Tag Archives: New York Department of Education

No way to opt out? Brooklyn second graders exposed to naked locker room encounters

Principal Tang

From NY Post: The principal of Brooklyn’s PS 169 is in hot water over a swimming program for second-graders that exposes them to more than just the backstroke.

Parents at the Sunset Park School are aghast the tots are taking lessons at a Manhattan fitness center where the children gather in a locker room with the club’s sometimes-naked members, school insiders told The Post.

Kids were seeing naked adults in the locker room. They don’t close the access to the public. Any member could come in. Adults could come in, change in the locker room while these kids are in the locker room at the same time,” one source said. “Teachers are in the locker room as well. They see the kids naked. The kids see each other naked.

But principal EuJin Tang — who once made headlines for canceling Christmas at the school — told parents they could not opt out, the insider said.

Furious parents even called 311 to complain, the insider said.

Tang touted the weekly lessons at Asphalt Green in Battery Park City in a June letter to parents saying that in September students would be provided with “more real-world experiences. For example, every second grader will learn how to swim.”

The school has about 1,400 students in grades K-5 and serves mostly immigrant and low-income families. The student population is about 62% Asian and 33% Hispanic and half the kids are English language learners. There are about 300 students in second grade.

Tang held a midday meeting with parents in October and, in a seeming about-face, said the swimming lessons weren’t mandatory. But no notice went out to parents who couldn’t make the meeting, the insider said.

She wants this program so bad. She doesn’t want them to opt out,” one parent said.

Asphalt Green offers the “Waterproofing” program to children in public and private schools. “Over the past 25 years, Asphalt Green’s Waterproofing program has provided free and low-cost weekly swimming lessons to tens of thousands of public school students, in an environment that is safe, educational, and fun,” an organization spokesman said.

The organization said it offered the use of private family changing rooms to allay any concerns. But the PS 169 insider said kids must still wait their turn in the communal locker room where they can see the nude adults. Tang did not respond to requests for comment.

A DOE spokeswoman said only two families opted out and that “Swim lessons save lives, and this program helps ensure children, regardless of background, have access to them.”

Tang ruffled feathers shortly after arriving at the school in 2014 when she decided to scrap Santa Claus, celebrate the “fall harvest” rather than Thanksgiving and eliminate a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance over the school’s public address system.

The principal, then known as EuJin Jaela Kim, was forced to change her tune after a Post expose. But she stirred up controversy again in 2016 when she threw away 1,200 almost-new desks and replaced them with tables.

DCG

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Fired Bronx teacher keeps her teaching certificate after admitting sex act on student

Who is going to hire a registered sex offender?

From Daily Mail: A New York social studies teacher has been sentenced to 10 years of probation after pleading guilty to performing oral sex on a 14-year-old boy. 

Dori Myers, 29, will not spend a day behind bars and will retain her teaching license after taking a plea deal last month.

Myers taught at The New School of Leadership and The Arts in The Bronx, and while prosecutors argued she should spend two years in jail, her defense attorney successfully argued she should be able to teach again, The New York Post reported.

‘There is a possibility that she could teach adults now or in the future and we want to preserve that possibility,’ Andrew Stoll told the court last month.

‘She still is a talented teacher and has those skills, and I don’t see any reason to destroy her ability to make a living and to contribute to society in a positive way.’

The former high school teacher has been fired by the New York Department of Education, and will not be eligible to teach at city schools again.

As part of her punishment, she must also register as a level one sex offender.

Myers wore a spotted, sleeveless dress and flat white shoes to court on Wednesday, and appeared unimpressed as she sat down to be sentenced.

Surrounded by police officers, she was seen staring at the judge with a straight face. Her husband, a Rockland County Sheriff’s deputy, was absent at Wednesday’s sentencing, despite being a figure of support at her previous court hearings.

Myers was arrested on January 19 after a friend of the victim, who is believed to have been in her class, told school administrators, who called the police.

At the time, she pleaded not guilty.  

A co-worker also claimed to have seen her massaging the alleged victim.

The criminal complaint claims the assault took place somewhere in Upper Manhattan on November 1, 2017.

DCG

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New York City pays exiled teachers to snooze as ‘rubber rooms’ return

It’s good to work under de Blasio.

NY City teacher working hard for the money

NY City teacher working hard for the money


New York City’s infamous rubber rooms have rebounded. In one of the “reassignment centers,” 16 exiled educators sit in a city Department of Education building in Long Island City, Queens, including a dozen packed into one room — where they do virtually no work. The Long Island City castoffs begin their day by reading newspapers, then turn on the radio. They get 45 minutes to leave for lunch. They chat and sometimes exercise to “relieve the stress.”
Guess what these “exiled educators” do? They listen to music, do crossword puzzles, chat — and as this exclusive NY Post photo (above) reveals, doze on the taxpayer’s dime. The rules forbid beach chairs and air mattresses, but not nap time. The teacher sprawled on the floor, pulled a wool hat over his eyes to shut out the fluorescent lights and slept.
Others prop up two chairs to recline or just lay their heads on the table. “It’s gone right back to the way it was in the old days, an old-fashioned rubber room,” one banished teacher said.
According to the Post, despite their photographic evidence and teacher testimony to the contrary, the city denies the existence of the derided holding pens. “There are no more rubber rooms,” Department of Education (DOE) officials told The Post last week, saying reassigned staffers are given “administrative duties.”
In 2010, the DOE and the teachers union trumpeted a major agreement to close the centers holding more than 700 idled educators accused of misconduct or incompetence. Many teachers settled charges by paying fines and finally returned to classrooms, while those still expelled were scattered across the five boroughs. But the rubber room deal is routinely violated. “No one pays any attention to the agreement,” said Betsy Combier, a veteran paralegal who helps defend teachers.
The DOE refused to say how many removed teachers and other tenured staffers remain in limbo, but sources estimate 200 to 400 get paid while awaiting disciplinary hearings. Their salaries total $15 million to $20 million a year.
While the city promised to keep removed educators busy, the Queens exiles say they only occasionally oblige requests to do menial tasks like stuffing folders or making copies. Others refuse to do such work, calling it “demeaning.” They mainly just kill time to get through a six-hour, 20-minute day. “I’m so exhausted from being in this place doing nothing,” one said.
Several teachers on the payroll have been benched for up to five years due to a stunning bureaucratic breakdown. The 2010 deal required the independent arbitrators who conduct termination trials to issue a decision 30 days after a hearing, so that vindicated teachers could return to work and bad ones could be axed.
But decisions still come months — or even years — late. The DOE says it can’t enforce the rule. “They’re just letting me sit here,” said a teacher removed from the classroom nearly five years ago on charges of physically abusing children, which he denies. His trial ended four years ago. He makes about $70,000 a year.
Social Studies teacher David Suker has sat in the rubber room since September 2015, even though a state Supreme Court judge overturned his termination. Suker, an Army vet who taught at-risk kids in The Bronx, was found guilty of failing to immediately report his arrest in the Occupy Wall Street protests but was finally fined just $7,000. After The Post asked why the DOE had not put Suker back to work, officials on Friday assigned him to a school as a substitute.
Heckuva job mayor!

Heckuva job mayor!


DCG

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Bad NYC high school kids can now ‘get away with anything’

If you don’t teach kids at a young age that there are consequences for bad behavior, they’ll probably grow up to be a politician or work at the Veterans Administration.

Heckuva job mayor!

Heckuva job mayor!


A student at the Adlai Stevenson HS complex in The Bronx was caught in October with seven baggies of marijuana — a violation that in prior years would have ­resulted in a criminal summons and a suspension. Instead, a school safety officer handed the student a “warning card.” It asked politely: “Please bring this card home to your parent(s)/guardian so that you can discuss the matter with them.” The pot was turned over to the NYPD, but the student’s name was listed as “John Doe.”
The NY Post reports that this is the brave new world of school discipline in New York City, where unruly kids rule. And since a “warning card” is oh, so serious, “They know they can get away with anything,” as several teachers put it.
Carmen Farina/AP Photo

Carmen Farina/AP Photo


The reason for these new discipline rules? Under a new discipline code launched by Mayor de Blasio and the Department of Education, inappropriate clothes, profanity and insubordination no longer trigger an automatic boot from the classroom. The Chancellor of the New York DOE is Carmen Farina, who was appointed by De Blasio.
And in any good government bureaucracy, principals must get permission from the DOE’s Office of Safety and Youth Development before suspending a student for defying a teacher or other authority. “Minor physical ­altercations” no longer warrant a ­serious superintendent’s suspension.
As a result, suspensions by principals and superintendents dropped 17 percent citywide from 53,504 in 2013-14 to 44,626 in 2014-15.
The warning cards are being tested in a pilot program, launched during the summer of 2015 at 37 high schools, in partnership with the NYPD, the DOE said. The warning cards go to students who engage in disorderly conduct such as yelling, cursing, fighting and assaults, or unlawful possession of marijuana.
At Lehman HS, a student caught smoking pot in the restroom got a warning card. The slip states, “You have committed a violation that could have resulted in the issuance of a criminal-court summons. You are receiving this warning card to give you an ­opportunity to correct your behavior within the school.(You know the kids are laughing at this.)
It goes on to warn that a future violation “may result in your ­arrest,” and that the incident “has been referred to the school ­administration.” It then asks the student to bring the card home to his or her parents — although that’s not required (that’ll teach them!). A DOE spokeswoman said schools “ensure that parents are apprised of all incidents” with a phone call.
The NYPD employees who safeguard schools worry that the policy handcuffs them and ­encourages misbehavior. “This type of turning your back on illegal behavior is grooming criminals,” said Gregory Floyd, president of Teamsters Local 237, which represents school safety ­officers. He says students who get warning cards should have to pass a class on behavior, instead of getting off with a slap on the wrist. “The mayor is saying crime is down in the schools,” Floyd said. “Crime is not disappearing. It’s just that we’re ignoring it.”
When the “warning card” program was initiated, Mayor de Blasio said the new policies would “treat students of every background with dignity.” Sounds like code for “social justice” to me.
are you serious
And in typical liberal doublespeak fashion, de Blasio also said, “No parent should have to choose between a school that’s safe for their child and a school where every student is treated fairly.”
Read the rest of the details here.
DCG

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