Department of Education officials are trying to fire a Brooklyn teacher accused of sexual misconduct while on school grounds.
But, according to the Department of Education officials, his union contract is keeping him on the job.
Students at complained in January that teacher Daniel Meagher, 36, of Staten Island, was looking up sexual photos of children, and two months later, staffers at P.S. 19 and P.S. 17 – both in Brooklyn – filed separate complaints against Meagher for lurking in girls’ bathrooms while he was working as a sub, reported the Daily News.
In March, officials pulled Meagher from the classroom, but because he was a tenured teacher working as a sub under UFT's contract, they couldn’t fire him. Instead, Meagher was given an administrative job at a school support office in Brooklyn, making $72,990, says the paper.
But still, at his new job, he was busted again, allegedly for walking around the office “with his zipper open and his penis clearly visible,” according to investigators.
Now, NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott is holding Meagher’s story up as an example of why the city should be able to have the final say in how teachers are hired and fired.
However, Mona Davids, president of the New York City Parents Union, told Patch that although UFT teacher contracts do merit review, much of the responsibility for dealing with teacher sexual misconduct falls in the laps of the Department of Education, whose process for reporting and arbitrating such cases is broken.
“They’re only making these cases public now because they want to be able to fire teachers and play judge and jury – not because they’re so concerned about the kids," said Davids. “The problem lies in the DOE’s arbitration process; the whole process is corrupt."
She also complained that the DOE fails any sort of outreach protocol to parents when these sort of cases arise.
She pointed to a recent parents union town hall meeting scheduled for August 24, at Brooklyn Borough Hall, to discuss sexual misconduct in schools. Davids said the meeting was canceled because the DOE and the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators (CSA) declined to meet with them.
Patch reached out to DOE officials and did not hear back from them regarding the Bedford Academy case nor the parents union meeting.
“All of a sudden, it comes out that this is a problem. Yet, Chancellor Walcott doesn’t think it’s important enough to send one DOE person to come speak to parents?” Davids alleged.
“And the teachers union isn't exactly happy with us either. But at least they were willing to come to the meeting, sit down and explain to us parents what is in their contract.
“The DOE? They pretty much told me and all of the other parents to go and jump in a lake.”
The New York City Parents Union town hall on sexual misconduct has been rescheduled for November 14, at Brooklyn Borough Hall, 6:00 p.m