Friday, November 03, 2017


On Thursday I received in email the latest Team High School Newsletter that High School Vice Presidents Janella Hinds and Sterling Roberson write. Buried in the middle is a success story about winning grievances at Tottenville High School.

Yes this is the same Tottenville High School where multiple UFT members came to this week's Executive Board meeting complaining about their abusive principal.

The reports to the Executive Board via NYC Educator:

Penny Tuzio, retired, Tottenville HS—intolerable situation by principal. Have written multiple letters. Principal is vindictive. Used to be desirable school. Many teachers left, bullied persecuted. AP SS took mysterious leave for nervous breakdown. At least 5 lawsuits against him. People hired as personal favors do nothing. AP science out of building three days a week, has fake class as do others. Forces new teachers to email him messages of support. Forbids AP s to be friends with teachers. Most senior AP forbidden to observe without henchman of principal. Gives orders to teachers via email at all times. Abuses students. Parents afraid but can’t complain for vindictive nature. Impossible to fail students because test scores count only 25%. Said he admires Hitler for organization. Everyone scared to death. Made staff cry. I implore you investigate.

John McCabe, Tottenville HS—SS teacher, 19 years, never had to deal with principal so abusive. Wanted to change Tottenville. Has five year plan. Now year 4. Goes after teachers w 15 years or more. Observations done in pairs, w discussion. Discrepancies resolved by principal, even if not in class. Colleague observed, three days later went on Advance, all Effective. Four days later, official copy was completely different, replaced by Developing. Principal asked AP to do it. Teacher well respected. Many of us are outspoken and we are targeted. We are hit with trumped up 3020a charges. Numerous individuals retire or transfer, we think targeted at behest of principal. No HE ratings, even if teachers are. Recently in paper for plagiarism. He has to go, one way or another. How can union help us? Some of us have taken major brunt.

Jessica Peterson, Chapter Leader, Tottenville HS—Reassigned. Quotes Shakespeare about retaliation. Says prior to principal, few grievances were filed. Now, principal steadily declines in reviews. DOE refuses to hold him accountable. He slut shamed females, was in paper. Now targets seasoned vets over 40, mostly women. Has targeted other delegates and CL. I have been targeted and abused. I am wrongfully reassigned Paying for multiple lawyers. Filed PERB complaint. Waiting for right to sue letter.

Our school has been reported multiple times for failure to follow, have complained to various agencies, have not received assistance. My offense is being excellent CL and winning often. Principal was removed from last school and was rewarded. Plagiarism is academic dishonesty, a misdemeanor. Improper LIFs. Many arbitrations and settlements. Paperwork complaints, improper evaluations, many TIPS. Over 60 people have left. Teachers usually don’t leave. School used to be mirthful, now us v them, a war zone. Asks UFT helps get rid of disease.

The Team High School report on Tottenville from the HSVPs:

The union makes us strong!

Since 2014, the chapter at Staten Island’s Tottenville HS has, with the support of the UFT, been fighting violations of the UFT/DOE collective bargaining agreement. We are happy to report that the union has been successful in every case from Tottenville that has been taken to arbitration over the last several years. From grievances about improper comp time and Circular 6R assignments to oversize classes, the chapter has prevailed in these and other challenges to Principal Joseph Scarmato’s inappropriate actions. We stand with our chapter at Tottenville HS as their struggle continues.
Is this a legitimate UFT victory against the principal at Tottenville? Team High School concedes the struggle continues but is this all the UFT can do?

Is the UFT going through the motions telling members to file grievances while the abuse from the principal just continues?


Anonymous said...

Certificate of Upgrade
Complete Asshole

is hereby awarded to


In Recognition of Your Obnoxious Attitude, Ability to Piss People Off, Totally Asinine, Juvenile Behavior and Consummate Dedication to Selfish- Personal Gain Without Regard to the Numerous Hardships that You have Inflicted Upon Friends, Family and Others Throughout Your Lifetime...
You Have Become a Legend in Your Own Mind.

To Bestow Upon You, a Genuinely Deserved Distinction, from Half-Asshole to Complete Asshole, Gives Everyone Concerned Great Satisfaction. Should Anyone, for Any Reason, at Any Time, Doubt Your Status
Just Be Yourself !

Just send this asshole a certificate once a week by mail

Anonymous said...

I already get it weekly from the DOE via my ATR assignment.

waitingforsupport said...

Sounds like UNHS in Manhattan. JH came in and did absolutely nothing. Abuse, psychological warfare,retaliation, cheating,etc all ignored by JH. What a joke this so-called union.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever tried appealing this principal's actions directly to the Chancellor and Panel for Educational Policy (PEP)?

If the Chancellor and PEP don't grant relief, then their refusal or inaction can be appealed to Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia under Education Law §310 within thirty days.

NYC Educator said...

Maybe they forgot about, you know, the chapter leader being reassigned. I guess that's not a big deal if you won a grievance somewhere.

Michael Fiorillo said...

The operation was a success, even if the patient died...

James Eterno said...

LOL Michael but that is about where we really are now.

Anonymous said...

We need to form a nonprofit corporation or an LLC with the purpose of writing counseling memos and letters of reprimand to abusive principals that are copied to the Chancellor, Deputy Chancellors, Senior Deputy Superintendent, Community or High School Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent, individual members of the Panel for Educational Policy, Mayor, City Council, UFT officers, CSA officers, and local education reporters and editors.

Anyone interested in looking into the possibilities?

Here is a sample letter from an old DOE staff manual issued prior to the time period when observation reports were posted on Advance:

Dear________________, (Name of Principal)

Today, _________ (Date), both the Deputy Superintendent and I completed a scheduled visit at your school. Prior to the visit, I had directed you to have observation reports of all staff, completed to date, available for my review. No observation reports were available. You indicated that your secretary could not locate them. This explanation is unacceptable. I had apprised you of my desire to review the observations two weeks prior to the visit. Please submit the observation reports by the close of business ________ (Date).

When the Deputy Superintendent, you, and I walked through the building, I was disturbed to find many students roaming the halls without passes. You indicated that you would review this matter with your staff. In a conversation with the UFT Chapter Leader, s/he indicated that s/he had raised the concerns of staff regarding student behavior with you. You advised me that you would not allow the union to run your school. This attitude negatively impacts upon staff morale, student achievement, and the smooth functioning of your school. I am directing you to meet with the Deputy Superintendent to develop a plan of staff involvement and to develop a plan to improve staff morale.

I was most disappointed with my visit to your school. Either I or members of my staff will return to your school on ____________ (Date) to monitor your progress. As the leader of your school you have failed to meet the needs of your staff. You must provide leadership if your school is to achieve your goals and objectives.

In addition, there was little evidence from classroom observations that instruction and students’ work reflect the Language Arts Performance Standards of your school’s Comprehensive Educational Plan. Your goals for the Principal Performance Review indicated that these Performance Standards are to be a critical part of your professional development focus. Yet a review of faculty conference notes and conversations with you confirm that you have not addressed these initiatives.



I have read this letter and am aware that it will be placed in my official file.

___________________________ (Principal’s Signature)

___________ (Date)

James Eterno said...

From an era that seems like long ago.

Anonymous said...

Yes, James, the staff manual came from the early Klein years, and was probably an update from an even older staff manual.

But if Chancellor FariƱa and the superintendents are permitting principals to abuse teachers, and if the UFT doesn't want to properly intercede, then let's give the abusive principals a dose of their own medicine with excoriating, yet justified, correspondence being sent to them and copied to appropriate officials and members of the media.

Anyone have an opinion about this?