Queens high school teacher Eric Chasanoff bashes Ed Dept. for trying to fire him over 'innocent remark'
Monahan and Durkin are just trying to fill space in the newspapers with this article.
The issue is touching and "verbal abuse". At 3020-a, depending upon who the arbitrator is and what he or she has been "told" about the Respondent employee brought up on charges (there is communication outside of the hearing room with some arbitrators), the record may or may not include a motive as to why the alleged "crime" occurred, and whether or not the "crime" needs a severe penalty.
|Dennis Walcott hugs a student|
These are the questions that are asked at 3020-a, and it is up to the arbitrator to decide what happened. It doesnt really matter what Walcott does, he will get off, because he is not a tenured teacher over the age of 50 and making a teacher salary of more than $80,000. He is also the CEO of the New York public school system and has immunity from prosecution. should we still not question the obvious double standard? I think so.
Below are pictures which Eric brought to his 3020-a of Joel Klein hugging children. What's fair, Eric asked, when he tapped a student briefly on the shoulder because she was visibly shaking due to the anxiety in taking a test, yet Mr. Klein touches children in many ways. And Eric spent more than 4 years in the Queens rubber room to pay him back for his alleged 'crime'.
I would like to know why the Daily News and the New York Times picked the teachers and arbitrators written about in their articles. Why not choose the teacher who "lost" a child at dismissal, supposedly, but no one asked the child what happened, the child was never without an adult nearby, and the child never attended the 3020-a to testify about what happened. Yet the teacher spent more than 2 years in the rubber room, was "supposed" to be terminated at her 3020-a, and ended up with a $1000 fine from Arbitrator Robin Gise, the same Arbitrator in Eric Chasanoff's case. I attended all the hearing dates. Whereas the teacher should have been completely exonerated, the arbitrator told all of us that she simply could not exonerate, because she had to give the DOE something. She had to "split the baby", but did not hand in her decision until more than 9 months after the closing arguments by both sides.
Josh Javits, an arbitrator who was hired to fire - in my opinion - did not fire a teacher who was accused of pinching a student's ear, after the investigator substantiated the charge because he looked at the ear a week later and it was "pink". Javits ignored a statement of the student saying that he was dragged on the floor the day of the incident by another student, (he possibly cut his face or ear, went home, and did not want to implicate his friend, so his parent accused the teacher). Javits fined the teacher $10,000. The DOE was furious that Javits did not terminate in this case. When the teacher appealed to the Supreme Court, Corporate Counsel Gail Mulligan told me that she took the file and had it in her office after I went to the records room at 60 Centre Street and found the file missing. Suddenly Judge Doris Ling-Cohen issued a judgment that "termination" was the appropriate penalty in this case, but termination was not in the Javits decision. The teacher wrote the judge saying that termination was never considered, and then Ling-Cohen wrote Mulligan and said, "What happened?" meaning, why did you write a judgment that was not correct? Mulligan wrote the judge and told her that indeed, the mention of termination in this case was never requested, and the judge changed her ruling to one in which she upheld the decision to give a $10,000 fine. The missing file in this case appeared in the records room in a month later with a new jacket, which I made copies of for my records. However, the Corporation Counsel continues to send out the incorrect judgment, with the termination ruling in it, to teachers appealing their arbitration decisions pursuant to Article 7511.
What about another teacher whose hearings I attended, a Bronx teacher who was brought to 3020-a but effectively exonerated, yet the articles do not write anything about his arbitrator, Randi Lowitt. Is she, and other arbitrators not mentioned, "protected" for some reason? Randi Lowitt terminated Christine Rubino for a one-time Facebook comment, therefore does that give Randi a "protected" spot in the media? Paul Zonderman is a terrific arbitrator who never drank the NYC DOE mind-altering punch, and often told me he would not bow to them. He did not deserve to be singled out for ridicule and abuse, most certainly. One of my favorite moments with Mr. Zonderman was at the end of a 3020-a, the DOE Attorney Penelope Campoli told Zonderman, "You have two weeks to read the transcripts and two weeks to write your decision." Zonderman wears glasses, and he slowly lowered his glasses to the end of his nose, looked at the DOE Attorney over the top, and told us all in a very controlled tone of voice, words to the effect of "Excuse me? I believe that I am the arbitrator here and I will decide how much time I need to make a decision, and read everything that is in the record. Dont tell me how much time I can or will take."
He then slowly raised his glasses back up his nose and told everyone (I was the only observer) that the decision would be in the mail. He exonerated the teacher.
The newspapers clearly have an agenda, and as a reporter/advocate, I am not in favor of using a newspaper to push policy, or using so-called "reporters" to validate policy decisions. In fact, I think that this use of major media is outrageous.
Anyway, Eric wrote his story, and I have re-posted the links, both his thoughts on the Daily News highlighting his story, as well as his posting of the 3020-a and the Joel Klein pictures. His story is very similar to the story told by Michael Dalton, as you can see below. All of the newspaper articles currently out in the public realm beg the reader to suspend rational judgment and look at everything happening in the teacher trials as arbitrary and capricious. Ask yourself "how do they know?" Did the reporter read the transcripts of all the 16 cases, and look at all of Paul Zonderman's decisions? I dont think so.
Sunday, April 08, 2012
I have read and digested the highly inaccurate Daily News article about me and realized that my decision not to be interviewed by their reporters was a sound decision. Despite assurances that the article would represent my view of the DOE's abusive investigation process, it turned out to be nothing but more teacher bashing "yellow journalism" by the Daily News. Let''s break down the article and show what was inaccurate.
Credibility Of The Student:
The Daily News knew from talking to a witness in my open 3020-a hearing that the creditability of the student was an issue. The student had made conflicting and contradictory statement at the hearing and even gave different statements to various people when asked about the incident leading up to the 3020-a hearing. However, the article did not seem to care about the student's credibility. Just what she claimed, depending on who she spoke to of course.
The Daily News used the student's original recollection that was used in the SCI report rather than the Arbitrator accepted statement of "I"m so proud of you passing the test I could just kiss you, of course I wouldn't do that because I would get in trouble". While the difference is not major, it still is different enough. I admit it is better than the deliberately changed DOE statement the Daily News attributed to me "If it's not going to get me in trouble I would kiss you" .
Touching The Student:According to the article, the student accused me of touching her shoulders with my hands. However, the student admitted at the 3020-a hearing that I used one hand to pat her clothed shoulder to calm her down as a reassurance action. Yet the Daily News chose to use the now discredited statement by the student rather than the truth. Furthermore, I never grabbed the student's elbow and that charge was dismissed by the Arbitrator, still the Daily News chose to include it in the article. As for looking down her shirt? The Arbitrator dismissed that charge as well, yet again the Daily News chose to use it in the article.
The 2002 Reprimand:This is just another case of the Daily News failure to "fact check". The 2002 Reprimand was grieved by me and the DOE's favorite Arbitrator, Martin Schienman, threw out the reprimand as "unfair and inaccurate" and was removed from my file. That is why I didn't mention it in my previous post. The fact that the DOE chose to include it in sending my case to the Daily News speaks volumes about the DOE's failure to abide by the rules. The DOE are "sore losers" and this is just another case of them not abiding by the contract.
Failure To Include The "Probable Cause Hearing" Results:Was the failure to mention the "probable cause hearing" for alleged sexual misconduct which I won, simply negligence or was the omission done purposely? I guess if you want to keep the question about "sexual misconduct" alive, you would omit the "probable cause hearing" results.
The DOE's Insistence In Pursuing My Case Despite Their "Probable Cause Hearing" Loss.Once the DOE lost the "Probable Cause Hearing", they should have admitted defeat and that they had no case and end this travesty of justice. Instead the DOE wasted an additional quarter of a million dollars or more by dumping me back in the "rubber room" for two and a half years and hoping that something else would magically appear to change their losing hand.No Mention Of The Biased SCI Investigation:
The article failed to mention how the SCI investigator was found to have lied about what I said and was caught on this by the "probable cause Administrator". In my experience, the SCI investigation process is unfair and when principals want the teacher out of the school, the SCI investigators will do what it can to accommodate the Principal's wishes.
Why Didn't The DOE Appeal The Arbitrator's Decision?
The answer was that they were lucky that the Arbitrator gave me a $2,000 fine. If the Arbitrator was truly fair, I should never have been given a fine at all but she had a reputation of giving the DOE something even when the facts show they have no case. Their appeal would have no chance of winning and they knew it.
Connection With Serial Ax Murders:
Including in the article Mayor Bloomberg's idiotic statement that the Arbitrators would give "serial ax murders a slap on the wrist" as if I an a criminal sex offender, rather than a victim of a DOE persecution is really disgusting. My Arbitrator realized this when the DOE failed to provide real and relevant evidence that was needed to support their false accusations and ruled accordingly.
Please don't believe what you read in the newspapers, usually the truth is very much different and so it is in my case. . By the way I don't rant but publish well reasoned and insightful analysis of education issues. What would you call Mayor Bloomberg's idiotic statement?
I am Eric Chasanoff and proud to be a teacher.
Back to the current onslaught by the media: on April 6, 2012, David Chen at the NY TIMES published an article on Michael Dalton, a teacher accused of sexual abuse, but he paid a $2000 fine just like Eric Chasinoff did after he, too, presented Arbitrator Bonnie Weinstock pictures of Joel Klein too near to children. Wienstock wrote, says Chen, "that Mr. klein's arm is either wrapped around the child or resting in front of the child." Weinstock did not find Dalton's actions to be sexual in nature and was convinced he was sorry for inadvertently crossing the invisible line that is drawn for teachers.As I read it, Chen seems to say that Weinstock should never have gone along with Dalton's comparison of his case with what Klein did, or still does (we dont know, do we?). Why wasnt Klein ever charged, so we could hear his apology?