This is becoming a trend!
A district 75 teacher and dean notified the guidance counselor about a student's suicide note instead of notifying the principal. The dean then turned the note over to the father -instead of keeping it with the school.
The DOE charged her with conduct unbecoming of a teacher (3020-a proceedings in DOE parlance). Yes, you read that correctly.
She was found guilty of interfering with a DOE investigation (because the note wasn't kept, but was given to the father instead)
The punishment? A $7,000 fine!!
Now outside the DOE, interfering with the police is only punishable by a $1,000 fine. So, naturally, the teacher got a lawyer and she did what more and more teachers are doing with these unfair harsh arbitrator decisions: She sued the DOE.
The decision? The judged agreed! The court ruled that the fine was harsh and excessive and sent it back to the arbitrator for a more humane penalty.
Or should I say human?
A $7,000 fine for giving the note to the father. When the same charge in court would have brought only a $1,000 fine
Should teachers be held to a legal standard that is even higher than the average citizen?
The answer is clearly no. But the NYCDOE doesn't seem to think so. And if you want that protection, you'll have to pay for a lawyer and fight for it in court.
Read the court ruling here. It tells the whole sordid tale.
Or read the post from The Assailed Teacher's blog for a more complete picture.