SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: David Pakter Opines About the High School of Art and Design

Thursday, May 10, 2018

David Pakter Opines About the High School of Art and Design

David Pakter sent me the following a few weeks ago. I am now finally getting around to publishing it.

For those who don't know who David is or have forgotten, please read here. David is the OG teacher of taking on the NYCDOE.Not only was he thrown under the bus but the bus backed up and forth several times over him.

David retired and left for points unknown. I have always thought of him as the Frank Serpico of teachers and figure he did like Serpico and moved to Europe incognito.

David had taught at the High School of Art and Design and must've read of the shit show that is happening there.



I have read with much shock and sadness at SOUTH BRONX TEACHER, what has become of the High School of Art & Design and its UFT Chapter since I was illegally removed in Sept. 2004 on trumped up charges.

I had become a Whistle-blower of serious New York City, NY State and United States Federal Civil Rights Violations that had been taking place for years at the school, and with the full knowledge of both the Manhattan Superintendent's Office as well as the NYC Dept. of Education itself.

I strongly urge your readers to read the letter I sent to former Chancellor Joel Klein, Esq. in Sept. 2003 detailing my well documented allegations- because NOTHING has changed in all the years after I was driven out of the system, worn down from years of battling all the entrenched corruption in that 25 Billion dollar "Enterprise"  euphemistically titled the NYC Dept. of Education.

Readers are strongly encouraged to read the Letter I sent to Chancellor Joel Klein and the reply I received in return which speaks volumes.

Please read now.

After my removal in Sept. 2004 and despite having been subjected to TWO separate 3020-a Kangaroo State Hearings, both of which I survived, I finally in 2010 arrived at the painful conclusion, that my career with the NYC DOE was effectively at an end. 

Although at the conclusion of my Second 3020a "Trial" virtually ALL the knowingly Fraudulent charges against me were Dismissed and Thrown out, by that point my Award winning Medical Illustration Program had been utterly dismantled and destroyed. 
It was clear to me that my illustrious 35 year career at the High School of Art & Design was effectively over.

Following my first 3020a Trial I was reassigned to a different HS but within 19 days I was once again removed- this time based on the Charge I had brought plants into the school building without official Permission.
Of course other similarly absurd charges were added to embellish the list of "allegations" against me.

This Second 3020a Trial was highly followed by the entire country and even by news papers in Europe including the FINANCIAL TIMES OF LONDON.

Some of the Hearings were even attended by a certain highly respected individual connected to the SOUTH BRONX TEACHER.

The trajectory of this years long campaign by the NYC DOE to drive me out of the "system" was Published in horrifying detail by all the important Teacher Blogs including SOUTH BRONX TEACHER, Norm Scott's legendary Blogs and Betsy Combier's equally legendary Blogs, especially at:

But why am I taking the time to revisit these facts at this time.
It is because the "Past is always Prologue"

All the mind bending horrors that the NYC Dept. of Education visited upon my totally undeserving head, beginning 14 years ago have now returned to fall squarely on the undeserving heads of so many of the splendid Teachers at my former place of teaching, the High School of Art & Design.

Reading the letter that the UFT Chapter Leader, Jason Agosto sent to Michel Mulgrew, President of the UFT, nearly brought tears to my eyes.

For it is now clear to me that the sadistic plan to destroy my own celebrated Career (I was personally Decorated by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in City Hall), that same type of vicious behavior on the part of the NYC DOE is now being visited upon legions of present Dedicated NYC Teachers including at the HS of Art & Design.

Any teachers who expect and demand that their UFT Contract should be upheld and Honored by the system that agreed to that Contract, are attacked relentlessly and continuously and with a sick vengeance by forces emanating it would seem, from the deepest bowels of Hell.

And the once vaunted Teachers Union, the UFT stands by and does nothing.
Even worse the UFT appears to appease and even support the sadistic and illegal attacks on teachers who simply wish their Contractual Rights to be enforced.

So what has transpired over the past few Decades ???


When I entered teaching in 1968 in the South East Bronx it was literally in the midst of one of the largest Teacher Strikes in American History.

A District in Brooklyn has mistreated UFT Members and UFT President Albert Shanker, called an IMMEDIATE City wide Strike.  Almost 100,000 UFT Teachers walked out of their schools, here, there and everywhere in new York City.  It was a spectacular and momentous event.

In those days no one in NYC doubted the clout the United Federation of Teachers wielded.   It was known nation wide the UFT was a titanic force to be feared and reckoned with and one violated the UFT Contract at their distinct Peril.  The NYC Board of Education knew this Fact well.

In every school in NYC every Principal and Assistant Principal knew the one Teacher they must always fear was the UFT Chapter Leader.

But over the years something changed.  The Legendary UFT President Albert Shanker, as all things with time, moved on and passed the torch to Randi Weingarten.  For a long time she appeared to walk in Al Shanker's footsteps.  But gradually as time passed things began to change.

More and more it was clear that Principals were beginning to mistreat Teachers with impunity  and without a "peep" from the UFT.
Principals gradually stopped having the least fear of the UFT and/or their local UFT Teacher Representative based at an individual school.

More and more Teachers and especially Senior, Veteran Teachers were starting to be mistreated, written up for nonsensical reasons, and more and more frequently given U Ratings for the year and then brought up on "Charges" based on the most flimsy and fraudulent allegations.

During the long years I was consigned to four different Rubber Rooms  I met Teachers who had been pulled from their schools for reasons few would ever believe possible.  One teacher I met, a 28 year Veteran with a perfect Satisfactory Record, was removed because a Second grader began running around the room and ran straight into the Teacher.

You guessed it !  The Principal decided it was the fault of the Teacher who apparently exhibited poor Classroom Management.  That charge has been used hundreds of times to axe innocent Teachers.  Perhaps thousands of times.  During the years I spent in several different Rubber Rooms I heard stories so insane you did not know if you should laugh or cry--or perhaps both.

The war against NYC Teachers began in earnest after the year 2000.
I was once told by a well known Journalist, that the big purge of Senior teachers at the top of the Pay scale, was the result of a deal between the City and the UFT.  The UFT would get serious pay Raises in exchange for closing their eyes to the purging of thousands of Senior Educators.

And indeed most of the Teachers I met in several Rubber Rooms were the more Senior Teachers.  It was a fact as clear as day.

When I look at the Teacher signatures on Jason Agosto's letter to Michael Mulgrew I only saw one single name from the time I was removed from the HS of Art & Design in 2004.
Apparently most of my former colleagues were eventually driven out, harassed out or brought up on 3020a charges of one type or another.

This is the new NYC Dept. of Education protocol.  Higher them young at dirt cheap salary prices, squeeze them dry and then set them up and harass them out after just a few years.  These poor hapless Souls do not have a clue going in that they will never survive long enough to earn a serious Pension.

It is all Smoke and Mirrors.  And during those few years they are in the "system" they learn early on to live in abject Fear with a capitol "F".

Eyes front, mouth kept tightly shut.  See NO Evil, Hear NO Evil, Speak NO Evil.  Avert one's eyes from observing wrongdoing and blatant corruption of any and all kinds.  And NEVER, NEVER consider for a second, saying or doing anything to "Rock the Boat"- as I did and for which I paid the ultimate price of seeing my celebrated Medical program destroyed and my enormously ultra Gifted students scattered here, there and everywhere who I could of gotten into Ivy League Colleges with full Scholarships.

From under what dark and clammy rocks do failed Human Beings like the present Principal of Art & Design come from.  Sub humans who make the life of their dedicated Faculty a living Hell on Earth.

And how did a once venerated Teachers Union gradually fall from Grace and resort to the barbaric outlook that they have every Right to take the hard earned money of their Union Members and then abandon them, even spit in their face, when those dues paying Members have the nerve to expect their Union to Defend their Contractual Rights clearly written in Black and White.

What happened ??  How did New York City's hard working, Dedicated Teachers ever end up in this truly Tragic situation where on a daily basis they are caught, even trapped, between a hard place and a stone.

The human maggot who now serves as the Principal of the High School I proudly reported to every day for a quarter of a Century, is simply just another mindless, vicious lackey, stooge, enforcer for the NYC Dept. of Education.  And the poor Faculty that must serve under this heartless, pathetic creature, have little say in the matter.

But what is most tragic of all is that their Union, to which they must pay their hard earned dues could NOT care less about the Trials and Tribulations and extreme Pains that the Teachers at Art & Design must endure every single day of the year. 

I wish to here and now and most Publicly salute and state how Proud I am of people like UFT Chapter Leader at Art & Design, Jason Agosto et al. who despite having a multitude of reasons to openly rebel against the UFT, nevertheless stay in the game, attempt to work with the "hand they have been dealt" and fight for the Contractual Rights of their fellow Teachers.

All this in spite of the fact that it clearly appears to be the case that there is wide spread collusion between the UFT and New York City.

Why else would the UFT avert their gaze and attention from the desperate Plea of the Teachers at the HS of Art & Design, my former School of 25 years, to intercede and protect them and their trampled Rights from the ongoing, sadistic and Dictatorial behavior and dark agenda of a Principal from Hell.  In a fair and Just world such a person would NOT be allowed to get anywhere Teachers or students.

And finally, looking at the present State of Public Education in America and the despicable forms of treatment to which Teachers today are subjected and must work under I find I must ask UFT President Michael Mulgrew a simple question- to wit:

"Have you no Decency?   Have you at long last no Decency at all and feeling of Obligation to Defend your Dues paying Members who pay your Salary ?"

What happened to the field of Education in NY and in all of America ?
What dark forces conspired to allow and cause 100,000  hard working Dedicated Teachers throughout our City to be forced to work under such despicable, failed Human beings as the present Principal at the High School of Art & Design ?

How do we, how can we get back to a place called Respect for Educators ?

And once again, why does the UFT, which collects millions of dollars in Member Dues, NOT step up to the Plate and Defend Teachers who are illegally attacked for Demanding that their Contract be adhered to.  Has the UFT no understanding of their Fiduciary Responsibility to their 100,000 Members.  

Has UFT President, Michael Mulgrew, at long last no shame at all ??


The flowers that once graced the desks of so many proud Dedicated NYC Teachers.

And will they ever Bloom again ?

David Pakter, M.A., M.F.A.
Former Teacher of the Year
Still Standing


Dan Ronen said...

I strongly appreciate and admire David pakter's advocacy for the students and educators of NYC .What has happened to David's promise to sue the DOE and the UFT upon the end of his trial?


Dear Dan Ronen:
Thank you for your Kind Remarks regarding my having attempted to Stand Up to Power as well as Rampant Corruption in the World of Education.

In answer to your question regarding my promise to Sue for Justice in the various Court Systems- YES I did spend a Fortune taking the Case/s into the Federal Courts.

While I never had much faith in seeking Justice in the Lower Courts, I was Naïve enough to believe that in the Federal Courts Justice could be Obtained and that all Federal Judges were as "Pure and White as the Driven Snow".

Following is what ensued and you may Draw your own Educated Conclusions as to what Passes for "Justice" in some of the Federal Courts controlled by ultra Powerful "allegedly Independent" Judges in Black Robes.




This is the Short List of the events pertaining to my chief Federal Case

1) I named over 20 High Ranking DOE Individuals based on over 750 pages (SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY PAGES) of Documented Evidence I had painstakingly amassed over several years.

2) We were Ordered by the Federal Judge to reduce the 750 pages down to a Total 35 pages AND that limit had to include any Documents and/or other SPECIAL Exhibits we wished to ENTER INTO EVIDENCE.

Like asking a Boxer to fight with NOT One arm tied behind his back BUT BOTH ARMS TIED BEHIND HIS BACK.

3) Despite our Repeated Requests to enter into the normal stages of Discovery in order to place the Named Individuals on the Witness Stand where if they Lied they would be at Risk of being found Guilty of Perjury--a Very Serious Offense, we were never allowed to Call a single Witness to the Stand and Subject them to Discovery and/or Cross Examination.


4) We were subjected to gargantuan waiting Periods between ongoing Rulings by the Federal Judge involved- a Federal Judge who has a Lifetime reputation for such behavior and has often been Called Out re such behavior.

5) In the end after a "Legal Process" that seemed to move at a Glacial Pace (as in watching Paint dry on a Court House wall) the Federal Judge who Presided over my Case, Ruled that the Entire Case had to be Dismissed on the Grounds that all our Allegations of a Pattern of Whistle Blower Retaliation, against me for "Speaking Out" were not necessarily Untrue, but occurred over such an Extended Period of Time, that the Court had no other choice but to consider all my Allegations as merely "Separate and Discrete" actions that did NOT constitute and/or Prove any type of "Pattern" of intentional Harassment and/or "Whistle Blower Retaliation" Committed against me by the Individuals Named in the Case.

It is akin to saying that if a Husband subjects his Wife to continual horrific beatings and she eventually dies as a result of the cumulative harm from said beatings, if there was a sufficiently long space of time between the Beatings then a Judge might say each beating constituted a "Discrete" and "Separate" Act and that therefore there was no Proof the Sadistic Husband could be found Legally Guilty of Committing a Pattern of horrific and Sadistic Behavior towards his sorely Victimized Wife.

Yes- a few, a very, very small number of American Educators have sought and found Justice in the Federal Courts. But those Cases are few and far between.

Which serves to Prove that any American Teacher who is Sorely "set up" and Victimized by the countless and far flung Depts. of Education throughout America, stands about as much chance of obtaining Justice in the Federal Courts as he would "stand a chance" after purchasing a LOTTO Ticket of waking up a Multi Millionaire.




I have purposely NOT Named the Federal Judge who Presided over my Case as I have been strenuously and repeatedly been Warned that Federal Judges in America "walk on water" and possess the Power of Gods and one criticizes such Judges at Peril of getting slammed into the nearest Prison for alleged "Defamation" and/or "Libel".

But YES- I would do it all again because if No One Stands Up To Power, then where are we headed as a Just Society.

It says in the Bible: "Justice, Justice, Thou Shalt Pursue."

However, nowhere in the Bible does one see the additional words added:
"But only if you are Guaranteed you will end up achieving Justice".

You Stand Up To Power because it is the Right thing to do regardless of the result.

David Pakter, M.A., M.F.A.

Former "Teacher of the Year"
Decorated by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in City Hall