In a letter to Michael Mulgrew, the head of the United Federation of Teachers, the Parents’ Transparency Project attacked the way the leadership of New York City’s teachers union handled allegations of sexual abuse against its members. The letter accused Mulgrew of not following through on his repeated promises to take a “zero-tolerance” approach to teachers who have been accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with students.
Campbell Brown, who heads up the PTP, wrote that despite talking the talk on more than one occasion, Mulgrew has so far not walked to walk. According to Bryan Smith of the New York Daily News, thanks to certain provisions in the employment contract for all of NYC public school teachers, accused molesters are being allowed to continue working in close proximity to vulnerable students.
“A lawyer may parse words and play semantics in determining whether these incidents may be defined as ‘sexual contact,’ but parents cannot,” Brown, a former CNN anchor, said.
Brown noted that former Stuyvesant High School librarian Christopher Asch was busted by city educrats for “inappropriate touching” in 2010 and later admitted attending two meetings of a group that advocates sex between men and young boys.
But a state hearing officer gave Asch only a six-month suspension. He wasn’t fired until he was implicated in the “cannibal cop” probe — and charged with plotting to kidnap, torture and rape women and children.
“Just imagine if your child were one of the students he returned to,” Brown wrote Mulgrew.
PTP is doing more than just calling out Mulgrew on what they see as inaction in the face of multiple accusations of molestation against district employees. They’ve also circulated a questionnaire among 6 declared candidates for the Mayorship of NYC asking them if they would support a law that would make it easier to fire “perv teachers.”
Although Anthony Weiner’s spokeswoman Barbara Morgan said that the candidate believes such issues should be left to city residents and their lawmakers, Christine Quinn and Joe Lhota both pledged their unqualified support. Bill de Blasio’s spokesman said that although the candidate supports a zero-tolerance policy in the district, he does not believe that teachers should be fired based on allegations alone.
Candidate Bill Thompson “thinks any teacher – or anybody – who would dare to prey on children deserves nothing but the harshest penalties available,” a spokeswoman said. “They should be removed from the classroom at the first allegation, and fired immediately if found guilty of any sexual misconduct whatsoever.”
A flak for candidate John Liu said they haven’t seen the group’s survey.