It's teacher hunting season!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Principal in Sex Harass of Women; Walcott Stood By Him

Two standards of justice exist in the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE). For staff there are few rights. For principals and other supervisors there is tremendous leniency and forgiveness.
A Regents test cheating scandal or a sex harass case, the accused stays on the job. Demoted maybe, but usually not fired.
Now a clarification, I say for such cases, staff or supervisors, that the claims, the charges must be recognized as allegations, and there should be stronger cases than rumor. There should be due process, and trials outside of the news media. Accused should be innocent until proven guilty.
However, we must also say that there should be a consistent standard. Staff are guilty until they can prove their innocence. We do not find consistent application of standards with the higher-ups in the education field, particularly in the NYC DOE.
Last month, the South Bronx blogger raised this point and he brought renewed attention to the case of "Dr." (from a diploma mill) Mychael Willon, someone with the equivalent of a guilty plea to the charge of lewd acts in a Wichita bookstore. South Bronx reminds us that the DOE eventually let him go from his "LIS" [local instructional superintendent] position supervising principals in the Bronx. "Dr." Willon did get to move to a plum executive position at a private Texas education firm. Now, South Bronx raised this case in the context of publicizing the case of the accused principal John Chase, Jr. It is alleged that he made vulgar comments to female staff about a copy machine's ability to do things for his private areas. Click here for the quotes too vulgar for this blog, from the police report.
Lost amidst other "education news" over the past week was the news that the DOE demoted principal Chase. reported on May 15 that the DOE has moved Chase over to the position of assistant principal at a location yet to be determined.
Take an inventory, there was a police report. The allegations against accused the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) president did not reach the level of a police report. However, his case garnered two days of front page coverage from the New York Post.
More of an inventory of the DOE kid gloves treatment of the accused principal, compared with accused teachers removed from the classroom:
DOE officials say there was no formal disciplinary hearing.
After the report came out in November, Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott let Chase keep his job. The accused principal received a letter of reprimand and was forced to undergo sensitivity training.
Oh, and the Gothamist site reported, May 16, the additional news that
Could this [decision to move Chase over to an AP position some place] have anything to do with the fact the DOE is now investigating NEW claims by a 15-year-old girl that Chase made comments that made her uncomfortable?

Actually, very creepy comments. See the details at Chaz's post, comments that spurred to child to contact the police. For comparable sub-administrator educators, the outcomes are routinely, four-digit fines or suspensions of pay, and feeding of stories to the Post that would make rabid wolves blush.
Remember, when Walcott or another big, or the media speaks, accused teachers are guilty when charged. Chaz gave us Walcott's latest standy-by-your-man. Principles of fair treatment apply to principals:
On the new allegation, he said, “Just because an accusation is made doesn’t mean a person is guilty.”

The allegations against Chase involved non-consensuality, harassment by a superior over subordinates, features of a hostile work environment, and plenty of salaciousness. Where was the public media execution of Chase as there has been for countless accused New York City teachers?
Additionally, disturbing, disgusting was Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott's statement that amounts to an instance of "Stand by Your Man," albeit in January. "'We're going to make sure he goes for the appropriate training, but at the same time we have an investment to make as far as leadership is concerned,' Walcott said in January," reported last week. Interesting. Walcott is overlooking the alleged abuse and trauma of women workers, with the justification of standing by "an investment" of leadership.
Let's be clear, there should not be public media trials. We have just noted how the DOE has double standards when it comes to allegations and justice. Yet, the media practices the same double standards. We are not calling for public trial; but we are calling out the outrageous, classist inconsistency in the media treatment of the accused.

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