A close-up look at NYC education policy, politics,and the people who have been, are now, or will be affected by these actions and programs. ATR CONNECT assists individuals who suddenly find themselves in the ATR ("Absent Teacher Reserve") pool and are the "new" rubber roomers, people who have been re-assigned from their life and career. A "Rubber Room" is not a place, but a process.
First, she threatened to pull a “Columbine” on her own school. Now, a former Brooklyn high-school teacher is suing the NYPD for $6 million for arresting her over the “terroristic threat” — a charge that was later dropped.
“If I had a trench coat and a shotgun, it’d be Columbine all over again,” a seething Sabrina Milo, 35, blurted out in a Fort Hamilton HS teacher’s lounge in March 2011 after a run-in with administrators, according to her Brooklyn federal court suit. She insists she was just kidding.
Milo — who received an award for classroom excellence in 2007 — was angry that her bosses had sided with a student in a classroom confrontation and began venting to colleagues, according to the suit.
“Plaintiff used this figure of speech as a way to express how irritated she was,” the suit states. “Plaintiff was not being literal or serious and had no history of making threats or behaving violently.”
But word of her Columbine comment spread, and Milo was arrested at the school several days after the outburst on the terror-threat charge, according to her lawsuit.
“Why are you being such a crybaby? You’re a terrorist,” an arresting officer told Milo as she was hauled off the school grounds, the lawsuit claims.
“When plaintiff was brought into Central Booking, other prisoners taunted plaintiff and screamed ‘terrorist!’ while they clanked on metal cell bars,” according to her suit.
Milo was so distraught after a judge set her bail at $100,000 and dispatched her to Rikers Island that she was placed on suicide watch, court papers claim.
She made bail four days after her arrest, and the charges against her were dropped when a grand jury refused to hand up an indictment on the “terroristic threat” charge.
“They arrested an art instructor who teaches children for terrorism for venting to colleagues in a teacher’s lounge,” said Milo’ s attorney, Daniel Neveloff. “They had no probable cause to arrest her — they acted too quickly and recklessly.”
Her career and reputation in ruins, Milo is now seeking to nail the NYPD and arresting Officer Greg Evert for $6 million over various civil-rights violations stemming from the arrest.
Neveloff said that his client was coerced into giving up her teaching license after the incident and that she remains unemployed.
“It’s been a very difficult road for her,” he said. “It’s not easy when your name is Googled and these stories come up. Imagine getting arrested whenever you say something like ‘I’m going to kill my kids’ or ‘I want to strangle my husband.’ ”
The NYPD did not immediately return a call for comment.
Jury won't indict teacher who threatened to bring machine gun to school and repeat Columbine
A grand jury has refused to indict the Brooklyn teacher who threatened to smuggle a machine gun into school and stage "Columbine all over again."
Sabrina Milo, 34, was cleared after dozens of parents, students and fellow teachers vouched for her to the court, praising her as a "free spirit" and a great educator who would never hurt anyone. "I'm sure her harmless outbursts were meaningless," said Linda Wu, a former student at Fort Hamilton High School in Bay Ridge. "I've known her to be outspoken, witty and never violent." "She is well-loved and an incredible teacher," wrote former student Michelle Farkouh. "There is a reason such a multitude of students are pouring out support for her. It saddens me to know this might damage her teaching career. She had such a positive influence on me and my fellow students' lives." Milo was arrested April 1 after three teachers said they overheard her sobbing and threatening to "settle some scores." Exactly 12 years ago Wednesday, two students dressed in trench coats killed 13 classmates at Columbine High in Colorado.
Milo, an art teacher who lives in Staten Island, says she was just venting in the private confines of the lounge. However, she was arrested on charges of making terrorist threats - a felony that carries up to five years in jail. The 10-year veteran of city schools was out on $100,000 bail when charges against her were dismissed on April 15, according to her lawyer, Andrew Stoll. "My client is very happy, but she's still anxious to get back to the classroom. It's not over until she's back in class," Stoll said Wednesday. He praised the "courage" of the grand jurors who found no basis for charges against his client. The Department of Education is still weighing disciplinary charges. Stoll said that would be "unfortunate." Students described Milo as a quiet, well-liked teacher known for her quirky sense of humor. Stoll had predicted the charges would be dismissed and Milo - who has no guns - would be freed. "She is no threat to anybody," Stoll told the News three weeks ago. "She needs to be medicated." Her husband, 64-year-old Lee Anderson, is a JROTC teacher at the same school as his wife.