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Sex, Lies and Homework

Who should decide the fate of teachers guilty of sexual impropriety?

Last week, another New York City teacher was caught fooling around with one her students

The two were caught on video smooching in a Greenwich Village park after school.

But said teacher, ironically, has not been dismissed from her job. In fact, until an independent investigation is complete, she has been reassigned and remains on the Department of Education's payroll.

Why?

Well, first of all, the teacher is 26 and the student is 18, and technically, both are considered consenting adults. Also, under the protections of the United Federation of Teachers, the teacher cannot be charged with any sort of misconduct before an outside hearing is complete.

This UFT provision has caused an outcry from parents and residents citywide, including Mayor Bloomberg. As a result, last Tuesday, the mayor introduced legislation that would shift the power for firing teachers who engage in inappropriate sexual conduct with students from independent hearing officers to the schools chancellor.

“Our students deserve a safe learning environment and any process that puts student safety in the hands of an arbitrator instead of me is not a process that serves our children,” said Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott. “This common-sense legislation takes the much needed step of allowing us the final say on whether these adults should be entrusted with the care of our students.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew scoffed at the bill.

According to Mulgrew, "This proposed legislation would allow the chancellor to unilaterally find an employee guilty of sexual misconduct even though an independent hearing officer who has weighed all the evidence has determined otherwise."

What do you think? Should the school's chancellor have the authority to expedite disciplinary action against teachers for sexual misconduct, or should that authority remain in the hands of a UFT-approved outside counsel?

Take our poll, and tell us what you think in the comments.

Michelle June 06, 2012 at 03:04 PM
It's soo sad that there has to be rules about firing teachers for sexual conduct with students! You think people would know better.
PARENTLEADER June 06, 2012 at 04:20 PM
The two participants in this case may be considered consenting adults because of their ages, however, the lack of professionalism shown by the teacher trumps all. On the other hand, most of the cases now under investigation involve juveniles (tweens and minor teens) and should be adjudicated swiftly which is not the case.

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