Tuesday, May 22, 2018


I'm a little late to this blog party as Leonie Haimson at the NYC Parents Blog and Chaz have already posted on Sue Edelman's excellent piece on how principals sexually harassing teachers is usually unpunished by the NYC Department of Education. The UFT has passed a resolution to say there should be fair investigations. OK, but the UFT has been very silent about actual cases of sexual harassment that have merit. The NYC schools didn't always have a culture that looked the other way at sexual harassment among principals.

Back in the late 1990's we had a principal at Jamaica High School who was accused by two teachers of sexual harassment. The allegations were investigated in a timely manner by the Board of Education's Office of Equal Opportunity and the allegations were found to have merit in June. By the following September, the principal was reassigned to a district office. When the DOE under Mayor Bloomberg in 2003 tried to put this principal in another school, the public outcry forced them to backtrack almost immediately.

The Bloomberg-Chancellor Joel Klein theory that principals can do no wrong as long as they can produce higher test scores has led to this corrupt culture where just about anything goes for principals.

This leads to an important question: Why didn't the UFT expose these principals who were sexually harassing members?

That is answered by Shaunte Penniston, a teacher who sued for sexual harassment and has prevailed.

From Sue Edelman's piece in the NY Post:
Penniston complained to the teachers union, which did nothing, she told The Post. "My claims fell on deaf ears. They were waiting for me to be assaulted before taking any action. I felt like a sitting duck."

Yes, this is one example. However, can anyone find a school where the union came charging in like the cavalry to reign in a principal who was harassing UFT members and then publicized it to encourage teachers that they can fight back? Need we say anything more about the uselessness of the United Federation of Teachers in this decade.

I keep saying that we need a union and we certainly do.

The question is this: Do we even have one now?

Back in the nineties, the UFT supported our efforts to reign in the principal who was sexually harassing teachers.


waitingforsupport said...

Bullying by principals and AP is such a huge issue. I don't understand why "bystanders" don't step up. The union MUST address this issue but our colleagues must speak up and in unison when a peer is targteted by principals and APs. Walk in as a group when possible. It can be done if we push the fear aside to stand up to bullying. I did it for my colleague but alas nobody else joinec

James Eterno said...

The two problems as Sam Lazarus always says are the leadership and the membership. Back in the nineties, we expected to be backed up by the UFT leadership so people stood up. We have to know the backing is there. Can we expect that backing today?

Anonymous said...

UFT under Randi Weingarten sold out to Bloomberg.

Anonymous said...

Let us face the UFT and Mulgrew are a sham.

Anonymous said...

Any female teacher that is sexually harassed should take it directly to law enforcement. Don't even bother with the incompetent U F T. And certainly not the DOE.
Go meet with a good lawyer and if they feel you have a good case they will work on contingency. Then file a giant lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

The UFT isn’t standing with or for its members. It isn’t a legitimate union. It’s business is the unfettered collection of dues. Everything it does leads back to that prime directive - Unity stronghold, retirees voting, block voting, selling endorsements and selling away our rights.

Anonymous said...

This DOE “policy” should have been reported to the NYS Education Department long ago.

Presumably, they would have investigated what was going on.

The Commissioner of Education could have ordered the Chancellor to file Education Law § 3020-a charges against any or all of these principals, as appropriate.

Furthermore, NYSED’s Office of School Personnel Review and Accountability (OSPRA) could have initiated Part 83 proceedings against any or all of these principals, as appropriate.

The three-year Statute of Limitations doesn’t apply in situations where tenured individuals (whether teachers or administrators) are being charged with having committed a crime.

Anonymous said...

Not only is this behavior going on in the DOE, it goes on in the UFT. And when Mulgrew was a teacher didn’t he have sex with a married counselor, whom he eventually married hIm self? And isn’t she now working for the UFT? Wasn’t Weingarten the significant other of the previous UFT president who placed her in the position of president of the UFT? There’s upper management in every industry that are guilty of sexual harassment. Teachers are not only sexually harassed by adults in schools - let that sink in.

Anonymous said...

11 days left of instruction, then resignation. An end to a pathetic career. Not worth the money.

Anonymous said...

The issue with the Uft is politics. Weingarten and mulgrew don’t want to ‘poke the bear’ so to speak.

They have easy gigs and hook up their friends.

District union reps tell us all the time how ‘we should all be happy to have a job’.

We need to wipe the slate clean. Mulgrew and every district rep needs to go.

We need term limits on district reps and upper management reps. 4-6 years.

Don’t let anyone get too cozy.

Anonymous said...

The issue at heart is the friendship between the Principal, Super & UFT District Rep.

Anonymous said...

Good point. Too much incest.

Anonymous said...

That would get me to stay in the UFT.

Anonymous said...

Such a good point! All I hear from my district rep is how she has ‘known the principal and superintendent for 30 years and they are for the teacher.’