Mr. Kwait is “one of those guys who I can’t figure why it took so long to remove from his position,” Mr. Tand said. “They seemed to look the other way until given no choice.” In an email sent to the faculty, he called Ms. Prettitore and four other women the “five star lesbian club,” according to the lawsuit. She said the Department of Education did nothing to act on her complaints. That case was settled in September for $130,000.
Mr. Kwait was transferred “to a central office where he will be closely supervised and will no longer be permitted to manage other employees,” ....NYTWhat are they going to? Put a lock on his zipper?
At the Department of Education, 471 sexual harassment complaints were filed from 2014 to 2017, seven of which were substantiated.... NYT
The dysfunction of the DOE and the de Blasio administration when it comes to the response to sexual harassment is revealed on these NY Times and NY Post stories.Whereas, 471 complaints of sexual harassment were filed by employees of the NYC Department of Education between 2013 and 2017 with only seven substantiated; and
Whereas, before expressing support for the New York City Council’s Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act, Mayor Bill de Blasio unfairly attributed 98 percent of sexual harassment complaints to a “hyper-complaint dynamic,”... Excerpt from Resolution passed at UFT Ex Bd, May 7, 2018
If you don't have the background to the outrageous comments of de Blasio in dismissing reports of sexual harassment in the DOE check out some of Arthur Goldstein's accounts: Executive Board Takeaway May 7, 2018I hope now that NYT has written about this, the Mayor & our new Chancellor will confront the notoriously dysfunctional OSI, DoEs internal investigative office. Instead of claiming as the mayor did that NYC teachers have a “culture” of unwarranted “complaints.” After the new schools chancellor reviewed the suits, Howard Kwait was transferred to an office position where he won’t be “permitted to manage other employees..”
And Arthur's great speech at the EB meeting which I am reprinting:
Arthur Goldstein—I was shocked that Mayor De Blasio could stand up in front of God and everybody and declare that 98% of teacher sexual harassment complaints are frivolous. I worked for this man. I contributed to his campaign and sat through the freezing cold at his first inauguration.Here is the entire NYT article
If you’re a friend of teachers, you don’t stereotype us as whiners. Most teachers are women, and I often think that’s why people like those on the Post editorial board feel so comfortable degrading us. I have a hard time differentiating those who stereotype teachers from garden variety bigots. It’s far more egregious when it’s directed at victims of sexual harassment, who certainly have enough on their minds without being gratuitously ridiculed.
If you are a UFT chapter leader, you know that the investigative agencies can never get anything done in time to follow their own rules, that they convict people on the flimsiest of evidence, and that they defend the city on equally ridiculous evidence. It it’s not them it’s the thirty dollar an hour minds on DOE legal, the ones who know next to nothing about the contract, who decided that 98% of us were cranks. Every single time I have had a dispute with legal, without exception, they have been wrong and UFT has been right. These are the people who fight me twice a year to keep class sizes over the limit, and they muster the audacity to claim they place children first, always. The people who really do that are the ones who wake up to serve these children each and every day, and that would be us.
I certainly hope this was a momentary aberration, and that the mayor will come to his senses. If I were him, I’d not only follow the terms of this resolution to the letter, but I’d also go out of my way to grant a fair family leave policy for those of us who devote our lives toward serving the children of this city.
I urge you to vote for this resolution, and to tell Mayor de Blasio that we stand up for our own, particularly when they’re victimized like this.