Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Teachers and Cops, Does de Blasio Have Blood on His Hands? -- Teacher Bloggers Peter and Patrick Chime in

South Bronx School blogger writes in this post -Wingnut Right and New York Post Hypocrisy: God forbid if a teacher so much as did something wrong and the Post and the wingnut Right (And crazy Governor Andy in Albany) would be calling for that teacher's keyster. Or worse, what would they say if that teacher had been charged in the past with misconduct in several past instances, like... Officer Pantaleo? 
...was the subject of two civil rights lawsuits in 2013 where plaintiffs accused Pantaleo of falsely arresting them and abusing them. In one of the cases, Pantaleo and other officers ordered two black men to strip naked on the street for a search and the charges against the men were dismissed.
Where there is smoke there is usually fire. Speaking of fire how long will it take to terminate Officer Pantaelo? Faster than a teacher? Will the Post and the wingnuts of the Right be calling for a speedier process to fire cops? To keep bad cops off the job? To do away with due process? A way to better evaluate cops? To be sure that cops that are hired are from the highest 1/3 of their college class?
...we aren't hearing about charter precincts or busting up the NYCPBA or the monopoly that the NYPD has over policing or more stringent and punitive measures to evaluate cops and other inane stuff that we as teachers have been subject to for the last 12 years. ....

Peter wrote a great piece today. I wrote the other day (John Dewey HS Update: Popular Teacher Dies Suddenly  about the death of a 53-year old teacher at John Dewey who was partially disabled and was harassed by the school administration to the point that people are saying the administrators have blood on their hands -- not a story you will read about in the Post. Or even the NY Teacher. Can you imagine Mulgrew going before the microphones and talking about the principal having blood on her hands? Actually, I'm not advocating he do that - even though teachers are leaving comments about how much they admire PBA head Patrick Lynch for backing his members and compare how little support the UFT gives its members on the ICE blog (POSSIBLE PBA V DE BLASIO ENDGAME). I get it, but though the union needs to defend everyone, Lynch goes way too far in defending and justifying every single act while also fighting any oversight of the police.

I was going to write something about the response to the murder of the 2 cops but am still having problems sorting it all out. There has been heated discussion on the MORE listserve over whether to say something at all and if so exactly what to say. MORE did put out a statement - Peace and Condolences -
MORE wishes to express our deepest condolences and sends our warmest thoughts to the families of murdered NYPD officers Wenjian Lui and Rafael Ramos. All murder is wrong. All murderers should be brought to justice. This is true when police officers are victims and when civilians are victims. While we reject the language of those who would exploit this horrific event for political gain, let us work as a city and a nation, together, to create a better, peaceful, compassionate, and equitable world. Losing a loved one, because of the violent act of civilian or officer, should be something we can all agree must end.
As so often happens, Julie Cavanagh wrote the basics of this statement, bringing her unique world view to the table - which is why I would follow her anywhere.

Bloggers associated with MORE have posted some excellent pieces. More from Peter:
I support the police. I have come across a lot of cops that are jerks and a lot that are good people. That is the same in all walks of life. Some people suck, some don't. What happened in Bed-Stuy was completely FUBAR. BUT! De Blasio did not egg the protestors on nor is he anti-cop. But he has every right to inform his son of the perils he faces. He is a father first and a mayor second. .... Eric Garner should be alive right now. Watching the video one wonders why 4 cops could not take Garner down in a way other than he was. Garner was not a danger to anyone. A NYPD inspector once told me that best cop is one who does not let a situation get out of hand. Garner's situation got out of hand...
Read it all:

Patrick at Raging Horse blog ( has written 2 must-read pieces:
In America nothing is sacred. Even before the bodies of the dead policemen Wenjin Liu and Rafael Ramos were cold, politicians seeking a soundbite, former politicians seeking the spot light and would be politicians seeking to jump start their careers ,were suddenly all over the place spewing venom and idiocy to all who would listen or could read as to the real reason why two policemen, ambushed in their patrol car in Brooklyn in a period of extreme racial tension, lay dead. They did not lie dead because a psychotic from Baltimore shot them at point blank range who earlier in the day had threatened suicide and then shot his girlfriend.
They lay dead because of Mayor Bill de Blasio.
They lay dead because of protestors.
This, at any rate, has been the line echoed back and forth across the country since hour one.
Nothing Is Sacred: Capitalizing on Horror is the American Way

Beyond the Pale: Blaming de Blasio for Murdered Cops

At the ICE blog, there is a piece by James Eterno, who has a new-born bi-racial son and will one day have to hold a conversation with him similar to the one de Blasio held with Dante. James' brother John was a police captain so James represents the unity of the various points of view on these issues. James does not trash Mulgrew and in fact praises his response. He then goes on to analyze some of the politics behind the response of police union leaders. Also interesting are the comments from teachers who seem to love Lynch while trashing Mulgrew. While I have been a big critic of the UFT leadership over their lack of support, I would also be extremely critical of a union leader like Lynch.

Bringing the story back to teachers and cops and the hypocrisy of ed deformers and how they only "care" about the children when teachers are involved, Peter says:
Oh, but the argument always will be that it is all about the children. But what about Eric Garner's children? What about the children of all the unarmed African-American's shot by the police? Are they not affected? Aren't all the African-American children not affected by NYPD in some sort of negative way?
Yesterday when I responded to another bullshit Students First tweet referencing Campell Brown:
Did Campbell talk about police and black youth relationships? Did she discuss stop and frisk
I guess not.


  1. Have you listened to that long scantimonius pandering speech of diBlasio's after the Gardner decision? instead of saying he disagreed with the decision he went on to explain his opinions of cops by the advice he gave his son. How would you feel if the mayor said he advised his son not to get too close to a teacher because all too many times they are pedophiles and perverts? Imagine then some thug goes out and kills a teacher. Lynch was correct on his call. I believe the mayor should resign.

    1. Give me a break. He has to walk the line between the people who elected him and the police. While there is stuff he could have said better he does have a constituency. Do you prefer those great defenders of police and trashers of teachers - Giuliani and Bloomberg. 20 years and you didn't have enough? And don't forget -- if he does resign you get Tish James. I bet you'll just love her.

    2. Not Bloomberg, but things were a lot better with Giuliani. Your mention of James is a typical UFT argument - you better accept this or you'll get something worse.

    3. You're defending diBlasio?! What the f--k has he done for teachers? This year is worse than last year! I miss that mf Bloomberg!

    4. You and I must be living in alternate universes. Bloomberg has absolutely devastated the public ed system and the union with it. But then again I haven't been in schools since around 2004 so what do I know? But I do not hear the shitty Joel Klein/Walcott/Bloomberg anti-teacher crap coming out of his mouth. As for deB -- I gave you the political rationale for his response - he knows he is probably a one-termer but his only chance is to get the forces that supported him last time to stick with him. He could have bowed down to every police demand and he wasn't getting that vote anyway - he has been under constant assault from the tabloids on every issue. Thus he had to assure the black community he was in tune with them. He does not expect to get the Staten Island vote. Backing the police unequivocally won't make one difference. So he tried to split the baby --

  2. Peculiar remarks insinuating his son should be fearful of cops feeds his reputation of having a simplistic narrative of whites as oppressors and blacks as victims. Particularly awful time to make such remarks (even if he wrongly believes his son has more to fear from police than from criminals) and combined with his consorts with Sharpton are enough to convince many he is simply the wrong man for the job. He has been furiously back-peddling but it may be too little too late. I suspect most of the people who voted for him also wish he had not made the awful remarks he did.

    1. I wonder if deB is just making it all up -- that he never had that conversation with his son. Do you think he has had genuine concerns about the safety of his kid? if he does/did then you can say he shouldn't have said it this way - but if he spoke as a father then that was an honest if injudicious comment. If you have a child of color would you have that conversation with him?

  3. I work with African American and Hispanic children in a high poverty neighborhood and the last thing I said to them before leaving for Christmas break was, "Be safe!" There are lots of shootings in the area and they are in danger. This is the reality.

  4. Yes Ed, I believe you must be living in an alternative universe. Bloomberg was given carte blanche to dismantle the schools with Wiengarten's 2005 contract, (after your time, I know).All of it lies (literally and figuratively) with an ill managed, self serving union. Just because you don't hear Bloomy's rhetoric from DeBozo hasn't meant he's better in any way. I'm still shuffling from school to school as an ATR, we have non-stop PD, there are no suspensions or discipline in the schools, and the union and retirees (like you) kiss his (DeBlasio's) ass while ours are getting kicked.

    1. I do get it. Name a blog that has been more supportive of ATRs since 2006, including coverage of the ATR rally in Nov 2008 - by the way, were you there that day? How much did you support ATRs when you weren't one? After my time? We were on the lines rallying and opposing that 2005 contract. Were you there then? If you were inactive all those years then you are as much the problem as Weingarten was. And that was 3 years AFTER I retired. Instead of whining DO something.

    2. Yes, I was there. I joined Solidarity. I'm not whining, I'm defending myself and responding to your kid glove treatment of a moron. I have also added my name for litigation against the union. We were sitting next to each other recently. Cheers.

    3. Good for you. I guess I don't have patience when people who bitch leave anon comments. You see I was out there from 1970 on battling my union leadership, superintendent, school board etc publicly. I had the pleasure of having my uft dist rep and supt visit my AP suggesting he give me a U rating. I don't coddle anyone. I get that deB was torn between being a father and a mayor and fucked up. That you can't get the father issue is sad.

  5. deBlasio could have chosen his rhetoric a bit more carefully when he made his public comments because it did cause a shit storm. Lynch is a big problem and I have no respect for any union leader who does not want to be part of the solution. And his comments were truly disgusting, and I really don't like the guy. But the public and his dues-paying members love him. Can't say that about Mulgrew who never should have sided with the likes of Sharpton. And wasn't it you who reported our Cope dollars are going to Sharpton??? It's like paying the Mafia for protection!!
    But it will be interesting to see how Lynch handles the up-coming contract. and if he does a better job than Mulgrew, then I have to respect that. Otherwise, Lynch would be a much better union leader if he works to repair the damage that is dividing this city. And I don't see that happening.


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