Friday, July 12, 2013

Discipline System Allows Sexual Predators to Stay in Schools

I have no problem with reasonable job protections for teachers to protect them from arbitrary firings, but it’s so easy to understand how far the pendulum has swung to complete insanity when unions and union contracts protect sexual predators in our schools – and this isn’t just an issue in NYC; it’s a national problem:

Dozens of sexual predators are still working in New York City schools because of a broken disciplinary system that allows abusive staff members to keep their jobs, says a new advocacy group headed by former CNN anchor Campbell Brown.

Data obtained by Brown and the Daily News show that officials tried to fire 128 school staffers for sexual misconduct or inappropriate relationships with students since 2007 — but only 33 educators were actually fired.

Many of the school workers busted for creepy classroom behavior have been able to hang onto their jobs for years because of a cumbersome disciplinary process, charges Brown’s statewide group, the Parents Transparency Project.

“The details of these cases are hidden,” Brown said. “Many parents have no idea whether one of these teachers has been entrusted with their children.”

State law mandates that an independent hearing officer, selected by the city and the teachers union, determines the punishment of an educator found to have committed misconduct.
Such a hearing, called a 3020-a, is a minitrial with attorneys on both sides arguing before the state-paid arbitrator, often a retired judge.

Sex abuse in city schools grabbed headlines again last week with the arrest of hulking Bronx teacher Anthony Criscuolo, 40, who is accused of raping one of his 10-year-old students.

 Subscribe in a reader