Teacher found guilty of sexual harassment not fired
Some schools have a big reputation not only for the quality of their students and the curriculum, but also for the type of teachers they employ. Brooklyn Technical High School in Manhattan is one of those schools that parents are desperately trying to get their kids in, but it also seems to be a hub for sexual predators. Steven Ostrin is the second teacher from that school to make headlines for harassing students. Orin asked a 15-year-old girl to give him a striptease, and be "his sexual little slave" but that wasn't enough to get him fired.
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The incident occurred nine years ago between the fifty-two year old teacher and a sophomore student. He was investigated and suspended on a paid leave, but never was fired because the Department of Education always fought on his favor. A court in Manhattan ruled yesterday that a teacher can't be fired because his remarks were part of an "inappropriate, predatory and unrepentant behavior" he had since the nineties. Wait! Let me get this straight, he is guilty, but he can't be fired. I just don't understand why these teachers are so protected by unions that condoned their criminal behavior.
The teacher had a long list of complaints against him by students during his tenure at the school. He was investigated but was allowed to return to teach. He even told one of the girls to stop wearing skimpy clothes because it excited him. What? The DOE always backed Ostrin because they couldn't prove that the girl was telling the truth. What was there to prove? I can understand if someone made a random claim, but clearly that guy had a history! Also, who protects the students? Clearly not the DOE and that's why we keep hearing news about teachers as sexual predators.
Ostrin is sixty-one now and he is retired, living his life with his family in Long Island and enjoying his pension. When the court ruled in his favor yesterday, the man felt at peace and he could finally put that whole thing behind him. I just don't get it! As a mom of a daughter in a public school in New York City, that ruling makes me sick! How is that even possible? That school had another sexual predator who was sleeping with many students and was finally charged after a long struggle. This has to stop! Teachers are supposed to educate, guide and help students are not messing with their minds, confidence and bodies.
Image via Corbis