Sunday, May 02, 2010
Justice For Lal Singh!
The nightmare appears to be finally over for Lal Singh. His 3020-a charges were dismissed by Arbitrator Alan Berg who also stated that he should be put back into the classroom as quickly as possible.
The nightmare for Lal Singh started after a male special education student accused Mr. Singh of molesting him in a closet in his classroom after school and offering him $20 for a blow job three years earlier. OSI investigated the three year old accusation and substantiated the accusation even though there is no closet in Mr. Singh's classroom! With the OSI substantiation, the NYPD special victims unit arrested Mr. Singh and put him in jail until he could post bail. Furthermore, his name was plastered all over the local news media.
Mr. Singh was put on "probable cause" by the DOE and was given a three month unpaid suspension by the DOE (thanks Randi and Leo). Mr. Singh went to trial and, in part, after his Principal testified that Mr. Singh has no closet in his room and that because Mr. Singh had child care responsibilities, he left school right after the last bell. The evidence against Mr. Singh was so flimsy and unbelievable that the jury took all of 22 minutes to acquit Mr. Singh. That's right 22 minutes!
Did Mr Singh's acquittal by a jury in 22 minutes affect the DOE's prosecution of Mr. Singh? Not one bit. The DOE pursued 3020-a charges against Mr. Singh with the same flimsy case the DA had. Time and again Arbitrator Alan Berg questioned the DOE lawyer about presenting evidence and not unsubstantiated accusations and insults about Mr. Singh. What did the DOE lawyer allegedly call Mr. Singh during his 3020-a hearing? How about pedophile and child molester. He also was alleged to have told Mr. Singh that his parents would rollover in their graves having a child like Mr, Singh. He even allegedly said that it was best if Mr. Singh was "stillborn". In the 3020-a hearing the OSI investigator admitted that he didn't bother to see if Mr. Singh had a closet and he believed an excessed para who blamed Mr. Singh for her removal over the school's Principal about the closet.
The questionable ethics used by both the Queens DA and the DOE in using character assassination as a bases for charges and an unfair investigation by NYPD & OSI could have resulted in Mr. Singh losing his liberty as well as his job. However, Mr Singh's criminal & NYSUT lawyers and the jury of his peers as well as the Arbitrator saw right through the false allegations and Mr. Singh was cleared of all charges.
Now comes the problem, at the height of the media frenzy the DOE stated that Mr. Singh will never set foot in a classroom again. However, three years later he was found to be a victim of the Queens DA and the DOE who cared more about getting Mr. Singh than justice. Will Mr. Singh be sent back to the classroom? I think not since the DOE has already stated as much. Therefore, I must assume he will be added to Joel Klein's Chancellor's discretion list of teachers. That's too bad Mr. Singh is a wonderful teacher and a caring person who has worked with a very difficult population and his absence from the classroom only hurts the students who would benefit from his instruction. DOE's "children last" continues.