Friday, August 10, 2018

SEXUAL HARASSMENT LAWSUIT FILED BY COUNSELOR FROM HUMANITIES AND THE ARTS HIGH SCHOOL

Many will be shocked by a lawsuit filed by a guidance counselor claiming an assistant principal sexually harassed her and when she reported it to the principal, he retaliated by attempting to fire her. The principal then directed her to work in a storage closet.

From the Daily News story on the lawsuit:

An ex-Queens high school guidance counselor was sexually harassed at work — and then banished to a filthy closet and brought up on fireable charges after she reported the abuse, a shocking lawsuit charges.

Former Humanities and the Arts High School counselor Sandhya Thomas, 53, of New Hyde Park, claims in the suit filed in Brooklyn Federal Court Monday that she was groped by her supervisor, Humanities and the Arts assistant principal Ghandi Moussa, who also allegedly masturbated in front of her in a series of sexually inappropriate interactions between 2013 and 2017.



“Upon Moussa’s arrival at the Humanities,” in 2013, the suit states, “he would regularly make Thomas stand close to him, using that as an opportunity to touch her or brush up against Thomas’s arms, breasts, buttocks, and other body parts.”

The harassment worsened in 2017, according to legal papers, when “Thomas observed Moussa begin to rub his genitals over his pants while starring at Thomas’ breasts, masturbating in front of her, while moaning.”

Thomas, who’s worked in city schools since 1998, reported the harassment in 2016, the suit says. Humanities and the Arts principal Kayode Ayetiwa retaliated and banished her to work in a room filled with broken chairs that had no heat, the lawsuit alleges.

When Thomas complained, Ayetiwa sent her to work in a nastier place — a dusty, moldy storage closet in the Cambria Heights school, the suit says.

Thomas claims Ayetiwa and Moussa also brought her up on bogus charges and tried to get her fired. A hearing officer suspended Thomas for poor job performance, for six months without pay starting in May.


Sadly, we are not at all shocked by this story. ICEUFT has been covering the Humanities and the Arts High School's awful administrators for several years.

For full disclosure, this is the school my wife worked at for over a decade. I can confirm that Ms. Thomas is a decent person who should be credible. She is sane. This is not some crazy disgruntled employee.

Principal Ayetiwa, thanks to the Department of Education's "My principals right or wrong" culture  set up by Joel Klein that  continues to the present day, has been empowered to make life miserable for anyone who questions anything he does. Ayetiwa is very anti-UFT.

He visciously went after the Chapter Leader, the Delegate (my wife Camille) and next  the tracher who had the guts to step up and get elected to relace the first CL. The UFT hierarchy knew all along what this principal was about. Their response was not exactly strong. Complaints went as far up the UFT ladder as an in person meeting with Staff Director Leroy Barr. The Union would not fight in public even when union activists were forced out of the building one after the other.

Do you think anyone who remained in the building was going to speak up after seeing good people removed and not much done about it? Better to hide.

How many more of these stories have to be exposed before the UFT demands, and will accept nothing less than, an end to the anti-UFT member culture spread across too many schools?

We need a real union.

107 comments:

Anonymous said...

The UFT has a deal with the CSA not to go after their members publicly (principals and APs). The UFT will deny it but look at all the anecdotal evidence - principals continually running amok, upper echelons of the UFT notified - then the Chapter Leaders of those schools openly targeted and removed and the UFT still does nothing. The UFT before it’s CSA deal had a list of bad principal that was eradicated after the deal.

Anonymous said...

kayode is previously from jefferoson hs which had a huge 3% college ready rate. what a zoo.

Anonymous said...

Jefferson, yeah, was an atr there, what a shithole, kids did whatever they wanted, now he gets rewarded, prob because he is black.

Educat said...

The egos of admin’s and DOE officials are quickly deflated when they are forced to deal with the real world, a.k.a. prosecutors, lawyers, judges, courts,etc.who will shove a slice of humble pie down their arrogant throats.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Nah, I dont think there is any deflation, these APs and principals get huge salaries, avoid the classroom, which is the worst place to be, dont teach, then can make up ridiculous rules and SBOs, then force us to pass those who dont deserve it, then take credit for the passing average, while bossing us around sll yesr. Or, when those schools fail, they get recycled and keep high pay...

James Eterno said...

Try to keep it kind of clean folks please. I understand the passion but don't go overboard. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

"Jefferson, yeah, was an atr there, what a shithole, kids did whatever they wanted, now he gets rewarded, prob because he is black."


Yeah that's not racist at all. You guys should work for Trump.

Anonymous said...

That remark sure sounds racist but in reality its probably true. When I was interviewing for AP and Principal jobs with the NYCBOE I received many interviews at first, until they learned I’m White. I have a very English first and last name (I.e. George Washington). I was being interviewed in Maury Bergtraum for an AP position and was greeted, by an all White group, with ‘We thought you were Black.’ I proceeded to question them on the statement and the school which was a hellhole and obviously a result of poor leadership and indifference. They couldn’t wait to get me out of there. If you’re a middle aged straight White man they do not want you in any position of authority. Disgusting, but true.

Anonymous said...

Look at the black schools, 99% black supervisors, that is impossible unless planned.

Anonymous said...

It’s absolutely planned that way and most don’t hide it. I was in one such school years ago called Urban Assembly for Social Justice in the Taft Building that had drawings all over the hallways of white people torturing blacks. They would have the kids come out and play African drums in the hallway everyday at noon. The Chapter Leader was openly anti-white and incredibly boorish. She would turn her back on me if I asked a question. She went on a tirade about the civil rights movement once and said she wished she could get involved now. I told her all ATRs are being discriminated against and told her how I felt. To her credit I think it opened her eyes.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, this job just isn't for white people anymore. Its a shame we have been set aside and abused, and stepped over for jobs. Too easy to be tarageted, and of course we are unable to respond...

Anonymous said...

All off topic but true James. You need to post blogs about the real reasons the schools fail. I realize as a good intentioned liberal it’s hard for you to admit it but the rest of us already know. Only when we fix the family will we see schools improve. Any suggestions on how we can discourage out of wedlock births, drug abuse and criminality? Ive taught economics for over 20 yrs and the one thing I continually emphasized was building wealth. Save, invest, study, work and needs over wants. We need to teach the parents. Less wants and only needs. But I’m a old white guy so who cares.

Anonymous said...

Welfare punishes the family if the mother is married. There are economic incentives for out of wedlock births. Most minority folks had stable families before the late sixties when these policies took place. Moynihan predicted all this and more at that time.

Prehistoric pedagogue said...
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Anonymous said...

Ayetiwa may be black, but he has gone after black teachers, and other teachers of color with a vengeance, as mentioned by the OP. All of these comments are more proof why the UFT can't get it together. The post starts off comments about a despicable Principle, his atrocious actions and the inaction and antipathy of the union leaderhsip, and it turns into a black and white issue with teachers ripping into each other, with an irrelevant comment about Lebron James thrown in for good measure.

Ayetiwa didn't just go after the UFT rep - she was harassed until she landed in intensive care due to the stress. Her replacement UFT rep left the school, but that wasn't enough - Ayetiwa prevented him from taking his new position. He had a black A.P. escorted out of the building by Security. AND he retaliated against teachers who complained that students with disabilities were not getting the services that they were legally entitled to.

Before becoming a teacher I worked years on the management side for an organization with a strong and powerful, union and if it's one thing I learned is that they got their power from their united front - not just when it was time for collective bargaining. They may have had their squabbles amongst themselves but they did not allow management to divide them.

As for Ayetiwa - he and his co-conspirators are now going to have to answer to a federal complaint at a time when sexual harassment and retaliation is on the hot seat.

Anonymous said...

Who cares? Blacks are bleaching their skin and whites are working on getting theirs as dark as possible.

Anonymous said...

The DOE is anti-White as is the UFT. Bloomberg was anti-White and only hires White newbies and threw us colored folks in to the ATR cesspool where we remain. DOE and UFT go along with it because it best to get rid of high salaries in order to purge the system of those that know their rights.

Anonymous said...

As the USA gets darker, we go backwards on every list educationally, I wonder why.

James Eterno said...

6:35 is totally right. A black AP who I worked with at Jamaica was removed by Ayetiwa. Some here always bring it back to race. I think there is more to this.

Anonymous said...

James, do you feel that a school’s Quality Review Reports and Comprehensive Educational Plans reveal important information about the school’s culture?

Here are the three most recent Quality Review Reports and three most recent Comprehensive Educational Plans for Humanities & Arts Magnet HS:

www.nycenet.edu/OA/SchoolReports/2017-18/Quality_Review_2018_Q498.pdf

www.nycenet.edu/OA/SchoolReports/2015-16/Quality_Review_2016_Q498.pdf

www.nycenet.edu/OA/SchoolReports/2013-14/Quality_Review_2014_Q498.pdf

www.nycenet.edu/Documents/oaosi/cep/2017-18/CEP_Q498.pdf

www.nycenet.edu/Documents/oaosi/cep/2016-17/CEP_Q498.pdf

www.nycenet.edu/Documents/oaosi/cep/2015-16/CEP_Q498.pdf

Anonymous said...

If you agree that more white people than black people earn masters Degrees, and this is fact, how can my school be 4 out of 4 black supervisors? The chance of that is like 10 million to 1, again, unless it's set up that way.

Anonymous said...

AP: At least 63 people reportedly were shot, 10 fatally, during the weekend in Chicago. - Aug 2018

(Year after year, zero accountability from corrupt politicians while tragedy keeps unfolding)
When will all of you learn, this will never change, nothing will change, just like the NYC school system.

Anonymous said...

The US government has created the underclass of ignorance that is so prevalent in the African American community. Everything that it’s done to remedy racism has imbedded it.

Anonymous said...

Ayetiwa went after a black supervisor and lots of black teachers. He often protects the whites and attacks people of color. That flies in the face of what is being said by certain people here.

Anonymous said...

Interesting how every one has reached their conclusion without hearing all the facts. The article does say the counselor was suspended in a hearing for poor performance.

Anonymous said...

James you hate the Principal so much your article is wrong and biased.

I work in the school and the Ayetiwa had the counselor in the teachers lounge and then in a classroom.

Your hate for our Principal has to stop. Just because you don't like him foe personal reasons does not mean you have to misrepresent facts.

Also the UFT rep that was sick came down with a case of shingkes which is why she left. Ayetiwa has turnes the school around for the better as indicated by our recent Quality review.

I used to enjoy your blog but you are evidence of how media can be used to misrepresent facts.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Relax 11:42. 11:16 is probably an administrator from building.Anyone who knows James' wife and her mother knows how they are excellent teachers and good people. Not debatable.

If 11:16 is a UFT member, I hope he sleeps well knowing how he supports ruining the lives of good people. Hope he is one who drops dues.He needs to learn the meaning of the word solidarity.

Anonymous said...

Black supervisors have always treated Black teachers much worse than White teachers. That said the DOE and UFT is anti-White and lead by White women riddled with white guilt.

Anonymous said...

This is amusing. I always thought there is more than one side to every story.I guess only one view is accepted on this website.

Don't get me wrong, the allegations are shocking. But this is simply a law suit, what if it is found that the counselor is in the wrong when the legal dust clears?

Everyone has jumped into conclusions that allegations are all true. I want to see how it plays out. Solidarity is great if is based on facts not allegations.

Anonymous said...

Is it amusing that I am the only white one in a class of 34 and all 3 supervisors are black? Think I may be a bit uncomfortable? Or on a staff of 50?

Anonymous said...

Why is New Utrecht has better numbers than Jefferson? Kayode? The students?

Anonymous said...

My daughter goes to Humanities and told me about this blog. I'm appalled that this hate exists. Dont know the facts about law suit but there is a reason why Principal Ayetiwa has high parent approval. If you attended SLT meetings you would hear about parent complaints about several teachers and the declining school environment when Ayetiwa first came to the school. I'm glad he cleaned up the staff. So stop bitching. Can't believe this is an actual website. Maybe we parents need to create a blog about teachers we don't like especially the ones that are no longer at Humanites. Sour grapes!

Anonymous said...

Best blog on the net.

Anonymous said...

The real question everyone should ask is why isn’t the UFT standing up these principals? The UFT definitely has a deal with the CSA.

Anonymous said...

why im not a democrat...by a black male
Because they started slavery
Because they started the KKK
Because they started Jim Crow
Because they started welfare
Because they opposed women's right to vote
Because they want me oppressed
Because my mind controls my thoughts

Anonymous said...

Huh?

Anonymous said...

Another employee of the school echoing a lot of what was said above in the comments.

A teacher's lunchroom and a classroom certainly are not dirty, moldy, dusty closets. This part of the article is provably false, so while I obviously know nothing about the truthfulness of the other allegations, the fact that there are blatant lies in the article call into question Thomas' truthfulness.

The fact that she was suspended for 6 months means not all of the charges against her are bogus. Again, I'll leave it to a court of law to rule on the main allegations of the case, because unlike you, I don't take any side's story as the end all be all. But once again, some parts of the story are provably false.

11:42 - Being attacked by a principal doesn't give you shingles. Plain and simple.

Anyone who has sat in the classroom of any of the teachers you mention could tell you about their job performance. And independent evaluators for the UFT had said their piece on that as well, but we only care about anecdotes and not facts on this blog. Plain and simple, the school is a better place now that the ineffective teachers have left. If you choose not to believe that, you are blinded by union loyalty rather than facts. Any teacher in the profession for the right reasons would rather have a system that provides the best possible school for its students than one based on blind loyalty at the students' expense. The people named by 11:42 simply aren't those people.

James, where's the post about the school survey results and the tremendous gains Humanities and Ayetiwa made this year? Last year, the survey was the proof you had that teachers were miserable there...now that Ayetiwa is up substantially, where's the admission that maybe the teachers who left were the problem and not Ayetiwa? Look at the fact that teachers trust EACH OTHER less than they trust administration at Humanities. That's a product of the toxic culture created by your wife, among others. But we'll never admit that on this one-sided blog that ignores all facts that don't fit into your narrative.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing more racist than working to keep black people impoverished and dependent on Government. This is why I’m not a Democrat.

Anonymous said...

Agree

Anonymous said...

Amen!!!! Waiting for the fossil ed notes guy to give us his social justice leftist opinion. We are waiting ed!

Anonymous said...

And the leftist liberals want to allow illegals to poor into our country unchecked to keep teaching jobs. Isn’t our country more important than that? I guess not.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

The illegal poor kids are sooooo much better to teach than American ghetto rats chanting Suck my D, N. Let em all in and send the entitled ghetto rats to the third world countries!

Anonymous said...

James, you are a hypocrite. You used school surveys to bash the Principal in your many hate filled posts about the Principal and now you say it can be easily manipulated because the data doesn't fit your agenda anymore. GTFOH!!!!!!!

I work in BFIT and 90-95% of the staff are Black. So of course most of the teachers that are gone would be black. Majority of the staff is still black. So sit your WHITE ASS down!!!!!!! You think because you married a black person, you can criticize another black man.

The AP, from the middle east, is accused of doing something heinous and you focus on the black principal. What does that make you?!!!!

Anonymous said...

Also, his name is El-Rowmeim. At least have the decency to use his correct name rather than butchering the spelling repeatedly.

Anonymous said...

I like what the parent said( Sunday, August 12, 2018 4:57:00 PM):

Anonymous said...
My daughter goes to Humanities and told me about this blog. I'm appalled that this hate exists. Dont know the facts about law suit but there is a reason why Principal Ayetiwa has high parent approval. If you attended SLT meetings you would hear about parent complaints about several teachers and the declining school environment when Ayetiwa first came to the school. I'm glad he cleaned up the staff. So stop bitching. Can't believe this is an actual website. Maybe we parents need to create a blog about teachers we don't like especially the ones that are no longer at Humanites. Sour grapes!

I think we should create an anti-ETERNO blog page and blast all of their teacher friends who are all "good teachers" because James say so. I hate when people attack others constantly without all of the facts.

Sunday, August 12, 2018 4:57:00 PM

Anonymous said...

I am a parent as well and word of this blog page from students and parents is upsetting.

Mr. Eterno, you are a BULLY! Who knows if the claims of the lawsuit is true or not! That remains to be seen.

However, how can you and other teachers tell students not to spew hate and other nonsense on social media about others and you are doing the SAME thing.

Shame on you!!!

By the way, I think Principal Ayetiwa is doing a great job!



Anonymous said...


The above parent is right, this is a form of bullying. James doesn't go far wit hany other Principal but he chooses to "go after" a black principal. There are other white principals that have fired teachers, you don't target them like this. James you are a closet RACIST!! married to a black woman means nothing.

Like any new incoming boss or leader, they bring in their own people and move out others. Does that make them bad or evil people?

This happens everyday in every other job field, you don't see them hugging their keyboard to blog about it continuously.

Stop blogging you racist. I'm a black man trying to become an admininstrator. I swear if I become an admin and Camille is in my school, I will 3020a her ass in a sec.

James Eterno said...

You probably think pro Putin polls are just as accurate after he cracked down on the opposition as before. School surveys after close than half the staff are sent packing should be taken with a grain of salt. The two principals let the AP get away with what he allegedly was doing. In DOE, if any teacher was accused of doing anything like that, they would have been removed from their building in a half a second. Administrators get away with it for years. Plenty of evidence for that.

James Eterno said...

This is a pro union website. How do you explain how so many have thrived elsewhere 9:14? I have plenty of facts. I live with one of the people under attack and worked in the same office as another and had a third on my chapter committee.

James Eterno said...

I have not been called a bully much 9:22. I don't have that kind of power to bully anyone. Just sticking up for teachers and other UFT members and even a CSA person here under attack and yes I advocate for students too.

James Eterno said...

9:32, Anyone who makes a comment saying they would 3020a someone's ass in a sec should never, ever, ever be put in any position of power or responsibility. You're just proving everything we are saying about how the employee disciplinary process is often personal is true.




Blergh said...

Leaving aside the suspiciously similar writing of these anonymous posts, how is it 'bullying' to write one's opinion on a blog on the internet? Bullying is giving people poor ratings because you don't like them and driving them half-mad with mandates. Bullying is transferring people to closets. Bullying is NOT expressing opinions on the internet that you don't approve of, 9:22, even if they make steam come out of your ears (which is what I pictured reading your posts).

What's more, anyone who reads James's blog knows that he goes after principals of all shades. Vindictiveness is the problem, not skin color, regardless of all the racist twaddle he is stuck responding to and deleting every day.

James Eterno said...

One last thing before I say goodnight:You guys talk really big anonymously. I have responded as best as I can based on what I know and what is out there. Feel free to email me. Come forward and tell us who you are. We are not afraid to speak. Anonymous comments don't cut it as a reliable source generally.

Anonymous said...

James you are an idiot. Principals can not keep paras if they want because most paras salary are not funded by the school. Your ignorance on how budgets work is only made worse by the foolishness to simply decide that the principal is the cause of Alisme leaving.
You really are stupid and spiteful.

Anonymous said...

The guy defending the principal's only defense is principal attacks white teachers too. Ok, he is an equal opportunity abusive principal. How much per session are you getting to defend this guy? If you are a teacher, you are a bigger problem for us than Mulgrew. Solidarity forever, the union makes us strong.

Anonymous said...

These posts got really boring really fast. I read this blog for information not to read personal attacks on the man who started the blog.

So much more informative when comments stick to the topic. Insults are not productive.

James, I appreciate your work.

Anonymous said...

All of this is too much and unnecessary. Its obvious that there are those who support the principal and there are those that do not support the principal.

To be fair and equitable, James could have said these "are the allegations, I support my friend, the counselor, but lets wait for the case to play out before we pass judgement."

Simple, fair and less controversial. Think about that approach James.

James Eterno said...

I was a chapter leader for 18 years. This is a UFT and public education advocacy blog. I know an anti- union principal or assistant principal when I see one. We are doing here what the UFT should be doing and used to do. I am a UFT member. I support my brothers and sisters who are under attack the same as they do in other unions. It is our job as advocates.

I obviously know the situation at Humanities better than most other schools because my wife and her mother worked at this school.

Humanities and the Arts was on the state's SURR list when my wife arrived there. It was in danger of closing back in 2004. She, her mom and others worked hard with Principal Qualls to turn the place around.There was a culture of respect.

Moussa and Stergiopolous were hired as assistant principals by the following principal and changed the supportive culture to one that attacked and blamed staff.

Ayetiwa and his APs visciously go after UFT members left and right, black, brown and yes even white.

The UFT response has been less than spectacular. We are picking up that defense of our members and will not apologize for that.

James Eterno said...

Just checked iceuftemail. There is nothing from anyone at Humanities and the Arts. No surprise there. Let some of the anonymous comments be taken for what they are.

I learned a long time ago that 100% support, although I would like it, is kind of impossible to achieve. When in doubt, support the contract and stand by the members when their rights are violated.That is what we're here for.

Anonymous said...

If James is a racist, we are in more trouble than I suspected. Personal taunts against a blogger's family are outside acceptable boundaries. James is retired and he is donating his well earned leisure to continue to advocate for the causes he supports. 9:32 you should be ashamed of yourself.

Abigail Shure

Anonymous said...

James, 9:11 does make a good point. You can do everything you are doing supporting fellow members without the obvious bias and controversy.

Don't be like news channel that affiliates themselves with political parties and deliver biased news. You are better than that. What if your friend loses the case, will you apologize and retract your definitive statements that she is in the right?

I support you James, but you tend to move away from what I view as a "balanced" editor when you report information about this Principal. There are still three sides to every story even if you know one side of the story pretty well, which you obviously do.

James Eterno said...

The side I know well is the Union side. We are supposed to advocate for teachers, counselors and paras. I support Ms Thomas. I support UFT members under attack. That is the job of the union. We are also advocating here for a CSA member attacked by this principal. We write a pro-union blog.

That said, I wasn't there to witness any of the alleged incidents so I obviously don't know everything. Would you be happy if I wrote a blog piece from the principal saying my wife and her colleagues are terrible employees who should have had their lives made miserable?

Could you imagine PBA's Patrick Lynch trashing a cop accused of something or TWU National President John Samuelsen writing how we have to publicize the supervisor's side before we go out to support a union sister or brother? That is not how it works. UFT members first here. It is what this blog is for.

On the other hand, you have been able to express yourselves freely here. We have only censored one rather racist comment on this post.Everything else we have let slide no matter how anti-teacher, anti-union or against my wife or me.

Anonymous said...

I hear you James. But there is a fine line between pro-union and pro-truth. You are saying even if a union member is in the wrong, it doesn't matter, you will blindly support.

My chapter leader tell us, don't waste her time, if we are grieving something if we are truly in the wrong. I agree with that.

So you are now supporting CSA member as well. The principal is also a CSA member, he also has union rights. How are you supporting the AP's right but not the Principal?

James, you admit you don't know all the facts because you were not there, however, you speak definitively, that the counselors and other names you mentioned are in the right. Doesn't that seem a bit presumptuous and hypocritical?

Just playing devil's advocate here.

James Eterno said...

Do you know what an advocate is? If a defense lawyer's client is found guilty does that make the lawyer a hypocrite or terrible for supporting them? Cut it out. I advocate for UFT members. That is a union's job.

The AP CSA member here is not anti UFT. I think the world of many administrators, particularly those who are pro UFT. You ever hear me write bad things about Middle College administration? I don't work there any longer. I could say whatever I want. Then again, I was publicly critical of certain administrators at Jamaica when I worked there. A union's job is to be critical of management if necessary. At Humanities and the Arts, it is necessary in my opinion based on ample evidence. When two CLs and a Delegate are in trouble, you better believe the Union should step in strong and loud. Attacks against union reps are attacks on all of us.

Also, please don't go telling me now about someone who got a lousy observation from that AP ten years ago. She is not anti UFT.

You guys are really reaching.

I am still trying to work out how someone called me a racist for defending teachers of color, white teachers and saying good things about an AP who is also African American.

Anonymous said...

James, just want to clarify before I comment, I am the author of Sunday, August 12, 2018 6:01:00 PM and Sunday, August 12, 2018 8:57:00 PM. Not to be confused with any of the commenters making claims that you are a racist, because I do not know you nor would I ever make such an accusation about you without evidence to back myself up.

I attempted to comment in response to 6:05:00 AM, who noted I am a bigger problem to the UFT than to Mulgrew, but it appears the comment never was posted. THIS is the type of behavior that is so harmful to our union, as just because we have a difference of opinion, this person considers me a "big problem." That's no different than how Unity treats you and other activists, James - automatically dismissing your ideas simply because you have a different opinion. That kind of attitude is the problem with the UFT and the reason our union is so much weaker than it should be. My arguments in the comments have been primarily about how you present information on the blog, but apparently any dissent are seen by your commenters to be an issue.

Reading the comments, though, I can't help point out that you claim repeatedly you are pro-union and operate a pro-union blog, and that those who were union leaders in the school should never be spoken about poorly, yet you went and called a teacher who ran for Chapter Leader a "lackey" of the principal with no evidence to back it up, other than heresy--your wife was not even working at Humanities that year. Once again, this points to you saying things that only fit your narrative, and this lack of SOLIDARITY, as the other commenters like to throw around, should make you a "big problem" for the UFT. According to your narrative, this teacher was courageous, as you call the other candidate, to step up and run for the position despite what was going on at Humanities. But only one candidate receives outward respect from you, and the other has been denigrated by you on this blog. Hard to have it both ways, where you are the sole arbiter of which UFT members are worthy of defending and which you have no problem throwing under the bus publicly. (Post: 9/30/2017 03:27:00 PM)

I could also point out that you respond to my criticism of your conflicting points on Danielson observations by pointing our Regents/AP Scores and MOSL results. Your post on 3/25/2016 09:17:00 AM, among others, however, calls using test scores for evaluation "junk science." If test scores should be meaningless for teacher evaluation and are "junk," why should they or MOSL calculations be evidence in favor of a teacher? Again, you espouse both ideas on a subject depending on when it works for your argument.

I am so passionate about these points not to defend any administrators but because I believe your blog does have a place and it is important to have a strong union presence. I voted for your wife when she ran in the last UFT election despite what you may think based on my posts here. This blog would be much more effective, and much more respected, if it were more consistent, and not blatantly ignoring facts when they don't fit your narrative or throwing UFT members under the bus but then claiming we all should defend all UFT members blindly. I'm not saying you should post the other side of the argument, as you suggest in one of your prior comments. But at the same time, acknowledging you are not all-knowing would go a long way towards improving credibility, rather than using anecdotal evidence to claim you are right and all else who disagree are wrong. At that rate, you're no better than Mulgrew in how he treats dissent.

James Eterno said...

Disagree all you want. How many of your comments were removed? Had he won that election, the candidate perceived as the admin choice would have been the CL entitled to the respect of the position. However,the principal's perceived preferred candidate lost the election and soon thereafter the new CL was gone. Not cool.

You pay union dues. My job is to uphold your rights but sometimes contract favors one person over another on an issue. When it comes to admin, I take the UFT member's side. It is the union advocates's job to do that as long as contract is on member's side. No we do not have a right to do anything we want.

After an election, the job is to pull the chapter or union together based on common interests.

This comment at least asks philosophical questions.

My answer on solidarity:
I believe in solidarity but not when teachers are constantly ratting out fellow teachers. I do not support admin playing divide and conquer. Pulling workers together in support of common goals is not always easy. I never said it was.

Solidarity ends when you cross a picket line too.

Anonymous said...

Some idiot wrote: "Anyone who has sat in the classroom of any of the teachers you mention could tell you about their job performance. And independent evaluators for the UFT had said their piece on that as well, but we only care about anecdotes and not facts on this blog. Plain and simple, the school is a better place now that the ineffective teachers have left".

Wbat a load of B.S. Are you saying that you have sat in the classrooms of all of the these teachers? Math, English & A.P. How did that happen? Are you Ayetiwa himself? You want to squawk facts vs. anecdotals while trying to smear teachers in the building without having any facts yourself? Have you seen their observations to make the claim that they are ineffective - of did you pull that information from the same place you pulled everything else. And by the way, shingles can very well be brought on by stress - clearly have no idea what you're talking about on that, or anything else.

I have no idea if Thomas is telling the truth, but I guess she figured if they're going to lie, slander, and jeopardize her livelihood, then she will do the same.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

The above parent is right, this is a form of bullying. James doesn't go far with any other Principal but he chooses to "go after" a black principal."

RIDICULOUS - if anyone is the racist it is Ayetiwa himself, a self-loathing racist buffoon who behaves inappropriately with the female students. Just because one is black doesn't mean you can't be racist against blacks. I can not imagine any decent person of good conscience defending a degenerate like Ayetiwa. Give it time, you too will get yours. I would bet on it.

Anonymous said...

6:24:00 PM - Believe it or not, I have been in a number of these teachers' classrooms. Not all of them, and by no means on a regular basis, but still more times than James has been in their classrooms, but he seems to be the credible expert on all of their teaching abilities. What gives him any more credibility than me, other than you agree with him? Between one or two intervisitations that we have done over the past years and paid coverages for special education teachers in other teacher's rooms, it's actually possible to be in other teachers' classrooms once in a while. Crazy concept, I know.

A quick Google search details the link between stress and shingles. You can read it for yourself. Nothing conclusive there. But I'm the idiot. https://www.healthline.com/health/shingles-and-stress#connection.

Anonymous said...

First s/he says: "The fact that she was suspended for 6 months means not all of the charges against her are bogus. Again, I'll leave it to a court of law to rule on the main allegations of the case, because unlike you, I don't take any side's story as the end all be all"

Then, all in the same breath s/he says: "Anyone who has sat in the classroom of any of the teachers you mention could tell you about their job performance"

It's a good thing you don't take sides and pass judgment, unlike the OP. What a hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

"Believe it or not, I have been in a number of these teachers' classrooms. Not all of them, and by no means on a regular basis, but still more times than James has been in their classrooms, but he seems to be the credible expert on all of their teaching abilities."

But your original post tried to lend credence to your smears by claiming that an independent UFT evaluator agreed. Based on what? Shared with who? Is the Principal sharing confidential information with you? Maybe he should be investigated for that too.

I did not say I agreed or disagree with James, but unlike you, he is not bashing fellow UFT members. Maybe you are ineffective but are so willing to bend to their every demand they keep you around. We all know the type. They sneak around and then go and report back trying to curry favor and heaven forbid anyone should say a negative word about them.

And BTW:

One of the causes from WEBMD:

"Are under a lot of stress". But one doesn't need to go to any websites to get the information - it is very common knowledge that stress can, and will trigger an outbreak, of that, and very many other things.

Anonymous said...

@ Sunday 6:01:00 pm. There was another English teacher in the building who retired in January. I'd rather not say her name here but if you are in the building you know who it is. She was also not treated with the respect she deserved and retired in the middle of the year. There were a couple of other teachers who left voluntarily, specifically because of Ayetiwa. Are you going to rationalize that too? Is the better off without them too and is there no end to the excuses you will make for that man?

Anonymous said...

Obviously I have no access to any confidential information. But as in any school, plenty of people talk. Including one of the individuals that James has readily defended, who frequently shared member issues like that with other members who walked around sharing that with other teachers. Perhaps that individual was wrong or spreading misinformation, I admit that is possible. But it is what I heard from he/she. No different than what James hears from his wife and takes as fact, so I guess I'm guilty of doing the same.

Thank you for pointing out this flaw in my logic. I appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

James - Thank you for respectfully engaging in debate with me on this topic. I'm done responding on this comment thread, as we can talk in circles for months and never come to any agreement, but I appreciate you taking the time out of your vacation to give me some things to think about. We might not always agree, but I respect the classy way you've gone about our exchange very much.

Anonymous said...

So who was the independent UFT evaluator? The people who left, left under various circumstances. Some were removed, some were harassed, a couple forced to retire, some left voluntarily because of the negative climate, one felt marginalized and retired. There was no one reason for you to claim that they were all ineffective and the place is better off without them. The one common denominator was Ayetiwa's own inability to uplift and inspire. And now you want to somehow shift the blame to the CL because she shared member issues, not that she agreed that they were deserving of the atrocious treatment some were being subjected to, and what she was fighting desperately against. Not to mention some who remain are still in jeopardy even though they are good teachers, beloved by the parents, and students, very positive, and have been very committed to the school. It's inexplicable. You paint with very broad brushes, but maybe you don't know as much as you think you do.

Anonymous said...

Is 7:30 the same as 7:12?

Anonymous said...

Yes, 7:30 is the same as 7:12. I have no desire to continue going through this conversation when it is clear we both have our own ideas and nothing will ever change either of our minds. I'd rather enjoy the three weeks left of summer we have than continue to debate this over and over. I appreciated my back and forth with James, and he provide me with some food for thought. While I could sit here and keep responding and so on for months, neither of us will gain anything from that. Enjoy the remainder of your summer.

Anonymous said...

In summary, new leader comes in, cleans house and brings in his own people. Removed people angry. End of story.

This happens regularly in every business around the world. Move on with your life folks.

Anonymous said...

@10:31. You're right, it does happen regularly in businesses, and businesses get sued for character assassination, age discrimination, race discrimination, sexual harassment every single day of the week. Just because it happens doesn't mean there aren't laws in place in this country. Ms. Thomas is not just getting angry, she's getting even.

Anonymous said...

@7:49 - It has nothing to do with having a different set of ideas or changing each other's minds. It's a bald-faced slanderous lie that all of the teachers who are no longer there were ineffective and that everyone would agree, including an independent UFT evaluator. When called out on it you say that the CL was spreading misinformation, which is another lie. You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts. You have absolutely no regard or consideration for the impact to individuals and their families, especially the CL who commanded the respect of students and parents and whose absence was a real loss to the students with disabilities. Shame on you.

Anonymous said...

@9:32 - your comment is an example of what is wrong. You are the bully by making such a comment: "I will 3020a her ass". The ignorance of people that work in the DOE is astonishing because they are playing right into politicians/ed reformers hands by going against each other. It does not matter what title you hold in the DOE. The pyblic education system is under attack and then you've got insiders that attack each other. Wake up and defend each other (all titles) because the PROFESSION is sinking.

Anonymous said...

@8:04 - I agree. In his ignorant post the person also said that new leaders often bring in new people, and that doesn't make them a bad or evil person. Actually IT DOES - if they lie, harass, and make mountains out of molehills in order to push a person out. How does that not make one a bad or evil person. One of the complaints against one of the teachers was that he went out for his lunch during his prep period instead of his official lunch period. Since the periods were back to back and he was only going to pick up lunch and bring it back he didn't think it made a difference. They had seem him do it before and not said anything, and then used it as a "gotcha" moment. Gotcha moment, after gotcha moment. Only a bad or evil person does that, and only a bad or evil person would defend it. It was a white teacher who took it upon himself to approach the Principal to implore not to further humiliate the veteran teacher by having him sit by himself in full view of the students. It was at his request that the teacher was allowed to sit downstairs in privacy. He argued that regardless of how he was viewed as a teacher, he was a good man, had tried very hard to improve his practice and didn't deserve the humiliating treatment for no other reason than they wanted him to go. Some of these posters seem to want to make the argument that the ends justifies the means. As long as they are not the target of course. May it happen to them and theirs because that is the only way some people will learn.

Anonymous said...

1:33 should be the chapter leader except Ayetiwa would run you out of town too. A major part of the blame here lies with the central UFT which did little, if anything, to stop the principal's reign of terror. All of those teachers couldn't possibly have sucked.

Anonymous said...

This post is overkill. People are insulting each other, and there is bias, bigotry, and hate. This is a public post and we as teachers are embarrassing ourselves publicly. We sound worst and crazier than the topic of discussion.

How can we claim to be better than them and resort to this level of civility or lack thereof?

The allegations are just that, allegations! Innocent until proven guilty. I am more afraid of you guys than what the Principal did, which from what I've read mostly, is 3020a three or four teachers. If they are tenured they can't be removed like in the corporate world, there would have to be just cause.

Either way, this unnecessary hate and bigotry for each other in these posts actually makes the Principal seem sane and if this is how you guys really are, I would be nervous if you were my colleague.

Anonymous said...

@9:40, how special. The Principal didn't wait for the allegations to be proven before he went and had the A.P. escorted out by Security. He didn't wait for the allegations to be proven before he had tenured teachers taken out of the classroom. He was a new Principal so he didn't know anything about any of the teachers except what accusations his A.P. put in his ear. People like you, and the one making false accusations against the teachers, should be shunned. In fact, you may be the same person

Anonymous said...

@9:40. Speak for yourself. Nobody sounds worse than an AP accused of the types of things contained in the lawsuit, nor worse than a Principal accused of looking the other way and then retaliating in the manner described in the federal suit. The allegations are not proven yet but saying that the posters sound worse and crazier than the topic, and that the Principal sounds like the sane one makes you sound very disingenuous and the nutty one. Is your post your idea of civil discourse?

Anonymous said...

I honestly can't speak about what happened in the past nor can I speak about the allegations which have yet to be proven, but the school is in a much better state in the Principals second year than his first year.

Most of the staff support now support him and see that while there is still a long ways to go, there has been signs of progress. When the Principal shared his revised vision for modifying the contract, 93% of the staff supported the SBO compared to 68% last year. The school will likely have its highest graduation rate in years. Not sure what the final number will be.

I believe James, that is what you would want to see, overall improvement at the school from top to bottom. I'm going to chuck it up to rough growing pains as a first year principal. Now he has to continue to improve. Time will tell.

James Eterno said...

Get rid of close to half the staff and SBO vote percentages will rise as the remaining staff will be too afraid to oppose anything. This would have been a perfect opportunity for UFT Queens or central UFT to stand up to Ayetiwa by not signing off on SBOs until he cooled his anti-UFT actions.

As someone said earlier, the ends do not justify the means so I would not celebrate any improved graduation rate achieved through means that may have included intimidation of teachers. Have you heard of grade inflation?

It has just come to my attention that some students who got failing grades on Regents exams were given 504's so they only needed a 55% on the next Regents to pass. I have also been told teachers were pressured to pass everyone. We have heard more.

I am not there so I cannot be sure of any of this but be careful Ayetiwa supporter. There is much more that might soon come out.

James Eterno said...

I would like to respond to the person who says I cherry-pick from an evaluation system I despise to make my points.

I do not support Danielson observations or student test scores being used to rate teachers. Danielson is way too subjective and is weaponized at places like Humanities and the Arts. Student test results are not a valid way to rate teachers.

On the other hand, I never stated that student test results could not ever be cited anywhere. For the record, I support the consortium based alternatives to testing being expanded and teacher ratings having a real peer review component in part as a check on principal power.

As for my wife Camille's observations, an arbitrator and then even the DOE removed every last one Ayetiwa or Stergiopolous did from Camille's file. They also took out every assanine letter like the one described above by 8:56.

Does that meet the objectivity standard or am I cherry-picking again? I would maintain that the internal UFT-DOE procedures are tilted against teachers but Camille prevailed anyway.

Anonymous said...

At the end of the day, regardless of whether the Principal does good or not, it's clear that those who don't support the Principal will never budge from their position no matter what. And those who do support him will not budge either.


We will just have to agree to disagree.

The end!

Anonymous said...

Those who want him gone believe in union solidarity. Those who support him are fine with everything that is wrong with the UFT and the school system. The epilogue.

Anonymous said...

@6:40 said this: "Between one or two intervisitations that we have done over the past years and paid coverages for special education teachers in other teacher's rooms, it's actually possible to be in other teachers' classrooms once in a while".

This is astounding. How is it appropriate to participate in intervisitations that are supposed to be confidential between two teachers and then use that information to falsely justify Ayetiwa's actions against those teachers, and blab about it on a public blog? It is a betrayal of trust, and should be a violation of school policy, and frankly they should not be trusted in anyone else's classroom.

Anonymous said...

I’m very curious to see Sandhya Thomas’ complaint.

And then, when the Corporation Counsel’s Office answers it, would like to see what the defendants have to say.

www.pacermonitor.com/public/case/25284845/Thomas_v_The_New_York_City_Department_of_Education_et_al

Anonymous said...

James, that person you responded to is not simply an Ayetiwa supporter. She comes across as downright obsessed with defending Ayetiwa while gnashing of teeth. Good grief she's taken it very personal. She has gone out of her way to bash fellow teachers, going so far as to divulge the CL's specific medical diagnosis, in support of the Principal as if all those teachers personally offended her and her entire family. She acts like as if she is a victim even though it is they who were affected in one way or another. It's laughable that she claims that some of them are still her friends. What type of friend does any of that?

Then she bellows that they trust "EACH OTHER" less than they trust administration. Well, of course. Ironically enough, it's HER they don't trust and with good reason. I would bet a month's pay who that person is, and I know for a fact that they are well known for befriending people, and then going into the A.P. and Principals office to rat out her co-teachers and other colleagues causing some of the predicaments that she's trying to defend. Which now makes sense that she defends it with such a fervor.

The comment about ends justifying the means reminds me of today's political climate and what we hear about the economy and 401K. Kids in cages, doesn't matter, just look at your 401K. You're turned off by the stance on Charlottesville, but at least your 401K is doing ok. The ends do not justify the means. How is it progress to tear down one generation for another and how does that help to instill respect for elders in our young people. They'll graduate without being college ready and knowing how to analyze complex text but at least Ayetiwa will look good with higher numbers for his #1 fan, and snitch, to wave in everyone's faces.

James Eterno said...

Thank you for your comment 8:10. Very well said.

Anonymous said...

I always tell my students after they complain to me about one of my fellow teachers, I ask now what did you do?

From this post, all teachers and counselors are completely innocent? That's unlikely as well?

So I looked up 3020a online and found out that Principals cannot terminate teachers. They can only recommend them for termination and an arbitrator will decide based on the argument of both sides. Which means the teachers terminated likely are guilty of something.

Don't let me stop the fighting, its fun watching us all fight and argue.

Anonymous said...

You just figured that out. You obviously aren't too knowledeable. Principals can terminate anyone without tenure. It gets rubber stamped by supt. Tenured people get a hearing in front of an arbitrator.

Anonymous said...

As a parent who also just found out about this blog, we used the forum of the SLT and PTA to pressure and urge the Principal that if he wanted to turn the school around he needed new staff. The school had become stagnant.Then we reviewed the student surveys of teachers.

He listened to the parents! We support him. When I see him, I will tell him to late the hate fuel his fire. As a leader, someone will always try to knock you down.

Anonymous said...

Blame the teachers. Very misguided. Academic fraud is the result with bogus diplomas. Take a look at college ready rate. Staff turned this place around and then were persecuted. They all became bad quickly.

Anonymous said...

And many teachers of color too.

Anonymous said...

Now some parent says the teachers suck too. With all due respect, what are this parent's qualifications to rate teachers? Principal's standards boil down to who kissed up the most. It had nothing to do with who was doing the job.

Anonymous said...

All of you must have nothing better to do than to post blogs all day. Bickering back and forth like bitches.
Schools starts in a few weeks, enjoy your damn summer.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe it's a parent. Blowing smoke, pretending to be a parent who "pressured" the Principal into getting rid of all the teachers. The CL was a member of the SLT, and the PTA leader was a very good friend of hers. So she knew everything that was going on in those meetings. It's so ridiculous it's laughable.

Nobody was terminated- (other than the counselor who was suspended). But if one is very close to retirement, and you are told that if you lose your hearing you will also lose your accrued vacation, or some other monies, you can be forced to retire. It's a gamble that not everyone is willing to take if they are close to retirement. Some people are still in limbo, and others have settled elsewhere. So there goes that argument that the teachers had to be guilty of something. No one is completely innocent, and neither is Ayetiwa, although apparently he's given a pass for his missteps. The teachers, and guidance counselor however, were all deserving of respect. The students weren't being mistreated. Nobody was being accused of anything egregious (not a teacher anyway). The harassment was unwarranted and anyone supporting it is simply not a good person and they are the ones filled with hate

Anonymous said...

UFT Queens and downtown UFT knew about all of this intimidation and harassment and did nothing. Besides Ayetiwa and his foolish followers, they are the villians here.