3020-a trials always begin with a pre trial conference between the opposing lawyers and the Hearing Officer where technical matters are argued over such as the Demands for Discovery. Both sides state reasons for what they will and will not surrender into evidence etc. Lots of technical arguing over the specifics of the charges.
One of the charges is he brought in a large plant to decorate outside the auditorium without permission. Was it a Venus flytrap that ate kids? Or named Audrey?
David said in an email:
...the hearing officer was fairly amazed the DOE would pull something so insane as to make it a charge that the NEW YORK TEACHER ran a story on my case which the DOE claims embarrassed them if you can believe such insanity.
The story is at http://www.uft.org/news/teacher/top/axed/
In any case because the Hearing officer realized this case contains major Constitutional issues involving the Bill of Rights, especially the First Amendment, he said this case could last a very long time involving countless witnesses and therefore he does not want to even start the actual calling of sworn witnesses without holding several more private Pre-Hearing Conferences.
I believe it is the first 3020-a in the history of New York in which the DOE had the chutzpah and the unbounded Hubris to think they could defecate on a teacher's Constitutional Rights so openly and brazenly. It really is an amazing situation.The other charges are equally ludicrous of course.
David has asked for an open 3020a, which all people have a right to do, and we'll be posting the dates in case anyone wants to see the show. I hope to make a few of them myself and will report back.
More rubber room news:
Sorry, I can't say without getting some people in trouble. But I hear at least one bizarre story a week. Like the one about a teacher recognized as being excellent who is in the rubber room for having an altercation with a child - her own. Can a parent complain about the actions of a teacher when she herself is the teacher?
or - a child charges an extremely competent teacher (the entire staff has been horrified that this could happen to this long-time senior teacher with a great rep) with saying "you're an idiot" when the teacher really said "you didn't get it." So far, 4 months in the rubber room, the entire class that the teacher taught in total chaos as subs come and go. Why did the principal do it when it would have been so easy to believe the teacher's version? Senior teacher with a higher salary? Or just Another Leadership Academy Loon? (A-LAL?)
Oh, and has anyone seen that UFT Rubber Room SWAT (right) team around lately? If you spot them let us know.