Wednesday, June 3, 2009

"You Mean He Would Tape a Meeting?" A Termination Hearing Experience

You hear an awful lot about how hard it is to terminate a tenured teacher and how much it costs. You only get the horror stories from the perspective of the anti-tenure crowd. What is often neglected is the issue of why a school system would choose to take a route to terminate in spite of the costs. The David Pakter case is a prime exhibit. I dropped in on David's 3020a hearing yesterday. You could write a book.

There were the lawyers - NYSUT for David and someone from the DOE. The arbitrator down from upstate. And the principal who had to be pulled from the school for two days. At least. Maybe more. And at least 12 days of trial. All to fire a teacher who has been in the system for 40 years. And not one word has ever been uttered negatively about his teaching.

What was yesterday all about? David had given watches from his watch company to students as an incentive for getting 90 averages on their report cards. Five watches. And one to a school aide for assisting him. That makes six.

David certainly knows how to get noticed. He started at the school on Oct. 18, 2006 upon release from slavery in the rubber room for years and was sent back on Nov. 25. Mostly over the watches. (There were more charges for which he was exonerated by the investigators.) That they are going forth with 3020a hearing sat extraordinary expenses to terminate him is bizarre, bizarre, bizarre.

When I left they hadn't even gotten to the large potted plants he brought as a donation to the school and placed in front of the auditorium. They deemed them a fire hazard and had them removed. Twenty lashes. The school puts on lots of shows. I bet they could have found some use for them. But I'll get more info later on this caper.

There was lots of discussion on the visit UFT's NY Teacher reporter Jim Calahan made to the school when he was writing an article on David. And David's offer of a $10,000 donation to the school. David is a well-known artist and owns watch companies and he is not doing any of this for the money.

The key questioning in a superb cross examination of the principal by the NYSUT attorney was about a meeting held on Nov. 3 to discuss the issue. The principal's memory was sketchy. But on direct examination she indicated that David was trying to market his watches in the classes he taught by giving out catalogues and his web site. On cross it came out that he was giving the kids a place to go to choose the watches they wanted. The arbitrator, one of the most respected I hear, perked up. Not marketing, but offering choices of watches. An ah-ha moment.

There was a lot of detail that I'd love to go into in the future as the process is very enlightening as to the thought process administrators go through. There came a point when after repeated questionning about the details of the things that were said at the Nov. 3 meeting were raised - things that David said there that would go a long way towards exonerating him– the principal said, "This seems like you are reading from a transcript."

The NYSUT attorney smiled and nodded. The principal issued a gasp. "He taped the meeting," she said incredulously? "Why would he tape an innocuous meeting called to discuss the issue," she asked in shock?

The NYSUT attorney smiled and said, "Well, we are at a 3020 hearing looking to terminate him."

The DOE attorney quickly asked for a few minutes to discuss the issue outside.

11 comments:

  1. I can't believe that the Principal was shocked that the teacher taped the meeting. If she didn't lie she has nothing to fear. Of course if she lied, then I hope she gets what she deserves.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's sad that it has come down to this. I applaud David for not walking out of his job...we know he could retire...but to stand up to such abuse is commendable. Good luck to him. Oh, BTW, Norm did you tape the arbitration?

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's great that he taped the meeting. We should all be walking around with tape recorders in our pockets. I used to, but I washed mine in the laundry. Have to buy another one.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I thought that principals were supposed to give you a warning and time to correct your behavior before giving you a "U". I remember being told this. Was David ever given a chance to just rescind the offer of the watches and take his plant back? These aren't even behavior patterns. They're individual acts of kindness and if someone wants to misinterpret them, he should just be given the chance to take them back. I realize the whole case is crazy, but I wonder if that simple question has been asked.

    ReplyDelete
  5. SHOCKED? Like that dude in Casablanca was shocked that there was gambling! I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Mayor Bloomberg should take notice now!
    If you really care about our children and the quality of our NY Public education why would you let an extraordinary person like David Pakter, a shinning example of what constitutes an exemplary teacher be persecuted by an obviously corrupt DOE?

    ReplyDelete
  7. I knew Pakter slightly when I used to visit Art & Design.

    The kids adored him! Swore he was their best teacher!

    They thought they learned a lot from him. And I was always impressed by
    the art work they produced in his classes.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Since David's 3020a is such a high profile expose of DOE's ridiculous and frivolous charges (one might say 'harassment via false disciplinary charges') and bad faith tactics I would assume a few UFT suits were there to show support to a member. Please tell me I am right.

    Since UFT never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity to show support to an excellent and falsely charged teacher, I have my doubts.

    It is wonderful that David has chosen a public forum for his hearing. Since I know NYSUT lawyers normally advise secrecy this could not have been an easy decison. Doubtlessly his decision has DOE fuming and they are probably already plotting ham-handed retaliation.

    Finally, if the principal has made deliberate misstatements of material facts under oath - as evidenced by the tape, the NYSUT attorney MUST pursue perjury charges against the principal. At the very least by alerting Klein on official NYSUT letterhead, with supporting sworn transcripts from the case and a transpcript of the recording, and cc'ing all the appropriate state education department licensing folks. This is grounds for an official investigation and part 83 actions. Not to mention grounds for a civil suit by David.

    If this case is about watches (!) and potted plants (!) it is the perfect one for UFT to publicize. Except for a desire to help Klein and DOE save face, I cannot imagine why this ridiculuous case is not a public relations bonanza for the UFT.

    David has a super attorney. NYSUT specializes in cross examination so I am sure this was quite a show!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Mr. Pakter was my packaging design teacher in the mid 80's. He was an inspiration, truly gifted with a kind soul. I wish I could be present to support him. This legal action is such a waste of his time, the courts time, our money and taking away from him giving his students 110% . . . as he did when I was his student. --N. Spadavecchia

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ours is an envionment where evil is perceived to be rewarded while good is punished. As with everything the Gods have a reason for creating this perception::::
    People who fall on the good side of the good/evil scale have more favor, and when they do something wrong the Gods punish them BECAUSE THEY WANT THEM TO LEARN. The Gods want them to receive this feedback in hope they make corrections and begin to behave appropriately. The Gods DON'T like evil and refuse to grant this feedback.
    EVERYBODY pays for what they do wrong, only evil people must wait until their next life before they will experience the wrath of the Gods, manifested in their reincarnation as a lower form of life into environments with increased/enhanced temptations.
    Sadly, this allows the Gods to position this perception of evil rewarded as temptation, one which they use as an EXTREMELY effective corruptor.

    Both Africa and the Medittereanean are regions which have sexual issues. This is a sign of morbid disfavor once you understand that females are the God's favored gender. Muhammad's (Mohammed's) polygamy halfway through his life as a prophet was preditory. Now a huge percentage of Muslims believes in male superiority and that the abuse of women is God's will. Female genital mutilation is still practiced in Africa. Black misogyny is the most eggregious example in the recent past.
    Black member size is temptation to a predisposed population.
    The patriarchal cancer spread throughout Europe because of Christianity, of which the majority of policy makers were Italian men. Expect the largest landowner in Europe and the continent's original superpower also played a major role in African slavery.

    Militancy in Africa is consistant with the Iraqi example, as was slavery and the KKK here in America:::Fear enforces proper behavior. Without it we see what happens as a result of gross/morbid disfavor:::::AIDS, crack babies, dead young men in gangland retaliation killings. This is the purpose behind many black's historical tendancy towards resistance.
    The same principle was true in Europe and throughout the world for centuries:::People whom lived under iron fists were conditioned to think the right way. As a result they experienced higher numbers of children accend into heaven because they were taught to think and behave appropriately, which they passed on to their children. Our preditory envionment of "freedom" was the primary purpose the Gods had when implimenting this strategy that is the United States, one which they used to spred the cancer of democracy and westernization throughout the world. And the Gods use this tool that is America to prey on the disfavored both at home and abroad:::Much like the ghetto, America in general experiences a heightened level of temptation due to the people's disfavor.

    Even the Old Testiment is not to be taken literally, but the Gods do offer clues throughout to help the disfavored:::The apple is a tool of temptation used to corrupt Adam and Eve and cast them out of the Garden of Eden.
    There is another lesson to be learned from this passage, and it is quite similar to the vailing issue and the discourse over women's attire which ultimately died in the 70s:::Women are responsible for and control the fate of mankind.

    Think about what I say. Consider what I teach. Society is going to become disturbingly ugly as we approach the Apocalypse due to spiralling, runaway disfavor.
    I do not know when this will occurr, but it is the God's way to grant some time before they end on Planet Earth.
    Make the decision to always be good and never look back. Until you do this technology will employ tactics to test your resolve:::Ridicule, beligerance, doubt and refusal to abandon what people perceive to be their "investment".
    Pray daily. Think appropriately. Too many are confident, unaware of the God's awesome powers or their status as antients. Others may fall prey to their positioning.
    Be humbled, God-fearing and beware of the God's temptations, for everyone is tested to evaluate their worthiness.
    Search rest

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ours is an envionment where evil is perceived to be rewarded while good is punished. As with everything the Gods have a reason for creating this perception::::
    People who fall on the good side of the good/evil scale have more favor, and when they do something wrong the Gods punish them BECAUSE THEY WANT THEM TO LEARN. The Gods want them to receive this feedback in hope they make corrections and begin to behave appropriately. The Gods DON'T like evil and refuse to grant this feedback.
    EVERYBODY pays for what they do wrong, only evil people must wait until their next life before they will experience the wrath of the Gods, manifested in their reincarnation as a lower form of life into environments with increased/enhanced temptations.
    Sadly, this allows the Gods to position this perception of evil rewarded as temptation, one which they use as an EXTREMELY effective corruptor.

    Both Africa and the Medittereanean are regions which have sexual issues. This is a sign of morbid disfavor once you understand that females are the God's favored gender. Muhammad's (Mohammed's) polygamy halfway through his life as a prophet was preditory. Now a huge percentage of Muslims believes in male superiority and that the abuse of women is God's will. Female genital mutilation is still practiced in Africa. Black misogyny is the most eggregious example in the recent past.
    Black member size is temptation to a predisposed population.
    The patriarchal cancer spread throughout Europe because of Christianity, of which the majority of policy makers were Italian men. Expect the largest landowner in Europe and the continent's original superpower also played a major role in African slavery.

    Militancy in Africa is consistant with the Iraqi example, as was slavery and the KKK here in America:::Fear enforces proper behavior. Without it we see what happens as a result of gross/morbid disfavor:::::AIDS, crack babies, dead young men in gangland retaliation killings. This is the purpose behind many black's historical tendancy towards resistance.
    The same principle was true in Europe and throughout the world for centuries:::People whom lived under iron fists were conditioned to think the right way. As a result they experienced higher numbers of children accend into heaven because they were taught to think and behave appropriately, which they passed on to their children. Our preditory envionment of "freedom" was the primary purpose the Gods had when implimenting this strategy that is the United States, one which they used to spred the cancer of democracy and westernization throughout the world. And the Gods use this tool that is America to prey on the disfavored both at home and abroad:::Much like the ghetto, America in general experiences a heightened level of temptation due to the people's disfavor.

    Even the Old Testiment is not to be taken literally, but the Gods do offer clues throughout to help the disfavored:::The apple is a tool of temptation used to corrupt Adam and Eve and cast them out of the Garden of Eden.
    There is another lesson to be learned from this passage, and it is quite similar to the vailing issue and the discourse over women's attire which ultimately died in the 70s:::Women are responsible for and control the fate of mankind.

    Think about what I say. Consider what I teach. Society is going to become disturbingly ugly as we approach the Apocalypse due to spiralling, runaway disfavor.
    I do not know when this will occurr, but it is the God's way to grant some time before they end on Planet Earth.
    Make the decision to always be good and never look back. Until you do this technology will employ tactics to test your resolve:::Ridicule, beligerance, doubt and refusal to abandon what people perceive to be their "investment".
    Pray daily. Think appropriately. Too many are confident, unaware of the God's awesome powers or their status as antients. Others may fall prey to their positioning.
    Be humbled, God-fearing and beware of the God's temptations, for everyone is tested to evaluate their worthiness.
    Search rest

    ReplyDelete

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). Or because your comment is irrelevant or idiotic.