David Pakter -”NYC Teacher of the Year” to Windowless Rubber Room. The Three R’s of Education – Rubber Room is Retaliation.
Any teacher under attack should also read, actually MUST READ, the David Pakter story. A very lengthy and detailed account is here on ParentAdvocates.org http://parentadvocates.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=article&articleID=7501 and here on Ed Notes Online: http://ednotesonline.blogspot.com/search?q=david+pakter
I looked back in my emails and saw that I was first told of the David Pakter story in March 2012. It was about a month before I was removed from school. What the DOE didn’t know is that I already knew what they were up to for some time. I was following along their own playbook that they didn’t know I knew existed. I knew all about ATU Director Laura Brantley over a year before her office decided to press for charges. See my July 24th email to her and others she copied in a letter stating I was to be suspended.
From: Francesco Portelos <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 10:59 AM
Subject: Probable Cause and Suspension?
Cc: email@example.com, Linda Hill <LHill2@schools.nyc.gov>, ESchlenoff@schools.nyc.gov, Vazquez Marisol <MVazquez16@schools.nyc.gov>, Zaharakis Despina <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, “Rodi Katherine G.” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Shawn Thompson <email@example.com>, Lopez Regina <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, JRabot@schools.nyc.gov, JAmador@schools.nyc.gov, OPIProblemCode@schools.nyc.gov, OPIReassignedStaff@schools.nyc.gov, FPerkin@schools.nyc.gov, CGalarza@schools.nyc.gov, KDoyle@schools.nyc.gov
Dear Ms. Brantley,
I am in receipt of your second, and slightly modified, version of your letter pertaining to my suspension and probable cause for termination. I see that the power of executive session was given to Superintendent Erminia Claudio to find probable cause for my termination. Do you know she is the same person that I notified I would be suing, only a few days prior to being formally charged? You’re aware that her boyfriend was responsible for hiring my principal correct? Do you believe her decision was unbiased? Are you aware that she never conducted a disciplinary hearing with me about the conclusion of an SCI report, because I insisted on exercising my rights and audio recording it? My due process rights were violated, but we’ll take that up with Jordana Shenkman at my 3020-a. I do hope you will attend as well.
Onto your decision. You stated that “due to the nature” of my charges, I should be suspended. May I ask which of the 38 specifications you were referring to? Was it hacking my own website that was not substantiated? Was it staying too late or walking out the wrong entrance? Was it the bogus real estate findings? Maybe it was the paranoid teacher who thought I planted secret cameras in the staff lounge? Oh I know… it was filming the AP inappropriately frisking a young girl for proof she inappropriately touches children that my colleagues were never able to obtain when they made their complaints.
Perhaps it was emailing the parents to let them know their child’s teacher had an expired license? Was it sharing information of public concern?
As you formulate a response, please peruse through my site. www.educatorfightsback.org. Everyone else has and is waiting to see how much deeper those responsible will dig themselves.
Nature of the charges? Suspension? What was substantiated again? Please remind me and indicate the pages and paragraph in the SCI report that indicates the findings. Perhaps Ms. Kelly Doyle can help.
Your letter https://db.tt/4J5vCkl1
As my own saga unfolded I secretly compared mine to that of David Pakter’s.
Allegations of personal business in school? Check!
Allegations of material found on computer at school? Check!
Sent to a disgusting Rubber Room far away? Check!
Sent in for medical evaluation to be deemed unfit to teach? No Check!
I kept waiting for Principal Linda Hill to send me for a psych exam. It was in the playbook, but she never did. I had no doubt I would pass even if it was with the DOE’s own quack doctor.
“What is next in the playbook Mr. Portelos?” you ask? Let’s see…I predict:
- More charges being added.
- More investigations since their current case is very weak.
- Attendance and Lateness in the Rubber Room could be brought up against me soon. Isn’t that right Mr. Miyashiro?
Decision on Charges are listed below from Ed Notes Online, but I recommend you visit the links above to see the story in more depth first. A true “David vs Goliath” story. I hope other educators learn from my story as I have learned from David’s. He and I briefly communicated a few months back via email. I don’t blame him for trying to put all this behind him. I on the other hand am 35 and have many years in education ahead of me. Chancellor Portelos 2018? UFT President Portelos 2016…a strong possibility.
Charges Against David Pakter Dismissed
FRIDAY, JUNE 11, 2010
Charges Against David Pakter Dismissed
After A 6 Year “David Versus Goliath” Contest,
A New York State Impartial Trial Arbitrator
Has Dismissed the Absurd NY State Education Dept. Charges Made Against A Former NYC “Teacher of the Year”
A Major Victory for Every Teacher in America
David Pakter, A NYC Whistle-blower, Decorated by Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani for “Exceptional Achievement” in Education, has fought for years to be vindicated of the Retaliatory, knowingly bogus Charges brought against him after he wrote a letter to Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, on Oct. 2, 2003, alerting him to serious Federal Civil Rights Violations in New York City Schools.
In a crushing blow to New York City’s Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, who had sought for years to have Mr. Pakter fired, the Hearing Officer dismissed such preposterous charges against the Educator of Medical Illustration as the charge he had brought a plant to school, allegedly without getting official permission and awarding fashion watches to high achieving students, something Pakter had been doing for three decades.
He was also charged with giving a gift to a school aide and showing the film, “El Mariachi” by Robert Rodriguez, an Internationally known Director, to one of his High School classes. The film has been the recipient of a multitude of Cinematic Awards around the world and launched the career of Robert Rodriguez.
The charge that Mr. Pakter stopped reporting to a small, windowless, so-called “Rubber Room” after years of being ordered reassigned to such punitive assignments, where Teachers just sit all day, was not considered in today’s verdict.
Mr. Pakter was a Lead Plaintiff in a Federal Lawsuit to shut down these teacher “Gulags” which New York City has announced will cease to exist after this school year ends.
These so-called “reassignment centers” were widely seen as a means to punish Teachers as well as instill fear in those who spoke out and reported wrongdoing as well as corruption and unethical behavior within the 23 Billion dollar NYC schools system.
The charge that Mr. Pakter had allegedly tried to influence a Dept of Education employee to furnish him with a printout of his personal work history on an expedited basis was also not considered in today’s decision.
For the past several months the NYC Dept of Education had been attempting to pressure Mr. Pakter to resign by offering to drop all the absurd and contrived charges made against the Award winning Educator- all of which offers were rejected by Mr. Pakter who insisted on a verdict regarding the pending charges alleged against him.
Mr. Pakter has brought Federal Lawsuits against the New York City Dept of Education seeking tens of millions of dollars in Damages.
At one point the City attempted to remove Mr. Pakter from his position for a year claiming he was not Medically “fit for duty”, by having Dept of Education doctors intentionally suppress and alter their own Test Results reflecting Mr. Pakter’s stellar results of fitness.
That decision was challenged by Mr. Pakter and he eventually was awarded a year of back pay plus interest. Most of the City doctors who were responsible for knowingly Railroading Mr. Pakter have all since left the the NYC Dept of Education Medical Office including the Medical Director who personally signed the letter that falsely claimed Pakter was not “fit for Duty”. One year later that same Medical Director recanted that knowingly false and erroneous conclusion in a signed statement.
On March 21, 2010 The NEW YORK POST printed a story that included the statement that Mr. Pakter had been removed from the NYC schools system for quote “sexual misconduct”- a knowingly false statement since the paper had previously written about Pakter in another article about NYC Teachers in March of 2007.
The newspaper attempted to retract the false and Libelous statement one week later on March 28, 2010 by publishing a “Correction” Notice in a later Edition that included the words that the newspaper had, quote:
“incorrectly stated the allegations against David Pakter. The Dept of Education only alleges that he was insubordinate. Pakter claims he brought in a plant and offered watches as honor-roll incentives”.
Mr. Pakter has already filed a $ 10,000,000 (Ten Million) NOTICE OF CLAIM against the NEW YORK POST newspaper as well as the NYC Dept of Education for the publication of false, libelous, defamatory, slanderous statements”.
Both the NEW YORK POST newspaper as well as the NYC Dept of Education have been served with papers to appear in NY State Supreme Court on June 16, at 80 Centre Street, Manhattan, Room 328, at 9:30 A.M. before State Supreme Court Judge, the Hon. Cynthia Kern.
The David Pakter Charges
Please note my response to each charge appears in CAPITAL LETTERS.
OFFICIAL NYC DEPT OF EDUCATION CHARGES AGAINST DAVID PAKTER
( Important Note: Virtually all of the following charges, (except the charges relating to attendance at the small windowless Rubber Room located in Harlem), were shown and proven at Trial to be either outright lies or distortions of fact to such an extreme degree as to make the charges little more than knowing falsehoods.)
NOTE ALL MY RESPONSES & COMMENTS ARE IN UPPER CASE/CAPS
Below is a Verbatim Copy of ALL NYC DOE Charges against David Pakter
DAVID PAKTER (hereinafter referred to as “Respondent”) is a tenured teacher, under File # 407530, Social Security # XXX-XX-XXXX, formerly assigned to The High School of Fashion Industries in Manhattan. During the 2006-2007 school year, Respondent engaged in misconduct and was neglectful of his duties as follows:
SPECIFICATION 1: In or about October and/or November of 2006, Respondent promoted his and /or his family’s watch business during school hours. DISMISSED
I INFORMED STUDENTS (AS I HAVE FOR 3 DECADES) THAT ANYONE WITH A 90% AVERAGE WOULD EARN A WATCH DESIGNED BY PAKTER
SPECIFICATION 2: In or about October and/or November of 2006, Respondent gave watches as gifts to students during school hours. DISMISSED
YES, YES AND YES- LIKE JOEL KLEIN GIVING OUT CELL PHONES
SPECIFICATION 3: In or about October and/or November of 2006, Respondent gave a watch to School Aide during school hours. DISMISSED
ABSOLUTELY YES- I GAVE A WATCH TO A SCHOOL AIDE DURING MY LUNCH BREAK
ISN’T THAT MY CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT OR DO I NEED THE PERMISSION OF THE NYC DOE EVEN TO GIVE SOMEONE A GIFT.
The official New York City Ethics Charter states I violated no Rule or Regulation but I was charged despite that fact.
SPECIFICATION 4: In or about October and/or November of 2006, during class time, Respondent:
(a) Talked about his and/or his family’s watch business.
(b) Provided the watch website address.
(c) Showed students a book and/or a brochure and/or a catalog of watches.
(d) Said words to the effect that he would give a watch to any student who achieved a gradepoint average of 90% or better.
(e) Showed two watches to students.
(f) Talked about his personal life.
(g) Said words to the effect that he was fired from The High School of Art and Design for being a whistleblower.
I STRONGLY ENCOURAGED STUDENTS TO STRIVE TO GET ON HONOR ROLL AND PROMISED THEM FASHION ACCESSORIES AS AN INCENTIVE AS I HAVE DONE FOR THE PAST 30 YEARS TO THE DELIGHT AND DEEP APPRECIATION OF COUNTLESS NYC DOE SCHOOL PRINCIPALS.
ALL ABOVE FALL WITHIN MY FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS RE FREE SPEECH.
(h) Showed the class an “R” rated movie.
FILM WAS R-RATED EXACTLY FOR THE SAME REASONS AS “SCHINDLER’S LIST”, “SAVING PRIVATE RYAN”, “THE PIANIST”, ETC ETC ARE, R-RATED AS WELL AS THE DOZENS OF AWARD WINNING FILMS I HAVE SHOWN TO CLASSES FOR 37 YEARS WITH THE FULL KNOWLEDGE OF PEERS AND COUNTLESS NYC DOE PRINCIPALS I SERVED WITH DISTINCTION WHO RESPECTED MY GOOD JUDGEMENT TO SCREEN FILMS THAT CONTAINED STRONG LIFE LESSONS.
IMPORTANT NOTE: THE ABOVE ABSURD CHARGE ALSO BRINGS UP POSSIBLE CONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATIONS PERTAINING TO CENSORSHIP. ALSO TARGETTING TEACHERS BY ACCUSING THEM OF SHOWING A FILM IS AN OLD AND TIRED TACTIC OF THE NYC DOE.
THUS SUBCHARGE (h) VIOLATES AND GIVES RISE TO AT LEAST TWO CLEARLY SERIOUS CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES.
IMPORTANT NOTE: THIS CHARGE WAS WITHDRAWN BY THE CITY
SPECIFICATION 5: In or about November of 2006, Respondent had two trees delivered to the school despite being previously told by Assistant Principal Giovanni Raschilla to wait until he discussed the matter with Principal Hilda Nieto. DISMISSED
THE ABOVE TOTALLY AND INTENTIONALLY DISTORTS FACTS
- I HAND CARRIED TWO SMALL ARTIFICIAL PLANTS IN WICKER BASKETS TO SCHOOL ON MY LUNCH HOUR WHICH I PLACED OUTSIDE DOORS TO THE SCHOOL AUDITORIUM WHERE EVERYONE AGREED THEY LOOKED TOTALLY GREAT AND VASTLY IMPROVED THE AMBIANCE OF THE SCHOOL LOBBY.
VERY INTERESTINGLY NO WHERE IN RICHARD CONDON’S SPECIALLY PREPARED SCI REPORT PREPARED FOR CHANCELLOR JOEL KLEIN IS IT MENTIONED THAT ON THE SAME DAY I PLACED THE TWO PLANTS OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL AUDITORIUM I ALSO HAND DELIVERED A LARGE BEAUTIFUL SILK PLANT, ALSO IN A WICKER BASKET TO PRINCIPAL HILDA NIETO’S OFFICE AND GAVE THE PLANT TO HER SECRETARY, MS. TUCKER REQUESTING SHE GIVE THE GIFT TO THE PRINCIPAL TO DECORATE HER OFFICE.
THE PLANT GIVEN TO THE PRINCIPAL WAS NEVER MENTIONED IN THE SCI REPORT AND I WAS NEVER CHARGED WITH GIVING PRINCIPAL HILDA NIETO A SILK PLANT BUT I WAS CHARGED WITH GIVING A GIFT TO A MINIMUM WAGE SCHOOL AIDE.
NIETO NEVER THANKED ME, VERBALLY OR IN WRITING BECAUSE SHE KNEW THAT IT WOULD PREVENT ANY PLANT CHARGES FROM BEING MADE AGAINST ME.
ALSO THE SCI REPORT TO KLEIN DID NOT MENTION THAT I BOUGHT AND HAND DELIVERED MYSELF, SEVERAL PLANTS IN BASKETS TO THE MAIN SCHOOL OFFICE WHERE I HAD TO SIT ALL DAY WHEN I WAS NOT COVERING CLASSES AS AN ATR SUBSTITUTE TEACHER.
ON THE DAY I WAS REMOVED, THE PLANTS I HAD PERSONALLY PURCHASED, PAID FOR AND PERSONALLY DELIVERED AND INSTALLED AT THREE DIFFERENT LOCATIONS IN THE SCHOOL WERE STILL THERE EXACTLY WHERE I HAD PERSONALLY PLACED THEM
NOTE THAT THE PLANT GIFTS TO THE PRINCIPAL’S PRIVATE OFFICE AND ALSO TO HER MAIN SCHOOL OFFICE ON A DIFFERENT FLOOR IN THE SCHOOL BUILDING, WERE NOT INCLUDED IN THE 3020-a SPECIFICATIONS.
THINK ABOUT HOW EVIL AND MACHIAVELLIAN THAT MAKES THESE PEOPLE AND THE NYC DEPT OF EDUCATION IN GENERAL.
BUT IN ANY EVENT ISN’T IT MY CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO BE TREATED IN THE SAME FASHION AS ANY OTHER TEACHER IN NYC WHO DECIDES TO DECORATE HIS/HER CLASSROOM AND/OR SCHOOL.
IN SHORT WE ADDRESS HERE THE CONCEPT OF EQUAL TREATMENT AND EQUAL PROTECTION UNDER THE LAW AND THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION
SHOULD SOME TEACHERS BE ALLOWED TO BRING A PLANT TO SCHOOL AND NOT OTHERS?
NOTE: THE WEEK I WAS REMOVED I WAS ABLE TO GET GIOVANNI RASCHILLA, MY A.P. ON TAPE ADMITTING TO UFT CHAPTER LEADER JACK SANCHEZ THAT HE, RASCHILLA, KNEW THE WHOLE PLANT BUSINESS WAS ILLEGAL AND THAT HE WOULD REMOVE THE PLANT LETTERS FROM MY FILE IMMEDIATELY AS UFT SANCHEZ DEMANDED.
SPECIFICATION 6: Respondent’s actions caused widespread negative publicity and notoriety to the High School of Fashion Industries and the New York City Department of Education in general when his unprofessional behavior was referenced in the UFT Newspaper.
THIS IS THE FAMOUS CHARGE THAT RANDI WEINGARTEN ORDERED NYSUT TO WRITE A PROTEST TO CHANCELLOR JOEL KLEIN ON OCTOBER 24, 2007 TO WHICH KLEIN NEVER RESPONDED BUT WHICH THE NYC DEPT OF EDUCATION LATER WITHDREW RATHER THAN BE FORCED TO FIGHT THE UFT IN COURT OVER A FIRST AMENDMENT ISSUE.
SPECIFICATION 7: During the 2006-2007 school year, Respondent was absent ninety-eight (98) times from work. (Rubber Room)
SPECIFICATION 8: During the 2006-2007 school year, Respondent worked a partial day fifteen (15) times. (Rubber Room)
HARLEM RUBBER ROOM WAS A VERY SMALL ROOM ON 125TH STREET, WITH NO WINDOWS, NO IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE DRINKING WATER, BARE WALLS UNTIL I TRIED TO HANG A FEW PICTURES AND WAS ORDERED NOT TO DO SO AND THE MUSEUM PRINTS REMOVED.
AND WORST OF ALL THIS SMALL ROOM CONVEYED TO THE PEOPLE HOUSED THERE A SENSE OF CLAUSTROPHOBIA AND INCARCERATION
A UFT HIRED AIR SPECIALIST, HIRED BY UFT SPECIAL REP-KLAUS BORNEMANN, USING SOPHISTICATED AIR TESTING EQUIPMENT WROTE IN HIS AIR QUALITY REPORT THAT THE CEILING VENTILATORS AT TIMES WERE BLOWING AIR OF SUBSTANDARD AIR QUALITY INTO THE ROOM.
THE ABOVE AMOUNTS TO CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT UNDER THE US CONSTITUTION AND IS THE REASON I STOPPED REPORTING TO THE SMALL WINDOWLESS RUBBER ROOM IN HARLEM.
Please Note: The fact that the DOE would certainly deny that any, or all of these charges do not violate any of my Constitutional and/or First Amendment rights, (which is to be totally expected), does not make such an assertion and/or position true. It is only by challenging established customs and perceptions of what does and does not violate the Laws of the Land, that “old” laws are struck down, and new Laws and new legal precedents- established.