About

This site was originally created as a private location to gather my files after I was retaliated for speaking up about my school administrator’s misconduct. (Spoiler alert she was found guilty of stealing) District 31 Superintendent Erminia Claudio requested that I meet with her, my UFT representative and Principal Hill on February 14, 2012. To prepare for this meeting, I started compiling tons of thank you emails from my principal, then I thought why don’t I add my satisfactory observations, then I added letters of recommendations and finally briefly wrote a short synopsis of my story as I experienced it. To contrast the positive, I added sudden negative attacks, such as disciplinary letters and negative emails. The site was originally created and kept private from mid February 2012. This was just about after a month of vicious attacks. After investigators, from the Special Commissioner of Investigation, came to my class and house to confiscate computer equipment, on February 28, 2012, I thought to myself “The gloves are off and now it’s my turn. They, whoever they are, want to come at me? Fine, but the public will be watching.” I originally bought the domain protectportelos.org because I was fighting alone and thought I needed protection. As the months progressed, I found that it wasn’t just I who needed protection, but many educators across the country that I speak to.

On March 7, 2012, I made the site public and it took off. First 300 people, then 800, then 2000….. I never imagined it would get to become a full play by play expose of the inner workings of modern day education. The more “they” pushed….the more I pushed back. I went from defensive to offensive. They want to neglect the education of our students,?misappropriate tax dollars?and write blank checks to themselves? NOT ON MY WATCH!

5 years later I was able to change the name without losing all the past post and pages. The site is now educatorfightsback.org and I share other fights educators have to endure.

mrportelos at gmail.com

How my last class always ended…

 

36 Comments

  1. It is three years later and you should call to mind the stories of the massive rubber room at Geaorge Washington High School. These are the stories of those who fought and succeeded in having the UFT and the DOE close the Rubber Rooms in 2010.

    http://www.wnyc.org/articles/wnyc-news/2010/apr/16/city-agrees-to-shut-the-rubber-rooms/

    http://www.wnyc.org/articles/wnyc-news/2010/apr/14/life-in-the-rubber-room-where-suspended-teachers-await-due-process/

    http://www.wnyc.org/articles/wnyc-news/2010/apr/15/nyc-to-close-rubber-rooms/

  2. I am the same age as that other Teacher, I went to same schools and know of ‘R.C. – BMW’ LIES – first hand. ALL HIS LIFE he has been a self promotor and will LIE , BRIBE , CHEAT to get what he wants. Dozens of guys who know of him, are aware of that talentless jerk with a Big mouth that got jealous of others who did better then him in sports , academics or more..

  3. Marcia A. McBeth

    I did not get sent to a rubber room. I was told that I reassigned out of the classroom. Next thing I know I am a hall monitor for 7 months near the bathroom and standing at the stair case. I have two other co-workers in the same situation. Good teachers put out the room. The principal told the union rep, I was doing a great job. He did not put me there to humiliate me. He needed to put me some where I was needed. Interesting

  4. Good Evening,

    This is the link that I spoke about yesterday at the MORE meeting. Please keep in mind that not everything that is referred to in this decision is true, but what the arbitrator, Glanstein, that terminated me, believed was true. I also have my side of each event that was pretty much ignored in her decision.

    The State Supreme Court overturned her decision based almost entirely on the third set of charges, and now the DoE is appealing this decision to the State Supreme Court Appellate Division.

    It could take anywhere from 12 to 18 months to get a final decision. Meanwhile, I have a one year old and a seventeen year old to support, and no job. My unemployment insurance was terminated last December at the request of the DoE.

    I’m sure you can see the political dimension of my case though by reading between the lines. All of these charges were brought after my involvement in OWS. This lasted from Sept. 2011 until January 2012, at which point I decided to scale back my activism in order to preserve my career and family.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to ask and share widely as you see fit. This is a public record.

    David Suker
    US Army Veteran
    14 year veteran DoE Teacher

    PS The UFT did a minimal job in defending me and actually sabotaged my case at certain points telling me I should resign instead of fighting these charges. My NYSUT lawyer’s name was Steve Friedman. They are currently not even helping me, but they have wished me good luck in my future endeavors!

    http://statecasefiles.justia.com/documents/new-york/other-courts/2013-ny-slip-op-31694-u.pdf?ts=1375376222

    Sent from my iPhone

  5. Where have you been all my life? Sued lost appealed lost. Now round 2 . just got notice to sue again.I enjoy reading your site.

  6. Thank you so much for your tenacity and courage! I’m an art teacher in Ohio and have been downtown 4 times for discipline action and will be taken downtown this coming Thursday, Dec 18th. It started in 2008 one principal and again with two others; I’m on my third principal. The first time it happened, I had just been awarded “Outstanding Art Teacher” by my professional organization and received commendation by my district. Mind you, one of these principals “retired early” b/c of her involvement with attendance fraud which brought in federal investigators, 3 years after my hearing with her as procurer. Another said at the hearing: “Next year I’ll have a two-inch file on her!” in a school that had 13 fights in one month’s period; I had 2 in my classroom for the year! It wasn’t until this year that I realized that I was being bullied. On the allegation this year is a lie; outright saying something that happened, but it did not. In 5 months (May, the last month of our school year), I retire at age 65. I just don’t look that old, but my body has taken a toll on the stress of this kind of professional abuse and I’m so grateful to find that I’m not alone in this fight. Thank you again.

    • Susan, no one should have to deal with this. Especially in a profession so noble as ours. Keep up the fight.

      • Anda Elena Donahue

        Francesco, please help me deal with this ordeal (pun intended). I am getting violently ill from being overtly harassed by Principal Taveras, who was Bloomberg’s deputy chancellor and now he is in my school, trying to destroy me, my career and my character. Since September 2013 he has been trying to find something wrong with me because I am a whilstle blower and called the media, the police, the conflict of interests board, the EOEO, the SCI and the Division for Human Rights. I am afraid I will die. This ,man has no scruples. He is trying to fire me and eventually get me arrested (?!?) and he does incredibly despicable things to get there. Please let me know what attorney to hire. Please. Please. Please.

  7. Check Out http://www.mcsminmywords.wordpress.com
    Its my story of a 3020A

  8. I need a good lawyer to fight my case with the NYC DOE?.any suggestions?

  9. NoraLee Montemarano-Klein

    You are our hero. Saw the story in the NY Daily News. Been following this site since my hubby got U’ed for NO REASON. I was a chapter leader for 8 years and an administrator for 10. (Cut my teeth as a teacher before getting elected chapter leader. Working for Bloomklein made me sick enough to retire.

    Can’t believe what happened to the school system. (Not that it was great before). We are going to have to work hard to repair the damage.

    Appeal the stupid fine. Don’t sign anything that swears you to secrecy. (They do that). Keep posting. I’ll bet this was hard on your wife.

  10. Charles S. Giannone

    You know what you do when you give cases to SCI and OSI and nothing is done? You “rattle the cage”. On cases that you will speak about as a private citizen speaking about a public concern you get public opinion on your side. It works everytime. Contact parent groups, send out letters to PTA Parent Co-ordinators etc. Don’t send anything else to SCI and OSI, it’s a waste. They will only be coming after you. And if they do nail anyone, they won’t give you credit. They will say something like. “Go back to your school and don’t be a trouble maker next time”.

  11. Charles S. Giannone

    I was you twenty years ago. I won but at a huge loss. I lost my family. I left the system early. It left a deep hole in my heart. I stayed away for 7 years until I began subbing in 2012; Subs are treated just as bad as ATRs. No protection at all and downtown is ready to rubber stamp whatever lies principals put in writing. It is a very sad state of affairs. We have a many Bloomborg leftover cronies and they must be eradicated.

  12. Mr. Portelos,
    Thank you for posting all of this information. I am not a teacher but I am a parent currently facing a school district which has entirely sided against me for inquiring about their policy practices. I just wanted you to know I found key information that helped me on your website and cannot truly thank you enough for sharing your story. It is empowering and I’ve personally picked up some great pointers and information to help aid me.

  13. Hi Francesco,
    I am going through a similar issue in my school. I have been a teacher 16 years, and starting at the end of last year until now. I received my first two (developing) APPR’s and have 2 letters of counsel in my file. Our Super and Principal are new and my reps are complacent. I feel attacked daily. I was given three new curriculums this year, with no resources, I teach 472 students, teach in 13 different classrooms on two floors, my duty is “in the box” lunch detention, and I have team meetings in another hall. I keep getting pulled into the office for untrue situations, or comments, ridiculous allegations, given by notorious “buddies” with the Principals. Our building is literally be a war zone. The special treatment most of the male teachers, and the buddies of the Principals is glaring. While they target specific teachers and myself. Last year I was hospitalized and was on leave for two months from severely elevated blood pressure from panic attacks and anxiety at work. I believe they are trying to make a paper trail of poor observations, and letters of counsel to put me on a TIP, move me somewhere, or worse. What do you recommend I do? Thanks for posting your blog!

  14. Francesco

    After the recent Nazi/white power cop killing in Las Vegas, you might want to re-think the Gadsden flag remake of “Don’t Tread on Me”. These folks are probably not the group you want to associate with . Feel free to not post this, I just wanted to comment since at this point the flag is turning my stomach due to many disgusting associations. Sally

  15. Henry Brocklehurst

    Why not post the complete file regarding your hearing? Include all of the records, not just the ones which cast you in a good light. Let everyone know what you were found guilty of of.

  16. Henry try doing some research you simple SOB! Parto poulo reee!!!!

  17. Douglas Vance Castagna

    Interesting and frustrating ordeal. I am a denizen of the rubber room as well, and have had Ms. Williams as my field supervisor last year. I can empathize, and sympathize. I believe I met you at the ATR meeting on SI this year, and just got around to checking out the other website, and this one as well. I will be a frequent visitor now, and wish you well in your endeavors, as we all know it is an uphill battle on frozen ground while we are wearing roller skates. I wish you well.

  18. The agenda is to create a society of those who are adept at being fooled by FoX TV and the Post Newspaper. The “unthinkers”. Those who can’t reason. So, the voters, therefore are the Fox TV viewers who believe what they are told and brainwashed into believing. It is a long-term goal, but is already having some success.
    How else would we have such a corrupt/inept group of elected officials (some exceptions are to be forgiven)? Part of the agenda is to destroy the teaching system that relies on creative thinking. Instead, we have teachers who rely on YES/NO question format. I would never send my child to such a school that engenders such
    a philosophy. The thinkers still in the system are like the soldier fodder on the front lines in a footwar.

  19. Homeschooling seems preferable to NYC public, but would explore religious of any kind after research. I sent my daughter to NYC public schools in Riverdale. She endured ECLAS testing only, and was minimally damaged by Bloomberg’s destruction of neighborhood schools. She attended a free week-end program for gifted kids, which also fed her need for creative/divergent thinking. This program also engaged her during the summer. Free. She was lucky to be accepted to Stuyvesant and LaGuardia and picked the latter, before Bloomberg’s influence took over. For folks who have special needs or “ungifted” regular kids, move or homeschool or private of some kind. How can kids be happy in a system where so
    many teachers/administrators are not?

  20. The union rep at my school is 100% in my principal’s pocket and lets her get away with all types of injustices. She has us repeatedly vote on matters or SBO issues until she gets the result she wants. What steps would we have to take to petition a recall of the Chapter Leader? Where could I find documents on this process at? I contacted the Bronx UFT yesterday but I was given the run around. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  21. Is there any help for paraprofessionals. I have been terminated wrongfully for theft of service which i can prove i did not do anything wrong as was ddoing my job to the best of my knowledge. I confronted my principals to ask if i was doing wrong and was put under investigation, After my investigation with OSI and me showing my proof the investigator stated if my proof checks out which it did they had no problem with me. Well it has now been a year and half and i am still without work for something i did not do and everywhere i turn no one is able to help the union loses all of the paperwork i give and i just was denied arbitration in which i appealed and am awaiting word on. In this meeting is where i noticed the union lost all of my paperwork. Its amazing that i have all of the proof and evidence and am still without a job. On top of all of this my assistant principal admitted in an OSI statement she never gave me rules and regulation. But since i am low on the totem pole being a paraprofessional the union does nothing. I was back in school to get my degree and am only a few credits away from getting my masters why in the world would i try to mess with my own career. Someone please help

  22. Have you discerned various reasons teachers are targeted? Do you see both obvious and subtle patterns? I wonder if some administrators glean a teacher’s lack of awe or simply lash out at in an attempt to be aggressive leaders? Have you heard of these bullies also also targeting the children of employees?

  23. Jennifer Washington

    I have a story to tell about the DOE and how they are deliberate keeping me out of the system! I received a U rating based on sarcasm and then I received another U rating based on not leading/guiding children in instruction. I have taught for 12 years and for 10 years always received S rating evaluation until they put a principal in place who did not meet the requirements and was fired as an ineffective leader, sexual harassment against a teacher, and a host of other issues.

  24. Have you or someone you know worked with attorney Brian David Glass? If so, to what extent can you recommend him in representing a teacher in a possible case with the NYCDOE?

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