Sunday, January 24, 2016

When An Investigation Is Substantiated, Is The Educator Automatically Terminated?

















According to the Special Commissioner of Investigations (SCI), there were 5,500 complaints made against educators in 2015 and 26% of them were substantiated or 1,430 cases.  SCI investigates complaints of sexual misconduct, criminality, test tampering, or financial mismanagement.  Some are serious, like sex with a student or stealing money, while others are not.  Regardless, all substantiated complaints by SCI and the Office of Special Investigations (OSI), who investigate issues of corporal punishment and verbal abuse, are placed on a teacher's file as a red flag for anybody considering in appointing the teacher to their school, or as I call it a "scarlet letter".

Unfortunately,  even the most minor of incidents such as making a bad joke, disciplining a misbehaving student, or a student misunderstanding a teacher's intentions can lead to a SCI or OSI investigation and if the student has a friend or two to back her up, the allegation is then substantiated. However, just because the two investigative agencies substantiates the allegation, it does not necessarily mean the allegation is true and lead to termination.  It depends on what was substantiated and is there real evidence to back it up, not simply hearsay.  Moreover, even if the DOE decides to file 3020-a termination charges against the tenured teacher, only the  independent arbitrator can decide if the teacher's conduct was egregious enough to warrant termination. For teachers who are not tenured, usually any substantiated allegation by SCI or OSI will lead to the teacher receiving a discontinuance and will make it nearly impossible ever to work for the DOE again.

While the two investigative agencies will claim that they conduct a fair and impartial investigation, the investigations are heavily influenced by three factors and they are;
  1. Does the Principal like the teacher?
  2. Does the teacher have previous discipline issues?
  3. Did the teacher cooperate with the investigators?
 In my experience, the Principal's input will determine the tone of the investigation and how they will approach the allegation.  Furthermore, if the teacher had previous allegations, the investigators will assume a "pattern and practice" and will almost always substantiate the allegation, no matter how frivolous.  Finally, the teacher's refusal to talk to the investigators makes it seem that they are hiding things and are guilty of the allegations.  Of course, talking to these investigators, without appropriate union or legal representation, will allow them to turn your own words against you at the 3020-a hearing.  Therefore, its best not to cooperate and talk to these investigators and wait for your 3020-a hearing where your words cannot be twisted. This is especially true when it's SCI since they can actually arrest you if by speaking to them, you give them probable cause.

      ......................."NEVER TALK TO SCI"...................

Remember, the default is that investigators assume the teacher is guilty of the allegation and anytime you are scheduled to meet with an investigator, make sure you have proper union representation if its OSI and a lawyer if SCI is the investigative agency. Hopefully, you will never be put into the position that requires taking this advice.







16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Chaz,
Solidarity recently got the DOE to list individual vacancy by subject on the open market for ATRs. The thing is that none of the vacancies that the ATRs are being sent to are listed. I don't know what kind of game the DOE is playing, but it seems like they are trying hard to get people upset and miss interviews.

Anonymous said...

http://nypost.com/2016/01/24/principal-demoted-after-faking-classroom-evaluations-officials/

Haaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Chaz seriously when administrators are caught red handed and charges are substantiated (as in today's Post with the principal from Banana Kelly), how are they allowed to remain being paid (even with demotion, big deal)? So now she's an AP ATR making 130K instead of working like an animal at 144K. Now she can play on her cell phone all day and make 130K. I'd rather that job too. The DOE is still paying her and others into the millions. Beautiful country.

Anonymous said...

Anon 218- how is that any different than the thousands of atr teachers?

Anonymous said...

4:28,
95% of ATRs have never been accused of anything. Most of the ATR APs haven't been accused of anything. Our only crime has to been to survive a dysfunctional system and accrue the requisite salary. Most of the really egregious principals - Blige, Santi, and Bryant one are still principals. The administration at Banana Kelly was making the 60 year old ATRs haul 50 lb. boxes up 4 flights of stairs in 80 degree weather when I was there. What goes around comes around. I'm not 2:18 by the way.

Anonymous said...

http://nypost.com/2016/01/24/probe-finds-dirty-dozen-used-doe-credit-cards-for-personal-expenses/

Bronx ATR said...

I'm glad the Ny Post is doing these articles but they never did them when Bloomberg was in office. Murdoch is Bloomy's pal. I guess he doesn't like Big Bill. I shudder to think of a choice between Bloomy and the Trump for president. It's like a political horror movie.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness. Look at these names Chaz. Doritos Gibson, Deputy Chancellor, several CFN Leaders. Another current Deputy Chancellor. This is disgusting. Hey at least we know that no one is getting fired these days. Salute your Union!!

Anonymous said...

So 98% of NYC teachers are not ATR's ehh?

Anonymous said...

Yes baby! Keep these Regents exams forever, please. Another free week in high schools. Wow, this is amazing! Please do not ever get rid of Regents week (Jan & June). Beautiful thing Chaz.

Chaz said...

Anon 4:44
Most high school teachers agree with you and so do I.

Anonymous said...

You know what is really sadder... even though ATRs and CSAs are not "terminated" from their jobs and still collecting pay checks on DOE's dime which is part of the union's negotiations/contractual obligations, GUESS WHAT... we are in a sense "terminated" because WE have "scarlet letters" on our backs, and WE are just biding time in limbo, like those on unemployment and in unemployment lines.

Hence. what is the real difference between US and those "unemployed" - WE STILL GET PAID, yet we still don't have any where to go. Aren't we the "Unidentified Unemployed Ghost" within the DOE??

Anonymous said...

anon 7:25
You are a clueless bozo and your post is so ridiculous that its quite hysterical that there are some people in this world who are really, really delusional. The DOE's dime?? The DOE created this masterpiece for your information. And, if the DOE was so concerned about atrs working on their "dime" then why not put them in the classrooms to actually work with kids instead of having them sit on their "dime".

Anonymous said...

anon 8:50
Here is the "clueless bozo" to your "sitting on ".. their "dime"..." The masterpiece is that you got my point and fell right into the "DOE's dime" for having to sit on "their dime". So your just like that "U.U.G." within the DOE!!

This is why "teachers are pitted against teachers" because the DOE knows how to craft "mindless" teachers who are uniformed of how this 'masterpiece' has been created to the point of where my delusional rant is your "nickel and dime", too!!

Anonymous said...

anon 8 50
I have no clue as to what you just said..Go and drive your Kia and don't forget to bring your lunch with you in the brown bag.

Anonymous said...

Hey anon 8 05
Come on now, where is your bozo the clown suit is it in the closet at home? I know you have one and probably are a one year teacher at some low life charter school somewhere in the dirty city.