Eight New York City school teachers and teacher's aides have been removed from their jobs after a review of past employee discipline files by the Department of Education, Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott announced Thursday.
The teachers were axed after a DOE review of employees who had been disciplined in the past for inappropriate conduct -- part of Walcott's promise to address a recent rash of public school employee arrests.
The review consisted of all substantiated cases of misconduct dating back to 2000.
The employees removed were found to have behavior that is "totally unacceptable" for school workers, Walcott said in a statement.
Four of the eight employees were teachers with tenure, and Walcott said the department was trying to terminate them from their jobs. The other four were paraprofessionals or teaching aides, and were fired in the last three weeks.
Walcott added that a new resource will be launched in the next few weeks in an effort to bolster school administrators' abilities to conduct thorough background checks and make better informed hiring decisions.
The "enhanced" tracking system will better flag any new employee who has been disciplined for misconduct, according to Walcott. A new Disciplinary Support Unit will also coordinate follow-up with schools to ensure appropriate action is taken when investigators find that an employee engages in bad behavior.
United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said that if the city Department of Education had properly investigated the cases Walcott "wouldn't be in damage control mode right now.''
The eight employees reassigned or fired from their jobs worked at IS 285 in Brooklyn, PS 345 in Brooklyn, Baruch College Campus High School in Manhattan, A. Philip Randolph High School in Manhattan, Humanities and Arts Magnet High School in Queens, Port Richmond High School in Staten Island, JHS 13 in Manhattan, and PS 96 in Manhattan.
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