The DOE has informed principals that any teacher who applies for a position in their school will have attached a disciplinary flag if they were accused of misconduct. However, it also appears that the disciplinary flag will not be based upon the actual results of the disciplinary hearing but simply on the substantiated accusation as determined by the DOE. That means, if a teacher is charged with "corporal punishment" but after a 3020-a hearing the Arbitrator found that no "corporal punishment" occurred, the DOE will still leave the disciplinary flag on the teacher's file. For the DOE it is not about whether the teacher is innocent or guilty, it is simply about in the bizarro world of Tweed that any teacher accused of misconduct, must be guilty, no matter what the evidence shows.
Just imagine, a well-liked teacher tries to restrain a violent student who is a threat to himself and others. However, the Principal, who does not like the teacher, falsely accuses the teacher of using excessive force on the child and calls the Office Of Special Investigations (OSI) to start the "witch hunt". Once OSI is briefed by the Principal on his desire to get rid of the teacher, the investigation does the Gestapo proud as the investigator will substantiate that the teacher used "excessive force" and hence committed "corporal punishment" and recommended that the teacher be terminated through the 3020-a process.
At the 3020-a hearing the Arbitrator hears evidence that the child has a history of violet outbursts, was a threat to other children at school by throwing books and pushing other children down stairs. The Arbitrator also heard evidence that the teacher called for help from the Administration who failed to respond to the situation. Finally, the teacher brought in the school nurse that said that the child had no bruises or other marks that were suspicious.
The Arbitrator found that the teacher did not commit "corporal punishment" but still fined the teacher $1,000 for failing to use a more appropriate method to handle the student. We all know Arbitrators must give the DOE something in these hearings, just so they can stay on the panel at year's end.
The winner is the vindictive Principal who not only was able to remove the teacher from the school but dumped the teacher in the ATR pool and sharply reduces his chances of getting another classroom position
now that the teacher will have a discipline flag on his file for "corporal punishment" even when no "corporal punishment" was found. What will the union do about this abuse?
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