (though the second can lead to the first). Now DUI I don't agree with period.
     
  32. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Thanks for making this clarification! I agree completely.

    And our last teacher party, organized by the admins, took place at the Hookah Lounge here in Vegas, complete with plenty of booze. I think that's a-okay.... driving home plastered afterwards is not.
     
  33. nytwinbee

    nytwinbee Rookie

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    we cannot judge others

    I have learned not to judge others, we never know what life throws at us, and some of us get terrible things thrown at us. I always feel it is easier to judge than to understand.

    For example, I have always worked, since I was sixteen, and when I was 25 my husband ended up in the hospital in intensive care for over a month. At that time we had two toddlers, and were basically living paycheck by paycheck. I couldn't go to work because I was at the hospital the entire time, and he obviously was not working. My kids were with my mom, and she was caring for them. But I did not have any money, and I had to decide between paying for the train or walking the hospital, so I can have money for food.

    Well, I obviously ran out of money, and my mom helped me out, but I really did not even have the money for all the medical bills even with insurance. It was over 150K. The hospital suggested that I apply for medicaid. Well, because I had kids, I couldn't simply apply for medical insurance, and I had to go through the Welfare Public Assistance. I found the entire experience extremely humiliating, and I was looked down on, and treated terribly, as though I was such a terrible person. I have to say that was one of my most humbling experiences. My husband eventually recovered, and we got back on our feet, and learned the importance of saving money, instead of living from paycheck to paycheck.

    I now work in a very poor area in New York, and I never look down at people for the choices they have to make, I see their realities and their necessities.

    Some people make bigger mistakes, and need to be able to learn from them, and not ever repeat them. With the OP, we don't know if her friend was truly soliciting, or had no other option but to agree to the charges, as the consequences may have been worse if she didn't agree. She should be able to explain her side of the story. For the DUI, I personally find it more difficult to accept, as the person is putting others at risk. But honestly teachers do not drive children, and a person with a DUI is not necessarily and alcoholic, so we cannot say they will show up to school drunk or something.

    I believe everyone deserves a second chance but not more than that, we need to be able to learn from our mistakes. :2cents:
     
  34. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    Sounds good.
     
  35. Research_Parent

    Research_Parent Cohort

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    Credentialed...probably, because that's the educational and testing part. She may even make it through the background clearance to get the internship and student teaching.

    http://www.ctc.ca.gov/default.html

    Find a job in CA in a classroom, probably not. If she truly wants to be a teacher, she will need to think outside the typical "classroom" setting.
     
  36. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Why not? What better place (for high school) for someone who has pulled their life together to be? I have known pastors with criminal records (no pedophilia) and doctors with DUIs. I would personally think that I would RATHER have someone who has been through "the wringer" and come out the other side a better, and much wiser person. Someone with ONE nonviolent mistake, who honestly learns from the experience and changes their life accordingly would be a fantastic role model. Just my opinion.
     
  37. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    and to hijack...just look at the 'Helicopter Crash in Phoenix' thread!

    When people choose to make mistakes, they do just that. It is their choice, but they affect the lives of thousands. They just don't care. I think they should.
     
  38. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Ok, I need more info.

    Just what exactly does, 'turned her life around' mean???

    If, she has completed a thorough counseling program, with a certified psychologist, has seen the doctor and has a complete bill of health, has determined, for herself, that this is something she has done, and will never do again.. I would take that as changing her course and looking towards the future.

    If she just said, "I won't do it any more." That is not enough for me.

    I think everyone deserves a second chance. But can you tell me honestly, did she ever have inappopriate relations with minors? If this is a case, it would be very unlikely that the state will grant a license. If she has a record, it will show.

    But tell me, why would you want to be in the bar, if you gave up drinking?

    There are plenty of opportunities to work in education, without directly supervising and instructing children. Especially, middle school and teenage children. If she has had negative relationships with children in the past, jumping into the classroom is not IMO the answer.

    Maybe she should try to volunteer in a few local schools. Then, she should honestly decide for herself, what is her gut reaction when she is around children? If she can be a playground aide, help supervise others, and keep them safe, I'm all for it.

    She may also consider volunteering in the park district. Maybe a few exercise classes, like ballet or karate.

    In otherwords, what is her comfort level around children. Her gut reaction will show.

    I've had younger teacher aides, who would make suggestive comments about fathers all the time. This was disgusting, but they were being honest, because they were immature (this father was younger, and attractive...to them). Don't you think Kerry's dad is fine?? My first reaction, "How can you think something like that!" You are supposed to be a professional! So, that is what I said. What if he was closer to my age? Well, I would not consider dating a child's parent. If he tried to make eye contact, I would avoid the situation altogether. That is being professional.

    Of course, I feel the same way about a 48 year old guy who thinks my daughter is cute, and she is 23. I think that is disgusting too, because he is old enough to be her father. If it doesn't feel right, then it probably isn't.

    She needs to be honest with herself, and her intentions.

    I say she should volunteer before making any further decisions.
     
  39. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Again, my 2 cents:

    I have a good friend who has been in AA for 16 years. She has acted as a sponsor for a number of people. (Sponsors are your lifeline in AA-- they're the people you call when you are on the verge of falling off the wagon.) I would, and have, trusted her with my kids with no qualms at all.

    And, no, she's not a teacher. And I have no clue as to whether or not she has ever received a DUI. Knowing what she went through before AA, it wouldn't surprise me. But all of that took place before most HS students were born.

    But my point is that sometimes people do deserve a second chance.
     
  40. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    But this objectionable charge was solicitation.
     
  41. nytwinbee

    nytwinbee Rookie

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    Pwhatley, I totally agree! The person who has worked harder to change their life, and against all adversity will be wiser and will cherish the opportunity they have received.

    Someone like that will be a good role model and will be able to teach students the importance of learning from mistakes, and accepting others.
     
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