The four teachers currently suspended and awaiting hearings to determine their professional fates may still be in limbo on September 9, the first day of school.
By Sarah Varney
The four teachers currently suspended and awaiting hearings to determine their professional fates may still be in limbo on September 9, the first day of school. But an in-depth examination of the New York State Education Department website and the information posted there about the disciplinary process required by the State and the District, show that the lengthy disposition of the cases is not surprising. A Rye school parent made a complaint on May 6 and an incident report form was submitted to NYSED on May 7.
Both the Rye City School District and the Board of Education have turned away any requests from parents and media for information or clarification of the District’s statement that, “This is a personnel matter and therefore we cannot comment. We’re bound to confidentiality.”
Nature abhors a vacuum and fresh rumor regarding the matter continue to sprout to fill up that space.
The process that wends from incident report to a final hearing is pretty much the same as that used by the civil court system. A “jury” (panel of three people chosen by the American Arbitration Association) or a single “judge” (hearing officer) is picked to decide the case. The suspended employee gets to make the choice. There’s a pre-hearing (pre-trial) and accused teachers can opt to settle with the “employing board” at any time up until the actual hearing.
Teachers found guilty of allegations can be suspended without pay for a fixed time period; receive a reprimand, which is placed in a permanent file; be fined up to $5,000; be dismissed and/or lose teaching credentials.
The Test Security and Education Integrity Unit (TSEI) was formed in March of 2012 when the state ramped up its security efforts with the advent of the Common Core Curriculum. The six-person squad comprises two prosecutors and four investigators. There is no time limit for these investigations.