Monday, December 31, 2007

Dreams and Nightmares

Up until now, I have reserved this blog for letters from administrators and my written responses. I haven't mixed my personal life with my life as a U-rated target.

However, Año Nuevo, Vida Nueva. New Year, New Life.

I am one person, and I have only one life. When they write me negative letters, or bring me up on charges, it affects my teaching and all other aspects of my life. When I have to spend my free time writing responses or planning defensive/offensive strategies instead of relaxing or spending time with family and friends, it affects my teaching. It affects my family. It affects my friends. And guess what, it affects my students too.

And it affects my health--and perhaps my lifespan.

Last night I was sitting in my warm, cozy livingroom . The Christmas tree was lit in the corner by the window. The whole room smelled of basalm. I was watching Bill Moyers on PBS--one of my favorite shows. I was in my home, in my safe space.

There were interviews with Thomas Cahill and Archbishop Desmond Tutu

This was was the Cahill quote that most resonated with me.

"All societies have a dream and a nightmare. And our nightmare has been, I think, our racism. We practically committed genocide on the people who were here, the Native Americans. We enslaved another race of people, the Africans. And then we dropped the atom bomb on Asians. We would have never dropped that bomb in Europe in my view. And I think that's what proves the racism of it. That's the nightmare of America.

The dream is just the opposite. The dream is that there is no country on earth that has tried to actually embrace all the people that we have tried to embrace. All you have to do is walk through New York City to see that — or any of our cities and not a few of our countrysides at this point."-- Thomas Cahill

Today I went to Moyer's website to get that quote from the transcript . Then I went to the transcript for the Archbishop Tutu interview. There was something he said about forgiving your enemy that impressed me, but after reading the entire transcript, I was more in tune with this quote:

"... we had to say to our people, 'You know, in the end, justice and goodness will prevail. This is a moral universe.'...In the Book of Revelation, there's a wonderful passage where there are souls under the altar. And they cry out, as all who suffer cry out, 'Oh, Lord, how long?' Now the answer we would have expected to get would have been the answer that says, 'Don't worry. It will be OK.' It does say that, but it says, 'Before it is OK, a few more of you must suffer and die.' And we used to tell our people at home, 'It is going to be OK. The victory has already been won.' But in the process of our apprehending this victory, appropriating it, there are going to be causalities. More of our people are going to be detained. More are going to be imprisoned. More are going to be killed. 'But my dear people, we used to say, 'we have already won. They have lost. Those who support injustice have lost. They may have guns. They may appear to be powerful. But don't let it kid you.' And we used to say to the white people in South Africa, 'We're being nice to you. We're inviting you, join the winning side.' And that was in the dark days." -- Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Moriah's Thoughts:

I think that the feeling we get when we are treated unfairly by another person must be programmed into our DNA. It comes not from the heart, or the gut, but from the very center of every cell in our bodies.

It is more difficult to connect with other people who are suffering an injustice when you haven't suffered. I guess that is why it is good to suffer injustices now and then.

We need to distinguish between the Good Guys and the Bad Guys without being influenced by whether they are wearing white hats or black hats; or whether they have pale skins or dark skins--and injustice is the key.

Being on the receiving end of injustice is extremely unpleasant and dangerous to your health. But it does do one thing. It gives you the Moral Highground--or Moral Credit.

You can build up a great deal of Moral Credit without realizing it because you are suffering so much at the hands of the Unjust.

At this point I occupy a Moral Highground. So does Adila. (See "If a President can Lie, So Can a Principal"). Every teacher who has been abused under the Bloomberg/Klein reigime has Moral Credit.

Bloomberg may have billions, but he is in extreme Moral Debt. His regime will ultimately collapse under the weight of it, crushing everyone who did his bidding.

Before we get there though, more people will be set up, framed, sent to the rubberroom, forced into retirement, fired.

But in the end we will win. Those who support injustice have already lost.

Do yourself a favor. Join the winning side.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Mailing List

I have begun a mailing list for my antimayoral control campaign. I was going to contact only my representatives. However, both the NYS Senate and the NYS Assembly have Education Committees. So I am also beginning to slowly contact the members of those committees. So far, I am doing this by e-mail. I know that we are supposedly paying dues for this, but no one at the UFT is opposing mayoral control or Mayor Bloomberg.


Committee: Education






Education Chair Catherine Nolan


Carmen E. Arroyo
Michael Benedetto
James F. Brennan
Karim Camara
Barbara M. Clark
Ruben Diaz, Jr.
Patricia A. Eddington
Steve Englebright
Aurelia Greene
Earlene Hooper
Susan V. John
Tom Kirwan
William B. Magnarelli
Alan Maisel
David G. McDonough
Joel M. Miller
William L. Parment
Amy Paulin
Phil Ramos
Bill Reilich
Bob Reilly
Joseph S. Saladino
Teresa R. Sayward
Robert K. Sweeney
Fred W. Thiele, Jr.
Harvey Weisenberg

Friday, December 28, 2007

Re: Mayoral Control--Where's the Ball?

Dear Senator, Council Person, etc.

I am a registered Democrat. I live and teach in Myneighborhood, Queens. I would like to wish you a Happy New Year and thank you for your excellent work on the part of the citizens of your district.

I am also writing to you because I oppose Mayoral Control of the public schools of our city. It seems to me that the New York State Legislature gave Mayor Bloomberg the ball and told him to run with it—expecting him to stop as soon as he crossed the goal line. Instead the Mayor has run out of bounds, off the field, out of the stadium, and is still running.

Please stop him and get the ball back.




I am going to e-mail this letter to every democratically elected official who represents my neighborhood--City, State, and Federal.

I have thought about writing letters to public officials for a long time, but I wasn't sure how much good it would do. At this point I still don't know how much good it will do, but we are now in an election year. I may get more attention as an individual citizen/voter.

In the beginning I had a very long letter--most of it very angry. But then my teaching experience kicked in. I have decided to write many letters instead of one. Each letter will be as clear and concise as possible and carry some kind of mnemonic device, so that the point won't easily be forgotten.

No, I am not dummying it down for these officials. They are very busy people, who have many balls in the air. I want them to pay attention to the one that is affecting me.

I also want to keep it light. I will be writing to them often. I want them to look forward to hearing from me--not regard me as some kind of crazy stalker.

I will post each letter that I write on the day that I send it out.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Going Public

I have been thinking about the suggestion to publicly expose the principal of my school on this blog. I have visited the websites and blogs of other teachers who do just that. They use their own names and the names of principals and assistant principals. (See I applaud the courage and honesty of these teachers. However, I have decided not to follow their example for now, and I will give my reasons.

1. This is not just about Principal S.T. vs. Me. This is about Bloomberg/Klein vs. every teacher and student in the New York City Department of Education. What is happening to me is happening throughout the five boroughs. I feel that using real names would divert attention away from the pervasiveness of the problem.

2. The Principal involves children in her war against me without regard for their reputation. Take for example the incident involving Randy R.. I wouldn’t be writing about it if she weren’t trying to use it as evidence of how unprofessional I am. Every 8th grader in my school knows all about the Randy R. incident. They all know his real name. He’s famous. Anyone who knew the name of my school could stand outside at dismissal time and engage in conversation with some of the 8th graders. It would take this person about two minutes to find out the real name of Randy R..

3. Visitors to the blog should be able to give their opinions without worrying about being held responsible for comments about a real person. For example, no one can be sued for saying that Principal S.T. is a T-Rex Bitch.

4. . Let children have their childhood. Without real names, there is little risk of students finding their way to “Untamed Teacher”. Adults who use children in their wars with other adults are child abusers. Unethical administrators like Principal S.T. are using children to do the dirty work of harassing and framing teachers. Most teachers, including myself, try to protect students from Bloom/Klein fallout.

However, I do agree that this Principal should be reported and held responsible for what she has done. I have already sent letters to Union Officials and to the Chancellor’s Office to no avail. I have decided to report my concerns to the publicly elected officials who represent this neighborhood. I live here and I teach here. I can walk over to my council person’s office and hand-deliver a letter.

The only thing left to do is to write the letter.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Harrass This

December 20, 2007

Mr. Z.

As you well know, the events of Friday, December 14, 2007 occurred as follows:

1. During science class in room 327, Randy R of class 8B asked to go to the bathroom.  As he was leaving the room, a condom full of liquid fell out of one of his pant legs.

2. I called for security staff who responded immediately and took Randy R. out of the class.

3. I called the custodian who came immediately and cleaned up a cloudy white liquid from under Randy R.'s chair and along the aisle where he had walked.

4. I informed you immediately of the incident as soon as the class was over.

5. I called the mother, Ms. R., informed her of her son’s behavior, and asked her to consult her husband and then call me so that we could set up an appointment for both parents to meet with a counselor and with me.

I made no unprofessional statements, but behaved in an absolutely calm, professional manner throughout the whole affair. My response and the quick response of security and custodial staff meant that the rest of the students went on with their studies quietly.

No one behaved badly during this affair except Randy R.

As you well know, the actions of Randy R. constitute sexual harassment against me and all other females in the classroom. I had not intended to file sexual harassment charges against Randy. I felt that Randy was exhibiting inappropriate behavior that might be a call for help. I was waiting for his parents to meet with a counselor to decide what was best for Randy.

However, due to the fact that allegations have been lodged against me, I have changed my mind. If your intent was to intimidate me into silence, your letter has had the opposite effect.

I am formally lodging a complaint of sexual harassment against me and the underage females in the class on that day.

I am formally lodging a grievance against the administration of I.S. 666 for trying to intimidate me in an attempt to cover up a case of sexual harassment so that the SCHOOL REPORT CARD GRADE will not go down.


December 20, 2007

Randy R.

Today I received this letter. This meeting is set at the very end of the day before vacation. This is a pattern. Since Adila was sent to the Rubber Room, I have received a negative letter one or two days prior to every vacation.

December 19,2007


Please meet with me on Friday, December 21, 2007, at 12:45 PM, in the principal's office regarding an allegation of unprofessional statements made by you on Friday, December 14, 2007. Your period seven class will be covered by a substitute on that date.

You may be accompanied, at your option by the UFT chapter leader, or his designated alternate, as this meeting may lead to disciplinary action.

As per our discussion during period four today, Ms. R. , parent of Randy R. of class 8B requests the following:

Do not speak to Randy R. for any reason not involving instruction.
Do not attempt to contact any family member other than Ms. R., mother.
Do not attempt to contact Ms. R unless in the presence of an administrator.


Assistant Principal R. Z.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I had my meeting with Assistant Principal Z this morning at 7:45 AM. My UFT Chapter Leader was present.

The Assistant Principal asked me if I had given my students their report card grades prior to report cards being distributed.

I replied that I had.

He asked me how I had given the grades.

I replied that I had gone around the classroom writing the grades in the students' lab books. (I had also given them the option of writing the grades on any piece of paper they handed me.)

The Assistant Principal then told us that a parent called the school complaining that her child had come home crying because she had been embarrassed in front of her classmates. According to the child, I had announced everybody's grade publicly.

I was not allowed to know which child lied to her parents about me, or which mother complained about me without talking to me first.

The Assistant Principal then said that he had carried out an investigation and that the students in the class had verified my manner of giving the grades, and backed up the fact that I had not announced grades publicly.

You might think that I am happy about the way this matter was handled by the administration. I am not.

They talked to the kids before they talked to me. When they couldn't find witnesses to support the complaint, they had to give up. Then they contacted me.

This is a new understanding of KIDS FIRST.

My word is only as good as the number of 13-year-olds who agree with me.

I don't feel good. I'm going to bed.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Investigate the Investigators

I found the following letter in my mailbox as I left the school building on Friday. They love to leave letters like this on Friday afternoon or on the day before a holiday.

November 30, 2007


Please meet with me on Tuesday, December 4, 2007, at 7:45 AM in the principal's office regarding an allegation of verbal abuse.

You may be accompannied, at your option, by the UFT chapter leader, or his designated alternate, as this meeting may lead to disciplinary action.

Assistant Principal Z

I'm fine with any investigation with regard to anything I may have said to any student.

I also want investigations.

I want the President and Vice President of the the United States investigated for possible High Crimes against this this country and its citizens and against the Nation of Iraq and its citizens.

I want Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein investigated for possible civil and human rights violations.

I want every Principal in the city to be investigated regarding emotional and psychological abuse of teachers during the Bloomberg administration.

So let the investigations begin!