One of our friends from the Bronx sent us an article on Saturday about a veteran teacher who was charged in a termination hearing because according to the NY Post she "raised objections when some of the 30 girls, in extremely short cheerleading skirts, wore panties underneath that were too skimpy or ill-fitted..."
I am not making this story up. While the teacher was not fired, the arbitrator still gave the Department of Education some satisfaction in the dismissal hearing as the teacher received an official letter of reprimand. The DOE has to get something in these hearings even when they are totally absurd.
The climate is so bad for NYC teachers that we can be charged for anything at any time.
Here is the Post story:
Veteran dance teacher Karen Eubanks was appalled when cheerleaders at the High School for Environmental Studies in Manhattan bared their bottoms during a school performance.
Eubanks raised objections when some of the 30 girls, in extremely short cheerleading skirts, wore panties underneath that were too skimpy or ill-fitted and showed “some of their genitals,” butts and even pubic hair.
She spotted eight to 10 boys in the gym audience videotaping the show.
Instead of commending Eubanks for promoting modesty and decency, the Department of Education brought her up on misconduct charges — including verbal abuse — and tried to fire her.
Eubanks, 59, a city teacher for two decades and former educator with the New York City Ballet, was accused of saying the girls “showed a lot of vagina” or “flashes of vagina,” and using the words “g-string,” “burlesque moment” and “nasty” within earshot of students, thus embarrassing or belittling them in violation of chancellor’s rules.
“It’s shocking that I was accused of wrongdoing after advocating for the dignity of our students,” Eubanks told The Post.
The flap erupted in April 2016 when Eubanks, who was substituting at the Hell’s Kitchen school, attended an after-hours spring concert, which included a dance performance by the cheerleaders.
Besides students and staff, the audience included parents.
As part of their routine, the cheerleaders executed a “fan kick.” They sat on the floor facing the audience, leaned on their left hips and raised their right legs high in the air, waving them like a fan across their faces and bodies.
Eubanks testified she saw some girls wore “what looked like panties” that didn’t stay in place, “riding up” to expose their genitals to the audience, she said.
Darius Williams, a DOE contractor and former dancer and choreographer with the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, also attended the concert. He backed Eubanks’ account, calling the display “vulgar.”
He also saw boys filming it.
But Principal Amber Najmi-Shadid, who brought her 10-year-old child, testified she “did not see any ‘vaginas’ showing,” and insisted, “Everything was appropriate.”
Afterwards, Eubanks said she praised the girls for a “wonderful” performance, but told a few of them: “You know that fan kick? Did you guys ever think about turning it upstage, or to the side, or on a diagonal? . . .
I’m a bit concerned because your crotches were facing the audience.” She denied saying words like “nasty” or “burlesque” to the girls.
The cheerleading coach, Nicola Brugueras, said Eubanks pulled her aside on a stairwell the next day to discuss the dance.
Brugueras said Eubanks was “confrontational” and used the words “crotch shot” and “nasty.”
Brugueras called a meeting with the cheerleaders to address the issue. In a chat room, one girl angrily mentioned “some f–king dumb ass lady talking s–t about our choreography, saying its burlesque and how she saw vaginas.”
“Yea. She think she some high and mighty bitch,” another texted.
The teachers who complain on this blog about teachers having no rights and having to put up with being called all kinds of obscenities from students do have a point as this case proves.
Back to the Post story:
The DOE held a trial, which also included charges that Eubanks arrived late for a class at her former school, Gramercy Arts HS, when the hall bell was broken and filmed students in the mistaken belief the school had already obtained parent permission.
The proceeding last fall generated a 974-page transcript and a dense 42-page ruling in January by Doyle Pryor, a hearing officer who gets $1,400 a day plus expenses to conduct testimony and write rulings.
Termination cases typically cost some $300,000 in investigative efforts, lawyer fees and other staff time.
Pryor concluded that Eubanks was too harsh and should have used gentler words like
“private parts.” But he found she “acted out of concern” for both the cheerleaders and their coach.
He ordered that she receive a letter of reprimand.
Eubanks, who makes $93,790 a year, is now teaching at nearby Facing History HS.
All I can say is be careful out there. The DOE increasingly looks as though they have no qualms about trying to fire any of us. UFT protection: They will get you a lawyer to defend you in a dismissal hearing.
It is not a teacher friendly environment we work in.