Sunday, January 25, 2009

My Brush With OSI

I had one brief brush with some goons from OSI (Office of Special Investigations or its precursor) around 1990. Two of them came in and threatened my principal over a leaflet I had handed out in front of a school headed by a principal who has given a friend an unfair U-rating.

She refused to pull me out of class, to her credit.

We didn't get along but she was one tough bird who wouldn't take shit from anyone - me or the goons from central. (Later she told me they warned her she would never get anywhere in the system if she didn't "cooperate" which probably meant they wanted her to go after me. No matter how much she hated me politically, she wouldn't stoop to that as so many principals would today.)

They came back. This time with a letter ordering her to send me and two colleagues down to the office to meet with them. I grabbed a giant video recorder and walked in with it on and stuck it in their faces. I thought they would duck under their chairs like it was one of those shelter drills from the 50's. They handed me a letter ordering me to appear at OSI.

The three of us involved in the leaflet were pulled out of school for a day and hauled down to tell our story. It was clearly about intimidation. I practically leaped across the table at the arrogant guy who questioned me (with the UFT lawyer trying to restrain me). "I'll walk into any school I feel like and put it into any teacher's mailbox I want," I said. "Check the chancellors' regs which give me the right to do it." I was sort of bluffing but figured I'd use the same tactics they did. They seemed so used to teachers walking away with their tail between their legs, they backed off.

I was able to be so brazen because I never worried that I as vulnerable within my school, something in today's climate I could not count on.

We were out of there by 10:30 AM and headed off to Riis Park Pitch and Putt to play golf for the rest of the day.

How sweet it was playing golf on the DOE nut.


  1. You are right. Those Principals don't exist anymore and if you did it now you would have been removed to the "rubber room".

  2. I think ICE and TAG should go around to the Rubber Rooms and tell people GOOD STORIES like this one. You sit there and all you hear about is people being set up and set up. And losing. There ought to be "confidence building" meetings or something. Maybe a pamphlet could be created? I would work on it...


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