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WTU: Abuse charges "significantly lower" than reported

Washington Teachers' Union president George Parker, responding to Monday's story about corporal punishment allegations, said the actual number of substantiated cases is much lower than the 220 incidents reported to D.C. police by Hawk One security.

How much lower? Like other key players in this issue, Parker doesn't say. Here's his statement:

The Washington Teachers' Union (WTU) takes the well-being of D.C.'s students very seriously. To that end, we have worked closely with the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) to establish clearly defined procedures for the investigation of corporal punishment and other teacher misconduct. Our procedures outline the process for bringing official charges, conducting investigations and--if the charges are substantiated--swiftly removing the guilty party from the classroom.

To be clear: Allegationsof corporal punishment are not official charges. Still, because the safety of our children is involved, we must be thorough in addressing the allegations. Current DCPS policy requires every claim of corporal punishment by a student--whether substantiated or not--to be reported to and investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department. Disciplinary actions are taken by DCPS only if the allegations are verified. As a result, the actual number of substantiated allegations of corporal punishment is significantly lower than the 220 incidents reported by Hawk One.

The WTU is committed to providing a safe learning environment for our children. To maintain that atmosphere in our schools, we support prompt and comprehensive investigation of all allegations of teacher misconduct before rendering final judgement.


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By Bill Turque  |  February 11, 2010; 6:22 PM ET
 
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Comments

alrighty then..there you have it!!!!!!! another one bites the dust...and another...don't lie for her...lies are not good!!!

Posted by: abc1236 | February 11, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Now teachers of DCPS need an official apology from Hawk One. How disgusting!!

Posted by: abc1236 | February 11, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Now teachers of DCPS need an official apology from Hawk One. How disgusting!!

Posted by: abc1236 | February 11, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how many allegations were made against HAWK ONE.

If this group was so great, why did they close their contract?

Posted by: dccounselor72 | February 12, 2010 7:14 AM | Report abuse

No, teachers from DCPS do not need an apology from Hawk One. It is their job to report possible cases of abuse to their supervisors and school officials. We as educators should want them to take abuse allegations seriously.

I'm a teacher in DCPS, and while I think that a lot of the allegations are untrue, we are educators and it is incredibly important that we treat any possible case of abuse seriously.

I know that there are teachers who are abusive, and I know that there are students who are more then happy to lie about abuse. All of these cases need to be investigated, and I'm fine with that.

My complaint, if I had one, is when people combine, either intentionally or not, allegations and proved incidents. I'd be very surprised if all of the allegations were true (and I'd also be surprised if there weren't cases of abuse that were unreported).

For a change, I think WTU struck pretty much the right tone with their response.

Posted by: Wyrm1 | February 12, 2010 7:16 AM | Report abuse

For a change, I think WTU struck pretty much the right tone with their response.

Posted by: Wyrm1 |
************
Good except for the lack of numbers.
And we've yet to hear from the police and social services.

Posted by: edlharris | February 12, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Bill, it's really important to find out how many of these allegations were found to be true. If so, what were the consequences for teachers? If not, what were the consequences for the students who made them up? Please get to the bottom of this. The public has a right to know. Thank you.

Posted by: Linda/RetiredTeacher | February 12, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I agree that I'd like to know how many of these charges were confirmed and the consequences. I just think blaming Hawk One for reporting allegations is not fair to them.

Posted by: Wyrm1 | February 12, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

My recollection is that the principal of the school was supposed to report any known allegations to the in-school security guard (which was, for a time, Hawk One.) I know this because there was an incident at my kids' school, and the DCPS higher ups questioned why the principal had not notified security.

So I'm not sure that any false allegations can be blamed squarely on the security service. Do any of the teachers know if this is the procedure?

Posted by: trace1 | February 13, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Wyrm1 -
I am glad that you weigh in on these boards -- always good to hear from DCPS teacher with a balanced and informed perspective.

Posted by: trace1 | February 13, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I know that principals received an email from their supervisors with an order from chancellor rhee. They were asked to go back over the past 3 years and find any and all allegations that were made against teachers regarding abuse. This was an obvious attempt by rhee to substantiate her claims because the email was sent the day after the article came out. Rhee was in hot water and she was scrambling to cover herself.
I just don't understand why she, as a leader of a system, does everything in her power to discredit and dismantle the very system she is trying to build. This woman has consistently demonstrated her lack of leadership skills and insensitivity towards the very people she leads. I seriously think she has mental health issues. I can recommend a therapist if she needs one.

Posted by: DC-NBCT | February 13, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

The WTU contract appears to require the principal to report corporal punishment allegations to the police OR security. I don't think Hawk One pulled these things out of thin air.

Any reporter worth a salt covering DCPS would have a copy of the WTU contract (still in place, although expired) bookmarked on their computer and would double check it before writing a story or quoting the union mouthpiece verbatim.

Posted by: trace1 | February 13, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

trace1,
Here's the WTU contract on corporal punishment:
F. Allegations of Corporal Punishment
As soon as a supervisor becomes aware of an allegation of corporal punishment, the
supervisor shall immediately notify the affected teacher and the WTU Building Representative
that an allegation of corporal punishment has been made. Additionally, within two school days
of the supervisor’s knowledge of an allegation, the supervisor shall provide the teacher and WTU
with written notification that an allegation of corporal punishment has been made against the
teacher. Prior to any investigatory meeting, interview, or discussion with DCPS, the supervisor
shall inform the teacher of his or her right to be accompanied by a Union representative. In
circumstances where allegations of corporal punishment are reported to the Principal, prior to
notifying security or the police, the Principal shall give the teacher the option of reporting to the
police precinct, accompanied by a WTU Field Representative if desired, to discuss the allegation
with the proper law enforcement authorities.

http://www.wtulocal6.org/pdf/contract.pdf

The contract does not appear to require the principal to report to security or police.
That would probably be a DCPS procedure.

Posted by: edlharris | February 13, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

"prior to notifying security or the police, the Principal shall . . '

edharris, we disagree. That language suggests to me that the principal must notify security or the police.

Posted by: trace1 | February 13, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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