SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Brooklyn PE Teacher Loses His Job Because of Fortnite

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Brooklyn PE Teacher Loses His Job Because of Fortnite

If only the gym teacher were a principal. If her was then he could be incompetent, a sexual harasser, insert his tallywhacker into copy machines, put relatives on payroll, steal, commit perjury, force people to attend their own church, recruit teachers for bible study in the library, and do whatever and not lose their jobs. Better, nine times out of ten they get removed to a cushy desk job at Tweed.

But gym teacher Brett Belsky played 20 minutes of Fortnite with two students and he lost his job. All Brett wanted to do was to make a personal connection with a couple of troubled students and give them an incentive to due better in gym. His heart was in the right place. There was nothing nefarious.

Now, is Fortnite social media? The Crack Team reach out to the only person who could answer this question, my 17 year old son. My son when asked if Fortnite is considered social media unequivocally exclaimed, "Fuck no!" He then went back to playing Madden online with his friend who is several miles away.

Facebook is social media. Twitter is. So is what's left of Myspace.

How is playing 20 minutes of Fortnite any different Belsky played catch with the students after school? Or if he saw the students in the corner bodega after school and bought each of them a Coke as reward or incentive to do better in school? Hell, we bribe kids every day with the promise of some prize or tchotchke every day. What Belsky did was no different.

But SCI got involved.They found cause the Belsky did not follow the DOE's own social media guidelines. But not only is there anything in the guidelines pertaining to online gaming, the guidelines only mention social media of which Fortnite is not!!

But for some reason the arbitrator decided that teacher with a spotless record for all of his eight years in the DOE must be terminated. That the way to deal with a mistake. Screw over someone's life.

Belsky did make a mistake. There was no malice and children weren't endangered. His heart and soul were in the right place. In a 3020-a hearing the arbitrator does and must look to see if the teacher's conduct can be changed and if there is remorse. I doubt very much that Belsky contradicted this.

To make matters worse, SCI has come out and...

suggested that the DOE clarify its employee “Social Media Guidelines” to make clear that teacher-student gaming is out of bounds.

So now the guidelines need clarifying? It goes to show that the guidelines were already vague when it comes to gaming. How can someone get fired if his investigators are already agreeing that the "rules" were not clear?

The arbitrator, in this case was arbitrary and capricious. Brett Belsky deserves a fair hearing and his job back.


Abigail Shure said...

The Constitution prohibits the passage of ex post facto laws, but apparently that does not apply to the enforcement of DOE guidelines.

Anonymous said...

I know plenty of teachers that have played fortnite with the kids. They begged me to play with them on the upcoming break, but I hate video games. It’s definitely off the table now. This teacher should be commended, not fired.The DOE is truly a fucked up organization. It teaches us to distance ourselves from students. Where’s the UFT on this? If Mulgrew, as a teacher, could bang a married counselor on his desk why can’t this teacher play a video game?

FidgetyTeach said...

Clearly, in the bizarro world of kangaroo court at the DOE, they make up their own rules. I am so sorry to hear that this teacher had to be terminated because of their incompetence and failure to arbitrate properly. If I were him, I would not give up and we take this a step further. I hope that he has his own lawyer.

Anonymous said...

Come on everybody! Can't you all see what really happened here? What happened is this teacher probably had a shitty principal who did not like this particular gym teacher. However, the principal had no real dirt on this teacher to justify firing him. Therefore, the principal used Fortnite as a way to get this guy. The lesson here is to watch everything you do. If you think there is even a remote possibility that what you are doing could be perceived to be used against you, then DON'T DO IT.

Anonymous said...

Agree with anon 5:13. The only problem is that almost any normal interaction can be twisted by the vengeful principal so watching everything you do really is not a good defense from the old 'false disciplinary actions undertaken to address interpersonal issues" game.
My suggestion, and this is not much of a help, is to have absolutely no human or machine-based interaction with any of the students (avoid speaking to them at all or coming within 10 feet of them).
FWIW our gaming club (yes, we have one) moderators routinely compete in Fortnite and other games with the students.