The Official Blog of the Independent Community of Educators, a caucus of the United Federation of Teachers
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Rikers Island School Principal Removed For Reassignment
East Elmhurst, New York: Dec. 20: Amidst “allegations” Rikers Island principal Frank Dody has been removed from his position as leader of the school for incarcerated adolescents on Rikers Island last Friday evening. The school serves over 1,000 incarcerated males and females waiting trial in the Courts of New York City as well as probation and parole violators between the ages of 16 and 21.
Mr. Dody’s tenure at Rikers was marred by allegations by teachers and other staff of union-busting, supporting discriminatory practices by site supervisors and utilizing the Corrections Department to remove popular teachers.
While Mr. Dody could not be reached for comment he did write to his staff this morning. He wrote, “I received a call at 4 yesterday and I am being reassigned (not sure where) due to allegations. I expect somone [sic] will be placed in my position immediately to continue to provide leadership in the school.”
Former teacher and UFT union leader at Rikers, Jeff Kaufman stated, “It is time for reflection for the staff at Rikers. Mr. Dody will now share in the experience of uncertainty and humiliation that his teachers have experienced when he had them removed from the school. I can only hope that the climate of divisiveness and mistreatment of staff is finally over.”
The school had been criticized by the New York City Council Education Committee for not providing transferable high school credits and providing GED instruction for only a small percentage of the students. For some time testing for the GED was suspended in the school due to allegations of testing improprieties.