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500+ Convicted Criminals ‘Teach’ In NYC

From the New York Post:

NYC’s fire-proof criminal teachers go back to class

April 25, 2011

They’ve killed, looted taxpayer funds and committed other heinous crimes — but the city can’t keep these criminals out of the classroom.

More than 500 teachers convicted of crimes in the last five years — from drunken driving to assault to manslaughter — are still skulking around the schools because the Department of Education is hamstrung from getting rid of them.

Only those with sex-related convictions can be given the boot immediately — but the rest of the rogues’ gallery gets to continue teaching throughout the arduous process of disciplinary hearings, according to records obtained by The Post.

Aren’t unions wonderful? By the way, why are some criminals more equal than others?

Among the most vile is Staten Island elementary-school teacher Kim DePrima, who was entrusted with the care of her special-education students even after a conviction for failing to keep her pit bulls from mauling to death a 90-year-old neighbor in August 2008

DePrima hardly learned her lesson and was arrested again in January, when the ex-con she was with shot up the home of one of her ex-boyfriends. An unspent 9mm round was found in her car.

She’s been temporarily sidelined — but allowed to keep her paychecks — and will return to the classroom if acquitted.

But the first manslaughter rap should have been the final straw for DePrima, outraged officials said.

"Why would you allow a convicted felon to teach impressionable young children? What kind of message does that send to them, let alone their parents and the taxpayers of this city?" asked Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan.

"It just seems to fly in the face of common sense."

What in the brave new world of education doesn’t fly in the face of common sense?

Monique Wallace, a special-education teacher formerly assigned to PS 180 in Brooklyn, was convicted in 2009 of stealing nearly $40,000 in federal funds by lying about her job and income on an application for subsidized housing intended for poor families…

The 41-year-old was slapped with a $500 fine and is now earning $63,000 as a teacher at the SEEALL Academy in Mapleton, Brooklyn.

Similarly, Staten Islander Mark Corso, a teacher at IS 51, was busted in April 2006 as part of a "boiler room" investment-fraud scheme he had participated in years earlier.

He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud, a Class D felony, in 2009, and was ordered to pay $1.1 million in restitution…

Corso, 52, who makes $45,500, is on leave from IS 51 in Graniteville but is still eligible to teach there…

Debra Watson, a sticky-fingered school secretary at Brooklyn’s Foundation Academy, was convicted of petit larceny last year after stealing thousands of taxpayer dollars from the Department of Social Services…

The city sought to boot her, noting her financial responsibilities as a secretary, but she was slapped with only a $1,000 fine and didn’t miss a single day of work

Particularly with mass layoffs on the horizon, education officials say they’re dismayed that they don’t have the right to dismiss seriously misbehaving teachers — including outright criminals — who in most other fields could be fired on the spot.

"Because of the way state law and the contract require that we terminate tenured teachers . . . we don’t get to make rational decisions about convicted felons," said Mike Best, the Department of Education’s general counsel. "And that’s an unfortunate thing."

And it’s no way to run an effective workplace, he said

It actually is every effective, if you want to teach kids to be criminals.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, April 25th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

13 Responses to “500+ Convicted Criminals ‘Teach’ In NYC”

  1. Mithrandir says:

    Eh….hmm. If the crime isn’t directly related to the job, I don’t see any reason why they can’t teach.
    The alternative is that anyone with any record at all, is ineligible for ANY job. Then what do you want them to do? –sit on welfare?

    What does her negligence with pit bulls have to do with teaching kids? This isn’t the animal shelter ‘ya know.

    I am more concerned about incompetent teachers, and the money passing into democrat hands via the unions, than I am worried about mistakes that happen off school property.

    • Right of the People says:

      There are plenty of other jobs they can do, after all they all have at least a bachelors and possibly a masters degree. I don’t want any morally corrupt people teaching anybody’s kids and mine’s been out of school for more than ten years.

    • Mithrandir says:

      NO! There aren’t “plenty of other jobs they can do.” This economy SUCKS! A teaching degree doesn’t get you much. You can be a teacher, or some corporate trainer, or go back to college. Most people would like to use the degree they wasted $ and 5-6 years getting.

      Listen: A Puritanical society is a bad idea. People with a ‘record’ should only be graded based on if it’s DIRECTLY RELATED to their job! Pitbull violations have NOTHING to do with teaching. Drunk driving charges have NOTHING TO DO with being an accountant. etc.

      Once you go down that road, that only ‘perfect’ people (those who never got caught) are the only ones entitled to a descent job, you have a society of disposable humans. Someone with a bachelor’s degree can only sweep floors. A master’s degree, can answer telephones, or dig ditches.

      Look at drug felons? Can’t get a job. Guess what they do? –go back to selling drugs. Go on welfare, go back to prison. We need EMPLOYED people in this country, WORKING, not standing on the sidelines being rejected for imperfections not related to employment. Do you want productive people working, paying taxes etc, or rejects sponging off of society?

    • Kytross says:

      Mithrandir, I see your point and generally agree with you. I don’t care if my accountant has a few DUIs. I don’t care if my taxi driver was a burglar. I don’t care if the first lady committed vehicular manslaughter and the president is a recovered alcoholic.

      I do care about who has a direct, daily influence on my children and the other children in the community. Moral integrity is a vital aspect in considering who teaches our children. Teaching may not be a higher calling, like the ministry, but there should still be standards, enforced by the community, that teachers should be expected to keep.

      I can’t speak for anyone else here but I am far more concerned about my children growing up to be good than I am about them being smart. I would prefer both but given the choice I will take good every time. Three quotes from Theodore Roosevelt to illustrate my point:

      “Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike.”

      “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.”

      “A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.”

      Again, I agree with your point in general Mithrandir, I couldn’t care less if an athlete or movie star is a sexual deviant who is heavily into narcotics or how extremely marxist their political views are, but when it comes to a person my children are learning from, a person they should idolize, I want someone worthy of their respect, and worthy of mine.

    • Mithrandir says:

      Now you all understand WHY TEACHERS HAVE STRONG UNIONS.

      1. Impossible standards.
      2. Nutty students making up lies to get their teacher fired.
      3. Nutty parents angry that their teacher gave their kid an ‘F.’
      4. Cranks on the school board who have connections to decide contracts.
      5. Power hungry principals who would rather fire you than defend you.
      6. Every slip of the tongue, error, mistake in judgment = firing.
      7. Having to teach brat kids who don’t value education (and their parents).
      8. Kids 2-3 grade levels below their class, yet it’s the teacher’s fault.
      9. Kids with SERIOUS psychotic, emotional, and psychological stress disorders…yet it’s the teacher’s fault.
      10. Ridiculous mandates from the state and federal government for standards without teaching supplies, computer programs, books, or reasonable support etc.

      And on top of ALL OF THAT, their personal record, or what they do/say on facebook is charged against them! I wonder how long all of you would survive under the same scrutiny?

      No one is good or smart enough to teach your kids….when you think about it.

    • NoNeoCommies says:

      As long as the teachers, unions, and the press insist on holding them up as paragons of virtue that deserve more and more money; security; and respect, they should be held to a very high standard.

    • Mithrandir says:

      UPDATE! Proving my point exactly: http://www.wnep.com/wnep-sny-parents-buranich-english-teacher-writes-racy-novels-20110426,0,4057307.story

      English teacher can’t even write a novel under a PEN NAME without snooty parents getting their nose bent out of joint.

      If you have ANY racy pictures anywhere uploaded or COULD be uploaded by someone, don’t have a squeaky clean past, not sure about having a squeaky clean future, you shouldn’t bank on a career in teaching…..you never know when it will come to an end.

      Now we know why the public schools are left with the talentless, lifeless hordes of no-nothings.

  2. GetBackJack says:

    More than 500 teachers convicted of crimes in the last five years — from drunken driving to assault to manslaughter — are still skulking around the schools because the Department of Education is hamstrung from getting rid of them..

    Sounds exactly like you and me facing Congress

  3. Reality Bytes says:

    Meanwhile – principals & others hide posing next to full sized Barrack Obama Cut Outs in their offices*.

    “We Won It & We’re Not Gonna Give It Back!” – SEIU Chant

    There all cut from the same cloth, er cardboard.

    • bill148 says:

      How about letting them start a magnet school – paid with vouchers – that would allow them to teach their trades. e.g. accounting, animal husbandry, metal shop, etc.

    • Mithrandir says:

      That’s right. Magnet Schools

      We all know the solution for de-monopolizing the public schools. There are LOTS of options out there, however, as we all know: it’s for the VOTES, kids are just pawns as a means to the end.

      Don’t think for 1 SECOND teachers give a crap about the kids…..they are SICK of the kids. They trash them and their parents every chance they get.

  4. This problem is not specific to NYC.

    In 2010, the Alabama Legislature had to revise that state’s tenured teacher law to allow for a teacher convicted of a class A felony, such as murder, first degree rape, arson, robbery or burglary, as well as sex offenses, to be terminated without pay (yes, really).

    This February, in Ohio, an eighth-grade science teacher named John Freshwater was finally fired by the Mount Vernon school board.

    Mr. Freshwater made headlines after he used a Tesla coil in his science classroom to burn crosses into the arms of willing students. This was one of many infractions.

    Yet, it took nearly two years of hearings, and 6,500 pages of testimony to terminate John Freshwater. It cost the tax payers of that district $900,000.00!

    Most of that went to lawyers representing the district.

    Last March, The Chicago Tribune published an illustrated guide to firing a tenured public school teacher. The guide noted: “Total elapsed time: 2-5 years. At any point in this process, the teacher can retire or – if offered – take a buyout.”

    What’s left unsaid is “at tax payer expense.”

    Your tax dollars at work, citizens.

  5. beautyofreason says:

    Ah, classy. Shacking up with convicts. Free loading scum of the earth courtesy of Democrats.

    I feel for the parents in the inner city who don’t have the best educational options. The price of real estate in some of these places (2,000 month / studio where I live) means it’s very difficult to home school a child because both parents must work to make enough income to live outside of a slum. Unless one is very rich, private schools are out of the question too. The parents must be zoned for a decent public school, or they are screwed. There are no vouchers for private education. Nothing substantial to compete with the unions, the mediocrity, the slums.

    These issues are just a few reasons on why I prefer more conservative, rural areas where land is cheap and the skies are clear. You actually have options – maybe not the same job prospects, but the cost of living is cheaper and you aren’t paying for a 50% hike on food due to real estate. You can raise your kids without subjecting them to rap music and urban decay every day. There is a reason why most people in “the hood” never do anything except stay, rot, and scrape by on benefits. They just haven’t learned a better option and the Democratic party is doing everything in their power to insure that these people never do. They make useful idiots at the voting booth, where they repeat their grievances in their quest for perpetual change.

    Note: talked to a lady in my area who said that the premium for living in this specific neighborhood is the schooling…it is one of the only places where the public school system was comparable to private.

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