Why Heroin and Classroom Sex Aren’t Enough to Get Teachers Fired AnymorePosted: April 9, 2017 | Author: Pundit Planet | Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Education, Health and Social Issues, Think Tank | Tags: Akins High School, American Civil War, American Federation of Teachers, Anderson High School (Texas), Board of Education, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, New York, Teacher |Leave a comment
Julia Marsh reports: The city’s bad-apple teachers have a surprising new ally these days — Manhattan judges.
The jurists are increasingly refusing to side with city education bigs to punish rogue educators fired for drug- and sex-related offenses, according to a review of recent cases by The Post.
At the heart of the troubling trend is a legal standard that requires the courts to defer to the city’s Department of Education when it terminates a teacher — unless the judge believes that the firing “shocks the conscience,” experts said.
Given the growing number of overturned punishments, it is clear that the “shock” threshold is “getting easier and easier to meet,’’ a court source noted.
Some legal observers insist that the judges aren’t to blame, arguing that it is really the fault of city education officials for leveling overly harsh punishments against bad teachers in the first place because they don’t want to be criticized in the press.
But disgusted education advocates aren’t buying it.
“To me, this just exemplifies the lack of common sense that permeates our legal system,” said James Copland, director of legal policy at the nonpartisan education think tank the Manhattan Institute.
“We worry about the quality of our classrooms, the quality of education we’re providing our children.
“But the legal system seems bent on protecting the rights of teachers to extraordinary degrees and leaves the students vulnerable.”
The controversial “conscience’’ standard has been around since the 1970s, when it was established by the state’s highest court.
The Court of Appeals wrote in Pell v. Board of Education that judges should typically defer to education officials because they are ultimately responsible for their 77,000 employees.
For decades, the ruling meant that judges rarely second-guessed DOE arbitrators’ disciplinary rulings. But experts, citing several overturned high-profile cases in recent years, say that way of thinking is rapidly changing.
For example, trial and appeals courts alike found it “shocking” that a Brooklyn high school teacher was canned for bringing heroin to court in a backpack.
The courts also were “shocked’’ at the firing of two female romance-language teachers over a topless tryst in a classroom.
Last month, the city was forced to appeal a court ruling that sent a Queens elementary school teacher back into the classroom even after she flunked three of her four previous performance ratings.
Veteran PS 2 teacher Lisa Broad had been fired in 2014 after “three different senior administrators found that Broad poorly planned and executed lessons, failed to implement key teaching strategies, confused students, and wasted lesson time,” city lawyer Ryan Mangum argued in the appeal.
Not only that, “the record is also replete with instances of Broad’s professional misconduct, which included her fabrication of grades, flouting of deadlines, and violations of school policy by bringing a knife to school, having physical contact with a student, and leaving school premises during the school day without telling anyone,” Mangum wrote…. (read more)
Source: New York Post
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