Monday, September 28, 2009

Michael Bloomberg: Right is Might and Might is Right

A few years ago Chancellor Klein came to my school to explain how, once again, Bloomberg was going to restructure the Department of Education. In the question and answer session, someone asked if there were elected representatives present. Klein responded that he was the appointed representative of the elected representative, Mayor Bloomberg. The next question was: shouldn’t we have input from city council members and state legislators before we restructure the DOE yet again? What about the democratic process? Klein said that the democratic process was a big waste of time. We had elected Bloomberg, and Bloomberg had Mayoral Control—voted in by the State Assembly. Enough democratic process already. See you next election.

I remember that first election, which took place just after 9/11. Bloomberg spent millions of dollars of his own money and said that we should vote for him because he didn’t owe any favors to special interests. Giuliani made a half-hearted attempt to convince everybody that he should run for a third term given the emergency situation. That idea flew like a 200-pound pigeon. New Yorkers had already voted in two separate referendums that they wanted term limits. “The voters have spoken,” said Bloomberg.

As soon as Bloomberg was elected, there was a media Blitzkrieg against NYC teachers and our union. It would seem that everything wrong about the Board of Education was our fault. But never fear, the Bloomberg cavalry was riding to the rescue of the poor children. During the first couple of years there were occasional articles in the mainstream media that criticized Bloomberg. Gradually, all criticism disappeared, except on the blogosphere.

I find this fascinating. I have lived in New York City for more than 30 years. New Yorkers are feisty and all synonyms thereof: spiritied, active, alive, bubbly, courageous, difficult, enthusiastic, excitable, fiery, frisky, full of pep, game, gritty, gutsy, lively, mettlesome, ornery, quarrelsome, scrappy, sensitive, spunky……

But nobody has anything bad to say about Bloomberg. No jokes, no cartoons, no nasty articles, no political snipes from the opposition—No Opposition.

Bloomberg, according to Wikipedia, is the eighth richest American with a net worth of 16 billion dollars. That’s his personal wealth. He is also in total and absolute control of the entire budget of New York City—another 40 billion.

That’s a lot of power and a lot might—and it makes Michael Bloomberg absolutely right—or else.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Stage One: You're Right Because You're Powerful

A person at Stage One believes that Right is Might.

Individuals at this stage are obedience and punishment driven. They focus on the direct consequences of their actions on themselves. For example, an action is perceived as morally wrong because the perpetrator is punished. "The last time I did that I got spanked so I will not do it again." The worse the punishment for the act is, the more "bad" the act is perceived to be. Innocent victims are seen as guilty in proportion to their suffering. The Stage One person is "egocentric", lacking recognition that others' points of view are different from one's own. They defer to people with superior power or prestige.

According to Kohlberg, we have all begun at level one at around three or four years of age. Many of us have progressed upwards through subsequent stages, one at time. Movement is always “forward in sequence and does not skip steps”. However, there is no guarantee that we will reach the highest stages. Some people might find themselves frozen at one stage and may not progress from there. For example Kohlberg places the Nazi war criminal, Adolph Eichmann, at Stage One and Two.

According to Kohlberg, one does not regress. Once you’ve reached a stage you cannot fall back. He estimated that only 5 to 10 percent of the adult population consistently operates at Stage Six.

What does that mean for the person who is being falsely accused by a Stage One child?

A Stage-One child may see any adult interviewer as being an authority worthy of obeying. For example, a child told an experimenter that he would change his mind if the interviewer wanted him to because “you have all the answers in the back of the book.” A student at Stage One might see a Principal, Assistant Principal, or SCI Investigator as having all the answers and might change his/her eyewitness account because it does not coincide with the opinion of the adult power figure. This child will not be questioned by the teacher’s representative until months or even years later. When this finally happens, the child’s testimony often falls apart.


1. Videotape all interviews with all witnesses.
2. Allow the teacher’s representative (I am not talking about the union representative) to question witnesses as soon as allegations have been made—not years later.
3. Assess the stage of moral development of all witnesses.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


On pages 106-111 the work of Lawrence Kohlberg is mentioned. I vaguely remember reading somewhere about the Six Stages of Moral Development, but until I read this book, I had forgotten all about this theory. However, it has taken on special meaning in my present circumstances. I will quote directly from the book:
“According to Kohlberg (1981, pp17-19) people pass through six stages of moral development:

The physical consequences of action determine its goodness or badness.
Avoidance of punishment and unquestioning deference to power are valued in their own right.

Right action consists of that which instrumentally satisfies one’s needs and occasionally the needs of others.
Reciprocity is a matter of “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.”

Good behavior is that which pleases or helps others and is approved by them.

There is an orientation toward authority, fixed rules, and the maintenance of social order.
Right behavior consists of showing respect to authority.

Right actions tend to be defined in terms of general individual rights and in terms of standards that have been critically examined and agreed on by the whole of society.

Right is defined by the decision of conscience in accord with self chosen ethical principles appealing to logical comprehensiveness, universality, and consistency.

What stage do you think BLOOMBERG is opearating at? At what stage does he demand that LEADERSHIP ACADEMY PRINCIPALS perform? At what stage do LEADERSHIP ACADEMY PRINCIPALS demand that TEACHERS perform?
How about SCI INVESTIGATORS? At what stage are they performing when they do their investigations? How about HEARING OFFICERS and ARBITRATORS?



Oh, Sooooooo Lucky

People who have never been in the Rubber Room might think that it’s a great deal. You get paid for sitting there and doing nothing all day. Of course, anyone with some knowledge of human psychology knows that it’s not a great deal. Take any normal human being, put him in a room by himself with nothing to do, keep him there for days and months on end, and he will eventually go crazy. Paying him doesn’t make it OK. He is being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.

“But”, say the Butt-Heads who think the Rubber Room is a great deal, “You’re not in a room all by yourself. You have other teachers who are in the same situation. And you are an educated person. Take advantage of the situation: Read, have nice conversations with the people around you, take a nap, play card games… write the Great American Novel. As long as you’re there, you’re getting full pay and benefits, and you’re building up your pension. You could be on the street without a job, unable to meet your mortgage payments, and about to lose your house like so many other people in America right now.”

When reminded of starving people, it’s hard to refuse to eat your liver.

So I’ll eat it, but I’ll still hate it.

For the duration of my time in the Rubber Room, I will not be writing about my experience in the Rubber Room on this blog-- Although, trust me, I am keeping a detailed daily journal. No, this blog will remain true to its original intention, which is to shine light on the incompetent, corrupt, and criminally abusive Bloomberg Department of Education, and the Butt-Heads that keep it alive.

In order to do this, I need more background knowledge. I am researching the topics of “scapegoating”, “mobbing”, “false allegations”, “lynching”, and the “holocaust” to name a few. As I read about these subjects, I will apply the information to the Bloomberg DOE in general, and my situation in particular.

At the moment, I am reading Inaccuracies in Children’s Testimony: Memory, Suggestibility, or Obedience to Authority? By Jon’a F. Meyer published by Haworth Press, Inc. 1997.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Mammatus Celebration

Yesterday was the last day of school and the beginning of summer vacation in NYC.

Seeing these rare Mammatus clouds over Manhattan at sunset was a great way to end the day.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Don't Talk to SCI

On Friday, SCI investigators showed up to interview one of the teachers. We don’t have a UFT Rep in the Rubber Room, but we do have what is called a liaison who does a good job of representing us both to the UFT and the DOE. When our liaison warned the teacher not to speak without an attorney, one of the investigators turned to the liaison, asked for his name, and threatened to charge him with interfering with an investigation.

There are very good reasons for not talking to these investigators. First, they only investigate criminal charges that could land you in jail, and they have the right to arrest you right on the spot. Second, they are almost certainly not carrying out a fair investigation. They are there to gather further evidence to corroborate charges, not to clear the teacher of the charges. Often there is no proof of the allegations, and the investigators are there to troll for any little smidgeon of evidence that could give them an excuse to charge the teacher. By remaining silent, the teacher doesn’t give them an opportunity to twist words, or manufacture evidence. Third, it is the teacher’s right to avoid coercive self-incrimination, but SCI investigators will not advise the teacher of his/her Miranda rights.

Our liason is also going through the 3020a process, and doesn’t need any more bogus charges to deal with. We’re lucky that someone is willing to do this thankless job for no pay.

I’ll be interested to see how the Union reacts to the thuggish behavior on the part of SCI.

Read more about it at NYC Rubber Room Reporter

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


What are your buttons? You know. The ones that make you explode when they get pushed? The ones that maybe you don’t even know are there until you explode?

One of my RR colleagues, we’ll call her Grace, came over, and asked if we could talk. No problem. She then told me that a guy named Tennyson asked her why she had been eating in the bathroom. She had explained to him that she was diabetic and was trying a new food, and had to test her blood to see how it would affect her glucose level.

What she wanted to know from me, was how did this guy know that she was eating in the bathroom? Had I told him? I was the only one who had seen her eating. She wasn’t mad or anything, she just wondered how a guy knows what’s going on in the ladies’ room.

I then had to tell her that I couldn’t have been the only one who had seen her, because another lady, Ronnie, had been talking about how she had seen Grace eating, and how she couldn’t understand how anybody could eat in the bathroom. I had told Ronnie that it was probably because Grace was diabetic and it had something to do with managing her diabetes. Like Ronnie didn’t know this already? Grace sits right next to her.

So then I went over to Tennyson and asked him if we could talk. I wanted to know why he had to broach the subject with Grace, anyway. It had obviously upset her—and now I was upset because she thought I had been talking about her behind her back. He shrugged off my concerns. What was the big deal?

I went back to my assigned seat, and started to leak tears. I tried to stop, but they just kept coming out. So then I had to start asking myself, what IS the big deal? Why am I taking this more to heart than Grace herself? Well, it’s just terrible how some people treat other people; the cruelty of human kind; homo homini lupus, etc, etc. I stayed with this self-righteous indignation until lunch time, and then I went out and took a walk.

I had to admit to myself that my feelings were much too strong for this to be about somebody else. This felt much closer to the center of my universe—me. Then I realized that for the past month or so, I have been going over every single word of a hearing in which I was being accused of saying things that I never said.

“You said: SILAS sexually harassed MADELENE.”
“ You said: MADLENE should be used to being touched by boys.”
“ You said: Write that I didn’t say what I said.”

Button: He said, she said, they said that I said. But I didn’t.

Before publishing this post, I ran it by one of the wise men (as opposed to the wise guys) of the rubber room. He’s been here for a while and is therefore wise in the ways of this place. He pointed out that once you get here, your faults become exacerbated under the pressure of the charges hanging over your head, the lack of meaningful work to do, and the lack of choice about who sits next to you. All things considered, I feel pretty lucky that, so far, I have gotten along so well with everybody in my immediate vicinity.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Testing one, two three

By the end of the ISO hearing, HAYDEN SANDS had repeated so many times that I had said that SILAS PAJECO had sexually harassed MADELENE, that he almost had me convinced that I had actually said it.

As soon as I got home, I went through my collection of audio recordings. After I had been accused of making fun of a student’s “Bladder Problems” on September 11, I had taped every meeting and telephone conversation. It’s legal in New York to audio record a conversation in which you are taking part. You don’t have to let the other party know.

I wouldn’t have resorted to this last ditch effort to save my personal and professional if I hadn’t been pushed into a corner, and could see no other way out. I don’t like the idea of secretly tape recording conversations.

But thank God I did.

I found the recorded conversations with MADELENE’S mother. There was a total of about forty-five minutes of conversation on different dates. During one of the conversations I told the mom I had heard a group of boys call MADELENE a cow. MADELENE had come up to me after class and complained that they had also made comments about “body parts”. I had met with the boys about this and other problems they had in my class. They had told me that MADELENE had called them gay. I told the mother that she should talk to MADELENE, because only she could confirm if the boys had made fun of her body and which parts were mentioned. She should just be aware that the boys were saying that MADELENE had also insulted them. If, after talking with her daughter, she decided there was cause for concern, she should come to school and ask to speak with a guidance counselor.

Obviously, that didn’t take 45 minutes to say. The rest of the conversations had to do with how MADELENE could get a better grade.

After listening to the tapes, I felt incredibly betrayed by this mother and daughter.

I doubt if I will be able to present these recordings as evidence. There are so many ways to fake audio recordings these days. But they have already given me what I need most—total and absolute belief in myself. They will also help me convince an attorney that I am credible. And last of all, they will help build a list of questions that will destroy the testimony of this mother-daughter duo from hell at a 3020a hearing.

Monday, June 8, 2009

OSI HEARING: Minute 140 to minute 180

140:14 MINUTES

HEARING OFFICER: There’s a Chancellor’s Regulation regarding sexual harassing behavior and reporting procedures. (begins to read) It is the responsibility of each principal to designate a staff member to whom reports of student to student sexual harassment can be made. Complaints of sexual harassment may be made verbally or in writing using the attached student to student sexual harassment complaint form. OK?


Me: I didn’t fill out any student to student sexual harassment form. That’s the referral that I gave to the dean.

HO: No, I’m just saying, the Dean…. Alright, ok.

Me: Also going back and forth, I didn’t deem it to be sexual harassment.

HO: Right, I’ve got what you’re saying. The problem is…

Me: If every bad word that they use is a sexual harassment complaint form, ok, but they’re going to have to tell me that and give me some kind of training .

HO: I know what you’re saying. The problem is. There’s a few problems, but one of them is…the comment that they are saying that you said happened. There are enough students saying that you made an inappropriate comment about being used to being touched or whatever.

Me: But that’s because there’s an organized effort to get me fired.

HO: OK, OK. With respect to visiting the homes, with respect to SOREA BENDERS, the parent she said that you said that SILAS PAJECO was sexually harassing…

Me: No I didn’t say that.

HO: I know, I know, but there’s no reason why I could see why SOREA would be uncredible. Why would SOREA make this up?

ADVOCATE; Maybe its just a conclusion on her part.

HO No she’s saying sexual harassed, MADELENE’s saying sexually harassed.

Me: Maybe the word harassed to them automatically means …

HO: It’s directly after the meeting. It’s directly after the meeting with Ms. XAVIER and SILAS PAJECO. Even Ms. PAJECO is hearing that her son’s name is out there.

Me: But this isn’t until January and the time that I said this was back in November or October.

HO: It didn’t matter when it was. It doesn’t matter that the allegation came about in January referring to something that happened prior to.

Me: That’s a long time to be verbally exact especially when you’re being questioned and maybe having words put into your mouth by a principal that is not friendly to me.

HO: Let me just say this. I am very cognizant of principals, and I err on the side of the staff. I err on the side of staff, and if there’s a way that there’s some kind of wiggle room, if there’s an allegation that comes in, I try to work with everybody. I’m not here to chop anybody’s head off. I never was. I try to make a difference. A positive difference. However, with this particular case, I’m like I can’t see why… I know you say we can’t depend on the dates, but they knew…we were able to pin down exactly when the dates were and it just seemed odd that you have a conversation with PAJECO and you’re uncomfortable with that particular meeting, but then that weekend you contact MADELENE’s mom and it’s as if you’re, oh wow, PAJECO’S mom is upset with me, let me bring something negative. I’m saying as if not saying it is. Let me start something negative against PAJECO with MADELENE’s mom. And MADELENE’s saying, hey if anybody made any kind of sexual allegations against me or sexual harassment against me, I’d be the first to sit back and say, yeah, that happened, she doesn’t have a problem with that. She says that hey she doesn’t have any problem with SILAS at all, in fact, they don’t even really speak, they just do what they have to do. There’s not anything going back and forth. According to her. OK?

Me: And I’m telling you that that didn’t happen November 16, that happened closer to October 24, closer to election day, closer to the time that all these charges were being brought up.

HO: November 4, election day. You had a conversation with PAJECO at the school.

Me: and I might have had another conversation on the 16th just before the parent teacher conference, but I kind of doubt it because I had been detained by the principal that week before and I wasn’t really in the mood to talk to parents. So that had been ironed out before around the report card date. There was no conversation on November 16th that had anything to do with that problem.

ADVOCATE: We started saying that if it’s true that sexual harassment—those two words were used together to MADELENE’s mother, so what?

HO I’m sorry?

ADVOCATE: So what? So what if the teacher said to MADELENE’s mother that she was being sexually abused?

HO: Look how it looks. This is even before we came here, even before I met you. Look how it looks. You have the meeting with the Assistant Principal. There’s a meeting, you’re uncomfortable with the meeting. In the meeting the parent says, why are you saying these things about my son and the meeting really doesn’t get off the ground. You don’t respond to the meeting whatever. Then that weekend..

Me: But I’m just telling you that it didn’t happen that weekend.

HO: But according to MADELENE and Ms. BENDERS, oh PAJECO, what seems to be a problem is sexually harssing your daughter.

Me: But before I even knew that Nov. 16th would be a problem, I said immediately November 16th doesn’t sound like the right date because that threat that I got was on October 24th, that was number 1, and number 2 the report cards were coming due on October 31st so that means that the end of the marking period was October 31st. The time to talk to MADELENE’s mother was around the end and also I talked to all four boys in this week around November 4th election day. So I wouldn’t have waited unless I called her again to see if she was coming or something like that. Maybe I called her again on Nov. 16th but the time to call MADELENE’s mother was before all of this happened. It wasn’t after. I didn’t want to pursue the SILAS PAJECO’S problems because MADELENE hadn’t gotten back, hadn’t said anything. Claimed that he hadn’t said anything to her so there was no need to talk to the mother again on November 16th. If she had already said, no nothing happened then I wouldn’t be trying to urge her to say something had happened. Especially when I knew what she said to them. It was just going to get her in trouble, it was just going to make something worse happen for her, so why should I call the mother when already I know that she has denied it.

HO: Well, November 14 is the meeting with SILAS PAJECO’S mom with the AP XAVIER. We’re clear on that date, right?

Me: I guess, that I don’t even know. But that is something extremely verifiable. It’s not so verifiable that I called on November 16. Or if I did call on November 16th that I hadn’t already covered this October something.


HO: On January SOREA BENDERS is writing to Ms. PRINCIPAL P. to inform her that on November 16th two days after this meeting, that didn’t really go so well with SILAS PAJECO’S mom, and SILAS PAJECO was present, two days later, the Sunday, you call to inform that there was a child in my daughter’s class that was constantly sexually harassing her, and I should complain so that the school could remove the student from my daughter’s class. This is to inform you that Ms. UNTAMED, the science teacher, called me on Sunday, Nov. 16th, 2008 to inform me that there is a child in my daughter’s class that is constantly sexually harassing her. Now before coming to this table it looks like, panic mode, there’s no mention of any sexual harassment at all, regarding SILAS PAJECO’S behvior. Sexual harassment, that would be pretty serious. You’ve got SOREA BENDERS saying hey Ms. UNTAMED’s calling me and I put my daughter on the phone and its news to us and MADELENE is saying that this didn’t even happen.

Me: But why should this mother be more credible than I am?

HO: Listen, I’m just saying, even before I came here…the way things look…

Me: That’s because we concocted the November 16th date, which you can’t verify that, that that’s what I said to her. November 16th is not necessarily when I called her. She’s saying in January that that is when I called her. She’s saying this in January. Why on earth did she call in January? Why didn’t she call on Nov. 17th? Why didn’t she come up on November 20th? December?

HO: What do you mean come up?

Me: If I’m telling her on the 16th, that there’s a boy is saying that MADELENE has big breasts and big buttocks, why did that mother not come immediately and talk to a counselor about that?

HO: OK. you want a possible answer to that?

Me: Possible. I’m worried about what is and what isn’t. I want facts.

HO: Possible. Plausible answer. Because the parent knew that two days later after November 16th, she’ll see you on November 18th at the parent-teacher conference. That’s when we’ll get to the bottom of it. But you weren’t there.

Me: I was there in the afternoon.

HO She’s working and she’s thinking that she’ll see you in the evening.

Me: OK. So I called and tried to make a contact. If she can’t make contact, why doesn’t she write that precise letter on November 19th?

HO: Well she’s saying here, “Ms. UNTAMED had called me a few times. She invited me to meet with her at a diner about this. She told me that she cannot meet me at the school, but will meet me at a diner, which I did not agree to attend. She felt uncomfortable meeting at a diner. This is about the school. This is about her daughter in the school. She felt more comfortable meeting in the school. “I had made many phone calls to the school to meet with her at the school. She never called me back.”

Me: But she said I had called her many times.

HO: A few times.

Me: Several times. So there was a back and forth to try to make a meeting.

HO: You’re trying to make a meeting off school grounds.

Me: no no no. That first time that I called her I asked her if she would like to meet off school grounds. She said no I’m not comfortable with that, so that was it. I said talk to your daughter, and this wasn’t on November 16th, it was on November…I don’t know, it was probably before election day.

ADVOCATE: Does the date matter because Ms. PAJECO feels that the teacher Ms. UNTAMED is persecuting her son by accusing him of sexual harassment?

HO: Yes

ADVOCATE: That is what this is all about?

Me: But I didn’t talk to any of those other boys mothers and fathers about sexual harassment. I talked to them about threatening a teacher and threatening to frame a teacher.

HO: You talked to them about it?

Me: I told each one of those four boys who threatened me that that is what happened in that meeting. That they had threatened to bring me up on charges and have their friends back them up which is exactly what they’re doing. I talked to the parents about that back in November. I talked to MADELENE’s mother to see if she wanted to talk to MADELENE about what was happening, but it wasn’t on Nov. 16th because this was after I had been removed from the class and there was no need to talk to MADELENE’s mother at that point. If I did call her it was just to remind her that, you know, parent teacher conferences were on Nov 18th.

HO: You call the mother to remind her about parent-teacher conferences?

Me: Anybody who has a problem with a grade. Her grade was very low. But again, I don’t think I called her on November 16th . It was much before that. So I wasn’t interfering…

HO: They seem to have a better recollection of that.

Me: Because it’s a frame. Because they’ve been cued. Because they’ve been told what date would be nice to make this case a nice little tie up.

HO I never got any of that. And let me tell you something. Ms. PRINCIPAL P. and Ms. XAVIER were sitting there in the room and I could tell you they were clueless.

Me: Yeah, right. Totally clueless.

HO Let me tell you something.

Me: You pulled the Nov. 16th date together, not the…

HO: I didn’t pull anything. The dates to me were abstract. Pulling together the dates is like ok on Nov 16th MADELENE’s mom wrote, stated that on that particular date, you called her.


Me: She was given that date.

HO: Ok, so what, November 16th opposed to November 20th, in my head, right? But then during that thing, I learn that on the 18th was the parent-teacher conferences which you weren’t present, but she wanted to speak to you at the parent-teacher conference.. So when you ask why, that’s two days later. OK? Two days before the 16th there’s a meeting with you , XAVIER, PAJECO mother, the UFT rep ok, two days before.

Me: November what? Let’s make sure. All of this would really be destroyed if it wasn’t on Nov. 14th. I’ll go back and check these dates. Cause you see, I don’t know. I don’t know, so I’m really suspicious that the mother knows exactly on Nov 16th I called her and talked to her about MADELENE and her little problem.

HO November 14th, 2008 9:10 AM meeting with PAJECO. Ms. UNTAMED, Mr. BAKER, UFT rep. You can check with Mr. BAKER too. In room 306. That’s two days before the phone call.

ADVOCATE: alleged phone call

HO: about PAJECO sexually harassing.

Me: It wasn’t PAJECO. Number 1, it wasn’t PAJECO. It was four boys. Number 2: I heard them call her a cow, I didn’t hear anything else so I couldn’t say that it was sexual harassment unless MADELENE said it. So I think they need to talk to MADELENE. Talk to MADELENE, talk to MADELENE, talk to MADELENE.

ADVOCATE: If the whole thing was about…

Me: It wasn’t just about SILAS PAJECO.

ADVOCATE: I think the mother is saying, you’re bothering her son, SILAS accusing him of sexual harassment of MADELENE. How did she get to that conclusion? How?

HO: Well, it’s not just that. You have MADELENE and the mother saying that you’re saying that SILAS PAJECO is sexually harassing her.

Me: No, I’m saying she’s having problems with four boys, there’s a back and forth…

ADVOCATE. She’s saying that the worse she could have said that could relate to that was that they were calling her a cow.

HO OK. I put that down. OK.

ADVOCATE: So where’s the sexual harassment coming from unless they say that she is lying.

HO: They are saying that.

Me: And I’m saying that they threatened me on October 24 with framing me.

HO But the mother didn’t threaten you. I interviewed MADELENE’s mom and MADELENE’s mom said that you said that MADELENE is being sexually harassed, on the phone and then she wrote it to PRINCIPAL P. in the night that I independently interviewed MADELENE’s mom.

Me: If this is true and not constructed by PRINCIPAL P., and the parent coordinator, and the mother..

HO: The parent coordinator is in this too?

ADVOCATE: You’re saying that they coached the mom to say it this way?

Me: I say she was coached, and maybe in a way that she didn’t even know. The parent coordinator is doing the translating.

HO Not to me. Not to me.

Me: This woman wrote a letter in Spanish that was then translated, so how could she write this letter in perfect English.

HO: Listen, I interviewed the mother personally.

Me: And you’re interviewing me and I’m telling you that I’m telling you the truth and the mom is not. And the mother is not an almost-30- year-veteren of the public schools. I have no reason to be lying—actually I have a reason to be lying, but I have no reason to do these things, to bring this upon myself except that I was just trying to protect a girl who said she was being harassed. She said that she was being harassed. So what I needed to happen now was for her mother to talk to her about it to see if there was a problem . Because the boys are saying that she was sexually harassing them. This is a he-said she-said, I wasn’t there. All I heard was the word cow. That’s all I heard. They are the ones who are making up all this stuff.

ADVOCATE: By just using the word harassment, and assuming that the word sexual always goes with it.

Me: This was three month later.

HO: MADELENE’s mom specifically stated to MADELENE, “Did this happen”? MADELENE says no.

Me: So what’s the problem? We’re done.

HO: Just because a person speaks Spanish doesn’t mean they can’t have someone in English translate a letter to the principal. Just cause you speak Spanish—and she speaks some English, she does understand some English.

Me: But that letter is absolutely correct English.

HO: And is that impossible? And it’s not exactly correct English. I can point to a part in it that is not proper English.

Me: And I’m telling you that she had help writing it.

HO: And is that a problem?

Me: Yes, if they change the dates, or if they cued her the date.


ADVOCATE: The thing I don’t get is..

HO: I’ve got to go…

Me: I don’t get why my word is not worth more, than a parent’s word that says something three months later.

HO: Listen there is no statute of limitations on this whether it is three months later or not.

Me: There is on memory.

HO: No there’s not.

Me: Yes, there is. Have you heard me say exactly what date anything happened? I don’t know. I have to go back to my calendar, my notes, and everything to know exactly when all of these things happened. What I do know is that on October 24 I was threatened.

HO: If your memory is worse than someone else’s does that mean its inadmissible? Let me tell you something, my memory can be screwed up also and you know what I use all the time? I use a calendar book that helps me. You know, the ledgers, the calendar books and it helps me so I don’t forget things.

Me: Does she have a calendar book where she wrote down that I called her?

HO: Or I use my blackberry as a backup. I’m just saying to you that just because you don’t remember a particular date doesn’t mean that somebody else doesn’t as well.

Me: And I said immediately when you said November 16th before I knew the meaning that you were putting on November 16th, as soon as you said it, that sounds like a long time, because October 24th is when I was worried about what the boys were saying about the girl and what she was saying. And that is when I had the meeting with the boys and they told me that she was telling them stuff.

HO: You shouldn’t have had a meeting with the boys.

Me: When are teachers supposed…there is a step one to everything.

HO: Not to everything…

Me: Yes there is. Step I: Have a conference with the student. No. Step I is say “Don’t do that”. Step II: Have an individual conference. Step III is call the parent. This is the Ladder of Referral.

HO: Not when it comes to this type of thing.

Me: All I heard was “cow”.

HO: OK. I understand. I put that down.

Me: And I have to go back to my notes and see if she actually said, if I actually wrote down big breasts or big buttocks. I can’t say for her. I can only say what she may have told me, but all I can say is that there was a problem of a back and forth.

HO: Right. I understand. I wrote that down.

Me: So. How can I bring that to a level of sexual harassment when I’m still on a Step I or Step II trying to figure it out, and I’m calling parents now.

HO: You’re calling parents, you’re visiting parents

Me: Yes

HO: You’re having students leave classrooms and write statements, you’re putting three students in the back of the class and asking them what did they say to Ms. XAVIER.

Me: No, I’m saying what was the problem?

HO: What was the problem? Listen Ms. XAVIER brought them back. You’re a science teacher. If Ms. XAVIER brought them back to the classroom, it’s none of your business what the problem was.

Me: It is my business when they threaten me.

HO: No.

Me: It is my business when they threaten me.

HO: You get threatened then you take it up to your immediate supervisor.

Me: My immediate supervisors are corrupt and untrustworthy.

HO: Then you take it to the Special Commissioner of Investigations.

Me: I did. I wrote the Superintendent a letter. It’s not going to do me any good.

HO: Then listen. You have your UFT rep here, and I’m sure he can advise you as to what other remedies you can find regarding this, but I’m just saying...what I do as an investigator is I listen to the parties and I speak to you to find out what was going on. I put down basically what you told me, and then at some point we’ll make a determination whether this case is substantiated or unsubstantiated. I’m going to let you know that some of the things that you did regarding this was improper. Was improper. OK?

Me: Would care to tell me exactly which ones? Because on November 16th it didn’t happen.

HO: OK. Basically. To have those students leave the room to write anything regarding what you really said or anything like that? Improper.

Me: That was before an allegation.

HO: Doesn’t matter. You don’t know.

Me: So now, nobody can have any students write anything in their room because they’re going to be brought up on charges?

HO: If any allegation has been made..

Me: There were no allegations yet.

HO: The incident occurred. Something occurred.

Me: Yeah…

HO: To have people write about what that incident is not your place to do. There is a forum set up for that. OK? You do not sit down and have them write statements. Assistant Principals do. Principals do. They’re the ones that investigate allegations, whether …incidents and allegations they investigate. Even before it’s an allegation.

ADVOCATE: What else was improper?

HO: Well according to MADELENE and her mom, you stated that there was a sexual harassment against her by this child. They said that this child’s name was stated. This is what they’re saying. They appear to be credible in what they are saying.

Me: Well I’m telling you that I didn’t say it.

HO: And I have that in here.

ADVOCATE: Why is that improper in itself? If you’re a parent, wouldn’t you want the teacher to call you and say that some boys are sexually harassing my daughter.

HO: What is proper is take it up. If there is sexual harassment going on in the school, you let the proper authorities know. Let the proper authorities do what they have to do.

ADVOCATE: So the proper authorities should have called Ms. BENDERS, not the teacher.

HO: The teacher contacts the proper authorities. It goes up. Be guided by them. They make the determination. You’re the teacher. You’re reporting this allegation. You’re reporting. Hey, someone’s daughter is being sexually harassed.


HO: OK? Take it to the Assistant Principal. Take it to the Principal. Listen. We’ve got a problem.

ADVOCATE: But not to the parent directly. You’re saying that she shouldn’t have called the parent.

HO: Absolutely. No.

ADVOCATE: But she’s saying she didn’t use the words sexual harassment.

HO: I understand that.

Me: And it was a back and forth thing. I wanted her to talk to MADELENE about it.

HO: But that’s not how it was construed to them according to them, so I have to put that in. I don’t see what axe to grind the mother has. Even the mother is saying, well, I’m trying to find out stuff. I’m calling her. I’m not getting any satisfaction from her so I’m taking it to the principal. Hey, what’s going on. She’s the one that keeps wanting to meet with me off the school grounds.

ADVOCATE: Yeah. Is that improper, to meet a parent off school grounds?

Me: I don’t “keep”… I suggested once.

HO: I’m not talking about whether that’s improper or not. I understand that there’s a level of comfortability in that, I’m just saying that she was uncomfortable with that.


HO: Is that improper for her to be uncomfortable with meeting the teacher off school grounds about her…

Me: I was willing to meet with her, I didn’t have any problem meeting with her.

HO: I don’t think there is anything more problem with her being uncomfortable with it than with her being uncomfortable with the parent off school grounds because of the climate of the school.


Me: There is one thing. MADELENE failed and January 20th was about the time that MADELENE realized that she was failing. She got a 55.

ADV: Then the last thing is SILAS PAJECO’S mom…

Me: PAJECO got an 80.

ADV: got an idea that the teacher is accusing him of sexual harassment and keeps going after him.

HO: What?

ADV; PAJECO’s mom. She is the one who wanted the meeting, although they had met earlier, so she has an idea that SILAS, her son, is being accused by that same teacher of sexual harassment of a girl.

Me: What I talked to her about was that SILAS PAJECO…why isn’t anybody getting up in arms about kids threatening their teacher? I mean these are four kids. What I said, was that SILAS PAJECO was threatening to get me fired.

ADV; That’s what you told his mom.

Me: Yes, that he was one of the four students who said we are going to get you fired. We are going to get allegations against you and we are going to…

ADV: You didn’t talk to the mom about very much else, or did you?

Me: The other, in my mind, was diminished, but she may have put that up here and the threats down here. But the fact that there was an interchange of insults, and that MADELENE had said something to him and he had said something back to MADELENE, but that she needs to talk to him about him not calling her those names. Not calling girls cows. And that was like “little thing” and “BIG THING” was your son and three others said that they are going to make something up and have their friends tell.

ADV: To the mom the little thing is the big thing because..

Me: That’s what happened the little thing became the big thing.

ADV: That’s one reason why we’re here, because of that mom’s perception.

Me: But that is not the teacher’s fault. That is not something to fire a teacher for because a mom gets into her head that her son is being….you know, mom’s and kids can get things into their heads.

ADV: I don’t think you’re going to get fired over that…or anything. Is there anything inappropriate, since we’re talking about list of inappropriate things about the conversation that Ms. UNTAMED had with SILAS’s mom before that formal meeting.

HO: The other inappropriate statement was one that the students heard that you said something to the effect about being used to that.

Me: I didn’t say that.

HO: I wrote down what you said, but there are enough students saying to the contrary, not that you called her a slut…

Me: My words were, AGAIN? And that was it.

HO: I wrote that down. But based upon what the students are saying, that’s not what you said—according to the students’ statements.

ADVOCATE: It just takes one kid and then they all get on the bandwagon.

HO: Nobody’s saying she called her a slut. Nobody’s saying that.

ADVOCATE: The kids are making that conclusion and then it spreads like wildfire, and then before you know they make it a reality.

HO: They didn’t make it a reality. They didn’t make it a reality. There’s not one that saying she called her a slut.

ADVOCATE: or the equivalent of that.

Me: They were screaming that at me. So they backed down when they had to…

HO: Well they didn’t say it to me. I’m saying to you that in their mind whatever you said, it was like a slutty type insult…

Me: That was HOWARD MAHAN that said that, not me.

HO: And now you’re telling me to believe that one of the female students sitting right next to MADELENE cannot tell whether HOWARD said something or whether MADELENE said it.

Me: She can tell. If she testifies that HOWARD did it, she’s in trouble. She has to go to school with that kid for all of eighth grade. The rest of seventh grade and all of eighth grade.

HO: Why is she in trouble.

Me: Because these kids are bullies. These kids are bullies. If they can get a teacher fired, what can’t they do to a kid.

HO: OK. I’ve got to conclude this. (To ADVOCATE) If I have any questions on this I may call you back. A couple of follow up questions based on what you said.


Saturday, June 6, 2009

OSI HEARING: Minute 130 to minute 140

UT 130 to 140

131:13 MINUTES

Hearing Officer: Now JORGE PANKIN. There was an incident in which you may have grabbed HOWARD’s hand in the classroom. JORGE did not see the incident because his sight was blocked by MS. UNTAMED. On the way to Ms. UNTAMED’s class, MS. XAVIER sent them to her office. JORGE saw you approach HOWARD. It appeared to JORGE that you had pulled a paper away from HOWARD. JORGE heard HOWARD say “You can’t do that” and that you had a paper in your hand that you retrieved from HOWARD. OK?

Me: Uh huh, but I didn’t pull his hand.

HO: After he wrote the statement, Ms. XAVIER, AP brought him, ALAN, and JAREL to Ms. UNTAMED’s class. She’s coming into the classroom, she leaves the classroom. After Ms. XAVIER left the classroom, you told them that she was going to call their houses, because they were late and same day you visited JORGE’s home.

Me: On the same day?

HO: I’m saying on the same day. 11/7 was the same day. You must have visited three kids homes that day? Ms. UNTAMED told JORGE’s parents that he could not have seen the incident between HOWARD and him because…Yes?

Me: Well I didn’t know…

HO: Because she was blocking his sight.

Me: Well I didn’t know anything about that on that day. I just knew that the kids were saying that they were going to get me fired, and I didn’t know what the exact inicident was about. They didn’t come and tell me what the incident was about.

HO: No, but you didn’t know there was an investigation, but you automatically, you knew there was a possibility that something was going to come down the pike, right?

Me: As soon as they said that, yeah.

HO: Did you tell JORGE’s parents that he could not have seen the incident regarding HOWARD?


Me: We did discuss what they said once I was at their house. That there might have been some kind of incident with the pulling of a hand.

HO: With HOWARD. And you discussed that with JORGE’s parents?

Me: Well, we were discussing whatever problems JORGE had. And he said that I might have pulled his hand, and I said how did you see that I might have pulled his hand you weren’t in the field of view. I was in between you and him.


HO How was that a problem that JORGE had. That seems like it was a problem that HOWARD had.

Me: Yeah

ADVOCATE: Why is it an issue then?

HO: Why is she talking about a witness statement that JORGE saw or wrote about an incident that happened with HOWARD.

Me: But I didn’t have access to any witness statements.

HO: I’m not saying that you had any access to witness statements. Why are you talking to JORGE’s parents about HOWARD.

Me: Well, for one thing, he started crying, and he was involved with all of this screaming and yelling so I just called his parents and went over there.

HO There’s screaming and yelling. There’s other issues with JORGE.

Me: And he’s got issues, because he was crying.

HO: Why would you discuss the incident with HOWARD with JORGE’s parents.

Me: …because he discussed it.

ADVOCATE: So that’s how it came up? JORGE brought it up at this discussion with the parents?

Me: Yeah. Because I don’t know what’s going on. The only thing I know is that they’re saying “Change has come, we’re going to get you fired”, and they had already been telling me that they were going to get me fired, that they were going to get me brought up on charges, so by that time I just wanted to make sure that the parents knew that this was going on. That’s all. That ..

ADVOCATE: That he was part of a group.

Me: Yeah. There’s a group thing going on. Because I hadn’t seen any witness statements, there’d been no letters yet. It was just a bunch of kids…


HO: So you told JORGE’s parents that this was made up with these kids that the

Me: I did tell them that I had been threatened.

HO No, no. That the HOWARD situation. JORGE said that you said how could JORGE see it if you were blocked.

Me: Yeah, but he brought it up.

HO: Ok so he brought it up and…

Me: He brought it up. I said, do you want to discuss why you were crying, cause he was crying, and this could also mushroom out of sight—“Oh why did you make poor JORGE cry”--So he was one of the kids whose parents I called up and said do you want to discuss why you were crying and so then he told how Ms. XAVIER had taken him in and questioned him about me pulling HOWARD’s hand, because HOWARD had said basically made the allegation and JORGE was one of the witnesses that HOWARD said would back him up, and so then I said to JORGE, well how could you have seen that if my back was to you, and I was in between you and HOWARD when I took his paper.

120:18 MINUTES

HO: … and what did he say?

Me: He just said, I don’t know, that’s what I thought happened, and I just let the parents know that this threat had already been made by certain students and they should talk to him and the parents said, you know we believe our child he’s a good boy, and I said that’s fine I just wanted you to know and I wanted to iron out whatever problems he had and just be aware of what is happening. But again, I didn’t know that there was an investigation, I just knew there was a threat at this point.

HO: JORGE did say that you asked ALAN and JAREL, what did they write about you.

Me: No, I just said, “Is there any problem that you have in school?”

HO: No in the classroom when you were in the back.

Me: Oh. Yeah “Is there a problem?”
So you want me to send the things that the kids wrote?


OSI HEARING minute 116 to minute 130

UT 116 to 130

116:42 MINUTES

HEARING OFFICER: DAMARAS DEMAR, one of the female students said, “MADELENE made a comment to another student that another student touched her. Ms. UNTAMED made a verbal response to MADELENE, but DAMARAS did not hear the response. You asked DASIE and CARRIE to go into another classroom to write a statement saying that the three students did not hear what you said to MADELENE. That’s what DAMARAS said. Ms. UNTAMED did not visit the home of DAMARAS. These statements were written in Ms. KRAMER'S classroom. At the end of the written statement, she gave it to you in the original science classroom. She saying that you told them, “ Go in there and write that you didn’t hear what was said, what you said”

Me: I asked them to write it down in the classroom and basically the four boys descended on them, physically. They got out of their seats and ran up to them, saying “don’t write that”. They were like threatening them.

HO: DASIE MARESH wrote: While in the classroom, MADELENE stated that another student touched her. Ms. UNTAMED appeared to be angry at MADELENE’s statement. We’ve been through that a lot haven’t we. When questioned about what the comment meant to her, she stated that MADELENE is very popular and she’s not sure if you meant it in a bad way. OK? She felt that what you stated wasn’t inappropriate. That you wanted DASIE to write on paper that DASIE did not hear what you said to MADELENE. DASIE, DAMARAS, and CARRIE went into another classroom, Ms. KRAMER'S to write the statement. She wrote that even though I wasn’t involved in the situation, nor did not hear you say anything rude, she felt that if she didn’t write that she didn’t hear what you had stated to MADELENE that you would be angry and give her a lower grade and use this against her in the future. You understand what’s going on here?

118:18 MINUTES

Me: yeah, it’s all right there.

HO: Do you understand the power that you have?

Me: No. I understand the power THEY have, because that didn’t happen. That didn’t happen.

HO I’m not saying that it happened. What I’m saying is that’s why you can’t get personally involved in stuff like this because in her mind, because the allegation is about you, and you’re asking her to write it if she refuses to write what you want her to write she feels…

Me: … that she’s in trouble with me. And if she does write it she’s in trouble with her peers.


HO She’s not talking about whether or not she’s in trouble with her peers, she’s talking about what’s going to affect her grade.

Me: And she’s not talking to you about what’s going to happen with her peers if she tells the truth about what I said or what I didn’t say.

HO She told me. She told me initially what it was. She said…

Me: But that’s not what it was. What happened was that some kids told me that kids in 7B (this was on Monday) were saying that I had called MADELENE a slut and that they were very angry with me. And I said, have you ever heard me call anybody anything even approaching that? Have I ever said anything like that to you guys? No , but since you said it to MADELENE we’re really angry with you. I said, please understand that I never said anything like that.

HO Well let me move on.

Me: No, because what you said was wrong. What you read was wrong. Then on Friday…

HO: What I read?

Me: What you said.

HO: No I’m not making a statement. What I’m telling you is what the students said.

Me: No, that’s incorrect, so I have to tell you what the students said that was incorrect. Then on Friday…

HO Which Friday?


Me: The same week that on Monday, that I knew that kids were going around saying that I had called MADELENE a slut, and this was on Monday, so Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, on that Friday when MADELENE came in, I said, “Listen MADELENE, the kids are telling me that I said something about you. Are we ok?” And she said, “yes”. And then she walked away from me and then she turned around and she started screaming in front of the whole group , “you called me a slut, you called me a slut,” and I was just shocked.

HO: MADELENE said that to you?

Me: Yes, she said, “you called me a slut”.

HO: To you.

Me: Yes. In front of the whole class. And then the whole class started yelling. “You called her a slut. You called her a slut."

HO Let me say this, let me say this…

Me: What I said was to the girls, have you ever heard me call MADELENE "THAT"? And they said “no”.

122:38 MINUTES

HO: I think it’s safe to say that you did not call MADELENE a slut. No one is saying that you called her a slut.

Me: Not now. But that day they were accusing me of calling her a slut.

HO No, no, no,

Me: But that day they were accusing me of calling her a slut. The whole class. They were all screaming at me.

HO: I’m telling you, they did not say that you called MADELENE a slut, MADELENE is not even saying that you called her a slut. They’re saying that whatever you said could be perceived as if, they felt, it’s like another way of calling somebody a slut, OK? But not that you called her a slut. I’m in a agreement with you. You didn’t call her a slut, but you could have, perhaps, under the circumstances, dealing with seventh graders, perhaps, looking back in retrospect, I don’t want to be a Monday morning quarterback, but I think we could all agree here at this table that perhaps if you could do it again you might have used different vernacular you understand?


Me: No, because I was saying “again?” Is this happening again? I don’t know how…If you bring people up on charges for saying: “this is happening again?” “please write it down this time and sign it” or “go to a counselor”. “This is happening again?” That’s all I said. So there is no…I’m not trying to get the girls to say…oh you know…

HO When you’re saying this is happening again. Has she complained about being touched by any of those boys before?

Me: Yeah.

HO: I thought it was only verbal.

Me: Well, by being BOTHERING by them.

HO: No,no, no. Touched

Me: I’m not a lawyer. I’m not a lawyer. To me it’s AGAIN. BOTHERING IS BOTHERING whether it is pen poking or calling her a cow. BOTHERING IS BOTHERING. PLEASE!!!!

HO: Initially we were only talking about verbal inappropriate statements. Now she says that HOWARD is touching me, and you're saying…

Me: poking her with a pen.

HO: Right, poking her with a pen, whatever, and you’re saying “again”. No. There’s no previous allegation.

Me: Yes there is. They’re calling her…

ADVOCATE: So we’re all agreed that no one called her a slut. So we’re all agreed that the slut business is out. We’re past that.

HO: Agreed, I’m not putting that in.

Me: But putting it that I somehow made them think with my tone of voice that she was a slut or that I was calling her a slut...

ADV: That’s the way a kid thinks when he’s predisposed to.

Me: That's their problem, that's not something that I can control.

HO: I’ll move on.

Me: No. But, the girls… I did not tell them to, “Go write down that I didn’t call her a slut”. I said, have you ever heard me call her something like that and they said, “No”, and I said to please write that down. And I do that a lot with kids. I say. Please write this down. Please write this down. I mean, it’s not an investigation. It’s simply, I want facts, I want this in writing so that later on nobody can say anything and so it’s not interfering with an investigation when the investigation isn’t going on yet. I just wanted to make sure and then when the kids were saying, “Oh don’t do that”, I said, “would you be more comfortable writing outside the classroom”. They had to go outside the classroom so that the class wouldn’t tell them what to write. I wasn’t telling them what to write, I was just saying please write down that I never called her that.

HO OK. CARRIE: While in the classroom, CARRIE sat next to MADELENE. She said HOWARD poked MADELENE. MADELENE told Ms. UNTAMED that HOWARD poked her, and you told MADELENE, “you’re probably used to it”. CARRIE felt. I asked how did you feel about what she said? How did you interpret it? CARRIE felt that it was an inappropriate statement for you to make, to say to MADELENE, in class, and that you denied saying that MADELENE was probably used to it, and stated that HOWARD made that statement, not her. Now here we are, we’re just saying that here we have a student that sat right next to MADELENE who hears you say it and she can’t determine whether HOWARD said it or you said it? I’m just saying…

Me: No she can’t, and if she could, she’s under a lot of pressure from her peers to give that statement.

HO: Well you told them to go out and write the statements.

Me: the statements they wrote for me didn’t say that. They just said that Ms. UNTAMED never said anything rude, she didn’t call MADELENE a slut.

HO: Ok For the record, can you make a notation I mean I see you writing that Ms. UNTAMED’s not providing any of the statements that she has of the students.

Me: How can I provide something when I don’t know exactly what I’m being charged with? I could bring something like this (patomiming an armload of stuff) here. I didn’t know the allegations before I entered this room. I could imagine them, but I’m not going to bring a whole briefcase full of stuff until I know the specific allegations that I’m being asked about.

HO: I asked you am I going to see those and you said…

Me: You want me to send them to you?

HO no no no I just wanted to see what these kids wrote.

Me: I can send you copies, but not the originals.

HO: I don’t need the originals. I was curious as to what they wrote. I’m not unreasonable, I just want to see what they wrote. This case is a pain in the neck.

ADVOCATE: How many more pages to you have there?

120 +9:38

HO: A couple of more pages.

Me: Since they’re already saying that I forced them to say these statements, I don’t know what good they are, but I can send them to you. I can send you copies if you want. I don’t know what good that would do me. Do you want them?

ADVOCATE: Do you want her to send you the copies?

HO: I’ll add them to the case, it’s no problem.

Me: And I’ll send you copies of the things the boys said that MADELENE said and what MADELENE said and that the boys said.

HO: … told the class that she was accused you of saying something that she did not say. Oh that you told the class that you were accused you of doing something that you did not do.

130:30 MINUTES

Ok CARRIE CAFRIN did not hear what you said to MADELENE. The class was noisy. They asked two students to write if you said anything to MADELENE. CARRIE stated that she wrote that she didn’t hear what was said, and if you stated anything, it probably wouldn’t have been bad.

Me: This is DAMARAS or CARRIE?


131:15 MINUTES

Friday, June 5, 2009

OSI HEARING minute 100 to minute 116

100:00 MINUTES

HEARING OFFICER: ALAN PLEET stated that you went to his home on Sunday about 9:00 AM and his dad woke him up and told him that his teacher was downstairs. (laughing) That’s gotta be some kind of wake up call! If this had happened when I was in school…

Me: No. I had called and made an appointment with that father.

HO: OK well, I’m just saying…according to HOWARD…(pauses to read further)
On Friday, October 7, 2008, ALAN wrote in his statement, Ms. XAVIER escorted ALAN, JORGE, and JAREL to your classroom. After Ms. XAVIER leaves, you take the three students to the back of the classroom, and ask them what did they write about you.

Me: Well, they had already threatened to write something about me, and the kids had come in that Friday saying “Change has come, change has come” and that wasn’t about the OBAMA election. It was about getting MS. UNTAMED fired.


HO: Did you pull them to the side?

Me: So I pulled them to the side and said so are you making allegations against me? Then they didn’t want to say anything, so I let them go.

HO: Was that the same day, Friday November 7, when XAVIER brought them in? You pulled them to the back?

Me: What happened first of all was that a whole bunch of kids came in yelling and screaming and saying that change has come and ALAN was going to get me fired…

HO: (interrupting )OK, OK….

Me: …so then I yelled at them because they were screaming and yelling. I yelled at them to sit down. Once they all sat down and were quiet, then the boys came in and I said, why are you late? And Ms. XAVIER brought back one, but there were a couple of others who came in too, so I don’t know if it was…. So there were a couple of kids who were late, and they were saying we’re gonna get you fired, we’re gonna get you fired. So I pulled them aside and said what is this about? Is this about what you said..that you were going to get me in trouble and blame me for something and get your friends all…


HO: Do you know which students Ms. XAVIER brought back?

Me: Well, it was one of them. It was either ALAN or JAREL…It probably wasn’t JAREL. I think he was already there screaming and yelling.

HO: OK, So Ms. XAVIER brought back a student and some other ones came in with them.

Me: Yes. Something like that…or just before… they were very excited, very disruptive. It was a really disruptive entrance.


HO: You’re saying that those students said “You’re going to be fired?”

Me: JAREL was saying something about“you’re gonna be fired,” “we’re going to get you fired” something like that.

HO: Then you took them to the back of the room and asked them discreetly…

Me: What’s this about, why were you late? It was more why were you late, and then I referred to what they had said… what they had threatened.

HO: Well you saw XAVIER bring them back.

Me: Yes.

HO: So why were you asking why they were late?

Me: Well there was one who came in, but there were others who came in late. I think they were probably hanging around. Before they came into class maybe talking, all excited, maybe they were coming up from lunch. I don’t know.

HO: So what did they say when you asked them why they were late?

Me: They were saying ALAN’s going to get you fired, something like that. But they were all just screaming and yelling. Some came in screaming and yelling, I got them to sit down. Others came in a little later, I got them to sit down.

HO: Did XAVIER bring someone in?

Me: Only one, I believe, ALAN.

HO: But you understood that the other ones were with XAVIER and then came in. Did any of them say we were with AP XAVIER?

Me: Something about Ms. XAVIER. They’re telling Ms. XAVIER, she’s going to get fired. Something like that.


ADVOCATE: Ms. XAVIER is escorting one student back to class and the others are hanging back.

Me: And they already know all about it.

ADVOCATE: That’s why they’re late, probably.

106:12 MINUTES

Me: Some kids are hanging back, other kids came in before them. It was kind of a trickle in.

ADVOCATE: And there was a lot of excitement, with the idea that they were going to get you fired. So its not really about you asking what…

Me: Yes.

HO: You said when you put them back there, you said, what is this about?

Me: Yeah, what is this about?

HO: Because she had previous knowledge that they were going to fabricate something against her.

ADVOCATE: Oh, not asking the whole bunch why they were so excited. It’s not really about you asking what ALAN was writing.

HO: But you said when you pulled them back there, you asked them, “What is this about?”

Me: Yeah, “What is this about”?

HO: Because she had previous knowledge that they were going to fabricate something against her.

ADV: Oh. Not just asking the whole bunch, why are you so excited.

Me: No, no, the boys that had threatened me I pulled them aside,..but ALAN, I didn’t because XAVIER brought him in so he probably just sat down.


HO: The three said that they could not tell you because Ms. XAVIER told them not to reveal what was said. You continued to tell them that they could say, and they said that they couldn’t, and you said, if you don’t tell me I will come to your house and that’s when JORGE started to cry. While at the house you mentioned a student named SILAS to ALAN’s father and told the father that SILAS and HOWARD were threatening that if she did not raise their grades. If you didn’t raise their grades, they would report you to the principal.

Me: We discussed that they had threatened to get me in trouble.

HO: If…

Me: I don’t know what the “if” was. I had given them a whole list of things they had to do, and they basically said that if I failed them, if I didn’t give them good grades…


HO: ALAN saw HOWARD poking MADELENE on the shoulder. HOWARD appeared to need something. MADELENE stated who’s poking me? Ms. UNTAMED stated, I think you’re used to boys touching you—not quoted but something to that effect.
(Pause while reading)

ADV: You said that you didn’t say…

HO: Did you ever ask any female students in the classroom to write a statement about whether you made any inappropriate statements in the class?

Me: Yes.

HO: To MADELENE, any inappropriate statements to MADELENE.

Me: Yes.

HO OK. And who were they?

Me: Um. At this point it’s hard for me to even remember their names, it’s been so long.

HO: Did they submit those statements to you?

Me: Yes.

HO: Do you have them?

Me: No. (not with me)

HO: You’re holding onto them like some trump cards?

Me: uh huh


HO OK, I guess we’re all playing cards at this table. When are they coming out. Let me just say this, don’t hold onto the trump cards too long. You know what happens when you’re caught with the trump cards in your hand.

Me: No I don’t play cards.


HO The game is over. Listen, you want to use your trump cards while the game is going on, ok not when the game is over.

Me: Well, I was also accused in one of PRINCIPAL P.’s letters that I had asked them to write the letters and that they had felt forced to.

ADVOCATE: That’s what Ms. PRINCIPAL P.’s alleging.

Me: I don’t know if there are any statements to that effect. They felt that they were victimized, by me asking them. If they did write statements I would like to see them…
But they were willing enough when I asked them, cause they were right up front. They were right near.

ADVOCATE: Because they were being bothered?

Me: Well, I asked them because the kids were screaming at me and saying that I had called MADELENE a slut, and I said to the three girls who were in front right next to MADELENE, have you ever heard me call MADELENE or anybody else a slut? And they said no, and I said would you mind writing that down.

HO: Listen. Wrong. You can’t do that. That’s tampering with an investigation. It’s not for you to do that. If the principal conducts an investigation or if I conduct an investigation—you’re the subject of the investigation…

Me: But there was no investigation, that’s when it happened.

HO: Well wait a minute. If there’s no investigation, why are you doing that, you see what I’m saying?

Me: There was no investigation that day.

HO: That you know of…

Me: They were yelling and screaming, saying you called MADELENE a slut, and so I asked three girls to write down, if they had ever heard me say anything like that, but there was no investigation going on.

HO: Listen, listen, what they are saying basically… No one’s saying that you called anyone quote unquote a slut. What they were saying basically was in the manner in which you said something about, allegedly, I’d better put allegedly in there. You allegedly said something regarding her used to being touched can be misconstrued or can be perceived that, oh, you’re used to being touched, aren’t you, something to that effect, that you indirectly called them a slut in their minds. No one’s saying that you called them a slut.

Me: Well, these are middle schoolers. I can’t control what’s going on in their minds.

HO: No one’s saying you called her a slut.

Me: Yeah, they did. The kids were yelling at me, and saying “You called MADELENE a slut”.

HO You gotta take it up. You have a problem, they’re misconstruing something, you have to take it to an AP. You take it to somebody and say listen…

Me: …Who are going to substantiate what they’re saying.

HO: Listen, listen…You’re bringing it forward. You’re a human being, you’re a teacher, we’re all people. You can say, well you know what this scenario came about in the class. This is exactly what I said. However, the students are taking it a different way. I’m sure that nobody would say that I actually called them a slut, but it was totally misunderstood, and I ‘m bringing it to the forefront and saying this is, this is what I observed, this is what happened, OK? For you to say now, oh let me..

Me: …get evidence that would corroborate

HO Correct, That’s right. Evidence when you say that a case hadn’t even existed...

Me: The case didn’t even exist yet..

HO: You’re saying that the case didn’t exist with respect to the grabbing of the hand or whatever…


Me: I’m just being proactive in trying to get my side, making sure that the facts get stated before they get twisted.

ADVOCATE: OK My notes say you didn’t say , “you should be used to being touched” you said somebody made that up.

Me: I said, “This is happening again?” HOWARD said, “you should be used to it”.


ADVOCATE; You were referring to, when you said this is happening again was that MADELENE had complained about something else and you had tried to help her and…

Me: uh, huh

ADVOCATE: …and then she retracted everything.

Me: Right. This time, I wanted her to write it down. This is what I’m saying to all of them.. write it down. Date it, sign it. Or, go to a counselor because if she didn’t want to do it right there, she should go to a counselor.

HO: Right.

Me: and so I said the same thing to the girls up front. Did you ever hear me say slut to MADELENE?—no I didn't say the word slut-- I said did you ever hear me say something like that to MADELENE? They said no and I said, would you please write that down? And that could be wrong, I didn’t know that was wrong, but that’s what I did.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

OSI HEARING: Minute 82 to minute 100


HO: Did HOWARD lodge any kind of allegation against you?

Me: Yeah, he said I grabbed his arm.

HO: OK. Did you visit HOWARD before or after he said you grabbed his arm?

Me: That was before the allegation was given to me.

HO: OK. When did you visit HOWARD—the home visit?

Me: This was …just after election day.


Me: The weekend after election day. And I hadn’t received any allegations.


So that’s why I said that I had to do that contact with MADELENE at about the same. time.

HO: OK. We established that election day was November 4. OK. HOWARD made an allegation that you had grabbed his hand on November 3.

Me: Not to me.

HO: He didn’t have to make the allegation to you.

Me: But I didn’t know about it.

HO: Did you grab his hand on November 3?

Me: No.

HO: No?

Me: No.

HO Who investigated that?

Me: Um


Me: I don’t know.

HO: That’s corporal punishment, right?

Me: Yes, but that meeting was not held until after I talked to the parents.


HO: Ok but at some point you had a meeting. Was it a disciplinary conference about that incident? What was determined from that.

Me: That she believed him.

HO OK, so…you have a situation, again I’m not there. I’m the investigator, I’m not there in any of these things. You have an incident on November 3, alleged incident.

Me: But to me it wasn’t an incident. I didn’t know anything about the incident until I was informed by the principal after these conversations took place.

HO I understand. I understand. There’s an alleged incident according to HOWARD on November 3 where Ms. UNTAMED allegedly pulled HOWARD’s hand. He was writing down on paper problems that he had with Ms UNTAMED. According to HOWARD, you grabbed and pulled his hand and took the paper from him, OK? And stated, stop writing things about me. This is what HOWARD states. After that incident you visited occured HOWARD’s home, very early, unannounced and you told HOWARD’s mother that he lied and that you never grabbed his hand, only grabbed the paper. And you stated to his mother that SILAS is making comments and threatening you and that if you fail him he would tell his parents and you stated that all the students are a negative influence on HOWARD and making him tell lies on you. Does any of that ring a bell?

Me: OK what happened was that we were having a test and the boys were calling out—same four boys—were calling out that MADELENE was cheating and so since they were making noise during the test I gave them each a piece of paper—not looseleaf, a piece of white computer paper --and said if you have something that you want me to know or if you have a complaint, write it down.


HO During the test?

Me: During the test, because they were calling out, saying, “she’s cheating, and you’re not paying any attention. She’s cheating. So I said, whatever you want to say, write it down on this piece of paper.

HO Was she cheating?

Me: Well, let’s leave MADELENE and go back to the boys. SILAS PATECO, HOWARD, JAREL, and I forget if there was anybody else, oh, ALAN. I gave them paper so that if they had complaints or if they were seeing anything that they were very upset about, not to call out during the test—not to call out and disturb everybody, but write it down. So I gave them the paper, and they were quietly writing, and everybody else was doing the test, and I went around picking up the scantrons—there was no other paper on the desk—only scantrons and the white paper I gave the boys to write on and so then I said, ok, give me the paper, so I took the paper from a couple of the boys and then HOWARD said, “I’m not going to give it to you. And I said, “What’s the point of me giving you the paper to write on if you’re not going to give it to me and so he say’s “UHHH” and he was going like this (giving me the paper and then snatching it back when I went to take hold of it) and so I was reaching for it, and as he was going like that (waving it around), but there was no grabbing. There might have been contact, because he was going like this, like playing around and that was it. And so I didn’t know that that was going to be an allegation until later.


Me: I’ve got to check the dates because I have the dates of that test—was it the third?

HO: So during a test some male students were saying that MADELENE was cheating.

Me: That she had answers written on her hand.

HO: Did she?

Me: Well I didn’t check to see if she had answers written on her hand, no.

HO: Why not.

Me: Because I didn’t believe them. She didn’t look like she was cheating and there was no answers to be written on hands for that test. She couldn’t have written down the answers ahead of time for the test. It wasn’t that kind of test.

ADVOCATE: You were trying to shut the boys up by giving them a paper so that they wouldn’t disturb the whole class.

Me: That’s basically it. And I have those papers that the boys wrote, and again they don’t have dates and they aren’t signed, but I have the papers that HOWARD wrote.

HO How did you get HOWARD’s?


Me: He finally, you know, he was going like this (waving the paper around making like to give it to me and then pulling it back as I tried to take it) and we made contact. There was no grabbing. Finally he just let go.


Me: It was playing around.

HO: Did you bring the letters?

Me: The letters that they wrote? No.

HO: Wouldn’t that have been key to that corporal punishment allegation, that they saw something that HOWARD had wrote?

Me: There was no signature and no date.

HO: It doesn’t matter. It’s either his handwriting or it isn’t. You say this is what HOWARD wrote.

ADVOCATE: And what happened to those papers?

Me: I have them at home. I also have a paper that MADELENE wrote that said “I wasn’t cheating” and I told her, “I know.”

HO: I mean that would be key. “Hey this is what HOWARD wrote about MADELENE cheating.

ADVOCATE: Did they give you a chance to respond to that allegation that you touched HOWARD’s hand?

Me: I said that I hadn’t.

ADVOCATE: And you’re investigating that as well, or is this part of something else?

HO No, no. So she’s saying…I’m not even investigating that. That’s something that PRINCIPAL P. investigated.

Me: To be honest, if PRINCIPAL P. didn’t know about this, it’s all the better for me ,because they just would have worked something out to explain it or explain it away.

HO: No, it’s not better for you if it’s going to end up being substantiated.

Me: She substantiates anything that they say against me.

HO: Listen, if you say that you have something that shows something that HOWARD wrote.

Me: It wasn’t dated and it wasn’t signed

HO: It doesn’t matter. Did they write it or didn’t they write it.

Me: She wouldn’t believe me. She always substantiates the kids over me. As they said, “We’ll get our friends…” which they did, they all wrote their little statements that I grabbed him and now its substantiated because they have witnesses.

HO: Ok the way it looks is… I understand what you’re telling me, ok the way it looks, you’re tampering with an investigation is that here you have a situtation in which HOWARD’s saying that on November 3 he was writing something down. You pulled it away from him and then that same weekend you show up at his house and say oh no no no, it’s not what HOWARD said it’s something totally different. You’re saying in your defense that hey this is what happened, but you didn’t grab it or anything like that. You felt that he was going to concoct something so you went out to do damage control basically.

Me: No, I didn’t know that that was going to me the concoction.

HO: You knew that something was going to be concocted.

Me: At some point.

ADVOCATE: At some point. But not necessarily that incident.

Me: Not necessarily that.

ADVOCATE: Because you didn’t know at the time that there was a complaint, yet.

Me: No. There was no complaint yet.

HO: And HOWARD is saying here…

Me: They already said that they were going to get me in trouble.


HO: HOWARD stated that he tapped MADELENE on the shoulder to find a page number and she said “What” and you asked MADELENE why she was screaming and MADELENE stated that HOWARD touched me and you said, I guess you’re used to people touching you all the time. Something to that effect. MADELENE became angry at the comment and remained quiet, and HOWARD said that he thought it was an attempt to portray MADELENE as a slut. On the same day in question regarding… Is ALAN one of the kids? ALAN said the same thing that you visited his home the same day that you visited HOWARD’s. After class HOWARD reported to Ms. XAVIER that you had grabbed him and at some point you asked him what he told Ms. XAVIER.

Me: I didn’t even know that he had gone to Ms. XAVIER. I didn’t know that this was going to be the allegation. To me it was just, give me the paper don’t give me the paper, give me the paper and that was it. It was fooling around. So it was more of the same, and again remember, they’re still bothering MADELENE, they’re saying that she’s cheating, their disrupting the class, interrupting a test, and so I followed up and made home visits.


HO: Well let me ask you this, when did you first learn that there was an allegation made against you by HOWARD?

Me: It would take a couple of weeks because first they would give me a letter saying that I should meet with them and then I would meet with them and I would be given the allegation. But again it would take at least two weeks before I was informed about who was accusing me of what.

ADVOCATE: I was going to say you couldn’t ask him about something if you didn’t know there was any kind of…

Me: There was no question and answer. We were just discussing. First of all I told the mothers about the threats and then the kids, it did tip me off that they were being questioned because then in front of the parents they told me about grabbing and things like that. So we did discuss it with the parents when I got there, but I didn’t know that the allegations had been made yet.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

HEARING: Minute 60 to minute 84


HO: I don’t know. I’ve heard a lot of parent-teacher conferences. A lot of times you have parents who have a problem with a teacher or if there is a problem between a teacher and a parent you generally would have an assistant principal present or a principal just to make sure that everything goes smoothly—there’s some kind of order you know in case a parent gets upset or something like that. I mean I never heard of a situation in which the teacher refuses to speak and a teacher even having UFT present to just have a discussion about the child. I don’t understand.

ADVOCATE: You know what I don’t understand. What is being alleged that rises to being investigated? I’m not really sure I get this. What’s behind the whole thing, if you don’t mind?

HO: Well the thing is, this meeting with SILAS PAJECO happened on November 14, OK? Parent’s upset about the meeting or lack thereof. Parent is hearing that Ms. UNTAMED visits some of the students’ in the class homes and spoke badly about her son, SILAS.

ADVOCATE: So Ms. UNTAMED is alleged to have gone to students’ homes you mean of the four boys?

HO: Right, I guess, students, yes, to complain about SILAS.

ADVOCATE: This is the first time we’re hearing this…

HO: I know, I know.

ADVOCATE: Up until now it’s just a telephone conversation…

HO: Well it started off with a telephone conversation with MADELENE’s mom.

ADVOCATE: So all of that is just background to what we’re really getting at.


HO: No. What happens is… No, the allegation started with a conversation, just what I read.

ADVOCATE: Sorry, I’m a little thick today. I mean, I made many calls like this. I used the word sexual, and I never got in trouble for it. So I don’t understand.

HO: This allegation started with SOREA BENDERS, mother of student MADELENE BENDERS who reported that Ms. UNTAMED contacted her at home and stated that MADELENE was being sexually harassed. That another student was sexually harassing her daughter and she wanted to meet away from school to discuss the matter. And the daughter stated that she wasn’t being sexually harassed. I interviewed the daughter. I interviewed the mother. The mother is saying that Ms. UNTAMED said that SILAS PAJECO is sexually harassing the daughter. The daughter is saying that Ms. UNTAMED said that SILAS PAJECO was sexually harassing the daughter. Now, on November 14…

ADVOCATE: Wait a minute. Up to now is there anything that requires an investigation? Is it because Ms. UNTAMED may have mentioned another student by name, and specifically to a parent? Is that the problem?

HO: Well, I’ll get to it. I’ll get to it. They’re saying that this occurred on November 16. MADELENE’s mom got this phone call on November 16, but on November 14 this meeting occurred at the school. So the way it looks is that on November 14 you have this meeting that you are uncomfortable with regarding SILAS PAJECO. The mother mentions in the meeting that, hey, I’m hearing from other students that you’re saying bad things about my son. And you respond by removing yourself from the meeting. This is on November 14. But two days later MADELENE’s mom gets a call about some sexual harassment thing about SILAS.

Me: From the get go you see I said that November 16 just isn’t right.

HO: They seem to have it…

Me: How do they have it? Because when they started talking about this it was in January.

HO Because they wanted to see you. The letter is in January. This actually started in November.

Me: How do they know what the exact date was?

HO: The reason why was because they remember that they wanted to speak with you at the parent-teacher conference, and you were a no show that evening.

Me: OK Fine, but I could have talked to her two weeks prior.

HO That ‘s two days before the parent-teacher conference. This conversation was on a Sunday.

Me: No.

HO: No, the dates of the parent-teacher conference are correct. If their recollection is two days prior to the parent teacher conference.

Me: Well, their recollection is wrong. What is reasonable is to call them immediately after the October 24 Referral.

ADVOCATE: So the complaint…

Me: I didn’t call on November 16.

HO: I’m not saying when you called. I’m not saying when you didn’t call.

Me: That’s important now. I didn’t know that the date was important before, and I said from the get go that November 16 was too late.

ADVOCATE: So the basic complaint is that Ms. UNTAMED is harassing SILAS PAJECO.

Me: That I’m going after him? And that I’m ruining his reputation…

ADVOCATE: such as it is…

Me: as an upstanding young man?

ADVOCATE: Is that the nature of why we’re here?

HO: Um…Partly.

ADVOCATE: There’s more.

Me: There’s a lot more?

HO: Yes, there’s more.

Me: What I’m saying is that I don’t know if I wrote down exactly when I did it, but it was very close to October 24.


HO: Listen, it says here. On January 20 of 2009 (Reading) “ Ms. PRINCIPAL P., My name is SOREA BENDERS. I am MADELENE BENEDERS’ mother. This is to inform you that MS UNTAMED the science teacher had called me Sunday, November 16, 2008 to inform me that there is a child in my daughter’s class that is constantly sexually harassing her, and I should complain so that the school can remove the student from her class. Ms. UNTAMED had told me that the students name is SILAS PAJECO. I am writing you this letter so that you can please investigate if it is true or not. I spoke to my daughter and she said that the student was not sexually harassing her or bothering her. Ms. UNTAMED has called me a few times. She has invited me to meet with her at a diner about this. She told me that she cannot meet at the school, but that she could meet with me at a diner which I did not agree to attend. I had made many phone calls to the school to meet with me at the school and she never replied.” This is the letter. (He briefly shows the letter to the ADVOCATE and to me).

Me: And what was the date of the letter?

HO January 20.

Me: Well I don’t have it here, but I was given another letter that didn’t say anything like this.

ADVOCATE: This letter is to PRINCIPAL P.

Me: Well the thing is that I was given a letter by PRINCIPL P. that said something totally different. So that might be a further allegation, I don’t know. I'm not going to introduce it myself.

HO: So this is where.

Me: The thing is that I didn’t call her on Sunday, November 16 because the main idea of calling her was so that MADELENE could make up some work that she had not finished. Besides that I just wanted to make sure that they talked about what was happening in class. And so the Referral was before October 31 and the phone call would have come probably before October 31 or in the first week after because MADELENE hadn’t gotten her work in and I was giving her a last chance to get her work in . So it would have been just before October 31 or just after October 31 that I had this whole conversation with her mother and that the fact that she was cued on that date because that date makes me look bad.

HO: She was what?

Me: She was cued on that date.

HO: What do you mean cued?

Me: She was told by administrators that that would be a very convenient date for her to say that this conversation took place. That’s not when it took place.

HO: …by administrators

Me: Yes.

HO: Sunday, November 16?

Me: It just makes the case look worse for me.

HO: You’re saying that PRINCIPAL P…

Me: I’m saying that PRINCIPAL P…

HO I’m just asking because you said administrators…

Me: OK, PRINCIPAL P.. She’s the principal she can take full responsibility.

HO You’re saying that PRINCIPAL P. concocted this? This Sunday thing?

Me: Yes.

HO Why?

Me: Because I earn $100,000 and PRINCIPAL P. and I don’t get along.

HO Because what?

Me: She can get rid of a $100,000 teacher who is constantly telling her that “No, science should be taught this way and not that way.” OK? That’s basically it. She’s getting rid of someone who she would rather not deal with and save herself a lot of money in the process.

HO You feel like that’s the reason why.

Me: Yes. This is the only way that she can get rid of me.


HO: OK. Another case here. Regarding MADELENE.

Me: This is still MADELENE?

HO: Yes. This is another case. While I was conducting the investigation regarding this, I learned from MADELENE BENDERS that on January 28, 2009 when MADELENE was touched on her shoulder by a male student in the class, Ms. UNTAMED told her, “you should be used to being touched”. That you told MADELENE that she should be used to being touched. In addition, (reading) “Investigator Hayden Sands stated that he has also learned that Ms. UNTAMED has been asking students what they had told AP XAVIER about her.

Me: Asking…

HO: I’ll get to that.

ADVOCATE: …what they’re saying about her to who, you?

HO: No, to XAVIER.

HO: Did you make a statement like that?

Me: That she should be used to being touched? No. One of the boys who had been teasing her--and I sat them very far away from each other, but without my noticing he had located himself near enough to her so that he could go like that with his pen. HOWARD MAHAN. He was one of the four boys who had been teasing her.

He had been separated but he took the position of someone who was absent or who hadn’t come in, an empty chair. He moved quickly into an empty chair…

ADV: So that he could bother her and he poked her with his pen.

Me: Right, and so she said, Ms. UNTAMED, Ms. UNTAMED, HOWARD is poking me with his pen, and I looked at her because we had this thing where she had come to me for help, and I had gone out of my way and got into trouble trying to find out what happened and then she denied everything she had told me. So what I said to her was, “So this is happening again?”

HO Is that what you said?

Me: Yes, So this is happening AGAIN?

HO: You’re quoting yourself?

Me: Yes. “So this is happening again?” And this is as though to say, let this be a lesson to you. I said AGAIN, with emphasis. And then I told her that she needed to write it down or she could go and talk to a counselor.

HO You told her in front of the class?

Me: Yes, and I told her to sign it and date it this time. Right it down, sign it and date it, or I’ll give you a pass to your counselor. And then HOWARD got up and said, “So what she’s saying is that you’re used to getting touched, you’re used to getting touched”. This was HOWARD. This was HOWARD’s slant on what I said to MADELENE. “You should be used to it” because I said “again”.


HO So HOWARD stated that…go ahead

Me: That Ms. UNTAMED said, or what she’s saying is “ you should be used to it, or you’re used to boys touching you, or you like it.

ADVOCATE: That’s what he thought you meant by…

Me: No he was trying to get me in trouble. He often took statements that I said that were totally normal and turned them into derogatory statements. And that was a little joke of his.

HO Did you visit HOWARD’s home on Saturday or Sunday morning?

Me: Yes, on Sunday morning.


Me: And I also visited ALAN’S home and…I visited the four boys.

HO: Did you have any problem with HOWARD? Did HOWARD make any allegations against you?

Me: HOWARD was one of the four boys who threatened to make allegations against me and have their friends back them up. So very close to this date, before they got going with whatever allegations that they wanted to do, I decided that I needed to make home visits with the boys who had threatened me because this could fall right into PRINCIPAL P.’s lap and when you have these allegations… when you get the ball rolling…

HO What allegations existed though?

Me: … before they ever did, I wanted to talk to the boys’ parents and say that “ your son said this” and the group that I talked to I said “your boys are saying that they are going to get me in trouble by saying that I did something, by accusing me of something and then getting their friends to back them up. And I went immediately because now I don’t care about the back and forth inappropriate language. That was the least of my worries. What I talked to each one of these parents about including SILAS PAJECO’S was that they were threatening me and saying that they were going to get me in trouble, they were going to accuse me of doing something and then get their friends to lie for them and that nobody was going to believe me, and so I did home visits out of the school. I didn’t want the parents anywhere near the school until I made them very clear.

HO Why didn’t you just call the parents?

Me: Because I wanted to be with the child and the parents at the same time and that way they caved. They all caved. They said yes, that was what was said.

HO: But you made home visits for what reason?

Me: To make sure that the kids would tell the truth to their parents immediately before they got any little plot going. Once you start that, a teacher’s reputation can be totally ruined by just anything they say.

ADVOCATE: You wanted a personal meeting so that the parent, the kid, and yourself could in their home, away from the school…

Me: in their home away from the school…

ADVOCATE: So that there could be a frank discussion.

HO You said before the students created a plot or allegations against you?

Me: Yeah, because that’s what they threatened to do.

ADVOCATE: So they don’t have a chance to collude.

Me: Yeah, before they got to get together, and figure out what the false allegation was going to be, I wanted it totally defused, and by the way, I live in the same neighborhood.

HO: Did HOWARD lodge any kind of allegation against you?

Me: Yeah, he said I grabbed his arm.

HO OK. Did you visit HOWARD before or after he said you grabbed his arm?

Me: That was before the allegation was given to me.

HO OK. When did you visit HOWARD?

Me: This was just after election day.


Me: The weekend after election day. And I hadn’t received any allegations.