I started live streaming my day in a NYC Rubber Room on October 4, 2012. The purpose was to bring to light the truth behind the Rubber Rooms, the retaliation and witch hunt on educators, and the large scale misuse of taxpayer money. When the story hit the headlines, the NYC Department of Education responded with the same thing they told the public for over two years. “All reassigned teachers are assigned administrative duty.” They also made the very vague comment that I “have been extremely difficult to work with.” I hope the public translates that for what it really means -”We tried to break him and he fought back, hence he is extremely difficult.
In response to their statements, I walked in to my large solitary confinement conference room the next day and….streamed myself doing nothing again. At that point it had been weeks since a supervisor had come down to visit me. That day I did 4 live camera interviews and several phone interviews. My website, Protectportelos.org hit almost 6,000 views in just a few hours. My story made headlines in Australia and the UK. It was tweeted and retweeted. A Japanese talk show even wanted me on. “How can we have good teachers paid to sit and do nothing at a time of educational and economic crisis? ” was basically the question.
After the 3 day weekend I returned and was verbally told not to bring in computer equipment. I listened. I was then given the task of creating science lessons for my substitute back at Berta Dreyfus IS 49. I was happy that my idle hands would be put towards work that will help the students again. The problem is now that the DOE insists that I create 8th grade lesson plans. There have been 4 substitutes covering my 5 classes (160 students) that are comprised of only 6th and 7th graders. This now gets added to the list of things that make no sense.
I have since pleaded with officials to explain, to give me access to the sub or anyone at school to collaborate. Nothing. I feel I have been given busy work instead. Therefore I’m streaming again, using my own internet and no computers. Instead I’m using my Samsung Galaxy S3 (product placement) smartphone. Is it considered a computer? Again allegations against me have been posted on my site as well as some findings of misconduct by administrators back at school. You decide, but one thing is for sure. It’s over 173 days now and the DOE still has not explained why I’m removed. Why have countless students lost out on countless lessons?
Remember I’m here in Queens at a conference room when I should be doing this:
Do you have a problem with this story ? Do not contact Chancellor Walcott, but rather try these three officials below who can answer for the reassignment of countless educators. Since my story made headlines last week, our reassigned teacher number increased to over 220.
From: “Gordon Andrew” Date: Jun 25, 2012 12:03 PM
Subject: Reassignment Status To:
As you are aware, you are under investigation for a number of serious matters. Your requests to the Chancellor and several other offices have been referred to me to respond to you. I have reviewed the matter and you will remain reassigned at this time. Although you may disagree with the severity of the matters, the DOE takes the allegations seriously.
HR Connect and Employee Relations
Division of Human Resources
NYC Department of Education
65 Court Street, Room 200
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Office: (718) 935-3790
On Jun 25, 2012 12:53 PM, “Francesco Portelos” wrote:
Mr. Gordon, You call my allegations serious? Serious enough to deprive students of an education for 2 months? The allegations made against me are a joke. I made lights blink in classrooms? I sent emails about union matters? Will you convince the jury, in federal court, when you and others are called to the stand? My complaint was filed Friday (12 CV 3141).
Very serious allegations were brought up against Assistant Principal Denise Diacomanolis. These allegations involve her putting her hands on students multiple times among other serious matters. There is even a video submitted. You allow her to still be in IS 49 though. How will your office respond to the media about that?
Below are the allegations that are being investigated. Please tell me what numbers are the most serious and warranted me being removed so I can bring them up in the community meeting we are having in July. I’m not worried about any of these.
Office of Labor Relations
David Brodsky, Director (212) 374-7954 DBrodsky@schools.nyc.gov
Karen Solimando, Deputy Director (212) 374-7990 KSolimando@schools.nyc.gov