SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Jeff Storobinsky Exposes The Truth in Brooklyn

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Jeff Storobinsky Exposes The Truth in Brooklyn

The Crack Team is pleased to welcome once again guest blogger and retired teacher Jeff Storobinsky to share a few words.

For those who don't recall these pages shared some of Jeff's story back in June.

Jeff is in the process of suing his tormentors with The Crack Team's favorite attorney, Bryan Glass, representing him.

In today's post, Jeff exposes and names his tormentor. Read on!

A NYC Teacher’s quest to restore his name and reputation.  I’m Jeff Storobinsky and I proudly approved this message.

This is NARRATIVE # 5, which continues my story to seek justice and restore my name.

I will just summarize.

I am 55 years old, and taught for 30 years without a blemish of any sort, ever. A new principal (age 32) comes in last summer and decides to target me. I leave it up to you to draw your own conclusions.

I shall name this Principal and the school later on in this narrative.

For many years, I handled key quasi-administrative operations. I was trusted to get the job done and did. This was in addition to handling the technology needs of the building. These years had me teaching with a reduced assignment (less teaching periods).

There are those who might like to minimize my effectiveness and importance in my profession but that’s because they have always been part of the problem, not the solution. For 30 straight years, with 4 Principals with differing leadership styles, and having had an absolutely flawless record and file which speaks for itself is how I characterize my career. One cannot fake success and accomplishments over 30 years.

This past year, many of these key responsibilities were done, poorly or ineffectively at best, sparking debate within the school.

The school had on average 755 students. How many assistant principals do you need for such a school register? 1?, 2? , 3? Well, we had 4.  A stellar 67 year old Guidance Counselor who was there his entire career was excessed in September, 2013 to make room for 2 new APs to be brought in shortly thereafter. After floating through at least 10 schools as an ATR (SUB) for the 2013-14 school year, he retired; not when he planned though. UFT help: NONE.

During my brief stay there during the 2013-14 school year, I politely asked the principal to reduce my assignment by a few periods (as was normally the case and was the case with others during this school year) so that I may better serve the school.

He then went around saying "Mr. Storobinsky does not want to teach”

What happens when I left? The principal then put TWO teachers into the technology room.

During this past school year there have been investigations into questionable school practices too.

Mind you, the principal is INTERIM ACTING.

Let’s now go back to the beginning.

I met this principal last September and within weeks I was on his hit list. My life was made a living hell, the worst emotional pain and suffering one can ever endure. I was under a doctor’s care during this time suffering from extreme stress and depression.

In February, 2014, I involuntarily retired, having been seemingly blackmailed into it.

For much more precise and pinpoint evidence, search through my previous postings and uploads made to FB in late June and July.

If you cannot find them request them and I will post them into the comments.

I also wish to mention that the UFT chapter leader instead of encouraging me to stay and fight and telling me that the UFT will stand behind you flat out told me “RETIRE”. I understand this as he is retiring in 1 or 2 years and like many chapter leaders, look out for themselves first and wish to stay on the principal’s good side. The UFT district rep proved equally worthless too as a very close ally of his who works at my former school lied and said that the district rep did not have a cellphone number.

Of course it will be argued that nobody forced me out that I left on my own (Legal term: Constructively discharged ).

However I equate it with the following: God forbid, if you are on the 61st floor of a burning building and your choices are succumb to the smoke and fire or jump which would you do? I jumped.

After I left, my fiancé, Marisol Perez, an exemplary 17 year bilingual paraprofessional was subjected to humiliation and threatened by the principal   “don’t be caught up in the web”, an obvious reference to her stating to her colleagues that I was forced out.

She herself fears retaliation as do other teachers from this very same school that have come forward with their stories that were published on Money Over Age.

I have taught technology since 2000 and had outstanding classroom management and instructional skills.

I was observed twice in one week in early late in 2013.

The first class, was a newly created hybrid class of troublesome students created and programmed into certain teacher’s schedules so that observing them would be easy to prove teacher ineffectiveness.

When I was observed with this class I had no experience with this class or established routines in place yet. The second observation that Friday was with a better class and I was engaged in a meaningful lesson and had lesson plan in hand with this class too.

It is not until June that I find out that I was deemed ineffective ( I never received a hard copy report of the  observations ) and received a rating of UNSATISFACTORY which prevents me from working for the NYCDOE in any capacity post retirement.

Now the reason for the “U”:  In June of this year, the principal was putting forth his time schedule for this September. I, being in touch with many of my colleagues on a regular basis advised them via text what I felt was in their best interests, and to not feel pressured to vote a certain way since the principal had his own people trying to push his agenda.

The Principal calls me in June and warns me “not to communicate with his teachers” This phone call was RECORDED by my smartphone Call recording app.

After this phone call, it was relayed to me that I got the UNSATISFACTORY for sharing with friends my opinions; and that if I stopped, the UNSATISFACTORY could go away.

Earlier on, AFTER my retirement, there was phone conversation between the principal and me. In this conversation he says to me those ineffective observations would be discarded. Two things I have to emphasize; this was AFTER I had retired and that the phone call was RECORDED by my smartphone’s telephone call recording app as well.

I hereby go public with the announcement that I have filed a formal complaint and that the principal as well as his superiors and his superior’s superiors have or will be receiving a copy of my complaint shortly.  My complaint is based on multiple counts of discrimination; 3 to be exact.

Let me briefly outline the 3 areas of discrimination I have experienced and am claiming in my complaint.

First : Age. I was encouraged from our first conversations to  retire with the promise of unlimited “f status” or per session” He claimed and bragged How he would call up all the principals in our district convincing them of my worth.  This was just bait to encourage me to leave.

He then goes on to say that I am teaching technology to sixth graders out of license with my Common Branch license. When I said I can teach Math which I taught from 1984-2000 he replied with  “really ? Nah, you need to relax and chill at this part of your life” This part of my life? Really? Was I just told I’m too old to be doing this?

Stunned and bewildered, I left his office. Later that night I emailed him and told him politely I will stay on the job to 2016 or beyond, I do not think he liked that.

Lastly on this, referencing his past he referred to a former colleague as “an old Jewish guy”. Much more exists on this particular complaint of age discrimination.

Second: Physical disability. I am 75% deaf. My concerns to him of how I was discriminated against fell on deaf ears.

Third: Race. Of approximately 60-70 staff members servicing and teaching students, I was the only Caucasian permanent staff member left.

One of these acts of discrimination is horrendous, two are staggering, what are three equal to?

I obviously cannot touch upon everything or what my complete evidence is. Recorded phone conversations and voice recordings made from a smartphone are only part of it.

The NYCDOE Corporation Counsel will be sending the Principal himself a copy of this complaint too, as the complaint has to be responded to.

My former Principal’s name is Dr. Shannon Burton and he is the Principal of MS61 in District 17, Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

He is formerly from Yonkers’ Roosevelt High School and most recently from Prospect Height HS in Brooklyn where he served in both schools as an assistant principal.

Money Over Age and its over 8,000 followers and nearly 250,000 readers have been extremely supportive of not only me but other teachers who have fallen victim to Principals without principles.

I fear some retaliation on my reputation but am quite prepared to handle that. More importantly I am concerned about retaliation on my fiancé Ms. Perez, who returns there September 2nd, but she is up to the challenge and is quite strong.

Nothing will ever erase the depression I was in and the toll it took on me physically, mentally and emotionally.

If the NYCDOE has allowed this Interim Acting Principal to become appointed then a great injustice to civil rights would have occurred.

An example needs to be set for what proper conduct for a principal should be.

Principals in their early 30s are too young, being closer in age to their students then the median age of their faculty.

Of importance too is to diversify schools with faculty staffing and students.

Please keep Marisol and I in your thoughts and prayers as we go forward.

Whatever the outcome is, we can handle it.

God bless, Jeff

No comments: