Friday, February 21, 2014

Lily's Story Before and After

…Before and After the Bloomborg attacked me, that is. 

This is why I have returned to blogging.  Five years after being sent to the Rubber Room, I am going to have to admit to myself that I am a different person after suffering at the hands of Principal ShTey, and I’m not going to just “get over it” and bounce back to the way I was before.  Finally I have to accept that there are parts of me that will never be recovered.  I now only have memories of preBloomborg Moriah.  Before they too fade away, I would like to try to recapture who I was.  It’s a little like trying to recover an old photograph that has been damaged by Hurricane Sandy.  It’s worth retrieving, but the damage will now also be a part of the photographic record.

What does Lily’s story mean to me today? 

When Lily told me her story, I didn’t know what it meant to try my hardest to accomplish something, to actually succeed, and to then be treated as if I had done nothing of any value at all.  I didn’t know that in the beginning, injustice could create the fire of anger, and with that fire, I could spur myself on to even greater achievements.  I didn’t know that sustained injustice can turn the fire into smoldering embers of hatred that suck out all the oxygen needed for thought and action.  In this reduced state, everything slows down.  Bones seem to turn to water.  Memory becomes sketchy and undependable.  Thoughts slow down and become repetitive.  It’s hard to start a job, and hard to finish it, because everything will ultimately be labeled Unsatisfactory.  Nothing matters.

Before Bloomberg, I sympathized with Lily and wanted to help prevent further injustices from happening.  However,  my sympathy was cerebral.  After Bloomberg,  I had an understanding that came directly from the gut. Empathy.  Identity.  It had happened to me.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Perverted Testing

She failed the test.  In fact they hadn't seen test scores this bad for some time.  The child was obviously mentally deficient, and needed to be referred to the Special Education Department.  Upon arrival,  her teacher noted that she had difficulty following instructions.  No matter how slowly and clearly the teacher spoke, no matter how much she broke down the information into simple steps, the child just couldn't follow along.  She also had difficulty with speech.  She could barely formulate the most simple requests and preferred to nod or point or just stay silent as if in a world of her own.  She loved to sit with a book and pretend to read.  It was quite sad, really, because the child did not have the mental capacity to decode even the simplest of words.  However, she was sweet and quiet,  she never bothered anyone, so they left her alone most of the time and allowed her to pretend to read her books, occasionally turning a page as she had seen her teachers do.

Lily sat staring at the paper and pencil in front of her.  She knew that they expected her to take a test, but she couldn't understand what she was seeing.  She had just arrived from her country, Colombia, and could only speak and read in Spanish.  They showed her how to fill in the little dots with her pencil, so she filled them in randomly.  After a few days, they sent her to meet her new teacher.  She was very nice and spoke sweetly and slowly.  In the beginning, Lily couldn't understand what she was saying, but after a while she began to figure it out.  They wanted her to do baby stuff that was boring.  She picked up a book and began to try to match the words to the new sounds she was hearing. It took her a few months to teach herself to read in English.  She found that if she sat in a corner very quietly her teachers would forget about her and leave her alone.  She read a lot of books during the next few years.

This is the story that my friend Lily told me about her experience in the New York City public school system.  After several years, someone realized that she could actually read English.  She was retested and found to be exceptionally intelligent.  They quietly transferred her to a regular class.

Lily became my unofficial mentor when I started teaching in a New York City middle school in the early eighties.  We officially belonged to two departments:  the Science Department because we taught science, and the Bilingual Department because we taught our subject area in Spanish.  Our jobs were a result of the Aspira Consent Decree in which the Board of Education settled a lawsuit brought by the Puerto Rican Community precisely because of situations like the one Lily had suffered.  In order to avoid such travesties, Spanish-speaking children would be evaluated in their native language and then assigned to bilingual classrooms where they would continue their education in Spanish while receiving English as a Second Language instruction.

Mr. Pervert was in the same Bilingual Department and would serve as an unofficial mentor of an entirely nature.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Pervert By Any Other Name...

A teenager who posts her cutest picture on Facebook may unwittingly invite a couple of sexual predator "friends" into her social network if she isn't careful.  However, no matter how cautious she is, she can't avoid having all her data and the data of her friends and the data of their friends swept up and stored into an NSA computer from hell.

But this is just Metadata, right?  They're just looking at the "big picture".  A forty-year-old pervert's data is going to stick out like a sore thumb among all the teenagers' data.  The NSA/FBI protectors (not predators) can then go to work tracking said predator.  In the process they will gather additional evidence by hacking into his computer and tracking him as he trolls the underworld of internet child porn.  Perhaps they discover a whole network of pervert friends and eventually take them all down.  Just think of the NSA as a Big Brother who looks something like Clint Eastwood who is valiantly trying to protect innocent citizens from the bad guys who keep whining about their Constitutional Rights.

Come to think of it, considering the capabilities they had after 9/11,  they would have caught Mr. Pervert if he had been doing anything the least little bit perverted.  The target on his back was faithfully painted and repainted as the years passed by.  I saw his picture in the newspaper three times.  The first was the day he got arrested in the early eighties.  Many teachers were upset about the way the press had treated him that day.  The DOE and/or the NYPD had notified reporters as to when he would be arrested and they took full advantage of the opportunity to photograph him as he was led away.  

The second time I saw his picture was in the New York Post right around 9/11--either just before or just after, I can't remember which.  He was on the front page and a huge headline branded him as the Teflon Teacher (charges against him couldn't be made to stick).  This time he hadn't been arrested.  That means that whatever he did was not a crime or there wasn't enough evidence to tie him to a crime.    As far as I know, he spent the next eight or nine years in some form of Rubber Room until I saw him shortly after my arrival.  

The third time I saw his picture was in February of 2010.  I can pinpoint the time because I wrote about it on this blog in a post called "Yellow Journalism" .  Six Rubber Room teachers were targeted and he was one of them.  It was revealed that The Pervert had impregnated a former student in the mid '70's.  They actually called his daughter who lived in another state and tried to interview her over the phone.  Now, remember:  this is FORTY YEARS later.  They could not have published the story based on gossip and hearsay without fear of a lawsuit.  It would have been necessary to find DOE records to confirm that the girl was a former student of the Pervert; medical records to confirm the age of the girl when impregnated and the outcome of the pregnancy;  civil records to identify the name and birthdate of the baby.   That was a lot of work for a forty-year-old story, and that means to me that they had nothing else on him.

So should I stop calling him the Pervert?  Maybe.  I have a gut feeling that he got a little too close to a couple of little girls, but a gut feeling isn't evidence and evidence is all that counts when condemning a man to public shame.  For me there are a lot of perverts in my story.  The children who lied.  The principals and investigators who encouraged the children to lie.  Teachers who protected a friend rather than a child.  The so-called journalists who wrote stories based on nothing but gossip without taking the trouble to check the facts.  The mayor who dismantled a school system so that he and his rich friends could get richer.  Wall street bankers who threw the whole world into financial chaos.  Presidents who signed unconstitutional bills into law.  They are all perverts.    

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Thanks to Edward Snowden, the whole world knows that the NSA is collecting and storing everybody's data:  Telephone records, credit card records, medical records--if it's stored in a computer, they also have it stored in a big huge computer storage thingy from hell.

How can they do that?  The technological capabilities that they must have for pulling something like that off are mind boggling to anyone who doesn't have an in depth knowledge of computers.  It just doesn't seem possible.  Clue to Obama Co:  Instead of looking like naughty little boys caught with your fingers stuck in the cookie jar and calling Edward Snowden a "traitor"and forcing presidential planes to land for lack of fuel, you should have laughed and said "That's technologically impossible".  Most people would have believed you.  Too late now, assholes.

The Day We Fight Back Against NSA Surveillance


Sunday, February 9, 2014


Before continuing my story about Mr. Pervert and the Coven, I would like to dwell on the concept of spying and its implications for people who have been targeted by the DOE -- especially those who have spent time in the Rubber Room.

In my last post I fantasized about being an undercover agent for the authorities in order to monitor Mr. Pervert's actions over time and eventually catch him in the act.  I dismissed my fantasy as being unrealistic and even dishonorable.  Unfortunately for all of us, today there are government agencies that have the funding and the mandate to fulfill the fantasy that I rejected. It is my position that their spyware was used by the New York City Department of Education under Mayor Bloomberg against New York City teachers.

Under the Bloomberg Administration, principals were trained and pressured to get rid of teachers by charging them under section 3020a of the NYS Education Law.  This was part of a three-fold plan:  to save money, to weaken the teachers' union (UFT) and to privatize the educational system.

The principals were basically given a list of charges and told to go in search of defendants.

1. Pedagogical Incompetence
2. Physical or Mental Disability
3. Lack of Certification
4. Absence from Work
5. Insubordination
6. Corporal Punishment and Use of Excessive Physical Force
7. Improper Remarks, Physical Contact and Relationships with Students
8. Endangerment of Student Safety
9. Other Types of Chargeable Misconduct

I sensed that I was being spied on when I was in the Rubber Room, but I thought that they had planted spycams and microphones the old-fashioned way in light fixtures and behind the woodwork.  Little did I know that everyone's phone and computer was potentially an open mic or an open camera.  And consider this--these devices might have stayed on after we went home.

 If you need to be convinced that it is technologically possible that they were spying on us 24/7,  you might want to check out this article.  There has been a lot of talk about iphones being NSA friendly, but it's really every phone and every carrier.

You may have trouble believing that they were using their technology to spy on teachers--more than anything because it is such a ridiculous waste of money and resources.   However, consider that we were in New York, the city of 9/11, on constant terrorist alert, and with an astronomical Homeland Security budget.  You don't think that Bloomberg used his spy toys on his favorite project of targeting and eliminating teachers?  

That's why I think that my text referring to "the Pervert" was definitely picked up and stored away. Heck, there were eight or more people at every table, and everyone had a phone and a computer in front of them.  I always thought that it was a strange coincidence that a New York Post article came out with a story about the Pervert that was very similar to the one I had told in confidence to one of my Rubber Room colleagues.  Was my colleague a spy?  More likely the spy was on the other end of one or both of our phones.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda

Telling the Pervert's friend that I would not support him resulted in immediate isolation from from his community (the Coven) and from all information about the case.

What would have happened if I had taken out a five dollar bill, smiled sweetly, and said that I hoped everything would turn out ok?

For one thing, I would have found out a lot sooner that one of the charges against him was taking nude pictures of a student.  I could have corroborated that there was in fact a nude picture, but I couldn't have supplied evidence about who took it or where it was taken.

I would have been in a better position to pick up information about the girl he had impregnated and then married.  I could have supplied this information to the prosecution.  However, I don't know if it would have been admissible.

I could have attended his trial and gotten a much better idea of the charges and evidence against him.  When his conviction was overturned he had all records about the case expunged.

I could have been a fly on the wall, eavesdropping on conversations with him and about him.  This may or may not have lead to information about other incidents.  He fought his charges for almost ten years.  In all that time outside the classroom he would have found another way to be in contact with prepubescent girls if he were really a pervert.

In short, I could have been a spy.

This would have made for a great novel or screenplay, but I'm glad I didn't make it into my life's story.  In the end, I expressed myself honestly.  Everyone knew where I stood.  I think the path I took was more honorable.

But isolation from the community is never good and has consequences of its own.