The Crack Team just got this story of a middle school teacher from Brooklyn. His name is Jeff Storobinsky who suddenly had to retire this past February for the abuse to stop.
The Crack Team has seen and heard quite a bit but after reading this they were moved to tears. We all felt sick to our stomachs and feel that not even a dog would be treated this way, yet teachers are time and time again.
We have highlighted in red what we think to be of importance.
When will all of this end?
My Story: A 30 Year NYC veteran teacher disgraced and humiliated.
My name is Jeff Storobinsky and I approved this message.
Here is some insight into my personal life and the events leading to my unwanted exodus from the NYCDOE
In 2000 I was granted full custody of my two children I always taught them to always be honest and take the high road in life. Professionally I have navigated that same way; keeping confidences, being loyal to my bosses and helpful to my colleagues. What transpired since September 2013 is an example of pure horror, embarrassment and disbelief.
On June 30th, 2013 my former boss retired after being at the helm of our middle school for 5 years. She was and still is an amazing principal with principles who I cannot put into words how much I learned from this principal. Prior to this principal and going back to 1984 I was every principal’s trusted teacher. I was held in the highest esteem by superintendents and beyond. My Personal file was as immaculate as a file can be with not one blemish in it, nothing but accolades. With my former boss I was quasi administrative having done programming, Galaxy, Famis, BEDS, Surveys, in charge of technology for the building as well as teaching to sixth graders. I am sure I have left out a hundred more responsibilities. I exceled at all of them.
In July, 2013 they brought in a 32 Year old man with a PHD who was previously an AP at a high school. In July, those that were against me (For the closeness I had with my former boss) got to him and immediately the handwriting was on the wall. Yes, I had power in the past, but never abused it, I never ratted anyone out. I would give my boss the pulse of the building but would never engage in “he said this” or “she said that”
In September 2013, I was greeted with a FULL program (Something that I did not have since 1999). Others though in less prominent positions still maintained their reduced assignments.
So the school year begins; Mr. Storobinsky is teaching and teachers come asking for a laptop, an elmo, a projector etc; I’d say watch my class for a moment I’ll go to my office and be right back; anything to help. The main office would call up: Our Printer won’t print. Teachers would call up “no internet” or can you configure an ipad or my personal equipment to the school’s wireless network?
Unfortunately, during the summer when massive cleaning is done, custodians move and disconnect technology. Cables are snapped, IP addresses are lost etc.
Mind you, this is only the first week back! I am leaving out ADMINISTRATOR names as my point here is to tell MY story without embarrassing others ( I will leave the future up to those who have the knowledge and power to make right what was done wrong)
I am 75% deaf (Got measles at age 2 in 1960) No hearing in my left ear and only 50% hearing in my right ear; it’s tough. Surgery to repair this has only recently been perfected.
The school has a population of around 755 students with 4 APs, 3 of which are women. Two of the 4 AP’s are genuinely decent human beings
Anyway, back to September. One of the female AP’s asks me a question, I did not hear her correctly; I asked her to repeat the question, she did by screaming it into my face, this has occurred for years even when she was an ELA teacher.
At some point later on in September I went down to the principal’s office, I told him I am finding servicing the school and a full program difficult; would he consider taking away 3 periods so I can effectively do my job. I also told him I was being unfairly harassed by one of his AP’s. In moments he referenced that I am teaching technology with a CB (Common Branch) license. I said I will gladly teach Math which I did from 1984-1999. His answer: “C’mon, you’re too old for this, you really want that, you’re going to be 55 in November, right? If you retire, I will give you 3 days a week of F status (part time work), you’ll make a fortune, you can even do it from home” Unbelievable, right? Yes, I have proof this happened. My mind in disbelief leaves his office, I am shocked as can be.
I continue to work unabated, helping staff, teaching my classes.
My fiancé, a paraprofessional in my former school (still is) has been there since 1997 and is the best of the best. A couple times a week she would be there with her one on one along with the class the child is in. On occasion, a teacher would need my help and she would watch over the kids as I left for a couple of moments or needed to use the men’s room. This AP would come in and say “Where is Mr. Storobinsky?” Now mind you the teacher this para is assigned to is this AP’s friend. This teacher leaves this para alone with a class for 10- 15 minutes on occasion, was this para questioned as to where this teacher was? No, double standard, of course.
The year continues as I plug along giving the job all my energy. I’m a graphics artist too, and we had purchased 2 years ago a huge wide format printer. Always, teachers, admins would ask “can you make a blowup of this” time, time, time. I bent over backwards to appease everyone. I also asked the Principal who his BEDS ( a state survey) designee was knowing the sensitivity and license concerns involved. He did not seem concerned. Bottom line, it was done in secrecy and God know who is in jeopardy license wise. I texted my colleagues check the NCLB (No Child Left Behind) report, ask if you are highly qualified or Not highly qualified. I was protecting my colleagues and bringing the administration to task for not having distributed the BEDS forms and code sheets. BEDS has to be signed off by the teacher and turned over to the BEDS coordinator. Hence I am talking recently (since I retired in February) Principal calls me up warning me to stay out of school business. Back to October and November I continued to work my butt off, parent teacher conferences were a success as parents couldn’t get enough of me and loved me as they have for 30 years.
On December 13th, 2013 as a result of a prior accident literally 11 teeth came out from my mouth. Frankenstein looked better than I did.
Nothing temporary could be done as there was nothing to connect to in my mouth. I then began a procedure to have my mouth seeded with implants, a procedure that will conclude at the end of this month.
I had surgeon’s notes and all documentation to substantiate the fact that I could not work as I could not speak properly and it would put me at an awkward disadvantage. The principal did not believe me so I took a selfie and sent it to the entire admin body and payroll secretary, embarrassing but necessary.
It is now early in January 2014 (I am home), after a bungled faculty conference where a strong teacher challenged the principal and the principal rushed out of the library rather than to answer questions he went straight to his Personal Computer and wrote me a letter that if he was in a rational state of mind he would not have sent.
Highlights from this letter include the following:
Parents and students think you are a joke (been adored for 30 years by parents and students)
If you return you will be investigated for any missing inventory (in the meantime on PD day in November I gave him a complete audit of all school technology assets)
There is no technology in this building (hmm how about the grants I helped write and the years before putting technology into every classroom)
You are to have no contact with your fiancé during school hours.
You are barred from using any technology in the building whatsoever
Your ineffective ratings shall remain. ( Never received my observations), he also said later on that was just said that to me to retire, that he would remove them and tear them up (Proof exists)
If you do however return, you will no longer teach technology, you will teach ELA and Social Studies.
He said that I said “I do not want to teach” I asked him to reduce my teaching schedule slightly so I can service the school more effectively NOT that I did not wish to teach. (Proof exists)
Shortly thereafter he dismantled my office, broke open the closets and I have no idea what he did with what.
Without teeth, and under extreme emotional and psychological duress I retired in mid February 2014.
I started my FB community moneyoverage on 3.1.14 .
This principal has been heard bragging how he would get rid of senior staff.
Every memo derogatory to me is in my possession , as well as other “UNDENIABLE” proof
When my fiancé confided in her friends that I was forced out and all the unsavory things being done to me she was confronted by the principal. She was told “stay out of the web” keep your mouth shut, you’re still respected here. After humiliating her, making her cry he then hugs her for appearance sake under a second floor camera.
This past week, the icing on the cake was finding out that after being forced out because of my age and threats, and intimidation I am to receive and end of year rating of “U”
I have touched based with a wonderful lawyer, the NYC Human Rights commission and various units within the Education department.
Recently a message is conveyed to me through a third party that this principal is possibly going to remove the “U”. Am I being played with? Is this not adding insult to injury? Was the “U” removed? NO
How and why has my illustrious career been reduced to shambles?
I have lost $750,000 in future income and had to go belly up on unpaid QPP and TDA loans which are now taxable. My original plan was to retire in 2020 at age 62. This is a financial hardship and nightmare.
The psychological, emotional and mental toll on me has been the worst nightmare of my life.
I am taking money I cannot afford to part with to heighten public awareness and to pay facebook thousands of dollars for to advertise as far and wide as I can.
Lastly, how do I know so much of what is going on in my former school? Simple at least a third to a half of faculty texts or calls me daily for advice and to fill me in on what they perceive is wrong or questionable. They trust me, plain and simple.
There is so much more to this, but I cannot go into it here due to its sensitivity.
In my life I have never made waves; always a team player and supporter of the underdog. It is here and now I make a stand, perhaps a part of a few vanguards setting the way for justice and fairness and accountability.
If you truly wish to help you can like the facebook Host page (community) that hosts the post you are reading now at https://www.facebook.com/NYCMoneyOverAge We are currently up to over 2,050 page likes and steadily growing.
Another outlet is respectourseniorteachers.org a safe place to post under an alias what you feel is right and wrong with the school system and a myriad of other topics.
Lastly, nycprincipals.org exists as a relay service to forward to the correct and reliable people any reports of misdoings that you are aware of. These will not be posted; it exists strictly as a relay service.
And the Campbell Brown's of the world want to do away with tenure?
What is sad is this is not being done in a vacuum, this is not the exception, this is the NEW NORMAL!
Worse, is that this can't happen without an enabler, THE UFT!
Jeff is the real deal. Jeff is a mensch. This story needs to get out there. Soon.