Posts Tagged ‘Freedom of Information’

What is the Punishment for Beating up a Teacher?

July 17, 2012

The only thing worse than the statistic that more than 5 teachers are being assulted by students in public schools every day, is that nothing seems to be done about it.

Putting the obvious pain factor of being assulted aside, can you imagine how humiliating it would be to be kicked and punched by a child in front of your own students? Can you imagine what that does the teacher’s authority and self-respect?

ALARMING new figures show there were 1062 assaults on teachers in the state’s public system last year – an average of more than five every school day.

Education Department figures, obtained through a Freedom of Information request, also show 144 were classed as “critical” incidents.

In 2011, teachers lodged 46 compensation claims for assaults by students aged between 5 and 15 – an increase on 38 claims in 2010, and 40 in 2009.

Education leaders say teachers are at greater risk of being assaulted because students have “much more complex problems”.

I’ve been hit by students before (albeit very young students) and I’ve had objects thrown at me. There is nothing much I can do about it. I would rather get a black eye from a student than jeopardise my career by restraining him (if restraining him required force). But should I even have to ponder such a scenario?

This frightening statistic is due to 2 factors. Firstly, there is a lack of respect for teachers among all quarters of society. This lack of respect filters down to impressionable students who see how badly their own parents treat their teachers and think that tormenting the teacher is fair game. And secondly, there is a complete lack of deterrence to send the message that assaulting a teacher is unacceptable.

This whole excuse of students having more ‘complex problems’ is garbage. The truth is, schools have become soft on this sort of behaviour. They tend to be  more interested in keeping the parent body happy than keeping teachers safe.

Click here to read, ‘Teachers Stripped of the Ability to Give Punishments That Work’.

Enough With the Soft Penalties for Bad Teachers!

April 6, 2012

I am sick of reading about terrible teachers getting whipped with a feather for grossly unprofessional and immoral behaviour. Why they can’t be given their marching orders makes no sense to me. Some of these offences are awful.

Who would want their child exposed to these people?

A health teacher at a high school in Manhattan, joking about life for homosexuals in prison, forced a male student to bend over a desk, lined up behind him to simulate a sex act, then quipped, according to an Education Department investigative report, “I’ll show you what’s gay.”

A high school science teacher in the Bronx who had already been warned about touching female students brushed his lower body against one student’s leg during a lab exercise, coming so close that she told investigators she could feel his genitals through his pants.

And a math teacher at a high school in the Bronx, investigators said, sent text messages to and called one of his female students nearly 50 times in a four-week period and, over the winter holidays, parked himself at the McDonald’s where she worked.

The New York City Education Department wanted to fire these teachers. But in these and 13 other cases in recent years in which teachers were accused of inappropriate behavior with students, the city was overruled by an arbitrator who, despite finding wrongdoing, opted for a milder penalty like a fine, a suspension or a formal reprimand.

As a result, 14 of those 16 teachers are still teaching and in contact with students, on either a daily or occasional basis. The other two were removed from their positions within the last month when new allegations of misbehavior surfaced against them, according to the Education Department. The department released records of the 16 cases, including reports compiled by the department’s special commissioner of investigation and the arbitrators’ rulings, under a Freedom of Information request.

The subject of teachers behaving inappropriately has suddenly emerged as a pressing concern, given the arrests of at least seven school employees on sexual offenses involving students in the last three months, including one Tuesday of an assistant principal in the Bronx who was accused of groping two girls.

In two of those cases, the employees had a history of behaving improperly around students, but simply moved to another school and kept working. So in February, Dennis M. Walcott, the schools chancellor, ordered a review of all substantiated cases of misconduct. After the review, he fired four aides and began proceedings to fire four tenured teachers.

But as the 16 newly released cases show, they will not be easy decisions. As in many states, New York law grants tenured teachers the right to a hearing in front of an arbitrator before they can be fired. Teachers can also appeal an arbitrator’s ruling to a civil court.

“As I was reviewing these cases, I said, ‘Huh? How could this person go back to the classroom?’ ” Mr. Walcott said in an interview Thursday. “It’s very frustrating. Definitely my hands are tied because the arbitrator made a ruling, because I would not have put these people back in the classroom.”


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