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Sunday, May 6, 2018

Manhattan Center Principal David Jimenez Gets Away With Sexual Harassment

David Jimenez

When I read Sue Edelman's expose of Principal David Jimenez, I couldn't help but think "what if Harvey Weinstein and/or Bill Cosby worked for the NYC Department of Education? Would there be a #MeToo Movement?"

It's very disturbing that public funds are paying for this man, Principal David Jimenez, to stay in his job, as well as paying for his wrong-doing. Where are the investigators, and justice for the people who have been victimized?

See April 26, 2018, NY POST:
Department of Education stifled sex harassment claims: ex-union rep
and prior posts on this blog:

Wrong-doing of any kind needs to be fully investigated, and wrong-doers must be penalized, and stopped.

Betsy Combier

Principal accused in sex harassment cases totalling $200K keeps job

By Susan Edelman, NY POST

This principal was spared the #MeToo ax — twice.
While Mayor de Blasio has blamed a “hyper-complaint dynamic” for a spate of sex-harassment complaints at the Department of Education, the city has quietly shelled out $200,000 to two women who accused the same principal of abuse — yet he got to keep his job.
The city last month settled a second sexual-harassment suit in four years charging that Manhattan principal David Jimenez groped, made unwanted advances and retaliated against the women when they complained.
The city has now agreed to pay a total $200,000 to two assistant principals who worked under Jimenez at the Manhattan Center of Science and Mathematics in Harlem.
Yet even in the #MeToo era, Jimenez, who makes $173,707 a year, can’t be punished, officials said.
Felicia Bray
Five years after she filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court, Assistant Principal Felicia Bray reached a deal on April 4. The city agreed to pay her $150,000. She claimed she suffered Jimenez’ abuse from 2008 to 2009.
According to her suit, the harassment started when Jimenez touched her hand and told her he liked her. She replied that it made her uncomfortable, and that she wanted to keep their relationship professional. But he still pursued her aggressively, she alleged.
In his office, Jimenez “grabbed me from behind and tried to feel up my breasts,” she testified in a deposition. “I was wrestling with him and started to cry, ‘What are you doing?’ I was screaming.”
After five minutes, he finally stopped when a janitor knocked on the door, she said. “He told me to hide in the bathroom.”
Another time, according to her publicly filed deposition transcript, he followed her car in his, honking the horn, and demanding he pull over and join him.
In a health office, Jimenez asked Bray to open a desk drawer. It contained a fake penis used in sex-ed classes to demonstrate condom use.
“He laughed hysterically,” she recalled.
In a school hallway, Jimenez “leaned in and tried to smell me,” she said.
Bray confided in another AP, Arleen Milton, who revealed that Jimenez had harassed her, too, Bray testified. The two women agreed to stay together whenever he was with either of them.
Milton settled her own sex-harassment suit in 2014 after complaining that Jimenez tried to kiss her, made lewd comments and asked her on dates, according to court papers. The city paid her $50,000. She works as an assistant principal at another school.
When Bray finally complained to the DOE’s Office of Equal Opportunity, Jimenez began slapping her with disciplinary letters.
She lodged a complaint with the city’s Commission on Human Rights, charging that Jimenez was retaliating against her sex-based complaints.
Instead of investigating Jimenez, the DOE terminated Bray as an AP, citing “professional misconduct” and “insubordination.” She was demoted to teacher, her salary slashed.
A different school later rehired Bray as an AP. She now makes $140,639.
Another former AP under Jimenez called him “mean and vindictive,” saying, “He shouldn’t be a principal.”
In 2013, The Post reported that Jimenez ordered a beloved 89-year-old aide to man the elevator all day in an effort to get her to retire so he could give her $28,000-a-year job to someone else, staffers said.
“It’s scary,” said attorney Gerald Gross, who represented both Milton and Bray. “When you have similar acts alleged against the same principal, it’s incumbent on the city to start seriously investigating whether to keep this guy in the same position.”
DOE spokesman Doug Cohen said the settlement does not confirm wrongdoing. He added, “Cases are often resolved beyond the time-frame when DOE is legally able to impose discipline.”
The DOE also pointed to the Manhattan high school’s 96 percent graduation rate as evidence that Jimenez is “effective.”
“I have not been disciplined,” Jimenez told The Post. “I’ve always denied these accusations and I’m sticking to that. I did not sexually harass anyone.”
The Bray settlement comes after the city admitted it fielded 570 sex-harassment complaints in the DOE between 2013 and 2017, but substantiated just seven cases.
The de Blasio administration said last week it will spend $5 million to beef up enforcement, including hiring eight new investigators.
Harlem Teachers Say Principal Has no Principles

Teachers and others at an East Harlem high school say their principal is bad for education.
Principal David Jimenez of the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics has been accused of sexually harassing two employees, asking a staffer to lie, unfairly forcing out a teacher and creating a climate of fear and retribution.
"It's just so crazy in school, the tension between mostly the principal and the teachers has gotten out of hand where now it's affecting a lot of students,” said Oscar Valenzuela, the senior class president.
The Department of Education says it is investigating Jimenez, but staffers say the school is sinking as accusations have swirled for more than a year.  Jimenez declined to be interviewed.
Former Assistant Principal Felicia Bray is one of two women who accuse Jimenez of sexual harassment.
“He groped me in his office,” she said.
After filing a formal complaint against Jimenez last year, she says he retaliated against her and others.  She was sent to another school and is fighting her demotion to teacher.
Baseball coach Edgar Leon says the principal wanted him to lie and accuse Bray of okaying an unauthorized purchase for the team. He says that after he refused to lie, the school cut the baseball team's funding.
“I believe that I am a target for standing up for what's right,” said Leon.
To save the season, teachers say they raised $700 for the team. Leon thanked them with a barbecue. English teacher Yves Cloarec says Jimenez forced him to resign last June -- simply because he had attended that barbecue.
“Basically because I participated in that barbecue, I was no longer the right person for the job and as a matter of fact, he said so in those words,” said Cloarec.
Since Jimenez took over the school three years ago, the graduation rate has improved to 89.5%.  However the school's rating has dropped from an A to a low B and staffers say Jimenez has caused talented teachers and administrators to leave.
Student Dabian Canales was in Cloarec's English class and plays baseball for Coach Leon. 
“I just feel like it's unfair,” said Canales.