Teachers: Be careful out there. Very careful.
SCI and OSI investigations are suspect
Reports, both public and private to Ed Notes from a blogger at South Bronx School ought to make potential whistle blowers about misconduct of their supervisors, especially when it comes to corporal abuse, very nervous.
Investigators from OSI(Office of Special Investigations) came into the school [Friday] to meet with the boys' parents, and [the] principal. I do not know if [the Assist. Princ.] was there. In this meeting the investigators pressured and cajoled the boys parents to sign a waiver that [the assist princ] did not inflict corporal punishment. That he was in fact breaking up a fight. They told the parents that if they did not sign the waiver that [the AP] would be in danger of losing his job.
Special Commissioner of Investigations Richard Condon's gang are no better than OSI. No, he is not The Manchurian Candidate Richard Condon, though he sure shows signs of using a few of the tactics in the book.
So when a teacher is accused of anything, even looking at a kid cross-eyed, poof– into the rubber room. When supervisors are accused, they get a slightly better deal. Like, go ahead and keep on doing your thing. Well, at least politically well-connected supervisors.
Long-time readers might remember my friend Kathy, who has spent almost 2 years in the rubber room? After a wild child had run out of the room twice, Kathy took her over and sat her down into the chair. Supposedly a button came off in the process, though the kid claimed she as also scratched (no scratch was found). The principal had the parent call the police and Kathy was taken out by 5 cops in handcuffs – after 22 years of teaching in that school and not one mark against her in all that time. Even the cops realized they were manipulated by the principal, as the arresting detective later told me. (Soon after the child was moved to, let us say, another environment).
I was brought up in an environment that you NEVER let a child leave the room, especially an agitated one, as they could run out of the school and into traffic. So I restrained any child who wanted to run, with force if necessary. Of course, in today's world, the teacher would be blamed anyway. (I once had a brief OSI experience which demonstrated the political nature of the operation – My Brush With OSI/).
In Kathy's case, it was political. She had run for chapter leader 6 months before on a platform of standing up to the principal and lost by only 1 vote. That's taking of your political enemies.
I took Kathy to a UFT Executive Board meeting, where we called for the UFT to conduct their own investigation into the case by getting statements from the cops, who appeared to be on Kathy's side. Lots of luck. "That's her responsibility," I was told. Sure, race down to Police HQ or the precinct after a day in the rubber room. This case got cold very fast. The UFT basically does the minimum it has to do and I had to make the point time and again that I had taught across the hall from her for years and never saw an iota of the kind of charges being made.
In June 2006, when ICE still had members on the UFT Exec. Bd, Jeff Kaufman presented a motion calling on the UFT to hire people to conduct independent investigations in parallel to SCI. The motion was categorically rejected by Weingarten and Unity Caucus. I posted on this in August Why Didn't The UFT Demand An Independent Investigation For Alleged Teacher Misconduct... as a corollary to a post by Chaz.who has been dealing with this a great deal (see related links below.)
One teacher who has experienced SCI abuse, sent me this yesterday:
At the risk of telling you what you already know, SCI and ALL the so-called "Investigatory" agencies in NY are all in bed together with the DOE and the Mayors Office. They are ALL joined at the hip and share info with one another re those they have decided are "trouble makers."
The minute any agency puts a target on someone's back all the other agencies do the same. The person immediately becomes a Dead Man Walking and doomed for life.
Half the work that Condon's SCI office does is use the info they get from Whistle-blowers to later set them up and stab them in the back as they did to me. Condon's office could not be more crooked if it were twisted into a dozen pretzels.
There is literally nothing they will not do to destroy a person who challenges the system and/or their power.
The chief point is that SCI though it pretends to monitor corruption, in actuality monitors and assists in destroying the people who try to expose the rampant corruption.
The teacher who goes to SCI is in effect signing his/her own Death Warrant.
Same thing if a teacher goes to the District Attorney's Office.
Warn teachers to beware that once the UFT has used then for their own purposes and their 15 minutes of Fame has passed away, the system will try to bury their asses.
Is the UFT also in bed with the DOE and SCI? There are mixed opinions out there, but I lean toward a somewhat collaborative effort. The UFT doesn't want to dirty its hands by defending a teacher who may be guilty, so they start out by believing all teachers are guilty – until some truth emerges that gives them reason to think otherwise.
In other words, drop the automatic assumption the UFT is on your side until you make a convincing enough case to them, which has more to do with your believability factor. Convincing the UFT to mount some defense can hinge on the level of support you are perceived to have, though don't count on much either way. You do that through public relations with the support of colleagues, parents, etc. Teachers who are isolated and loners or out of the social mainstream of their schools are especially vulnerable and are often the first targets.
One tactic used is to find an excuse to get the whistle blower teacher into a rubber room to cut off potential allies. Banned from entering the school, the teacher has no mechanisms to challenge the lies being spread and to build support. They even go so far as to make the teacher take a psychiatric exam with DOE doctors who are programmed to look for anything to classify the teacher unfit.
Don't you know Officer Krupke, he must have a social disease. The boy has got to be crazy for blowing the whistle on the administrators who beat on kids.Teachers sometimes get confused since the UFT always has a "special rep" present during the interview. Some view this as part of a set up – that the UFT rep is only there so the UFT can give the false allusion that the teacher is being protected by Due Process and that the UFT is fully complicit in these set ups. But I do hear the other side from some people – that they got real help from the UFT rep. It may depend on the individual rep, but how is a teacher to know?
David Pakter's case which has dragged on for years, he called in Dr. Alberto Goldwaser* who contradicted the medical hacks at the DOE. David once wrote:
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should any teacher appear at the Medical Office when requested without arranging to engage the services of the renowned Goldwaser.
He is the only Forensic Psychiatrist they are afraid of and will not Railroad a teacher if he is in the room at the time of the interview. He has saved countless teachers over the past five years.
He is NOT cheap but the alternative is being taken off salary IMMEDIATELY by the Med Office if one goes alone.
Chaz School Daze has focused lots of attention on this and related issues in these posts.
Why Are There No Consequences To The OSI & SCI Investigators When They Are Caught In A Lie By The Arbitrator?
The DOE Double Standard Continues As Administrators Are Given A Free Pass When Threatening And Telling Second Graders To Lie
The New Underhanded & Sleazy DOE Policy To Get Teachers To Resign On The Spot
*Jeff Kaufman in a June 2006 report in the ICE blog on ICE's rejected proposal.
Betsy Combier adds some deep background
Oh, and Richard Condon makes $179,168 a year.
*Goldwaser contact info:
FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATES TEL 201-342-3500