Thursday, May 03, 2012

The DOE Attaches A Discipline Flag On Files Of Teachers Accused Of Misconduct. However, It's Not Based Upon The Evidence Found In The 3020-a Discipline Process.

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?


northbrooklyn said...

good column. Isn't a 'flag' libel?

Michael Fiorillo said...

We know you're guilty of something, we just haven't discovered what it is yet.

Anonymous said...

We already know what the union will do. Nothing.

Anonymous said...

Come on Chaz. In your example, the teacher was found guilty. You might not agree, but that is what arbitrators are for. The better question is why do we have a system where the arbitrators have to give the teacher something. Until that is changed, nothing will change.
A better hypo would be a teacher who is flagged and was found not guilty. I know that does not happen often.

NYCDOEnuts said...

Hey. Great post. Quick check; you're sure about this?

Anonymous said...

Well done. See

The big guys want to be left with as much power as possible over their faculty. It's not about a moral compass. It's about making the slaves grovel for the crumbs.

Chaz said...


I am sure.

Anon 1:10

If a teacher is guilty of corporal punishment or other major misconduct, the Arbitrator will surely terminate the teacher.

It is the DOE's responsibility to prove their case. When they can't it is the DOE and not the teacher that gets a break by the Arbitrator by giving the teacher a fine for an action that should never have warranted a 3020-a hearing in the first place.

NYCDOEnuts said...

OK, I guess what I was asking was; how are you sure? Have you heard it through your principal? Is it in a paper? Have you heard it through the union. I'm at nycdoenuts@gmail if you'd rather not say publicly.
It's just that I haven't been able to find this anywhere else.

HereinHAR said...

Are you sure that principals can not terminate probationary employees after substantiating an employee of verbal abuse - in an OSI investigation that the principal themselves conducted?

HereinHAR said...

Chaz - Are you sure probationary employees can not be terminated for a substantiated verbal abuse investigation conducted by a principal?