SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: I Feel A Great Disturbance In The Force

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I Feel A Great Disturbance In The Force

I really hope I am not coming across as beating a dead horse. If I am, I apologize, but something is really bothering me.

Right now a friend of mine is sitting in the new fangled Rubber Room accused of corporal punishment. Just one allegation. A bullshit allegation. That is all I can share presently. As of now, I can't disclose any more details.

Now here is where it might seem as if I am beating the proverbial dead horse. As many readers of my blog know I started out writing this blog in August 2008 to keep a journal as to the goings on at my school, PS 154 in the Bronx. I wrote extensively about an assistant principal at the time that I named Numb Nuts. Several months ago I shared his name, Derrick Townsend on the blog, and the fact I went on FOX 5 to out him as a serial physical abuser of students. Back in April when Chaz was being lambasted in the Daily News, I compared the hypocrisy of the DOE vis a vis teachers and administrators. Here is right I had written;

What did Derrick Towsend do? Well we need to go back to January 2007 in which I notified by immediate superior at the time, principal Cynthia Ballard of Townsend's misdeeds. Read on;

On Monday, January 22nd, 2007 during the extended day program, I heard a commotion outside my office, Room 219, in the hallway. I stepped to the doorway of my office and saw that XXXXX was struggling with Mr Townsend. Mr Townsend appeared to be attempting to get XXXXX inside his office. Mr Townsend then took XXXXX’s right arm, and pulled it behind and up XXXXXX’s back as he was doing this; he slammed XXXXX into his closed office door with XXXXX’s face and chest bearing the brunt of the impact.

On Thursday, January 25, 2007 at approximately 12:20 PM the 3rd grade was in the auditorium to watch a movie before they ate lunch. XXXXXX had come down with his class, and was not cooperating. XXXXXX had decided to sit in the 2nd or 3rd row of the far right (if facing the stage) set of seats. I was standing at the back of the auditorium, and saw Mr Townsend approach XXXXXX. I do not know what was said at first, but Mr Townsend was soon getting very animated. Mr Townsend then grabbed XXXXXX by his upper left arm, and pulled him out of his seat violently. He dragged XXXXXX up the aisle to the last row of seats, and threw XXXXXX into the aisle seat.

   On Tuesday, January 30, 2007, at approximately 12:20 the 3rd grade was in the auditorium to watch a movie before they ate lunch. XXXXXXX was talking to XXXXXX in the last row
   Of seats on the right side of the auditorium. Mr Townsend asked XXXXXX several times come sit with his class. XXXXXX refused, and Mr Townsend walked up to the last row. Mr Townsend walked down the row, grabbed XXXXXX, by his upper arm, yanked him up, and dragged XXXXX into the aisle.
WOW! So did anything happen? Before you answer, think for a moment. What would have happened if pretend Townsend was a a teacher not an AP. Yep, you are right. This was reported to OSI. OSI kicked it back to the principal, the same principal that had just hired him one month earlier, to lead the investigation. The investigation was unfounded. Why? Because in Cynthia Ballard's reports to OSI she blamed the students. Described them as troublemakers and discredited them. There was no recourse.

Flash forward to February 13, 2009. Townsend in a fit of pique because a 3rd grade girl would not follow his directions after sharing with Townsend that she was touched inappropriately by a boy, yanks her out of her seat by the arm, drags her through the classroom, down the hall, all in front of 50 students and at least several adults and leaves bruises on her arm.
The funny thing is Townsend had about 6 open corporal punishment allegations against him that year (2008-2009). One for dragging a 3rd grade boy a good fifty yards from the playground into the school whilst tearing the boys shirt in the meantime, dragging a 1st grader down the hall, punishing another boy who misbehaved at lunch by having the boy clean the cafeteria.

Now, I might have been exaggerating about the six open corporal punishment allegations (which I reported all to OSI myself! Oh, and using my name!) against him, or it might have been six. I truly forget. I do remember that the day before I was sent to the Rubber Room for 7 weeks back in January of 2009 that Townsend brought professional misconduct charges against me for carrying a coffee cup, I looked at the principal while pointing to Townsend and tell her, "The coffee cup bothers you, but he drags children and has all these open allegations against him and you are fine with that?" But whatever the number of allegations against him were, nothing was done, not a finger lifted, nor an investigator sent, until he was cornered by FOX 5.

Again, a bit of a rerun here. He was sent to the Rubber Room in March 2009, stayed there until the Rubber Rooms were closed and without a hearing, he settled I believe, was sent back to work. Not in a school, but a nice cushy office position with CSE 2 on Tremont Ave in The Bronx.

So why is my friend languishing, while Townsend more or less got off with a hand slap? For all we know, he still has his administrative license. Even here, where one can look up salaries it is not definitive whether or not Townsend is getting paid on teacher's or admin line.

This is not fair. This is not right. This is not ethical. I am fed up to here, my hand is under my chin, of teachers being the brunt of the deform movement. Weed out the incompetent administrators, weed out the protection of administrators and watch things change.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't approve of any Board of Education in the United States covering up for acts of misconduct by their supervisory personnel.

In New York City, suspected misconduct by school supervisors should be reported promptly and directly to the NYC Department of Investigation.

Or, the Commissioner of Investigation, Rose Gill Hearn, can be contacted:

New York City employees have an obligation to report corruption and fraud:

If the Department of Investigation wishes to refer the complaint to the Office of the Special Commissioner of Investigation for the New York City School District (Richard Condon's office), then that's their prerogative.

And then, if the Office of the Special Commissioner of Investigation wishes to refer the complaint to the Chancellor's Office of Special Investigations, then that's their prerogative.

However, the Special Commissioner's Office will be more likely to conduct a follow-up when they know that the complaint was passed along to them by the Department of Investigation.

In addition, a complaint to the Department of Investigation about a school supervisor should also be copied to the City Council's Education Committee via its Chairman, Robert Jackson. His Email address is:

It stands to reason that the City Council's Education Committee should be made aware of all complaints that were deemed serious enough to be filed with the Department of Investigation or with Commissioner Gill Hearn.