From James C:
The plight of Mr. Portelos is another example of retaliation by a vindictive principal. In addition, the former Chapter Leader was working against Mr. Portelos as the principal's confidant.
Mr. Portelos' wows began after he contacted me about School Leadership Team issues in Dec. 2011. It was clear that his SLT Team, of which he was a member, was not in compliance with CR A-655 and State Educational Law.It was a Team of untrained members dominated by the Principal.When he learned about what the Team role was, he began asking about school budget and CEP issues that weren't being done by the SLT in a collaborative manner. The attacks were fast and furious. Additional conflicts also developed that resulted in charges being made against him. In addition,the principal is being investigated for financial discrepancies regarding her per session activity.
Despite being removed from the school (you can read about the fifteen absurd charges on his website), the staff elected him Chapter Leader last June. However, he is not allowed to enter the school, which hinders him from conducting UFT business. He is also not allowed to attend SLT meetings.The DOE has not formally charged him as of yet but has banished him to a "rubber room" in their District Office in Ozone Park ( He lives in Staten Island). He and the few other teachers that are there are isolated from each other.In addition, he is not allowed to use his computer.
Mr. Portelos has a federal lawsuit against the DOE which you can also read about on his site.The Judge recently refused the DOE's attempt to dismiss the case.
I admire Mr. Portelos for refusing to let the DOE destroy his career without a fight and for publicizing all the underhanded actions of the principal and DOE.
There have been two or three articles in the NY Post about this matter.
If anyone can be of assistance to Mr. Portelos, you would be involved in a worthy cause in helping to vindicate a quality teacher while sending a message to principals and the DOE that they will not be allowed to get away with this shameful behavior against teachers..
Leonie picks up the case from Francesco:
From: Leonie Haimson <email@example.com>
To: nyceducationnews <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wed, Oct 3, 2012 3:54 pm
Subject: [nyceducationnews] Portelos' plight: Squeezed into a paragraph
From: Mr. Portelos [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2012 3:48 PM
Subject: Squeezed into a paragraph
I managed to squeeze the story into a paragraph, but with links.
My name is Francesco Alexander Portelos. I am a parent and educator of Staten Island's North Shore. I was teaching technology at Berta Dreyfus IS 49 for 5 years after I left a 7 year career in the Environmental Engineering/Inspection field. My record, as a teacher and school community member, was stellar. After I became a new father in the community, my focus transcended past my praised classroom and I looked at the issues at the school as a whole. A school that my son would be going to in just 10 short years. As I brought attention to matters, such as discipline, budget and school goals, a hostile work environment was suddenly created around me. Principal Linda V. Hill began calling me a "hindrance to the community" and questioning my classroom instruction that was previously praised. It did not stop me as I knew something was going on and I pushed forward starting investigations on potential financial misconduct and educational neglect. I submitted the allegations on January 26, 2012. Starting on January 30, 2012 18 allegations were made against me, 3 disciplinary letters were placed in my file in just 10 days, I received my first unsatisfactory classroom observation and I was ultimately removed from school on April 26, 2012. I now sit in exile, at an empty cubicle (Rubber Room), 20 miles away at 8201 Rockaway Blvd waiting. Waiting for what? The investigations on the administrators back at Berta Dreyfus 49? The in vestigations on me? My Federal lawsuit? The completion of the 50th Anniversary Celebration?
Now if you have time, and a bowl of popcorn, read the more detailed version of the saga… http://protectportelos.wordpress.com/the-story/
IS 49 UFT Chapter Leader
"In the end, we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." -Martin Luther King Jr.
Grassroots Education Movement
Education columnist, The Wave
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