500+ Convicted Criminals ‘Teach’ In NYC

teacherverification March 23, 2012 0


More than 500 teachers convicted of crimes in the last five years — from drunken driving to assault to manslaughter — are still skulking around the schools because the Department of Education is hamstrung from getting rid of them.

Only those with sex-related convictions can be given the boot immediately — but the rest of the rogues’ gallery gets to continue teaching throughout the arduous process of disciplinary hearings, according to records obtained by The Post.

Aren’t unions wonderful? By the way, why are some criminals more equal than others?

Among the most vile is Staten Island elementary-school teacher Kim DePrima, who was entrusted with the care of her special-education students even after a conviction for failing to keep her pit bulls from mauling to death a 90-year-old neighbor in August 2008

DePrima hardly learned her lesson and was arrested again in January, when the ex-con she was with shot up the home of one of her ex-boyfriends. An unspent 9mm round was found in her car.

She’s been temporarily sidelined — but allowed to keep her paychecks — and will return to the classroom if acquitted.

But the first manslaughter rap should have been the final straw for DePrima, outraged officials said.

“Why would you allow a convicted felon to teach impressionable young children? What kind of message does that send to them, let alone their parents and the taxpayers of this city?” asked Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan.

“It just seems to fly in the face of common sense.”

What in the brave new world of education doesn’t fly in the face of common sense?

Monique Wallace, a special-education teacher formerly assigned to PS 180 in Brooklyn, was convicted in 2009 of stealing nearly $40,000 in federal funds by lying about her job and income on an application for subsidized housing intended for poor families…

The 41-year-old was slapped with a $500 fine and is now earning $63,000 as a teacher at the SEEALL Academy in Mapleton, Brooklyn.

Similarly, Staten Islander Mark Corso, a teacher at IS 51, was busted in April 2006 as part of a “boiler room” investment-fraud scheme he had participated in years earlier.

He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud, a Class D felony, in 2009, and was ordered to pay $1.1 million in restitution…

Corso, 52, who makes $45,500, is on leave from IS 51 in Graniteville but is still eligible to teach there…

Debra Watson, a sticky-fingered school secretary at Brooklyn’s Foundation Academy, was convicted of petit larceny last year after stealing thousands of taxpayer dollars from the Department of Social Services…

The city sought to boot her, noting her financial responsibilities as a secretary, but she was slapped with only a $1,000 fine and didn’t miss a single day of work

Particularly with mass layoffs on the horizon, education officials say they’re dismayed that they don’t have the right to dismiss seriously misbehaving teachers — including outright criminals — who in most other fields could be fired on the spot.

“Because of the way state law and the contract require that we terminate tenured teachers . . . we don’t get to make rational decisions about convicted felons,” said Mike Best, the Department of Education’s general counsel. “And that’s an unfortunate thing.”

And it’s no way to run an effective workplace, he said

It actually is every effective, if you want to teach kids to be criminals.

Source : sweetness

Enter Your Mail Address

Leave A Response »