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Sunday, September 4, 2016

The NYC DOE Allows Violence by Students and Cover-ups by Principals

The NYC Department of Education has made reporting students who hit, cheat, or abuse other students, teachers and staff verboten; forbidden; prohibited; dont even think about it. . If a Principal reports assaults on students or staff, the school may get on the VADIR list for most violent schools, and this leads to all bad consequences.

So, gang members know that they have freedom to do whatever they want. And teachers are not protected. See my recent post

No Damages For Assaults While At Work for the DOE

Where is the UFT?

Betsy Combier
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, NYC Public Voice

Principal Jason Wagner

BRONX, N.Y. — Last year, they were rookie teachers at the Pelham Lab High School in the Bronx. By the end of the school year, they’d had enough.
Totally disillusioned, they both quit. They contacted PIX11 News to tell their story, provided we conceal their identities. They both spoke about having dreamed of being a teacher, getting degrees in Education and the excitement they felt before starting their jobs last fall.
What happened to their dreams? Reality got in the way. One of the teachers, who we’ll call Ray, says “I was struck with an object the first day of school. I’ve been hit in the face. I’ve had objects thrown at me. I’ve been generally verbally and physically abused from day one.”
The second teacher, we’ll call her Susan, had a similar experience. “There were kids in my class that were so misbehaved and crazy, running around, screaming at me, cursing at me. The first day that I kicked them out of my class, I was told that I was not allowed to do that. They got brought back to my class and their behavior didn’t change. Ray and Susan both complain of getting no support from the school Principal, Jason Wagner. “He doesn’t care about teachers. He doesn’t care as long as he looks good and the school looks good and there’s nothing on paper or there’s no points against him,” says Susan.
Ray says none of the other administrators do anything to deal with the misbehavior because they are afraid of Principal Wagner. “He uses bullying , intimidation and harassment techniques against everyone.” They both complain “ there’s no disciplinary action against the students whatsoever. All the burden is placed on the teachers.” Susan says the teachers have no power. “You know, 20 plus staples in a cup of coffee, zero punishment. Zero punishment for the door being knocked down. I’ve been pushed by kids, cursed out on a weekly basis. Nothing I can do about it.”
Pelham Lab High School at 3000 East Tremont Ave., is one of six schools that share the Lehman Educational Complex. Pelham has 211 students, 95 percent minority. A spokesman for the Department of Education says “Nothing is more important than the safety of all students and staff. These claims are not an accurate depiction of the disciplinary practices taking place at the school. Principal Wagner has protocols in place to report and address incidents.”
But both teachers we spoke with say the behavior problems at the school are so severe that it makes it extremely difficult to do any actual teaching. While these two teachers have given up their dreams of being educators, they say it’s the students that are the real losers.


Anonymous said...

I know several teachers that were assaulted last year. When my friend was assaulted and threatened to call the police, she was told this had never happened before and that she must have instigated it. She was told there would be charges made against her. She did not press charges. This is happening all over. If a MTA worker is assaulted its 7 years in jail, if a teacher gets assaulted the teacher is charged. It's especially bad for ATRs, who don't know the students.

Betsy Combier said...

the fact is that the UFT does not support the members, to the extent that LODI (Line of Duty Injury) applications are being turned down, and teachers do not get Worker's Compensation.

There can be no justification for this, that I can see.

Reno Smith said...

I was at Pelham Lab and I can verify that this does happen at this school. One teacher hit it right on the spot by saying this principal is a passive-agressive person. I have personally seen him cursed out by two students. Nothing was done!

Anonymous said...

Interesting how responses are given about how things can be handled or done, but the DOE/UFT keeps doing what they do and getting over on teachers for YEARS with the same rhetorical devices and platitudes. Now, if the MTA has more power of common sense justice for their workers, what does this say about the competence of educators who keep getting "trampled upon" by students and administrators and the justice system??? If educators are subjected to these injustices, over and over and over, and neither a lawyer or paralegal/advocate or union can make a difference to stop this from happening, then why are these chains of oppression still turning against teachers?? The answer is simple.

Start holding the DOE/UFT accountable with REAL LAWYERS and HONORABLE JUDGES and stop placating their system that keeps persecuting for the sake of egotistical pundits, because while educators are "slaves to their checks" and as long as this mindset is in place, these injustices will continue - as the saying goes, "voices can be heard in public, but can't be heard in a closet."

Those teachers at Pelham Lab were "newbies" and was discontinued while in service so what they went public with only confirms how they kept their mouth shut for the paycheck and then when "discontinued", they OPENED THEIR MOUTHS to the public. Hence, their voices where closed while hiding in the "school closet" and once they were released they went public and then what??? They were not apart of the UFT UNITY as due-paying members so who could really protect them... hhhmmm???!!! Which sets the whole premise for why there is a DIRE NEED FOR REAL LAWYERS / DEFENDERS!!!!

Betsy Combier said...

Dear Anonymous,
I posted your comment to show how dangerous it is to spray misinformation throughout the internet. "Real lawyers" and I, a paralegal and advocate, are making important changes to systemic wrongs on a case by case basis.
You sound like you have been subjected to lies and false claims by the UFT, DOE, and you are looking for "REAL" Lawyers, whatever that means. That's your fault. Do your own advocacy and research. You can win that way. And, stop listening to anyone who has a so-called "answer" to your questions. Most people don't know what they are talking about, but like to hear themselves talk. Rely on yourself. Seek your own truth and information.

Finally, your name is missing from your comment. Why not put your name to it?
Here is mine:
Betsy Combier

Anonymous said...

3 years ago our principal told us we had to document every incident and accident we witnessed at our school. One year later our school was on the list of "Persistently Dangerous Schools". Needless to say, teachers stopped writing up every little incident and guess what? We got off the list the following year. As for me, I write up any accident or violent incident I see as a precaution to cover my behind. (Then again, I am tenured and do not really fear much retribution for writing up things that are obvious)

Betsy Combier said...

Send me the names of schools hiding violent incidences. send to I will keep your name/contact confidential. promise