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Parents Group Challenges UFT and Candidates on Teacher Misconduct

The Parents’ Transparency Project wrote a letter to United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew in response to a report that found sexual predators still working in city schools. The letter charges that teachers accused of misconduct keep their jobs because of a faulty disciplinary system and the union contract's definition of sexual misconduct.

In the letter to UFT President Michael Mulgrew obtained by the New York Daily News, Campbell Brown of The Parents’ Transparency Project writes:

“You have repeatedly written or said that the UFT contract has ‘zero tolerance on the issue of sexual misconduct with children. Unfortunately, the record does not support that claim.”

 “A lawyer may parse words and play semantics in determining whether these incidents may be defined as ‘sexual contact,’ but parents cannot”

The Parents’ Transparency Project also sent six of the mayoral candidates a survey asking whether they would press for reforms to make it easier to fire teachers who have been accused of sexual misconduct. Candidates Christine Quinn and Joe Lhota both said yes, while representatives for candidates John Liu and Bill Thompson said they had not seen the survey.

Anthony Weiner’s spokeswoman said the candidate "believes the issue of New York City education — including teacher discipline — should be left to New York City citizens and their lawmakers."

Candidate Bill de Blasio’s spokesman gave this statement:

"Bill believes there should be zero tolerance when it comes to sexual misconduct. Anyone facing allegations should immediately be removed from the classroom, and anyone found guilty of abuse should face immediate dismissal. We need a speedier process to reach those judgments more quickly so we can dramatically reduce the time it takes to make a decision — but Bill doesn't support unilaterally firing a teacher based on allegations alone."

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