Rise and Shine, Park Cities (4-7-11)

1. No doubt, parents are upset about Christie Crummel’s resignation — enough so that about 60 of them called a meeting Tuesday with Highland Park High School principal Walter Kelly. Dirt is a-flying, so if you’d like to add your thoughts (on the record, I beg of you) give me a call: 214-523-5269.

We’ll have details in Friday’s issue of Park Cities People.

2. High school side-note: A blood drive is ongoing until 3:30 p.m. today in the HPHS cafeteria.

3. The American Institute of Architects’ big “Retrospect” exhibit kicks off this morning at NorthPark Center.

4. Free this weekend? Need ornamentation? Jewelry designer Darlene de Sedle has trunk shows starting 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday at Stanley Korshak.

Some sumptuous text from an online bio for de Sedle, who grew up around her father’s massive antiques collection and cites it as inspiration:

When I set out into jewelry-land I knew exactly where I was going. I wanted my gold to feel like pre-Columbian gold. I wanted to use every color stone imaginable; rainbow moonstones, aqua, tourmalines, citrines, and cabochons because of their soft feel.

And I wanted to bust out my credit card.

37 thoughts on “Rise and Shine, Park Cities (4-7-11)

  • April 7, 2011 at 1:52 pm
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    Just curious – are the 60 parents that called a meeting with the principal all Belle parents? If so, it seems like that would be the vast majority of them, and she clearly has their support. What a loss for HP if the actions of a few end in a liked and respected leader leaving.

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  • April 7, 2011 at 3:03 pm
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    I heard 92% of the Belles and their parents wanted Ms. Crummel to stay. (If correct, must be a survey.) I also heard that one of the parents who persuaded Principal Kelly to get rid of her was a member of the school board that hired him last year. I’m anxious to read the facts in this week’s paper.

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  • April 7, 2011 at 4:13 pm
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    I also got told that the school board guy fired her but that the non-vengeance seeking parents wanted her to stay. Would love a researched story in the paper to clarify what happened.

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  • April 7, 2011 at 5:27 pm
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    Where do these numbers come from? Just curious as I don’t care who is the Belle’s coach at all, they will still be the best drill team.

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  • April 7, 2011 at 8:02 pm
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    I wonder where an article about parents not being happy can bring any positive movement forward and/or healing to an excellent group of girls that commit three years of their high school experience. This is an exemplary district that has now been ‘muddied’ by a group of current Belle parents that have lost sight of this! Administration has been and continues to be in the education business of children and puts them first. I believe that parents and employed teachers are meant to be supportive. There has been none and should not be a behind the scenes movement to do someone else’s job. Contracts are meant to protect both parties and determine if it is a match… an adult (the director) decided on her own free will that this was not an acceptable match. We should be wishing her well and allowing her to move on in peace and I ask that everyone else mind their own business so this district and most importantly teenage girls can as well.

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  • April 7, 2011 at 9:15 pm
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    The PCP article answered few of my questions.

    Many new principals would have trouble standing up to a person who gave them their job. Not a fair position to put Kelly in. Sounds like a school board member might have abused his power. Who? Exactly what did he do?

    We have a school board election coming up. Both candidates have a kid or kids in our schools. You might want to ask candidates how they would deal such a situation.

    Were the upset parents all parents of seniors who are graduating anyway? Which parents called the police last fall about the Goth day dispute, and did the police then file charges against Ms. Crummel? Who were the parents who filed civil suits against Ms. Crummel? What were their allegations? Have they since dropped those lawsuits? Was their litigation frivolous?

    I’d think some of this is public record, to put in your next article.

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  • April 7, 2011 at 9:56 pm
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    The article in the paper today was so biased. We all know who the board member was and the article is very slanted against this person. The leader of the Belle’s is a malicious director who has been tearing down girls self-esteem for years on end talking behind their backs and making the group very cut throat. The girls in HP are great dancers and another will do just as good of a job and hopefully will leave a beautiful stamp on their lives unlike the director they have now. It not all about the dance…it’s also about these girls journey to adulthood.

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  • April 7, 2011 at 10:50 pm
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    @Belle’s Need A Change. If the director has been such a problem for years, why do most of the Belles and parents support her? And why did the unhappy parents wait so long to protect their Belles from a malicious director?

    I still haven’t heard a version of this story that makes sense to me.

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  • April 7, 2011 at 10:54 pm
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    Absolutely NO knowledge of the Belle’s or Ms. Crummel. But I agree with the poster, what a biased article in the PCP, bordering on gossip. I don’t know what really happened here, but given my dealings with involved HP parents, I’m sure that there is another side to the story.

    This whole Belle thing sounds brutal. It should be about the girls. As is usually the case in the Park Cities, it is about the parents, and adults with power to choose who gets into the club and who gets snubbed. All the talk about which professional dance instructor get girls into the Belles, who has the power, the politics of it all, make me sad.

    Hopefully the adults will realize that this is about the girls, and do what is right for their development as people.

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  • April 8, 2011 at 10:14 am
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    @Sad. I heard that the Belles were taken away from Ms. Crummel–not of her own free will–but that she could have remained as a teacher. This doesn’t sound like a “mind your own business” situation. It sounds like our paid administrators caving to pressure from a small group.

    Maybe real facts will come out. Maybe not.

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  • April 8, 2011 at 10:46 am
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    @Not a Belle Parent. If you aren’t a “Belle Parent” then how can you possibly “know” what went on in Belles last year. Maybe you should call a Senior Belle Parent and ask them what happened…or call the UP police department and ask for a copy of the police report involving the incident. Or speak with other Belle parents whose daughters have experienced similar mistreatment. There have been numerous complaints by caring parents about this director for the last 7 yrs. There’s the truth!

    Also, do you honestly believe that parents in this district have that much “power”to affect how Mr. Kelly administers his employees?!?…lol! Get real…she resigned…end of story…move on!

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  • April 8, 2011 at 10:56 am
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    Hi, all, and thanks for your thoughts.
    We’ll have a more detailed story in next week’s issue of Park Cities People.

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  • April 8, 2011 at 12:20 pm
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    @The Truth. Never said I “knew.” Only said I heard. As for power, no “lol” about it, it is difficult for a Principal to stand up to the person who hired him.

    @Georgia Fisher. I hope the PCP will find the facts–in police reports, court cases, interviews with Senior Belle Parents, wherever. If someone doesn’t do that, the current rumors will become circulated as truth in HPISD from now on. Even non-Belle teachers and coaches will be warned not to upset Joey or Susie because HPISD parents will call the police, sue them, and try to get them fired, no matter how good a job they are doing. That’s not good for HPISD.

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  • April 8, 2011 at 12:59 pm
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    Please do include a background of “the incident” and these supposed 7 years worth of complaints because none of these posters who know are sharing any kind of info here about background or really any facts for that matter. Like “Not a Belle parent” I would love to hear how those complaints/lawsuits turned out regarding “the incident” because as of right now, with the little info given, it kind of seems like they petered out once those involved decided they were being silly. No facts, No idea.

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  • April 8, 2011 at 4:28 pm
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    @Avid Reader. Unlike the “92%” of current Belle Parents (as quoted in the PCP article), the 2011 Senior Belle Parents never went public with “the incident” as it was a private matter and they did not feel it was appropriate to involve others not directly involved.

    I would suggest reaching out to one of those parents and get “The Truth” and facts regarding that incident before passing judgment as to them being “silly”. We are talking about the well being of young adolescent women here so to be so cavalier with your comments would be foolish.

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  • April 8, 2011 at 5:11 pm
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    @The Truth: “92 percent” is a number I’ve heard (off record) a great deal. It was not in the PCP article, however, as it’s info I couldn’t confirm on short notice.

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  • April 8, 2011 at 7:13 pm
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    @Georgia Fisher. You are correct…”92% of Belles Parents” is being circulated by two current Belles families. It was not in your article, but it’s being circulated in emails to the administration from these families.

    For the “record”, two of your points in your article are incorrect and outright false:

    One, if there were 60 parents in attendance at the Tuesday meeting, that would not represent a “majority” of upperclassman Belles. In fact, there are currently 138 Belle parents; therefore 60 would not constitute
    a majority. Second, Bob Jenevin stated “punishment was overridden by Mr. Kelly” which is totally false and never occurred.

    As for the “alleged threats” you referenced regarding a school board member, “The Truth” is that one of these alleged recipients barged into a schoolbaord mtg last year making threats and demands…not as Jenevein alleges. The man that bardged in has gone completely
    Bananas!

    “The Truth” and facts would be nice to see if you choose to do a follow-up piece!

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  • April 8, 2011 at 7:34 pm
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    There is a lot of “I heard”… How sad that before journalists and bloggers put words in black and white that they do not confirm facts. A campaign to circulate to hundreds of people should warrant more ethical behavior. Again, these are young girls that live in our community and their reputations being damaged because of “I heard”. Shameful. This article was published front page without confirming statements from the involved parties of administration and Chrisite Crummel. I hope that there are no more articles so that the involved parties can move forward and begin to heal! Remember that there is positive and negative in this community but it is a choice of which to focus.

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  • April 8, 2011 at 7:40 pm
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    Why do you keep “censoring” my comments?!? Is “The Truth” to much to handle or would you rather just print gossip”?

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  • April 8, 2011 at 9:28 pm
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    @The Truth. Since you are so convinced that those of us wanting facts are wrong, cavalier, foolish, etc., you must know the facts–but you won’t tell us. So I hope this newspaper will publish the facts.

    I can’t speak for Avid Reader, but I’m not going to call a so-called Senior Belle Parent and ask what the “private” matter was that caused them to make Ms. Crummel a very public, and jobless, scapegoat, and leave the classes of Belles behind them upset and without a Director.

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  • April 9, 2011 at 9:15 am
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    Teachers are powerless against parents who have a lot of time and money, neither of which teachers have. There are consequences for defying adults. @The Truth, you say this is a private matter, but you have no problem mentioning in this very public forum that there was a police report. Over the past 5 months, how many people were you on the phone with about this “private matter?”

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  • April 9, 2011 at 10:50 am
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    @Not a Belle Parent. I’m not sure where in my previous posts that I stated that you or anyone else is “wrong” about wanting facts. What I’ve said is that people should get 100% of the facts before they make public/private statements about this issue. That is the responsible thing to do!

    Without giving out private details of these occurrences, here are the facts and “The Truth”:

    1. Crummel has had multiple complaints to the district about her behavior and treatment of some Belle members over the last 7 yrs.
    2. Crummel had a physical altercation with a Belle member and a police report was filed.
    3. Crummel’s discipline of certain Belles over the “Goth” incident stood and was not “overridden” by Mr. Kelly.
    4. One junior Belle family want on a public campaign in support of Crummel using untrue facts and misstatements regarding the incident which were addressed by the district. The same husband who barged into the school board mtg. He’s Bananas!
    5. Crummel was offered a teaching contract with HPISD and chose not to accept it through her resignation.
    6. Crummel issued an email statement on April 7th notifying Belle parents that her resignation was final and that she was pursuing other career options. She offered her thanks for her yrs of service.
    7. Two junior Belle families have “gone public” with their displeasure of her resignation in an attempt to “spin” that Crummel was “forced out” of HPISD (TOTALLY FALSE)! They would like everyone to believe that one incident, last year, elicited her removal from Belles directorship when, in fact, SHE RESIGNED.

    Belles has never been, and will never be, about one single individual, director, lieutenant, administration, principal, family, etc.. It’s about the girls that bust their butts each and everyday to make our community proud of who they are. That’s what has been forgotten is this whole unsorted thing!

    It’s time to move on for these girls and given them the support they deserve!

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  • April 9, 2011 at 10:56 am
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    @Sweet. Police reports are “public record”. Private matters are not. The people that were involve in the incident kept it just that “private”!

    If you honestly believe that the teachers and administration of HPISD are “powerless” to us parent then you clearly are naive. They are employees of the districts and have rights, privacy and representation in the workplace…no different than any other job in America.

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  • April 11, 2011 at 6:52 am
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    Thanks for the vague facts, hope the PC follow up report will have more substance. As a side note, even with the little facts surrounding the entire situation, the whole “she resigned” of her own free will line is not one that anyone takes seriously. That’s like saying Wade Phillips resigned of his own free will.

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  • April 11, 2011 at 10:30 am
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    Truth-why so sensitive? It’s natural for us to be curious.

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  • April 11, 2011 at 10:40 am
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    It’s times like these that make me glad I only had boys..

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  • April 11, 2011 at 4:53 pm
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    @Grump. When articles are written by PCP that are “factually” untrue then it tends to make everyone more “gossipy”…just keeping it real!

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  • April 11, 2011 at 4:56 pm
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    @Avid Reader. I can only take Ms. Crummel and the administration at their word on her resignation. Mr. Kelly detailed out her offer and resignation for the group of parents last week in the mtg…Crummel echoed that as well in her email to parents.

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  • April 12, 2011 at 12:28 am
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    @The Truth: “The same husband who barged into the school board mtg. He’s Bananas!”

    Was it Super Dad? The guy who built that wooden contraption in Anne Oliver’s yard on Purdue?

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  • April 12, 2011 at 8:27 am
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    I can only use these partial vague facts to get the idea since no one seems to want to tell “The Truth”. That being said, it is patently obvious that this was not a true resignation. Seems like she was offered essentially a demotion to continue working in a not entirely friendly atmosphere.

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  • April 14, 2011 at 10:39 am
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    @Avid Reader – you hit it on the nose.

    @The Truth – you are flat out wrong on so many levels. Do you even hear yourself?

    Doesn’t really matter now though, does it? The bullies won. A really great example to teach our kids. You should be so very proud.

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  • April 14, 2011 at 2:29 pm
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    Step back and look at the big picture. Parents and educators should be focused on the education of the students rather than themselves. Also, how will students (and parents)ever learn to function in the world when mommy and daddy take care of everything as they see fit even if it is detrimental to their development for functioning in life? Give teachers room to teach. Let students learn lessons and experience the consequences. If you don’t agree with it, home school and take on the job yourself. Good luck. The director appears to be a very qualified and informative instructor, and the Belles have improved over the past seven years keeping up with new styles and techniques while staying true to the tradition and history of the organization. I wish the new team the best in their near future. Focus on working together for the sake of the children… yes, they are children. Be an example for them to become the best person they can be.

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  • April 14, 2011 at 10:23 pm
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    Private incident peoples…. come on. Spend a week in 8th grade boys athletics and then see how you feel. You’d LOVE your former director. She wouldn’t make you do wall push ups on the brick until your hands bleed. She wouldnt tell you that “sometimes you gotta blow out your knee”. I doubt she screams obscenities at the girls in a huddle, either.

    Or how about just visit one YMCA boys football game and listen to the parent coaches yelling to hit em hard.. hurt someone!… geez have some respect for Christie and teach your daughters to follow the rules. Goth is bad.

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  • April 18, 2011 at 5:11 am
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    Mr. Kelly had no choice but to accept Ms. Crummel’s resignation once she shoved the student and the parent threatened to sue. He could have supported her discipline if not for that incident and the police report filed by the parent. Even though the Goth girls broke the rules and disrespected Ms. Crummel, the shove made her departure inevitable. Blame the bully parents, not Mr. Kelly.

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  • April 19, 2011 at 10:25 pm
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    Wow @Truth…You’re way wrong. Sorry. Here’s how it went down: 2 senior moms were overheard in the Fall saying they wanted Crummel fired after their daughters were going to be benched. And, lo and behold, it happened. Crummel never shoved anyone — only a small handful of senior Belles were interviewed. Had Kelly interviewed the REST OF THE BELLES, he’d know that the “incident” never happened. Ask the Sophs and Juniors. After all this drama, even Kelly openly stated recently that Crummel was investigated over the Goth incident and he found her not to be at fault. And what happened to the police investigation? The shoving never happened. The girl ran past her and into Crummel. I hope Fisher finds out. It feels like the police file was just another step to gather stories to make their original goal (pushing Crummel out) a reality.

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  • April 20, 2011 at 12:08 pm
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    I accidentally happened on this story…. I was looking up the phone number for the paper because my children were interviewed about where they were going for summer camp and I wanted copies for the FAM!!! Although it is not my concern AT ALL I thought I would just post that I completely agree with Boy Mom (I am an all boy mom as well) and Artist. If you don’t understand what the definition is for director look it up. Whoever that person is that holds that title is supposed to do just that… DIRECT! That is what being a member of any kind of extra curricular activity is about is having a coach or director to direct you/help you/coach you to be great at the activity that you have decided to participate in. That includes helping you to make the right decisions and choices as well. If you make the wrong choices and decide to break the rules or (not choose to eat healthy) then you should know that there will be consequences. AND it’s not difficult to figure out what those consequences will be. I was a cheerleader and was also on the dance/drill team and talk about intolerant…. BUT I chose to try -out and be a cheerleader and I chose to try-out for the dance team and I never once complained about what my cheer coach or dance director’s comments/rules were bc I respected them and I was taught from a very young age to respect my elders and that meant teachers/coaches/directors etc. I knew better than to go to my parents and complain bc what they would have told me is you chose to try-out for this team so suit up and deal with it or quit! So my feeling is if someone doesn’t like the way the director is directing or the coach is coaching then you have the ability to walk away, but don’t make the team lose a director/coach that has been amazing bc you aren’t getting your way or you got in trouble for breaking the rules. That is exactly what I told my son when he started getting tired of being up at school for football at 6:30. “It is the time practice is held and you can either suit up and keep your commitment or walk away” BUT don’t even think about trying again the next year bc once you quit bc you don’t “like” the rules I’m not going to allow you to go back and now all of a sudden decide you want to follow them. Talk about AMAZING…. Coach Herron is AMAZING and my son thinks the world of him as do I and you read what “Boy Mom” said they do….. it’s part of what makes him a great coach!!!

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  • December 5, 2011 at 1:14 pm
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    Good grief! Can you imagine the noise level inside the train car?! Or the HOT roof?!Looks like Soviet-style full employment project for incompetent engineers!

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