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Report: Twelve teachers fired for abuse

Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee has fired ten DCPS teachers for administering corporal punishment and two for sexual misconduct since July 2007, according to a report she has submitted to D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray.

Another 28 served suspensions ranging from two to ten days for some form of corporal punishment, defined by District law as the use or attempted use of physical force against a student, "either intentionally or with reckless disregard for the student's safety, as a punishment or discipline."

(Click here for the accompanying letter from Rhee to Gray.)

The report, which comes in the form of a spreadsheet, does not supply names or other identifying details and offers only cursory descriptions of the offenses. It was requested by Gray after the uproar Rhee triggered by telling "Fast Company" magazine that an unspecified number of the 266 D.C. public school teachers who were laid off in October had physically or sexually abused students. She later revealed that five had been suspended for corporal punishment and one was under investigation for sexual misconduct. That teacher allegedly had sex with an 18-year old special needs student, resulting in her pregnancy. That case is not included in the report, Rhee said, because the investigation was still pending -- an assertion disputed by the Washington Teachers' Union, which says the charges were found to be unsubstantiated.

The document discloses only a bit of information about two incidents of sexual misconduct. On Feb 12, 2008, an unidentified teacher "sexually assaulted a student." On May 8, 2009, another teacher "purchased expensive gifts for male student and made sexually suggestive comments to the student," according to the spreadsheet. Both instructors were fired, the report said.

In all, the document sent to Gray lists 68 incidents reported to D.C. police from the beginning of Rhee's tenure in July 2007 through this past Feb. 5. In eleven other corporal punishment cases, according to the report, there was no record of disciplinary action taken but the teachers in question either resigned, retired or were fired at the end of the school year because they did not satisfy the terms of probation, were not properly licensed or had unsatisfactory performance evaluations. Five other teachers received verbal or written reprimands.

The corporal punishment incidents include grabbing, shoving, slapping, scratching and arm-twisting. Others are in categories of their own. One teacher drew a five-day suspension in February 2008 for putting a student in a closet and turning the light off. Another educator was given a five-day suspension in January 2009 for instigating a fight between students. There was one incident of spanking in November 2007, which resulted in a teacher being fired and then reinstated in early 2009 after a hearing officer's decision. In April 2009 a teacher received a 1-day suspension for threatening students with a knife if they misbehaved.

The report suggests that most corporal punishment and sexual abuse allegations are ultimately not substantiated -- or remain unreported. The Post reported on Feb. 9 that school security personnel delivered 220 accusations of corporal punishment or verbal abuse to police during the 2008-2009 school year. According to Rhee's report, five teachers were fired and 17 suspended.

The report suggests a lack of consistency when it comes to offense and punishment. A teacher was suspended for three days after grabbing a student, slamming him into a wall, then lifting him by his backpack in September 2007. Another drew two days after striking a student in the mouth in Oct. 2008, hurting the student badly enough that medical attention was required.

But a teacher was fired for striking a student on the knuckles with a pencil in September 2008.

Asked about what seems to be a lack of coherence or proportion to the discipline, Rhee said she didn't have an immediate response. She said she would look into it.

On late Friday afternoon, about 90 minutes after I first asked her to comment on the report, Rhee sent a letter to teachers expressing regret about the comments to "Fast Company." She said that the item was out-of-context as written and that educators "ended up unfairly and inaccurately portrayed with a broad brush." She gave them a heads up that they might be reading more about assault and sexual misconduct as a result of the report to Gray.

"I am concerned that media reports may again leave the impression-- unfairly and inaccurately--that this is a broader problem in DCPS than it is. It's not true, and I know the Council will join the Mayor and I in making that clear if and when they choose to make this report public. The vast majority of DCPS teachers are the hardest working people I have ever seen, dedicated to making sure our students succeed and going beyond their job descriptions every day to make a difference in the lives of the children in their classroom.

"Since coming here, I have learned the true meaning of dedication - it lives in DCPS classrooms across our city. So it is important that the Members of the Council, the news media, and DCPS officials make it clear that the instances documented in the report to DC Council reflect the conduct of a very small portion of our teachers. We also want you to know that we are deeply committed to making sure that you -- hard working teachers who are doing amazing work to move our children forward-are not implicated by the mistakes of a few. I am dedicated to supporting and protecting the incredible advances you have made over the last several years. I know you are the most important part of this reform. When you thrive, when you succeed, our students do the same."

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By Bill Turque  |  February 22, 2010; 7:13 AM ET
 
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Comments

"and I know the Council will join the Mayor and I in making that clear .. ."

Join "the mayor and me," Ms. Rhee, not "the mayor and I."

Posted by: trace1 | February 22, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I had wondered why the teachers got a letter on 2/19 about a letter she had written on 2/12. It is disappointing that only a press inquiry made her actually tell people what her report said....

That said, her letter says this: "I am concerned that media reports may again leave the impression-- unfairly and inaccurately--that this is a broader problem in DCPS than it is." Well, there is a specific reason for this - Rhee was careless in her choice of words to the Fast Company reporter. Any competent press officer would know that when she said this, it would be the dominant story. Yet, in her correspondence with teachers, she takes NO responsibility for her words and the fact that it is her statement that caused the "unfair and inaccurate" impression that she is railing against.

Posted by: dyedwab1 | February 22, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

"Expressing regret," yada, yada, yada. I support some of Rhee's reforms, but she needs to ditch the "out of context" shtick and try this:

"I shouldn't have said it and in the future I will choose my words more carefully. I also plan to issue weekly press releases identifying specific teachers who are having tremendous success in the classroom. To all of the hardworking teachers, I'M SORRY."

As for abusive teachers, we don't need to hear about them through incendiary allegations offered up in interviews with national magazines. Just get them out, and if the teachers' contract needs to be revised, let your PR people shine some light on that for DC residents and get to work on it.

Posted by: trace1 | February 22, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

None of the 266 laid off teachers will ever find work as educators again. All the savings from the layoff will be lost when the lawsuits are settled.

Posted by: blasmaic | February 22, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

The teachers who was wrongly accused should sues that sick bit$$ and whip her a##.

Posted by: mssassy | February 22, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Enough said Michelle Rhee. Michelle Rhee needs to be held accountable for her outrageous, unacceptable slandered comments of the 266 DCPS Riffed educators (Wrongfully Terminated) in the Fast Company National Magazine. It is obvious that Michelle Rhee and Company manufactured a Reduction-in-Force in November 2, 2009 and Noah Wepman is still employed with DCPS.

Unfortunately, DC Taxpayers will pay for Michelle Rhee's failures. Our DCPS students and parents deserve a competent, certifed, qualified, and experienced Superientendent.

No more EXCUSES!
Enough is Enough, Rhee must GO!
When? NOW!!!

Posted by: sheilahgill | February 22, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I went to my kids school to give a career speech.

I can see the need for CORPORAL PUNISHMENT.

The kids were rude, screaming, yelling, fighting, talking on cell phones, had IPODS playing and dressed like prostitutes and gangsters.

Will take my kids out of public school and place them somewhere they can learn.

Posted by: kare1 | February 22, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

This situation should shed a light on something that needs to be understood by the general public. A "bad" teacher is one that is hired by administrators. If he or she assaults a child, this is a crime that MUST be reported to police by administrators or any adult who witnesses the assault.TEACHERS ARE OFTEN PRESSURED BY ADMINISTRATORS NOT TO REPORT ABUSE BY ADULTS OR OTHER STUDENTS. If a teacher is deemed innocent, this decision is made by legal personnel (police, D.A. courts, etc.). If a teacher is placed on administrative leave, fired, or returned to the classroom, this decision too is made by administrators.

Unions have nothing to do with the above, although they are repeatedly blamed for it. Unions can only negotiate working conditions for teachers (salaries, hours, benefits). If a teacher is dismissed the union does provide a lawyer, which the teacher paid for with her dues. Even without the union, the teacher (like other citizens) would have the right to representation, but she'd have to pay for it herself. THE UNION HAS NO LEGAL RIGHT TO MAKE DECISIONS IN A CRIMINAL OR DISCIPLINARY CASE.

Hopefully, as Bill Turque follows this story to its conclusion, he'll discover that all these employment and disciplinary decisions are made by administrators, and not "the union."

In conclusion, I will say one thing in defense of administrators: During good economic times, it's almost impossible to hire enough qualified teachers for a city like D.C. Not many teachers seek these jobs. That's the real problem here. If Rhee continues to bash teachers, D.C. will really suffer once this recession is over.

Posted by: Linda/RetiredTeacher | February 22, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

kare1 - what you saw was a reality that Rhee does not care to address. there are some legit discipline issues in DCPS. however, she would rather make allegations about teachers in the media for a poltical objective.

i too have seen classroom and school situations in DCPS. In some schools like Mckinley, you can tell the kids are trying to learn. in some others, it's a 6-hour diversion and baby sitting service. Not condoning a teacher touching a kid, but many of these school administrators and teachers have lost control of the school environments. You instantly tell the places are not conducive to learning.

Posted by: oknow1 | February 22, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

"On late Friday afternoon, about 90 minutes after I first asked her to comment on the report, Rhee sent a letter to teachers expressing regret about the comments to "Fast Company.""

I saw reference to this at Candi Peterson's blog The Washington Teacher.
Is there a online version to read?

Aslo, reading the spreadsheet reminded me of that City Journal article that made it to the Washington Post Magazine:
How I Joined Teach for America—and Got Sued for $20 Million
http://www.city-journal.org/html/13_1_how_i_joined.html

from the article:
"(The judge) found me not guilty, touching off an outpouring of relief from my friends and former colleagues and—not least—me.

My elation was short-lived. As I had surmised, this whole case finally came down to money. Even after my acquittal, even after the accuracy of Raynard’s story had been seriously undermined, his mother and her big-firm lawyers aggressively pursued multi-million-dollar damage claims on the civil side. Yet even as the lawsuit dragged on and the legal cloud over me caused me to lose a job opportunity I really wanted, I refused to entertain Raynard’s mother’s offers to settle the case by my paying her $200,000—a demand that ultimately diminished to $40,000. The school system had no such scruples; it settled the mother’s tort claim in October 2002 for $75,000 (plus $15,000 from the teachers’ union’s insurance company—chump change compared with the cost of defending the litigation). It wasn’t $20 million, but it was still more money than I imagine this woman had seen in her life—a pretty good payout and hardly deterrence to other parents in the neighborhood who felt entitled to shanghai the system"

Posted by: edlharris | February 22, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

The reality of all this is "RHEE LIED!"

Skip all the BS of her trying to clean it up and tie the council and the mayor and everyone back into the same mess. The b!tch lied and got caught.

Just like Reinoso copied a report verbatim, lied and got caught. And this is who DC has leading the education of their kids? DC can do better.

I still go back to the Mgmt 101 of all this which should scare the heck out of any and all: the RIF process is not the proper means to terminate teachers with such allegations. This is a prime example of how DC government loses so many lawsuits in court. It's always a power and ego trip and arbitrary use of powers. no due process, no following procedure to cover their backs, etc. Same with Fenty and the child services office. All of the non managers Fenty fired were returned to their jobs. DC lost that case too.

This is not some petty little thing. Often when DC loses, they owe back pay and benefits to the wronged employee. it might be 2 years before these teachers win, but when they do DCPS will have to reinstate them, and reimburse them.

Posted by: oknow1 | February 22, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

One correction, Linda/RetiredTeacher:

You say the union only hires a lawyer. But let's be clear. The hearing officers that hear these disciplinary matters must be approved by the DC Teachers Union. If they uphold too many terminations, they are out of a job, b/c the union will not re-appoint them. So the real picture is a little more nuanced than your post suggests.

Kind of like dealing with judges in a jurisdiction where they are elected, and provided with big election money by corporations.

Posted by: trace1 | February 22, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

"about 90 minutes after I first asked her to comment on the report, Rhee sent a letter to teachers expressing regret about the comments to "'Fast Company.'"

Whew - one mystery solved! The incredibly stupid grammatical error in her letter to teachers was because it was a rush job.

Still, to say: the Council will join the Mayor and *I* ??

Really, Chancellor, you and your proofreader need serious remediation.

Thank You, Bill, for publishing the error and leaving it to us commenters to point out. Very gracious of you.

Posted by: efavorite | February 22, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Trace1:

You are right when it comes to trying to fire "ineffective" teachers. However, a criminal situation is a completely different ballgame. This matter is handled by the courts. Even if the teacher is acquitted, if the administrator has reason to believe that the teacher is a danger to students, she can ask that the teacher's credential be revoked. If that doesn't work, the teacher can be assigned to "district office." I'm sorry, but there is no reason why a teacher who assaults children should remain in the classroom. This is an administrative job and an important one.

I will say, though, that many of these assault charges are complete fabrications, as noted by Ed Harris. I was a witness to this many times. In my very last year of teaching, it happened to me. A little girl told me that her arm hurt. I raised her arm to look at her elbow and saw nothing. She went home and told her mother "the teacher hurt my arm." Fortunately for me this happened out on the playground where other teachers were witnesses, but if was a frightening ending to my career. Just being accused is very traumatic, as you might imagine.

Posted by: Linda/RetiredTeacher | February 22, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Linda/RetiredTeacher -
Then why does the article say that a teacher who was fired for spanking was "reinstated" by a "hearing officer?" Says nothing about the courts. I don't think all of these cases go to criminal court.

Posted by: trace1 | February 22, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Bill - check out #26 - the chart says the person was RIFd and also "terminated for action"

Aren’t these mutually exclusive outcomes?

Also, If Rhee took the opportunity of the RIF to get rid teachers who hit kids, etc., why not get rid of all these perps who hadn't already quit or gotten terminated before the RIF? I count about 38 other substantiated corporal punishers (according to Rhee) who DCPS could be rid of now. Instead, they are still potentially endangering our children.

I also count 8 RIFd on this list - all for corporal punishment

Posted by: efavorite | February 22, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

It is sad that so many teachers have been judged by what might be actions of a handful of others. It is very evident that the present administration chooses to attack, dismiss or scrutinize educators without any full investigations, discussions or even observations for visits in schools. The real problem comes from the top down and indeed a parent above who wants to remove their child from the public school system so that they can learn is justified. So much emphasis on "tests and scores" that the real bottom line of ethics and respect for education has been totally lost. Teachers and administrators have lost their ability to carry on education in their schools due to the lack of respect from students and parents alike. Education needs to come back to the schools with integrity and dignity.

Posted by: Kaladem | February 22, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

trace1 - the hearing officer is the 1st step in the process. it is not DC court at this point. This persons serves as a type of administrative law judge or case review to see if there are facts that warrant or substantiate the allegation and the process going forward.

Posted by: oknow1 | February 22, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

You say the union only hires a lawyer. But let's be clear. The hearing officers that hear these disciplinary matters must be approved by the DC Teachers Union. If they uphold too many terminations, they are out of a job, b/c the union will not re-appoint them. So the real picture is a little more nuanced than your post suggests.


But wait, the school district has the exact same ability to reject an arbitrator. They are not appointed by the union. If any arbitrator sides with the union too much the district makes him/her unemployed. I think the reality is closer to the school being unable to get it together and present a good case. I can assure you that Ms Rhee running at the mouth only makes the school's job of winning at arbitration way harder.

Posted by: mamoore1 | February 22, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Again the angry anti-Rhee crowd trying to ensure the schools system stays where Barry and the Union put it. Still don't understand why the anger isn't directed at the people who have been implementing no real change all along, thereby providing the indignity of the worst public eduction in the country to DC's children. I for one am glad to finally see some attention thrown on abusive and chronically absent teachers (thanks to Rhee). Historically they have been hard to get rid of, and I believe their negative influence on the system is under-estimated, especially with regard to the children directly under them.

But by all means, lets make this about firing Rhee and reinstating everyone the Union says should be reinstated (which appears to be generally everyone that doesn't go to jail). That will teach Rhee and anyone else like her a lesson, which appears to be the goal of many in DC at this point, and would no doubt make many happy even though our children will be the ones to suffer as usual, as does the entire city as our children become adults without basic communication and other core job skills. But hey, then the Council can claim more political wins by passing funding for more adult training programs to make up for the absence of primary school education, which they somehow get away with taking no responsibility for.

Posted by: kseamen | February 22, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

If Miss Rhee used the RIFs to get rid of the layabouts and abusers (about all 5 or 6 or 7 of them), while also getting rid of "new, promising solid teachers" as she told Kojo Nmamdi last Friday,
then the staff left behind must be really great.

I wonder what criteria will be used when the inevitable additional reductions come along.

Posted by: edlharris | February 22, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

"Join the mayor and I"??? Ha. She doesn't even know basic grammar. Aside from her annoying attitude, I'm glad she got rid of these teachers. DCPS is a disaster. I don't admire Michelle Rhee, but there's no winning in DCPS.

Posted by: FiatBooks | February 22, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

To efavorite: your use of English is not good enough to be correcting the writing of anyone else.

You must be running out of, if you ever had any, legitimate anti-Rhee substance, eh? Corrections in CAPS follow.

"Whew - one mystery solved! [FRAGMENT] The incredibly stupid grammatical error in her letter to teachers was because [GROSS AND MANGLED SYNTAX] it was a rush job.

Still, to say: the Council will join the Mayor and *I* ?? [FRAG, AND, INCOMPETENT USE OF QUOTATION PUNCTUATION AND CONVENTION]

Really, Chancellor, you and your proofreader need serious remediation [POOR USAGE].

Thank You [INCORRECT USE OF CAPS], Bill, for publishing the error and leaving it to us commenters to point out [AWK]. Very gracious of you [FRAG].

Did you say you were a teacher?

Posted by: axolotl | February 22, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

If Miss Rhee was to say 2+2=5,
axolotl would call it anti-Rhee to correct her.

Posted by: phillipmarlowe | February 22, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm writing informally here and so are many others, most of whom manage to use better grammar than the Chancellor used in a formal letter sent to several thousand teachers.

Nonetheless, it doesn't hurt to get get a little editing input, even if it's AWK and FRAG.

Truly, the Chancellor's uncharacteristic grammatical error is the only thing about this whole sex episode that I've been able to figure out. She was in such a hurry to get that letter out that she didn't even grammar-check it.

I can hardly wait for the rest of the story to unfold.

PS to Bill: Thanks for all the links.

Posted by: efavorite | February 22, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

already pointed out, but... it's "the mayor and me", not "the mayor and I".

...Because it's "the Council will join...me".

How are people getting out of high school, college, grad school, law school, med school without knowing that easy little rule these days?

Posted by: edismae | February 22, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Kseamen

You could not resist the "Barry" comment. Leave Barry out of this. You cannot change the subject by injecting Mr. Barry and you are wrong to try.

Your girl Rhee lies and continues to use the press, etc. to cover her behind.

Get over Barry and discuss the real issue here. Ms. Rhee did nothing to stop the alleged cases of sexual abuse. She waited until she had the cover of a phony "RIF" to allow her flunky administrators to exact their revenge.

Posted by: dccounselor72 | February 22, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Kseamen - if you link to the spreadsheet, and do some counting, you'll find about 38 (some overlap) "abusive" teachers who were not let go during the RIF. I'd think you'd be upset that Rhee didn’t RIF all of the abusers, but instead RIFd some "solid, promising" teachers. Thus, she's kept some teachers in the classroom who have harmed children, and gotten rid of some teachers who were competent. What an odd choice to make, when she could use the budget reduction to RIF anyone she wanted.

She who makes a huge deal about the importance of the teacher who stands in front of the kids. If she had RIFd this whole list of substantiated abusers first, she could have saved some competent teachers.

To me, it's another mystery of this very odd case.

Posted by: efavorite | February 22, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Kseamen
I think you have a good point about wanting the schools to get better. That should be what this is all about. The problem is that Rhee markets herself as a solution to a nation audience. Schools need to get better, but there is a way to make that happen that works, Rhee's bizarre comments and self promotion will not. Her main qualification for the job is that she has no qualifications. I think this whole "fast Company" affair shows how far that will get ya.

Posted by: mamoore1 | February 22, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Imagine trying to discipline kids in the average District high school... Assuming it's not run by the Catholic Church. One of those schools with metal detectors & guards walking around. MPD on speed dial.

Posted by: uncivil | February 22, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

WAAAAAAAAAAAA

Rhee Lied: (Except that both the Council where she made Gray look like a childish bufoon the DC Court while ruled in November completely disagree with you)

Rhee said all the teachers were molesters:

How anyone who got further than 2nd grande grammer could read what she said, and even for a second think she was talking about all 266, is beyond me. The fact that some of you who are ostensibly adults continue to say it, is as ridiculous as someone saying "Saddam had WMD and we found them".

Just completely, untrue. You Union buffoons and teachers (may god save us that the likes of you are teaching our children) who parrot this crap are just proving how ignorant, childish and self serving you really are. Every time you open your mouths is obvious that you couldn't care less about the kids at DCPS, you are only out to keep your "job for life".

Posted by: Nosh1 | February 22, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Report doesnt say what the kids did to provoke the teachers... thats whats wrong with America now - the kids right and the adults wrong... wtf people

Posted by: rockettonu | February 22, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

How can we leave Barry out of this? He continues to be the main Council person criticizing Rhee and the Mayor, which is absolutely ridiculous given his track record, recent and otherwise. Rhee is performing far better than Barry, but many people support him over Rhee for reasons that seem to be based on rhetoric, not successful actions (that's right, he's all talk). That rhetoric in place of action continues hurting our children each day. In the case of DCPS he is hurting our children by playing politics and dividing people when he could be bringing people together and positively contributing to the future success of DCPS. Any positive change realized going forward in in spite of Barry's quest to end it.

The fact that the change going on is not flawless and painless is no reason to end it. There is nobody on the face of this planet that could bring about flawless, painless, successful change making everyone happy at once (yes, that includes Barry). The current attempt is the best attempt at change in DCPS that has taken place in my lifetime. If we start moving backward, we will go back to losing residents, and therefore tax base, as we did under Barry. That will only compound the impact of the worst education being inflicted on DC's children. People here seem to very good at criticism, but short on viable, long-term solutions. One line solutions or criticisms stated here obviously cannot fix the problem, or it would have been fixed long ago.

Posted by: kseamen | February 22, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

They should reward these teachers for having to spend their days with these trashy, ghetto kids that don't know how to behave. If their parents didn't raise them to be worthless, they'd go to school and behave and these problems wouldn't exist.

Posted by: VAtrailerTrash | February 22, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

On the other hand, even if you grab a student by the arm to get him out of a situation, or you tap a shoulder to get the attention for a student who is intentionally blowing you off while you are trying to teach, if you hold a student's arms to prevent him from hurting himself or others, guess what - you have assaulted the child. You give a student a hug who is having a bad day and parent gets angry, you have sexually assauled the child. You defend yourself against an attacking student and you are accused of assaults. So when we look at all these accusations, remember, there are two sides to every story. Teachers are afraid to even give a child a congratulatory pat on the back! Yes, I work in the schools and know many teachers (I also have horrible typing skills). Many are scared that any little thing they do will get them reprimanded. That arm twist could be the teacher had to grab a child's arm to get him/her out of a situation and the child spun around - arm twists. Unless you have worked in the schools and have had first hand contact with students, dealt with how to handle a fight without physically separating the students, had one literally run away from you because you are not allowed to have a hand on their arm while escorting to the office... It is easy to pass judgement. And you know, the teacher is always at fault regardless of the situation. Yes there are bad teachers and ones who will have sexual contact with students, but I also have to wonder how many of these "grabbed arm"/assault cases were actual assaults. There are two sides to everything...

Posted by: Homemom | February 22, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

trace1 said:

"You say the union only hires a lawyer. But let's be clear. The hearing officers that hear these disciplinary matters must be approved by the DC Teachers Union. If they uphold too many terminations, they are out of a job, b/c the union will not re-appoint them. So the real picture is a little more nuanced than your post suggests."

Who hires the hearing officers? The union, the district or both?

Posted by: aby1 | February 22, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Why did it take a year and a half to fire a teacher who sexually assaulted a student?

Posted by: TripLBee | February 22, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

When will the citizens of the District of Columbia see Ms. Rhee for what she really is? Someone that is very untruthful!! Why does she change the story daily?

Posted by: smokerings_98 | February 22, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

To "kseamen," who says: "People here seem to very good at criticism, but short on viable, long-term solutions. One line solutions or criticisms stated here obviously cannot fix the problem, or it would have been fixed long ago."

We are paying a fortune for professionals in DCPS. I expect them to come up with solutions, and for the Chancellor and Mayor to create the environment for the bloated system to slim down and become more effective.

As a city, the District is really f'd up if it expects solutions to come from a wild and wooly blog.

But, except for the fresh wind of change that Rhee has brought, we have the same, failure-oriented, self-interested breed of WTU-insider teacher know-it-alls wreaking havoc on our kids. Let the good teachers do their work, restrain the union from institutionalizing mediocrity and just plain bad teaching.

Posted by: axolotl | February 22, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

The teachers who was wrongly accused should sues that sick bit$$ and whip her a##.

Posted by: mssassy | February 22, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Written by a product of the DCPS at best or a DCPS teacher at worst.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | February 22, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps mssassy would like to enter "2nd grande grammer" class with me, Nosh1 and the chancellor.

Posted by: efavorite | February 22, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Rhee is stuck in her own mess and it's time for Fenty to tell her goodbye.

Posted by: sheilahgill | February 22, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

It is always "taken out of context" She can't fix what she created. There is no trust or respect. However she can stop the media from taking it out of context. Just shut the he// up! Work for a change. Earn some of the "too much money" that is being paid by tax payers. Stay away from the stage. Stay out of the spotlight. Now I'm not suggesting that any positive results will come from that approach but she can kill the "taken out of context" crap. Go to the office, not the TV studio!

Posted by: candycane1 | February 23, 2010 6:22 AM | Report abuse

AMEN CANDYCANE1

To Kseamen said:

How can we leave Barry out of this? He continues to be the main Council person criticizing Rhee and the Mayor, which is absolutely ridiculous given his track record, recent and otherwise. Rhee is performing far better than Barry, but many people support him over Rhee for reasons that seem to be based on rhetoric, not successful actions (that's right, he's all talk).
******************************************
Thank GOD someone on the council has the guts to speak out. You may not like it but everyone is not sipping Rhee’s Kool-Aid. Rhee is performing far better than Barry. Can you please provide examples to prove your statements?

It is one thing to support your girl but to reach back and blame Barry is just SAD. Fenty and Rhee hold the power to make or break DCPS. Right now, she is breaking the system.

Finally, how do you feel about Rhee’s husband-to-be, Kevin Johnson also accused of abusing young women. Since you like to change the topic, speak on this.

Posted by: dccounselor72 | February 23, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

A guy named Curtis Walker has been sexually assaulting developmentally disabled individuals for at least 4 years. Showering residents is his favorite chore and this guy shows no signs of slowing down. He is the manager of a group home on 16th St in Manhattan. He has been open about his sexuality and makes no apologies to the staff. Our state has no laws to protect the developementally disabled so there is no way to legally confront him. Every poulation is vulnerable. Stories like these are sad indeed

Posted by: kbrown9916 | February 23, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Blaming Barry is not "reaching back" when Barry's political appointees are teaching in our classrooms today. Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

As long as phony teachers who Barry gave jobs are still in the classroom and as long as Barry leads the charge against Michelle Rhee then Barry's policies are absolutely 100% fair game. Don't be juvenile.

Posted by: bbcrock | February 23, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

bbcrock

Please name these "Barry's political appointees" teaching in our classrooms.

Posted by: dccounselor72 | February 23, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

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