Are You A NYC Teacher Who Is A Pervert? No Worries. Arbitrators Got Your Back

Neon

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#1
HTN aside, this is pretty messed up.

Arbitrators protect pervert teachers


United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew needs to stop claiming the union has a zero-tolerance policy for pervert teachers. Arbitrators disagree.

Howard Edelman isn’t well known in the education community. He should be: He has unilateral authority to change how the city Department of Education spends millions of dollars and the way principals choose to staff their schools. He has a dramatic impact on the lives of students.

Edelman is an arbitrator. When DOE moves to terminate a teacher for misconduct or incompetence, he decides whether the teacher stays or goes. And, if it’s “stay,” what the penalty should be.

Like his fellow arbitrators, Edelman’s judgment is final. (The city can appeal in court, but judges are loath to overturn arbitration decisions.)

And, like too many other arbitrators, Edelman makes it a priority to find ways to keep teachers in classrooms, with little apparent consideration of the impact on schools or students.

This is most evident, and troubling, in sexual misconduct cases.

In a breakthrough 2005 agreement, the union and DOE inserted language into the teachers contract stipulating “a mandatory penalty of discharge” to any union member “found by a hearing officer to have engaged in sexual misconduct.”

The contract defined sexual misconduct as including: “sexual touching, serious or repeated verbal abuse (as defined in Chancellor’s Regulations) of a sexual nature, action that could reasonably be interpreted as soliciting a sexual relationship, possession or use of illegal child pornography” as well as action that constitutes criminal conduct.

Union leaders often call this a “zero tolerance” policy. Problem is, Howard Edelman and his colleagues won’t enforce it. They repeatedly find that some sexual conduct by teachers is permissible.

In 2008, Edelman found that a teacher who rubbed the back and neck of a student in an empty classroom while speaking in threatening sexual innuendo — “I can make you do things you don’t want to do” — should get a mere two-month fine. The teacher had twice before been cited for improper touching.

Edelman’s terse rationale: “A teacher rubbed a student’s back. He did not have sex with the student or ask the student to have sex with him.”

In 2010, Edelman found that another serial abuser should be returned to the classroom after touching the bare shoulders and neck of a student while telling her she could strip for him.

The teacher “was not really soliciting sex from but was engaging in sexual banter,” with the student, he found — even though there is no precedent or protection in the contract for “sexual banter.”

He also found a way to forgive the use of child porn, calling a teacher’s secret agreement to be sent nude photos of a student “a lapse in judgment . . . [that] does not justify upholding his termination, I am convinced.” The contract explicitly says otherwise.

Yet Edelman is no anomaly. Many other arbitrators normalize sexual behavior or invent standards to arrive at decisions that flout zero tolerance.

Paul Zonderman has leniently arbitrated many misconduct cases. In one, he found that a special-education teacher touched boys so often that his actions “at worst, suggest pedophilia.” Yet Zonderman ordered nothing more than a reprimand.

Eric Lawson found that a Manhattan 6th-grade teacher repeatedly hugged female students, touched a student’s breast and leg and made sexually suggestive remarks to several students. He described the teacher as “unrepentant, claiming to be a victim” and said he didn’t deserve to keep his job “as long as he insists upon his innocence.”

Yet Lawson sent him back to the classroom anyway, ordering a six-month suspension and mandatory therapy.

In a distasteful recent case, a Bronx high-school teacher repeatedly called a large-breasted student “watermelon girl” and told her, if he felt she was dressed inappropriately, to “put your melons away” and “cover up your melons.” He called other female students “Wonder Woman,” “Chocolate Girl,” and “Dark Chocolate,” purportedly to encourage them. There is no evidence that he used nicknames to encourage male students.

The arbitrator, John Woods, said the teacher’s “unwelcome communication of a sexual nature is prohibited. However, termination is not the appropriate penalty in this case.” In fact, prohibited sexual communications require termination under the contract. Yet Woods ordered a penalty of just a week without pay.

With these and other arbitrators minimizing the sexual behavior of accused teachers with their students, the DOE has had little success in terminating teachers accused of violating the 2005 provision. Only about a quarter of those for whom probable cause of sexual misconduct has been found have lost their jobs.

In the other cases, an arbitrator has sided with a serial molester over the isolated, terrified child he threatens. And with a profane, sexualizing bully over the child he singles out as “watermelon girl.”

The union needs to stop claiming there’s a zero-tolerance policy for teacher sexual abuse. The arbitrators disagree.
 

Neon

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Isn't it always illegal?
It's just bad writing. I think they meant to say "Possession or use of child pornography, which is illegal." It's a bad way to put it and also a moot point because who doesn't know that? No need to mention that at all.
 

d0uche_n0zzle

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#6
It's just bad writing. I think they meant to say "Possession or use of child pornography, which is illegal." It's a bad way to put it and also a moot point because who doesn't know that? No need to mention that at all.
Sounds like his HDD should be checked.
 

Creasy Bear

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#7
Yeah... but those perverts work 70 + hours/week. All the good, perverted teachers do. Oldmandick said so.
 

whiskeyguy

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Yeah... but those perverts work 70 + hours/week. All the good, perverted teachers do. Oldmandick said so.
Even if they worked 70 hours a week (they don't), that's a starting pay in NYC of $18/hour for a recent graduate with a Bachelor's degree. That's better than many private industry jobs... you know, the kind of jobs where you're held accountable for your actions and have to produce results.
 

BIV

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#12
The thin No. 2 line.
 

Mikefrombx

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#13
Here I come...

There is a really big problem with the current system. We need tenure protection to encourage real education. But tenure is abused constantly. At this point there are too many politics in education, everyone here bitches about the government trying to get into how they raise their child and then side with politics in education.

There are way too many tethers put into the field way too quickly and then once they get protection they start fucking up. The nonsense with bad teachers and terrible teachers, is something that really bothers good teachers.

As a good teacher and a true educator I am fucking disgusted by this bullshit. I am in education for a reason not for a fucking paycheck and to attack my salary is something disheartening. I might not be teaching your kids, but I am teaching people every day.
 

whiskeyguy

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I am in education for a reason not for a fucking paycheck
So offer to take a pay cut or work for free.

Teachers continue to demand more money, more benefits, and more job security... but have done nothing to increase the quality of education kids are getting these days. Now many teachers would argue it's not their fault, that they do the best they can... to which I answer "then why invest more money in your salaries?"

If teachers can't increase the quality of education kids leave school with, then throwing more money at teachers is simply idiotic... it won't help our kids any. Maybe instead of paying teachers $60k+ a year, we pay them $30k and invest that other $30k into something that actually can increase the value these kids will have to society at 18.

It's a cost/benefit equation... and right now our country is not seeing a benefit equal to how much it cost to education children... a cost that is largely based on the salaries of teachers and administrators.

I have no problem with a teacher that actually produces results earning a good living... but that salary should not guaranteed simply because you stuck around long enough.
 

Mikefrombx

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#17
So offer to take a pay cut or work for free.

Teachers continue to demand more money, more benefits, and more job security... but have done nothing to increase the quality of education kids are getting these days. Now many teachers would argue it's not their fault, that they do the best they can... to which I answer "then why invest more money in your salaries?"

If teachers can't increase the quality of education kids leave school with, then throwing more money at teachers is simply idiotic... it won't help our kids any. Maybe instead of paying teachers $60k+ a year, we pay them $30k and invest that other $30k into something that actually can increase the value these kids will have to society at 18.

It's a cost/benefit equation... and right now our country is not seeing a benefit equal to how much it cost to education children... a cost that is largely based on the salaries of teachers and administrators.

I have no problem with a teacher that actually produces results earning a good living... but that salary should not guaranteed simply because you stuck around long enough.
Here is the problem, every time you try to have teachers get involved and create curriculum, programs and schools, politics get into play and fuck up the works. Common core design by teachers, focusing on teacher effectiveness and improving teachers gets fucked when out into implementation be a useful everyone wants results tomorrow and not put in the time and effort to make it work.

Fuck taking a payout, I am not out for more of anything. I am happy with what I have. If you want to make education work out teachers in control, look at Finland.
 

whiskeyguy

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Here is the problem, every time you try to have teachers get involved and create curriculum, programs and schools, politics get into play and fuck up the works. Common core design by teachers, focusing on teacher effectiveness and improving teachers gets fucked when out into implementation be a useful everyone wants results tomorrow and not put in the time and effort to make it work.

Fuck taking a payout, I am not out for more of anything. I am happy with what I have. If you want to make education work out teachers in control, look at Finland.
But teachers an administrators are a big reason why the system is what it is. Failed programs like No Child Left Behind are a result of education costing so much that the feds have to give schools money... and when you get money from the feds, you also get stipulations. If education was cheap enough to be funded by the community these schools exist in (which is how it should be), then the community and individual teachers would have much more input on the curriculum.

Instead we have unions, who are destroying our education system by removing accountability, by focusing on the teachers instead of the students, and so on.
 

whiskeyguy

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#21
Indeed. You promote laziness when you take away the motivation
to do a good job in order to keep your job.
Tenure is acquired after 2 years in some school district! 2 years of not fucking up too badly, and you're set to coast to retirement.

A 26 year old teacher could acquire tenure. It's fucking ridiculous.
 

Mikefrombx

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#22
But teachers an administrators are a big reason why the system is what it is. Failed programs like No Child Left Behind are a result of education costing so much that the feds have to give schools money... and when you get money from the feds, you also get stipulations. If education was cheap enough to be funded by the community these schools exist in (which is how it should be), then the community and individual teachers would have much more input on the curriculum.

Instead we have unions, who are destroying our education system by removing accountability, by focusing on the teachers instead of the students, and so on.
The programs and policies that you talk about are all formed and funded by politics not education. If you want to go back to the community funded schools you go back to segregation. Education reform started in the 1980s due to the rapid imbalance in results in poor schools in ghetto neighborhoods.
 

whiskeyguy

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#23
The programs and policies that you talk about are all formed and funded by politics not education. If you want to go back to the community funded schools you go back to segregation. Education reform started in the 1980s due to the rapid imbalance in results in poor schools in ghetto neighborhoods.
And the result? It brings every district down to the lower level... not bringing the worst districts up to the highest.
 

Neckbeard

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#24
Howard Edelman has unilateral authority to change how the city Department of Education spends millions of dollars and the way
principals choose to staff their schools. He has a dramatic impact on the lives of students.

I BLAME THE JEWS!
 

AlanSmithee

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Oct 11, 2012
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#25
Tenure is acquired after 2 years in some school district! 2 years of not fucking up too badly, and you're set to coast to retirement.

A 26 year old teacher could acquire tenure. It's fucking ridiculous.
Unions are destroying this country. I was an assistant manager at a chain drug store during college. I was working 50 hours a week and making 35k a year. Some of my employees, whose only job is to stock shelves, were making 50k a year. I did 100x the work and they were making more money and working less hours. That job lasted 6 months.