Join the GOOGLE +Rubber Room Community

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Principal Michael Alexander Denies ATR Teacher His Rights


Dedicated To All ATS In NYC
As an ATR I reported to a high school in Brooklyn and was told that my program for the week required that agree to violate a UFT-DOE agreement.   I was ordered to teach four consecutive periods with no time for a bathroom break.  (In fact, I was ordered to teach five consecutive periods, because the school's extended time begins 40 minutes prior to the first period class. That adds up to 5.)  I am entitled to a bathroom break under the ADA and it is enforced by the DOE Medical Office, HR-Connect, and the Office of Equal Opportunity.   The principal, Michael Alexander, decided to ignore those agencies and insisted that his authority trumped all others, including common decency, I do not hesitate to add.  He justified his stance by claiming that a private arrangement he had made with a teacher on maternity leave preempted the rights of all UFT members, regardless of the Contract and ADA law.   Shame on you Michael Alexander!

The school's name is The School For Human Rights.

Mr. Alexander could have assigned a teacher to cover one class period to break up the four consecutive periods and he had both the time and the resources to do so.  There was an additional ATR who had not been assigned to a class, and there were teachers in the school who know the students and would have volunteered to do the coverage if they had been asked.

There is no excuse for the principal of a school that seeks to be a champion for human rights to deny a teacher the rights he or she is entitled to under ADA law, OEO and DOE rules.

October 15, 2012 (Sent via email 
Principal of the School for Human Rights)

Principal Alexander,

After I alerted you to the fact that your private arrangement with a teacher in your school does not trump OEO and UFT requirements, you did not modify my program and comply with the Accomodation that I am entitled to under ADA law.  As a result of complying with your directive I became ill, since you saw to it that my entitlement to a bathroom break was ignored.  This was after we had presented the issue to the school's chapter leader!

Mr. Brewton from the OEO has responded to my complaint and has written that he will pursue the matter from his office.  You will hear from him.

As of the time of this writing I am unsure if my heath will permit my appearance in your school tomorrow.  

I would be remiss if I did not add that whatever your private arrangements with your staff are, they are of absolutely no relevancy to me, nor to my rights under the ADA law and the DOE/UFT agreement.  Your ardent indifference is, in my view, an irresponsible abuse of your authority.


David Hedges

A copy of this letter was sent to OEO, UFT, and now to you, my dear readers.

Dennis Walcott Says There Are No Rubber Rooms. He Lies

From Betsy Combier:

I am an advocate who respects anyone of any gender and any sexual orientation. I was told by a classmate of Dennis Walcott that he was harassed and bullied in school for being the only gay guy in the class.

It seems to me that he is carrying around too much anger to be a true leader of children and young adults, and if he has some issues about homosexuality, he should admit to this, just like Randi Weingarten did, and move forward truthfully. C'mon Dennis, just come out and tell your story, no one will care whether you are gay or not, but Im sure that people care when you do not tell them the truth about something, whatever it may be.

Walcott's statement that there are no more "rubber rooms" belies the facts. The term "rubber room" has been around for a long time, and is the nichname adopted by people who are moved from their classrooms. 

Mr. Walcott, there are rubber rooms, and the people there are being framed and criminalized while they do nothing and their classes have no teachers. This is the fact of the rubber room process.

Dont harm people who do not deserve this treatment when it seems that you received more than your share of harassment when you were in school. 

Schools chief Dennis Walcott says don't call disciplinary offices for teachers rubber rooms

City says it did away with rubber rooms two years ago, but News reports there are 218 teachers making $22 million in salary that are banished from classroom

Comments (1)

Read more:

Don't call them “rubber rooms,” city Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said.

The Daily News reported Tuesday that more than 200 city teachers accused of wrongdoing are collecting their full salaries while sitting around waiting for a disciplinary hearing, but Walcott said it’s nothing like the infamous rubber rooms of the past.

“They’re not rubber rooms, let’s be very clear about that,” Walcott told reporters after a meeting with state education officials. “We have a number of offices throughout the city, and they provide opportunities for some type of work assignment.”

The city says it did away two years ago with the infamous rubber rooms, where as many as 800 teachers were once warehoused, sometimes for years, while their disciplinary cases made their way through a Byzantine system. They were called rubber rooms because people were said to be bouncing off the walls.

But The News reported on Tuesday that, as of last week, there were 218 teachers making $22 million in salary and benefits while banished from the classroom.

Several told The News they do absolutely nothing. One said he taught himself to pitch softballs during a 13-month “solitary confinement” in an unused locker room. Another said she once was ordered to count all 800 chairs in a school administration building.

Read more:

 'Rubber Rooms' Still Plague NYC Schools

'Rubber Rooms' Still Plague NYC Schools

article by Jillian Blacksmith-Reed | October 18, 2012


Two years ago New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, union officials and teachers announced that they had figured out how to do away with teacher reassignment centers, also known as ‘rubber rooms.’ However, recent reports are showing that teachers are still being pulled out of the classroom and placed into these centers.
This year teachers in these centers will earn upwards of $22 million where many will do nothing.
Teachers are often placed in these centers for a variety of reasons ranging from breaking rules to abusing children, where they await disciplinary hearings, and the practice was supposedly done away with two years ago.
The reassignment centers became known as rubber rooms due to notion that it would be difficult to go crazy after spending all day doing nothing.
“This was an absurd and expensive abuse of tenure,” Mayor Bloomberg said when he announced the new reforms in April 2010. “We’ve been able to solve what was one of the most divisive issues in our school system.”
However, recently one teacher, Francesco Portelos, made headlines when he created a website with a webcam showing himself in one of these centers.
Initially he was placed into a basement office, and then moved into an empty conference room. While in the conference room he set up a webcam and began blogging about his experience.
When the school district caught word of his activities, they banned the use of personal computer equipment from the conference room. Portelos, after going dark for a few days, began using his smartphone to continue his webcam site.
“It's just crazy, I never thought this would happen, especially in the New York City Department of Education,” Portelos told CBS Radio station 1010 WINS. “A $24 billion budget and I'm being paid $75,000 to sit here. It's ridiculous.”
Portelos hasn’t been formally charged with any specific wrongdoing, but claims he is being punished for accusing the principal of financial mismanagement. The district is not formally commenting on the situation.
He is just one example of teachers being paid to do nothing. Some teachers, like Portelos, are in a situation where they are pulled from the classroom because of disagreements with management, or for breaking rules. However, there are some teachers that are in these situations because they are deemed a danger to children, and cannot be terminated due to tenure rules.
It was reported that one teacher has been collecting over $100,000 per year in one of these centers, after he found a loophole that allowed him to continue due to the state not having a mandatory retirement age.
This practice of placing teachers in reassignment centers has not been isolated to just New York City. Many other large school districts use the practice.
In Los Angeles, for example, 161 teachers are reported to be assigned to various offices throughout the district as they await disciplinary hearings.
“Several of the people I know in rubber rooms have been there two years, some people as long as five years,” Leonard Isenberg, a disciplined Los Angeles Unified School District teacher said to NBC News. “You don’t just sit there. You can’t do anything. Think of Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo, with a paycheck.”
In spite of these reports, New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, while not denying the existence of these reassignment centers, wants it clear that they are not ‘rubber rooms’ where teachers go to do nothing.
“They’re not rubber rooms, let’s be very clear about that,” Walcott told reporters after a meeting with state education officials. “We have a number of offices throughout the city, and they provide opportunities for some type of work assignment.”