Queens Teacher Tried to Bribe Student With Grades for Good Press: Report

Bernadette Camacho, 39, denied the allegations that she verbally abused or tried to bribe any student.

Monday, Jan 2, 2012  |  Updated 1:08 PM EDT
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A Queens high school teacher who was fired after officials say she cursed at ninth-graders also tried to bribe a student by offering better grades if the girl would laud her to administrators, a report by a school investigator says.

Bernadette Camacho, 39, denied the allegations that she verbally abused or tried to bribe any student, according to stories in the New York Post and Daily News.

The papers disclosed details Sunday on a report by schools investigator Richard Condon.

Condon said in the report that after Camacho used a vulgarity in berating her former students at Hillcrest High School, she called a student five times to press her to trade praise for grades, but the student declined to help Camacho. Camacho then told the student "Thank you for making my life worse."

Camacho told the News she lost her temper with students in the past, but it was "nothing to be fired for." On one occasion, she told the newspapers, she got frustrated dealing with unruly bilingual students who ridiculed her Spanish.

"I said, 'I didn't have my head in my butt,'" Camacho told the Post. "I was trying to tell them in my way that I'm not that incompetent."

She said she never used a vulgarity when talking to students.

"I might have said 'damn it' but nothing more," she told the News.

Camacho has filed suit to get her $72,000-a-year job back.
 

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