Posts tagged "damage control"
June 15, 2012
Dennis Walcott’s first stop on a busy Friday was to reassure anxious families at Harlem’s P.S. 208, where a teacher was arrested yesterday on charges of molesting a third-grader. Walcott has made a series of similar visits this spring at schools around the city amid a spate of sex abuse accusations.
The surge in accusations has spurred Walcott to campaign for a state law that would make it easier for him to fire teachers who commit sexual misconduct, a campaign that he took to the op/ed page of the New York Times today. But Walcott said the bill would not likely apply to a case like P.S. 208′s, which is being handled by the District Attorney, not Department of Education or city investigators.
School workers who are convicted of sex crimes in criminal courts are fired under existing rules. But if they are charged but acquitted, non-criminal investigators can still find culpability, which would trigger a discipline hearing that could result in the teacher being fined and reinstated.
“We’ll have to see what happens with the case itself,” he told reporters. “One of the things I’ve been talking about is cases that may not be a conviction, but have been substantiated by the Special Commissioner of Investigations. I want to move those decisions out of the hands of arbitrators.”
Walcott spoke to lawmakers in Albany last week, and has sent city officials to hold more meetings this week. But sources told the Daily News that the bill is not likely to pass during this legislative session, which concludes on Tuesday. (more…)
April 30, 2012
Hundreds of angry educators from across the country seem to have taught the clothing retailer Kenneth Cole a lesson about diction—and union politics.
Late last week we broke the news about a company billboard that invoked a loaded education policy issue using a slogan many teachers viewed as an attack on their profession.
This weekend teachers and advocates responded, in a flurry of posts on Facebook, Twitter, and blogs, and a petition 600 signatures strong, calling for a boycott of Cole’s clothing company. Even national union leader Randi Weingarten waded into the fray with Twitter posts criticizing the company, which is headed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s brother-in-law.
The company has now responded. This afternoon, Kenneth Cole Productions used Twitter to send a public message to the creator of the petition, a D.C. teacher-turned-activist, Sabrina Stevens Shupe, that it plans to remove the billboard.
“We misrepresented the issue – one too complex for a billboard – and are taking it down,” the company posted from its Twitter account, @KennethCole.
This weekend, the company posted a different Twitter message clarifying that the ad campaign’s “Intent is to stimulate debate, not pit teachers against students.” The message now appears to have been deleted. The company has not responded to a request for comment today. (more…)