No charge in vegan handouts
By KELLY MAHONEY - firstname.lastname@example.org
FOX RIVER GROVE – A former District 3 art teacher and outspoken vegan embittered over his dismissal has been distributing a 700-plus page book that chronicles his firing.
David Warwak, 45, allegedly posted a request via the Internet for his former students to meet him at a Fox River Grove McDonald’s after school May 23. He gave numerous copies of the book, “Peep Show for Children Only,” to middle school children, Fox River Grove Police Chief Ron Lukasik said.
Lukasik said police became aware of the book after a mother complained May 27. The mother said her daughter, along with several other students, was pictured in it. The police since have recovered six copies of the book that were given to District 3 students.
Police and McHenry County prosecutors reviewed the book and determined that although Warwak did not have permission to include the photos, he would not be charged with any crime. Civil charges could be possible, Lukasik and First Assistant State’s Attorney Tom Carroll said.
“While we certainly do not condone what he did – we don’t think it was appropriate – ... we are unable to charge Mr. Warwak with violation of any criminal statute,” Carroll said.
Warwak said there was nothing inappropriate about distributing information on veganism, the practice of not eating any animal products.
“With all the school shootings that happened and the climate of schools today, something has to change, so I offer solutions in the book,” Warwak said. “Humane education is what’s needed. ... That’s what’s missing in school.”
The soft-cover, self-published book – a large, rambling text – is mostly transcripts from various proceedings regarding Warwak’s dismissal last year sprinkled with rants about society’s obsession with eating meat and animal products, such as milk. It also contains correspondences with students.
The school board said in terminating him last fall that Warwak ceased teaching art and turned his classroom into an indoctrination zone, telling students to keep his teachings secret.
At least two versions of Warwak’s book exist. Warwak said the one that his students received was a draft. Another is available online for $29.95. The online version is 487 pages long.
Warwak, who lives in Williams Bay, Wis., said he distributed the drafts to 15 to 20 students. Students, he said, are more receptive to his message.
“Kids see it because they’re still in touch with their heart, and adults don’t see it,” Warwak said. “Adults, they flip out, and they don’t want kids to even check it out.”
Warwak said he was not surprised that police looked into the books, but no parents had called.
“I know that the school was upset, and I know that police were going to kids’ houses,” Warwak said. “Anyone can contact me at any time. I’m not hiding from anyone.”
Warwak described himself on the back cover of the book as a social critic, humanitarian and philosopher who “just as Scopes changed the landscape of education with his ‘Monkey Trials’ some 80 years ago, Warwak has come forward in present day with striking revelations about our current failing educational system and offers clear no-nonsense solutions that chill one to the bone. This book is for all ages and for all time.”
An excerpt from “Peep Show for Children Only”:
“The beef industry knows all about me. They documented my initial emergence on the scene. Funny how they monitor such things. ... Too bad these losers can’t control the internet. People are finding out. The gig is up! The internet shall set us free!”
13 June 2008: I've had Dave Warwak's book in my possession for about a month now.. My 10 yr. old son and I read as a bedtime story. Our trusty Aesop's fables has taken a back seat until we finish Dave's fantastic book. Why patronize Aesop for moral/ethical messages, when I have Dave's fantastic book! Excellent job, Mr. Warwak.. We love it!! It was worth every penny!! My son loves the part with the squirrel in the kiln!! -Eileen Scanlon
Return to Articles