Wednesday, December 17, 2014

John Dewey HS Update: Popular Teacher Dies Suddenly - Some Staffers Blame Administration For Hastening Her Death

Was the death of [Teacher K] a case of slow murder by an arsenic-like administration, some teachers ask?
Now this deadly gang of so-called administrators have surely- through the terrible stress they put all targeted teachers through- contributed to the premature death of Ms. [K], a wonderful Foreign Language Teacher, who passed away over the weekend. Mrs Elvin, who was behind the non-stop attack on this teacher all last year and this year, was suddenly eulogizing her over the loudspeaker, and making sure everyone knew she was so deeply, deeply saddened by the loss of [Teacher K]! What a miserable and transparent hypocrite- she should be known as "The Widow/Widower Maker"! 
Elvin, no one believes a word you said [regarding the death of [Teacher K], a teacher under immense harassment by the Elvin admin] today. You must think we're all fools. We know what action you and your goons took.
The heartless ghouls spit out by Tweed over the years continue to stalk the system. I've learned to spot the type from so many teachers' descriptions. Clearly, one of the first things the principals are taught is how to apply pressure to older, often somewhat ill in some way, teachers by giving them more physically demanding assignments that will wear them down. I hear too many stories of teachers dying on the job.

These articles on ed notes regarding John Dewey HS
No Change of Tone at John Dewey HS: Principal Kat...": 

Kathleen Elvin and AP Emily Creveling Use...":
and the actions of the administration there continue to be amongst the most read and commented on at Ed Notes. Here are some more comments:
Today at 8:30 am the school was notified of the passing of a current Spanish teacher. It was a very unexpected loss. The teacher, an older woman with a severe back issue was very well liked by teachers, not so much by the administration. In fact, it is safe to say that she was one of the teachers with a "bulls-eye" on her back...She was forced to teach in multiple rooms, despite having mobility issues. In other schools with other Principals, her life might have been made easier but not at John Dewey. Here she was forced to use a cart to bring her materials from room to room. Here she was given the toughest of classes and when she asked for help, she was told that no one would respond anymore, that it was her issue. Here she was, taking a car service to work in the name of dedication, and yet she was on the short list for removal....I thought that I had heard everything and seen everything, but today was a real eye opener....We work in the most hostile environment with an administration that has an agenda that is shameful. I hope this teacher rests in peace...and I hope that we get help soon.....
This commenter compares the actions of the police in the Garner case to the actions of the Dewey admin in the Foola Karas death as some in admin try to pin blame on actions of students:
Yes, [Teacher K] a thirty year veteran teacher ( 53 years old) died over the weekend...and while she was alive- instead of the administration celebrating her courage and tenacity to come to work everyday in obvious discomfort, they seemingly systematically denied her support in the form of any kind of disciplinary action against her students; slowly trying to build a case against her for dismissal. [APX] just recently wrote to her "I'm here to support you whenever you need it - after writing her ineffective!!!! One student pulled her phone out of the wall last spring so she couldn't call for deans and was back in class the following day! I heard [APY] even came in to her room recently and in front of the class shouted "I'm finished...I'm not coming back in here anymore!" How is that for giving the kids a green light to do whatever they want? First [APY] you allegedly talk the police out of giving a summons to a kid caught with a five inch knife and now this??? Resign. K' life could have been so instructive to the kids in the way someone deals with adversity instead she was isolated and made into a punching bag. And some of the FECKLESS AP's were ruminating about how the kids might feel guilty about it? And the grief counseling was done by Elvin supporters who side with her interpretation that the administration's actions had no impact on K's sudden demise but that she was suffering and sick? Eric Garner would have probably died of a heart attack sooner or later after all he WAS in bad shape but the rough and dismissive arrest tactics and subsequent disinterested EMS response caused his death. And to compound Elvin's effects....the kids ARE INTERNALIZING the guilt!!!! Anybody knows, Elvin that kids need consequences and your statistic mongering restorative justice has deprived them of an important life lesson and perhaps irreparably harmed them with the death of this person on their consciences'. They should be informed that it was NOT their fault but your statistic padding policies. Kids will be kids and they will push as far as they can and it was up to YOU as the instructional leader to provide those boundaries not use their behavior as a cudgel against a "teacher target" to build a case and rest assured we have the evidence. We can only hope that the K family seeks appropriate legal remedy and believe me many of us our lining up to be deposed. And for the rest of you who still support and finagle for Elvin out of fear or self interest...one question. How do you still look at yourself in the mirror?
I'm attending a 3020a hearing (which I will write about after the case is over) who is being threatened with termination by a younger version of the Dewey principal. Worst of all, the current principal looking to take his job is a former teacher-colleague in the school who planned the action against him as one of her first acts as principal. This teacher's health is also not great and there is some worry about the toll this is taking on him. And believe me - he had one of those jobs in an elementary school teaching around 200 kids a week where his impact as a teacher on the kids is minimal - he is basically a prep giver. So to go to the extent his former colleague is going must mean she developed a hate for him even though he says they always had a good relationship before she became principal.

26 comments:

  1. Time for that teacher's family to sue the DOE

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  2. In April 2012,I blew out my blood pressure during one of my afternoon classes. I felt nauseated, sweaty, headache. I didn't have chest pains so I knew I wasn't having a heart attack. I got a teacher to cover my class for ten minutes while I took a brief walk outside to "cool down." When I got home my blood pressure was 170/115 and I went tot the ER. They found other coronary-related issues. Make a long story short, my cardiologist wrote a letter to my principal and AP explaining my health situation and that I needed to control my stress, in particular, that I could no longer do six period days. I asked for it to be put in my file. Of course, they continued to ask me to do six period days and I would formally refer to the letter in my file. They would grunt, make faces and moan. One of the reasons I got out of the DOE was I knew that if I kept teaching no adjustment would be made for my health condition and I wasn't willing to die for my students, though I did almost everything else along the way.

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  3. The current and former staff members of that school need to post comments and expose this administrator here: http://dtoe.org/principal-kathleen-elvin-john-dewey-hs/

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  4. Where's the union when this poor teacher was being attacked? I don't see anything about their involvement in helping Ms. K by fighting administration. I'm very saddened by this news and very angry that this was allowed to happen.

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  5. I am sorry to hear about what is happening at John Dewey High School. I do not want to think that the students were used as "tools" in the systematic attack on this poor teacher. I think it is something to consider. I read about the problems with Flames Basketball Neighborhood Recreation Program in John Dewey, HS. It is a shame that:

    After 41 years in John Dewey, HS; before this new principal arrived (no incidents reported about the program) the systematic dismantling of Flames Basketball Neighborhood Recreation Program begins.

    As a John Dewey, HS alumni and also a Flames Basketball parent alumni; I am very interested in this situation. I wrote a letter to the principal explaining my deep concerns and worry about how she was doing harm to the Flames Basketball Program. I stated my position as clearly as I could to convey the gravity of her actions towards the Flames Basketball Program. I also wrote an impact statement letter to my councilman. Flames is Non-adversarial to John Dewey, HS. Flames is Community Minded. Flames is about Building Bridges

    For a program(school) to be successful you need (5)essential keys. 1. extended hours; 2. small setting; 3. effectiveness; 4. leaders; 5. consistency. Flames Basketball Neighborhood Recreation Program has all five key elements. It has been successfully operating for over 40 years in John Dewey, HS. It is an institution. It is symbiotic with John Dewey, HS students. Flames teaches young men about goals and the achievement of goals. These young men strive very hard to keep good attendance, punctuality, sportsmanship. These young men know that discipline and consistency will grow their aspirations into reality.

    The participants in the program are often seen wearing Flames jackets. They are often seen purposefully gathering and mobilizing around the neighborhood. They are going to Flames at John Dewey, HS or coming back from a game. They are not committing any crimes in the neighborhood. Without consistency and effectiveness in the Flames, you will witness attrition and problems that will inevitably spill out into the community. Why choose to destroy a program that works along with the school and is successful. If you want young people to feel unwanted, unaccounted for, and unworthy this is the way to hurt young minds.

    Today, I read about what more horrible events are taking place in John Dewey, High School. I don't understand how this is all happening. What is happening to my school???






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  6. If this is the same Ms. Karas that worked at Lafayette, then I worked with her. What a pleasant lady and good person. I am sorry the hear that she passed away. The duress she was under, she did not deserve.

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    1. It was the same teacher and she was a lovely person. Despite her physical challenges she was always on the move, doing the best she could in a school where her issues were looked at as a reason to harass her and make her life hell. While you can't put blame on students, you can see in the letters they are writing to her on her classroom door that they feel tremendous guilt for how they treated her and the lack of support she got from the administration....and it's clear from the way Elvin is walking around talking about her "multiple health problems" that she might be realizing how much trouble she could be in with her treatment of Ms. Karras.....nothing would bring the staff greater pleasure than to see her go down for this.....

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  7. If the principal is talking about her awareness of Ms. K's health problems to alleviate her guilt for her treatment of Ms. K, I'm not buying it. My response to her would be, "So you knew she had serious health issues, and yet you continued to harass her??? How will you ever rest easy on your pillow at night ever again?" I took a toy away from a 6 yr old yesterday and as a result he cried. I felt guilty even though I knew I was teaching him a valuable lesson about actions and consequences. How the hell do principals who ruin people's lives live with themselves? I will never understand how evil so easily hides behinds an administrator's license without a peep from our union prez. Roseanne McCosh

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  8. What is even sadder is the fact that so many schools are plagued with the likes of this Elvin and even worse, who are destroying the morale and lives of so many teachers.....

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  9. The Bureau of Child Welfare really needs to be alerted to the abuse these students are enduring as a result of Kathleen Elvin's machinations. How many of these students will turn eventually to drugs and or substance abuse to ameliorate the guilt they feel for Ms Karras untimely death? As the "grief counselors" feed them lies about Ms. Karras' suffering only from physical infirmity and neglect to inform them of the administrations torturous campaign against her the backhanded implications is " You little students tortured a sick women to death!"

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  10. John Dewey turn in Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution

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  11. This happens all over. Science teacher at john bowne was harassed to the point she retired. A few months later she died. Another science teacher husband was stricken with cancer. She took off about 2 days a month to help care for him and the admin was all over her for it. They know who they are! Where's the humanity!!!! They are wolves and should be ashamed of themselves.

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  12. Mrs. K was my Spanish teacher. She was a fantastic educator that loved her job! She was well prepared and meet the needs of all her students. Shame on the administration for not giving her the respect she deserved. If they did feel she was lacking in some areas it was their duty and responsibility to provide her with the proper support.

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  13. Mrs Elvin went to the wake for Mrs Karas, and it was said that Mrs Karas' daughters told the principal to "never show your face here again". The family was obviously aware of the principal's acts of harrassment and intimidation against their loved one, as, it is obvious, are so many of the colleagues she had at John Dewey; the next step is to bring a sense of closure and justice to the memory of Foula Karas by exposing the abuses that Mrs Elvin levels on those she bullies/targets/harrasses-to-death. There is an ongoing OSI investigation, and there is a UFT Special Representative once a week in the building- both parties should be informed, anonymously or in whichever way will "out" the truth. Mrs Foulas deserves that, at least.

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  14. Kathleen Elvin needs to be psychiatrically evaluated. I'm not joking. Pure deduction. Either she shamefully and cynically 'eulogized' Ms.Karras to the staff or she actually believed all the praise she lavished. Where's the need for evaluation, You ask?
    If Elvin ever expected any of the staff to buy her praise of a teacher she targeted ( cynicism) than she's delusional. In the second instance, If Elvin actually is THAT compartmentalized that she believed that SHE Elvin was grieving over the death of this nice person that she systematically went after in the most discriminatory and merciless fashion; than that is really indicative of a fugue state schizophrenia or multi personality disorder. Either way...she's in need of help and not fit to be in charge of people who are in charge of kids.

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  15. Mrs. Karras won national " Teacher of the Year " , according to her daughter.

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    1. ELVIN, we know the entire story about how you and your pathetic APs tried to set up Foula Karras so that you could remove her from the classroom. Your entire tenure at Dewey has been about the abuse of Power, Corruption and Lies. You are one wicked piece of work. It is time for you to resign from your position as principal. You need help.

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    2. Mrs. Karras won national " Teacher of the Year" at the year 2006.

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  16. Wow , that's a despicable post on the 25th no less! Disparaging a dead woman and a grieving daughter? Smells like a Dewey AP tactic.

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  17. You say comments are welcome but abusive and irrelevant comments will be removed? Well why aren't they? Enough already. To compare this to what is going on with the people who got shot by the cops is crazy. Ms. Karras was a lovely lady. Every time she made a call someone went up to her classroom to help her.She was well liked. It is a loss to the whole school but your comments are so out there. So much time and energy put into this How about reaching out to her family and seeing if there is anything you can do for them? Why don't you put all that energy into something productive?

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    1. I approve comments - I don't make them -- they are clearly coming from people in the school. There are so many I don't even have time to read them all. If an administration that abuses teachers gets abused then abuse cancels itself out. I imagine a whole lot of stuff has not even come out yet.

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    2. Before the BIG LIE is spread by the administration, that Foula Karras was offered a lot of support, and we have been expecting it- let’s clarify a few things. As Elvin says: “Let’s drill down and get granular!” Here is how Foula Karras was done…
      The Security Agents have been complaining for well over two years now that Elvin’s “restorative justice” ( read statistic padding scam ) denudes them of any deterring power visa vie the students except for language. The kids quickly grasp this and the guards feel they are rendered as powerless clowns. (their own words )
      Now the same dynamic applies to the deans. Karras’ classes were okay for most of the term. As soon as they started getting a little crazy, a dean would show up and address the misbehaving student or students in a loud, stern voice like so: “ I don’t want to come back here again and see you doing this!”
      The deans ( and I don’t blame them- their hands were tied ) know full well that taking a student down to Lustig for anything short of an assault would have him looking at them like they just shot his new Yorkshire Terrier. So they would move on. Human nature being what it is, they might take an extra lap before returning to room 345. Looking like a powerless buffoon to a classroom full of ninth graders is not a good career move for a dean! Now, the misbehaving student has seen that NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING has happened except for language and begins to test the waters of mischief again, fueled by animus for the reporting teacher who pointed him/her out! Soon others are emboldened by the chaos and as two deans walk by the room they perhaps share a comment: “Jeez, she really can’t control the class!” A SELF FULFILLING PROPHECY!!!
      Now dear reader, what should have been done? As soon as this particular group ( and other teachers have corroborated their difficult-ness ) got crazy, suspensions should have followed!!! If one student from each of Karras ‘ classes were suspended for two consecutive weeks and she had the power to demand it, you REALLY don’t think that order would have been restored? The classes are fine now. Why? Because the kids now know they are on a short leash! Because reportage will happen because it NOW FITS THE NARRATIVE that Karras was a weak teacher and SEE everybody how this teacher keeps them quiet? Puhleeze!!!!!
      Last query dear reader, given the choice between ten to fifteen extra suspensions on Elvin’s statistical record or a stressed out, sick or quite possibly dead senior teacher…which choice do you think Elvin would make? I’m not giving my opinion but I will say this…I know that my choice is what Elvin would have chosen 100 out of 100 times

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  18. As a reply to the post "Why don't we put our energy into something productive" Dear Ms. Elvin ridding the staff and students of you and your policies by exposing you to as many people as possible, seems to me to be just about one of the most productive enterprises any staff member at John Dewey High School could possibly engage in given the total number of people who will be positively affected by your removal.

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  19. Elvin is gone Ms. K!!! Your colleagues made it happen.

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  20. Hope you are having a "wonderful"summer Ms.Elvin. It's a shame that you are not put in a jail cell with Jaimie Loeb,and Barbara Puleo,so that the 3 of could discuss how you destroyed a school,teachers careers and lives and students futures.

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  21. Ms elvin should be in a jail cell along with former ap's Loeb, and Puleo. Have a great summer Ms.Elvin.John Dewey HSIs a much better place now that you have been REMOVED!

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Comments are welcome. Irrelevant and abusive comments will be deleted, as will all commercial links. Comment moderation is on, so if your comment does not appear it is because I have not been at my computer (I do not do cell phone moderating).