Thursday, July 17, 2008
What Is A False Accusation By An Administrator?
The UFT has championed the new agreement as a "win" for the teachers. However, I and many others beg to differ. This agreement is not a win for the teachers. Far from it, it's the UFT spinning it for the sake of saving face. Let's look at one of the unenforceable agreements that the UFT negotiated with the DOE, "false accusations by administrators".
One of the "wins" that the UFT claims in it's unenforceable agreement with the DOE is that the DOE will take disciplinary action against an administrator for knowingly making a "false accusation" against a teacher. Sounds good. Finally, the DOE will take action against administrators that make "false allegations". Right? Wrong! The key world here is knowingly! The DOE regulations state that a complainant made in "good faith" even if found to be unsubstantiated, will not be considered a "false accusation". To prove a knowingly "false accusation" is nearly impossible, based upon the DOE regulations. Let's take a couple of examples on why this is true. Note: The three cases below are a composite of various cases told to me and are not actual cases.
Example 1: A very popular teacher who also is not well-liked by an administrator, due to personal reasons, is taken out of the classroom as rumors circulate that the teacher is having an inappropriate relationship with a student. After an SCI investigation the rumor is unsubstantiated and a year later the teacher is sent back to the school. Is this a "false accusation"? The answer is no. According to the DOE regulations the Principal acted in "good faith" and is not subject to disciplinary action.
Example 2: An administrator claimed that she was informed by a parent that a teacher grabbed her child by the shoulders and arm and roughly pushed her into the seat. OSI investigated the alleged incident and could not substantiate the complaint. In fact, the student stated that all the teacher did was touch her shoulder and told her "to be quiet". The parent was interviewed and stated that I told the administrator that I would appreciate it if you tell the teacher not to embarrass my child in front of other children. Is this a "false allegation"? Of course not, just because the administrator may have twisted, perverted, and embellished the action, the incident still happened. Hence, it is not a knowingly a "false accusation".
Example 3: A student was sexually abused by a former boyfriend outside the school grounds and complained to an administrator about it. The administrator, after talking to the parent, decided not to report the incident. The student then told a teacher who followed procedures and reported it to guidance which reported it to ACS and NYPD. The administrator retaliated against the teacher, accussing the teacher of inappropriate behavior with students and had the teacher removed, pending an SCI investigation. Is this a "false accusation"? Not a chance, even if SCI cannot substantiate the accusation their report will give the complainant enough "wiggle room" so as not to cite the administrator of making a "false accusation". The key word is "knowingly". How do you prove this? The answer you can't. The result? Don't hold your breath waiting for the DOE to discipline administrators.
My opinion of thie UFT/DOE agreement?Take this agreement and shove it!