Are NYC Education Leaders Guilty of Reckless Endangerment when it Comes to Sexual Harassment?

Part Of A Sexist and Racially Offensive Email


Is Randi Weingarten Guilty of Reckless Endangerment when it Comes to Sexual Harassment???

Evidence Emerges as the Head of The Teachers’s Union Aware Of Inappropriate Behavior

By Cindy Grosz and Jonathan Clarke, Esq.

Business emails from the New York Department of Education sent to teachers, administrators, instructional specialists and Department of Education executive staff members seem to approve to the recipients of the email to sexually use “white women” by “black men” because “white women are “docile and easy to control.”

The email, titled, “White Women’s Opinion of Black Women,” is actually a multi page email sent to many of the leaders within the Queens, New York area where a majority of students, educators and  principals are Black.  The email went on with examples of why white women are “easy, can be controlled and can be walked over.”

District 29, and its neighbor District 27, have been the center of scandals from hidden weapons and safety to ties to elected officials who were found guilty of multiple felonies including Shirley Huntley, Malcolm Smith, William Scarborough and Ruben Wills.

Leaders from the Hindu community demanded apologies from the leaders of MS 226 after Principal Russell White commissioned a mural for display herself as a Hindu goddess.  This artwork was part of a grant through Russell Simmons Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation.  Last week Simmons stepped down from his companies and had been dropped by HBO after a new sexual assault allegation by Jenny Lumet, stemming from 1991.

When Cindy Grosz, became aware of this email in 2006, she immediately contacted Randi Weingarten, then president of the United Federation of Teachers, the union representing educators in The New York Department of Education, her response to her was, “Read it, Who gave it to you–I have seen this before–lots of times.”

This from the women who called charter schools “polite cousins of segregation,” this past July at the annual American Federation of Teacher’s annual convention this past July.  “This privatization and disinvestment are only slightly more polite cousins of segregation,” Weingarten said. “We are in the same fight, against the same forces who are keeping the same children from getting the public education they need and deserve.”

Do you remember the movie “The Accused,” from 1988 when Jodie Foster’s character was raped and those with information and/or witnessed the crime were prosecuted and found guilty?

Is there a public demand for finding out who at NBC knew what Matt Lauer was doing?

Is this any different for a public figure who overseas the influences of our young and innocent?

Perhaps Randi Weingarten was immune until now. Her friendship with Hillary and Bill Clinton is well documented, from her early endorsement of the Hillary’s presidential campaign sitting next to Bill at the Democratic National Convention and having a prime speaking spot there.

Could it explain why the Lenon Murray, was able to keep his positions as both a principal and superintendent  in District 29 for many years, despite rumors of unwanted sexual advances to staff and complaints from teachers who pay annual dues to the teachers union and are promised a safe and supportive work environment.  He was finally arrested for groping a subordinate co-worker after four years of “sexual solicitations and talk on an almost daily basis,” according to reports.

Only two weeks ago, The New York Post published reports about the violence within District 29.

Could her knowledge and no action be the reason that one of Lenon’s principals, Antonio K’Tori, of PS15, in Springfield Gardens, was sued in 2014 for making advances to teacher Shante Penniston and threatened her when she did not respond to them. He told he had all the power because he was a man.

K’Tori was the supervisor of teacher Simon Watts, a former fourth-grade teacher of PS 15, who is currently serving a 35-year prison sentence for convictions for three counts of second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child, two counts of first-degree sexual abuse and one count of forcible touching and five counts of endangering the welfare of a child.  These incidents took place between  2007-2010, when Weingarten was president of Teachers’s Union tied to the NYCDOE.

While K’Tori was not forwarded this racist and sexist email, multiple colleagues were.  Weingarten admitted these emails went around.

While Weingarten criticizes President Trump, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and Charter School Leaders like Eva Moskowitz, we really need to question her guilt of New York Penal Law 120.20, reckless engagement in the second degree, which states conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person and is considered a class A misdemeanor.

President Trump campaigned citing the failures of our inner city public schools, particularly on minority families.  Was he wrong.
Essence magazine and the Black Women’s Roundtable  found Black Women are losing faith in the Democratic Party at the Congressional Black Caucus’s annual gathering in September.
Is it any wonder given what’s going on from the top leadership and spiraling down to individual school supervisors?
Should Weingarten have acted to end these emails?

Cindy Grosz is an education activist.

Jonathan Clarke is a partner in the law firm of Clarke and Bellows, located in
Long Island, NY.

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