Stories & Grievances
Ruth Wenig, Special Education Teacher in Queens New York, Loves Her Job, But Is Being Harassed Out of It by the Principal
Ruth has been subjected to unfair treatment for more than two years, but she wants to fight the "I dont like you so you are out" favoritetocracy process that pervades America's public schools right now, as Karen Horwitz' site, NAPTA: end teacher abuse, shows. Read Ruth's detailed description of abuse and harassment and the refusal of the UFT to do anything. Our children need good teachers, not just teachers that the Principal likes. Send us your stories! Betsy Combier
From the desk of Betsy Combier:
For more than three years we at parentadvocates have been helping teachers find solace from their grief and distress over being harassed, verbally abused, and fired for no reason in the New York City public school system. Ruth Wenig is one of the lucky ones, because she is still working, she believes, in September, although her summer job was taken from her by the principal of her school. Ruth sent us her statement of the abuse that has tortured her for several years, and we are posting it in order to show how terrible the harassment can get when no one at the administrative level cares, or does anything to stop it. For legal reasons the Principal of her school is "Principal W" or "Mrs. W", and the names of the other people who work at PS 23 have been given only initials, at Ruth's request.
Our Chancellor Joel Klein and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have received all of the documents that we have, in all of our cases, some of which we list below. Neither has responded in any way. The United Federation of Teachers - Randi Weingarten is President - also has done nothing to protect members from this harassment, either. We believe that the more stories that are published, the more exposure the Principals who harass will get, and the faster this terrible tyranny and inappropriate conduct will stop, or be stopped. We need to elect representatives at all levels of government who will not just promise to stop this torture of good people, but legislate against it.
Ruth Wenig, Harassed by the Principal of her Queens NYC School, Tells All about the Terror, Insults, and Abuse in a Detailed Statement
Former NYC teacher Ed Farrell recently requested, under FOIL (Freedom of Information Law), the number of "U" ratings that were overturned in a 3-year period. There are very few, because the 3020a hearings are blatantly unfair and biased against the "victim" teacher; the Appeals and Reviews Hearings have no due process.The response of Susan Holtzman and the data are here.
The new teacher's contract has raised many questions.
DESPONDENT IN NEW YORK
THE FOLLOWING STORY DEPICTS THE DESPERATE STATE TEACHERS FIND THEMSELVES IN. THIS TEACHER HAS EMAILED ALL OF THE PUBLIC OFFICIALS BELOW AND HAS YET TO RECEIVE ANY ASSISTANCE. (This story was posted approximately six weeks after she circulated the email below; NAPTA will update this story and describe any help she may receive. We expect not to need to update this based on the track record of public officials all over this country.) SHE IS NOT ALONE. DEDICATED TEACHERS ALL OVER REACH OUT IN ALL DIRECTIONS, ONLY TO BE IGNORED. NAPTA'S GOAL IS TO FORCE THIS ABUSIVE GAME INTO THE OPEN SO IT HAS TO STOP OR OUR COUNTRY WILL BEAR THE SHAME OF A VERY DARK PRACTICE. NAPTA
Date: Sun, 04 Jun 2006 01:12:42 -0400 (EDT)
PLEASE SEND TO AS MANY PEOPLE WHO YOU CAN, SOMEONE WILL BE ABLE TO HELP!
I have reached the point where I am begging for your help. I am willing to grovel at your feet for a few minutes of your time. It has come to a situation that is as hateful and abusive above and beyond what any public employee should have to tolerate.
This is not a letter of "Employee Disgruntlement" I am a special education teacher. I work in a multi-site special education setting, in District 75, at Public School 23 Q, in Queens, NY. I love my job, and have been doing it successfully for many, many years. I have taught multiply handicapped, emotionally disturbed, learning disabled, and quadriplegic students in the many years that I have been working, I love the kids, I love the "got it" minute when they understand, and I love those handicapped kids who don't have anyone to pay attention to them, and try to communicates with them in any way I know how. I love my work. I love the other teachers and paraprofessionals I work with, and I have dozens of letters of thanks for all the many "extra" programs and events that I have worked on, above and beyond my duties as a teacher. Until this new principal came into power, I was always recognized as a top educator.
However, I have endured a living hell in my school situation for the past two years at the hands of Principal W, and her partner in crime, Assistant Principal BN. The two of them cross the tightrope of what is acceptable, and then they deny that they've ever done it.
In the past two years, without giving thought to any of the Board of Ed, and the UFT rules and bylaws. The principal has used all her strength to abuse me, publicly embarrass me, and to use tactics of outright harassment. She has done things that are downright illegal according to the UFT contract, without repercussions. She's taken me out of my classroom, where I have rights, removed my summer job without following protocol, and has given me a schedule this year where I am schlepping all my teaching equipment in a rolling suitcase to three separate schools. She has made horrific comments about my Jewish orthodoxy, and when the grievance was brought, she lied that she never said this. I must have "Imagined" this occurrence. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
My inner strength, being as strong as it is, has helped me weather much of this storm, when many other of her targets are notches on her wall. She is a repeat harasser, who deeply enjoys causing others anguish. Most of her targets are Jewish women.
Basically, what I want to say, is that law and rules are written in black and white in the UFT handbook. However, they are they are flagrantly ignored, as she is fully confident that the union will not really get involved. The union people make nice, but accomplish nothing. Especially in the face of clear violations, and outright torture. Where it says in the handbook, the principal cannot to something, they really can't stop her from doing it. I find it more and more astonishing that Principal W can run amuck through the school, screaming and shouting orders to many, and scapegoating certain people without any thought to the consequences. Randi Weingarten has tried to intervene on my behalf, but since the Chancellor is strongly behind his Principals, the implicit message is "Do what you want".
Every day, as I go to work, I never know what to expect. Last week I was publicly called an idiot twice, and screamed at with such close proximity to my face, that it could only be construed as physical abuse. Every day is filled with anguish as I don't know what can happen in the next minute. If anyone has lived through this, I am sure that they can relate. Imagine that you are in first grade and the bully waits outside for you every day. Ms. W has abused her position to the point where SHE MUST BE TERMINATED. There is not a person who works within our organization who has not been touched by her hate and anger. She harbors too much hate to be near others, especially small children.
Here is the situation. The chancellor doesn't care. The union has some interest, but are really not going to rock the boat. They do only what they have to do, and nothing more. I am trying to get into another school, but it may not be successful. I am trapped in a living hell.
Please feel free to pass this along to anyone that you think can help.
Why doesn't Joel Klein protect teachers? Read the assessment below:
The politics of personal (wealth) destruction
by Paul Sperry, WorldNet Daily, April 27, 2000
As Joel I. Klein and his trustbusters guzzled champagne earlier this month, working Americans with hard-earned cash in the stock market reached for the Pepto-Bismol. And they're still reaching. Mr. Klein, the Justice Department's top antitrust lawyer, engineered the emasculation of Microsoft Corp., a Nasdaq leader, by arguing that the software-maker is a coercive monopoly, a criminal "predator."
Joel I. Klein, the Justice Department's top antitrust lawyer
When a politically pliant judge officially agreed on April 3, Microsoft's shares tanked, dragging the tech-heavy Nasdaq -- and college and retirement funds -- down with it. Meanwhile, Klein celebrated. The smaller-cap index stood at 4572.83 on March 31, the last trading day before Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ruled that the government now has the right to possibly dismember one of the most successful companies in history.
After yesterday's loss, the Nasdaq shrank back to 3630.09. The index has now lost 21 percent of its value since the Microsoft news. Of course, the case against Microsoft is nonsense on stilts. Only government can create a coercive monopoly by erecting barriers to entry. Bill Gates built his empire in a free market, on the shoulders of happy consumers.
Who is Joel Klein?
But that doesn't matter to political hacks like Klein, whose job it is to ensure the perpetuation of the Clinton-Gore-Rodham regime, even if it means smearing an innovative company. Doing the bidding of weenie competitors in exchange for campaign cash is at bottom here, not economics.
Who is Joel Klein? A noted antitrust scholar? A bleeding-heart consumer advocate? Hardly.
Despite his Columbia-cum-Harvard pedigree, Klein is just another gutter-wise legal gun and smear artist hired by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton to protect this scandal-plagued White House. Many Microsoft shareholders may be interested to know that Klein got his start sitting in Vincent Foster's old chair in the White House counsel's office. He took over the late Foster's office -- and many of his scandal-containment duties -- in late 1993. Klein's top job was controlling political damage from the Whitewater investigation. When he wasn't doing that, he allegedly was digging up dirt on enemies and perceived enemies of the Clintons. A busy man for sure.
Linda Tripp worked with Klein in the White House counsel's office in 1993 and 1994. "Joel Klein was someone who scared me," she said in a Jan. 6, 1999, deposition with Judicial Watch Inc., the first couple's vexatious litigant.
Histrionics? Maybe. But consider these specifics she offered in another deposition taken Jan. 22, 1999.
Recalling a private chat with Klein's assistant Julie Mixell, Tripp said, "She said that you don't want to cross Mr. Klein. She intimated to me that he kept information on people who crossed him."
Not just random information, but an inventory of files -- full of dirt.
Q: Where are these files stored?
A: In Mr. Klein's office.
Q: In a file cabinet?
A: Yes, in (a) file credenza, as I remember.
Bear in mind that Tripp wasn't saying all this in a relaxed setting, egged on by "Clinton-haters." She said it in the presence of a federal court magistrate and a phalanx of Justice Department lawyers. You have to wonder if the files moved with Klein to his Justice digs (he took Mixell with him). Do they include FBI dossiers? Is there a file on Bill Gates? The same lawyer supposedly working on the side of justice against big bad Microsoft was doing his best in 1993 and 1994 to stiff-arm FBI agents looking into Foster's untimely death and the ensuing frantic, late-night search of his office.
When Tripp complained about Klein to White House lawyer and Clinton confidant Bruce Lindsey, who she thought to be her friend at the time, Tripp said Lindsey warned she would be "destroyed" if she talked to anyone else about Klein.
Lindsey and Klein are reportedly now working together on the Microsoft case going into its punishment phase. Ironically, Tripp thought she was doing the Clintons a favor speaking out against Klein, who she sized up as a "snake-oil salesman."
"I felt he was doing a disservice to the first lady and president by the way he operated," Tripp testified. "I've since come to believe that was precisely why he was hired. Clearly they already knew and didn't mind."
And who hired Klein? The first lady, Tripp says.
Q: How do you know he was hired by Hillary Clinton?
A: Because Bernie told me.
That would be Bernie Nussbaum, former White House counsel. He and Klein had offices next door to the first lady. Like Foster, Klein apparently acted as Hillary Clinton's personal lawyer -- at taxpayer expense. In fact, he got her out of her Whitewater and cattle futures jams. It was Klein who prepped the first lady for her "pink sweater press conference," which made the Clinton press kittens purr even louder.
"I remember when they came back," Tripp said. "He (Klein) jumped in the air and whooped and said, 'We nailed it.'"
Charming. A lawyer supposedly working for the people cheered how he fooled the people, while undermining the rule of law. Now he's whooping it up after nailing Microsoft, while punishing high-tech shareholders, many of whom saw their down payment on a new house disappear with Jackson's ruling. When the judge issues his penalty against Microsoft, they can more than likely kiss their big retirement gains good-bye, too.
In 1994, Klein made a comment that stuck in Tripp's mind.
After a meeting in his office, Klein came back out into the foyer with a number of other White House lawyers and said: "We are all good lawyers. But in order to survive, we have to be good politicians, too."
There you have it, the Clinton formula in a nutshell: Politics + legal manipulation = survival and more power. These aren't your normal politicians, investors. Ignore them at your peril. Their virulent strain of politics has spread beyond the Beltway and Little Rock to Silicon Valley, and now to Wall Street and right smack into your wallets.
Paul Sperry is a Washington, D.C.-based journalist, WND contributor and author of "Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives have Penetrated Washington."
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