We've been waiting for the LH case to go public since the Portelos arrest a few weeks ago for his satiric blog post. In many ways this is even more egregious -- a principal who ends a first year teacher's career with a Discontinue and then is repeatedly challenged by the teacher for doing so goes out and charges the teacher with harassment and the NYPD arrests the teacher. Even though the ridiculous charges are dropped, the chilling nature of this tactic must be exposed. Lydia spoke at the PEP the other day about her D without talking about her arrest (See speech at: LH Speech on DOE Discontinue Black List). She may go back next time to share the arrest story. Let Carmen Farina and the de Blasio PEP appointees hear these stories -- and note how the UFT buries them too.
By the way -- you can tell the Post is somewhat sympathetic to a teacher (for a change) by this wonderful photo of L - instead of trying to make her look like a criminal. Sue Edelman has been doing some good work -- though I still never trust the Post.
April 13, 2014 | 4:23am
LH was arrested for harassment and spent 14 hours in NYPD custody before charges were dropped.
MORE ON:A Bronx teacher who criticized her boss got a hard lesson recently when she was thrown in jail.
Lydia Howrilka, 24, of the Academy for Language and Technology HS, was fired last July by Principal Arisleyda Urena, who called her ineffective.
Howrilka sued and filed a complaint alleging Urena improperly raffled off iPads and other costly prizes for kids. The claim prompted a DOE probe.
Howrilka sent an e-mail asking about her treatment to Urena and Chancellor Carmen Fariña — and to some 40 other city and state education officials and city politicians.
She got a call from the NYPD asking her to surrender on Urena’s charge of aggravated harassment.
Howrilka spent seven hours in the 84th Precinct house before being moved to Brooklyn’s Central Booking.
After seven more hours, a court officer said the DA had dismissed the charge.
“I believe it was done to intimidate,” she said. “And I’m concerned it will have a chilling effect on other whistleblowers.”
Urena’s lawyer, Tim Parlatore, said his client called cops “because of repeated, unwanted e-mails and communications.”
Also tossed in the klink was Francesco Portelos, a technology teacher at IS 49 Berta A. Dreyfus on Staten Island, who was yanked from his classroom two years ago, after launching a blog accusing Principal Linda Hall of violating rules. The outcome of his termination hearing on charges of insubordination and other alleged misconduct is pending.
Portelos, 35, who collects a $75,796 salary, wrote a satirical blog post on Feb. 24 saying he had hacked into the DOE’s payroll system with the password “kittensRcute,” and given himself a raise.
“Ridiculous story? Yes it is,” he wrote in the same post, adding “the truth is I can’t hack and never have.”
But the DOE’s chief information security officer, Desmond White, filed a complaint of official misconduct.
The police report asks, “Is Victim fearful of their safety/life?” White apparently answered “YES.”
Portelos spent 33 hours in custody, sleeping on the floor of a crowded cell next to a toilet, he said, before the DA dropped the charge.
The DOE made no apology. “We believe Mr. Portelos acted inappropriately with a post on his blog, and we notified the NYPD out of an abundance of caution,” a spokesman said.