Mayor-UFT-DOE Blame Game on Rubber Rooms. I’m Not Buying It.

Rubber Room 2013

Rubber Room 2013

I never really write two posts on the same day, but since this Rubber Room lawsuit story broke today, I had to jump in. I have received many texts and emails and have been tagged in some Tweets, so I grabbed my laptop and headed to the backyard. “Honey, can you please bring my dinner and glass of wine outside I have work to do.

In case you forgot they closed the Rubber Rooms over three years ago. My exposing their return is being added to my Federal lawsuit (12 CV 3141).

April 15, 2010

I never intended to be the poster child of the Rubber Room, but I don’t regret exposing a $56 million dollar problem. If you haven’t read or crunched the numbers, look at my post from last June.The Three Rs of American Education- Rubber Room is Retaliation.

I see the lawsuit filed today is about arbitrators and the hearing process, but the city and DOE are to blame for allowing it to get to the point before a hearing is even needed. So many educators are out just simply waiting for investigations to be closed. I waited one whole year for my frivolous investigation to be over. Did I say investigation (singular) I meant investigations (plural). To date I have over 30 different investigations started on me by Principal Linda Hill, former SLT Chairperson Susanne Abramowitz and of course former UFT Chapter Leader Richard Candia of IS 49, Staten Island. Yes, over 30 completely different investigations. Not bad for a career changer who was praised for his work up until the month I raised financial concerns at the School Leadership Team. In fact, as you might have read in today’s earlier post, I have additional investigations that have ensued as my termination hearing is already under way.

See an example of how easy it is to submit frivolous investigations and have an educator removed. This is former UFT Chapter Leader Richard Candia in a delirious attempt to smear me 11:30PM the night I made history and was elected UFT chapter leader from the…rubber room. Where was the UFT

Former Chapter Leader Candia email to SCI the Night Portelos was Elected Union Leader

Former Chapter Leader Candia email to SCI the Night Portelos was Elected Union Leader

The reason I believe the DOE and UFT are to blame are as follows (and this has been replicated thousands of times):

  • The DOE gave full autonomy to the administrators. If they don’t like an educator, they simply call their legal support at the DOESenior Field Counsel and start the process. In my case Principal Hill called Marisol Vazquez esq. (Sorry Marisol, but I read the 3,000 pages of emails and you really screwed up this case pretty bad.) At some point as they saw I wasn’t going down with the textbook style take down, Robin Singer esq. (Marisol’s supervisor) jumped in. These attorneys along with David Brodsky gave some pretty bad legal advice the last two years.Where was the UFT
  • This process eventually sent me to the Rubber Room. I know it was two years after they closed them, but evidence of their continued existence was evident right away. See this December 2010 article by Betsy CombierWhere was the UFT
  • From that point to earlier last week I sent over 45 emails to UFT President Michael Mulgrew. Not one response from him.Mikey MulgrewWhere are You | Educator Fights Back. Where was the UFT
  • As I continued to submit evidence backed allegation after evidence backed allegation of misconduct against administration, Where was the UFT
  • As a ridiculously vague and very lengthy SCI report on me came out from an agency that may not be as impartial as they say…Where was the UFT

You see I sat with many exiled educators during my over 500 days of exile and 90% of them were still waiting for their investigations to be over. That means the arbitrators were not even part of the equation. I think more fingers should be pointed at the delay of SCI, OSI and OEO. Perhaps they just need more and better investigators. If the money went to their offices, perhaps this wouldn’t be as long a process.

In any case, I think this lawsuit is just building a foundation of some major changes to the process. Seeing their history, it probably won’t be a good change either.


Also see where a teacher, that never made it to a trial, sat while he waited for over year for his investigation by OEO to be concluded.

8201 Rockaway Blvd. Educator Exile seating

8201 Rockaway Blvd. Educator Exile seating



About Francesco Portelos

Parent and Educator fighting for the student and the teacher.
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One Comment

  1. Pingback: BOE vs UFT Arbitration Agreement Lawsuit – Update | Educator Fights Back

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