Norm Scott's reaction:
"The nest of vipers that is DOE legal has grown like a cancer and infested the NYPD where cops arrest fellow unionists for protesting abusive administrator tactics."Francesco Portelos' reaction:
"Another teacher falsely arrested by @NYCSchools - Bronx teacher thrown in jail after criticizing principal"And coverage from the
Bronx teacher thrown in jail after criticizing principal
After years of being embarrassed by teachers who just won't shut up, the New York City DOE has apparently embarked on a new HR policy of having teachers arrested on charges that he DA declines to press. This policy was first used against Francesco Portelos back in February when he published a post advertising the online Backpay Calculator he and I and James Eterno created. The post satirically advertised that DOE employees could 'hack' their Payroll Portal system and give themselves a raise. Readers were further advised to use a password that Francesco claimed (again, satirically) was former Chancellor Dennis Walcott's (the password was something about Kittens being cute). As satire often is, almost everything in the post was completely untrue (you cannot hack into a payroll system and please do not try), but the DOE official had him arrested -placed in jail- anyway. This new instance is against a teacher and is for aggravated harassment. She sent a letter to the chancellor and the principal who discontinued her asking about improprieties committed at the school. Being arrested and held in custody for a over a day was her response.
The policy, as it appears to be unfolding, seems to be fairly codified and easy to explain. It is commenced when a teacher speaks out a little too much against the department or a practice or policy of the department. Once that's done, the DOE engages in the following actions:
- A department official will reach out to a member of the NYPD. That official will file a minor misdemeanor charge against the employee. NYPD is provided with contact information of the employee (obsentively from the employee's personal file) and a police report is issued.
- A representative from the police department will then contact the employee asking him or her to come in. In Mr. Portelos' case, the request was made to 'come in and answer a few questions'. In this teacher's case, it seems as though the representative simply asked her to come right in and surrender herself.
- Once appearing at the precinct, the teacher is then arrested and held -in custody- until a DA reviews the charges. Mr. Portelos' was held for 33 hours before a DA saw the charges against him and dismissed them entirely. It seems teacher B was in jail for a little under 24 hours before a DA dismissed her charges.
- The teacher then walks away without being charged with anything. The hope seems to be that the shock of being arrested is enough to prevent the teacher from ever publicly speaking out publicly.
Since a principal made the claim against a former teacher, it must also be understood that this policy can be applied to any teacher, working under any principal, who speaks his or her mind a little too much at his or her school. This would apply to all 1800+ schools in the city and at least all 64,000 teachers who are represented by the United Federation of Teachers.
This would be the part where I say something funny or offer some type of commentary. Instead, I'll just say 1) per the Federal NLRB position and precedent, am writing these words with the intent of improving my working conditions. Please do not arrest me for attempting to improve my working conditions. and 2) I can't believe I'm writing about teachers being arrested.