An advocacy group has found that a broken disciplinary system allows dozens of sexual predators to continue to work in New York City schools, reported the New York Daily News.
Headed by former CNN anchor Campbell Brown, the Parents Transparency Project found school officials attempted to fire 128 employees since 2007 for sexual misconduct and inappropriate relationships with children. Only 33 of those employees actually lost their jobs.
“The details of these cases are hidden,” Brown said. “Many parents have no idea whether one of these teachers has been entrusted with their children.”
The process for disciplining these employees includes a hearing called a 3020-a. An independent hearing officer selected by the teachers union and the city must oversee the 3020-a and determine the punishment for misconduct. Attorneys for both sides argue before the hearing officer, who is usually a retired judge.
Too often, the group says the punishment does not include losing one's job. During the 2011-2012 school year, the group says 223 employees were charged with some form of misconduct, yet only 17 were actually fired.
The group plans to launch an ad campaign Monday in order to influence union leaders, state lawmakers and city officials to make changes to the policy.
Just last week, a Bronx special education teacher, Anthony Criscuolo, was arrested for the rape of a 10-year-old student at P.S. 386. The Daily News reported that before his arrest he had given the 10-year-old a ring, danced suggestively with her in class and took students on unauthorized outings. The group believes that kind of conduct should have gotten Criscuolo, 40, fired before the sexual assault took place.
A former librarian at Stuyvesant High School, Christopher Asch, was charged with “inappropriate touching” in 2010. While officials investigated Asch admitted that he attended two meetings of the North American Man/Boy Love Association, which believes sex between men and boy should be legal.
Asch only received a six-month suspension from the state hearing officer.