SEXING: How Schools Hurt Our Minority Community
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
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.”
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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. Those indicted included 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.
As an aside, ironically, 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 I became aware of this email in 2006, I 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 me 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.”
In 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? And what of Weinstein? Is this any different for a public figure who overseas and influences our young and innocent? Perhaps Randi Weingarten felt immune.
Her friendship with Hillary and Bill Clinton is well documented. Weingarten and HRC have been friends for years. Weingarten received criticism from Sanders supporters for her early endorsement of the Hillary’s presidential campaign. Moreover, Weingarten sat next to Bill at the Democratic National Convention and scored a prime speaking spot at the event.
Could Weingarten’s cavalier attitude towards sex in New York schools explain why the Lenon Murray, was able to keep his positions as both a principal and superintendent in District 29 for many years? His leadership was allowed despite rumors of unwanted sexual advances to staff and complaints from teachers. Weingarten’s staff, together with the NYCDOE, ignored the reports from those who pay annual dues to the teachers union for the promise of a safe and supportive work environment.
Murray 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 inaction 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. Allegations are that he threatened her when she did not respond favorably to his sexual advances.
K’Tori supervised Simon Watts, a former fourth-grade teacher of PS 15, who is currently serving a 35-year prison sentence. He received convictions for the following:
- Three counts of second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child
- Two counts of first-degree sexual abuse
- One count of forcible touching
- 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 made the rounds.
Weingarten routinely criticizes President Trump, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and Charter School Leaders like Eva Moskowitz. However, we really need to question her guilt of New York Penal Law 120.20, reckless engagement in the second degree. Because as the statutes reads, “conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person” has occurred on her watch.
During his campaign, President Trump cited the failures of our inner city public schools, particularly on minority families. He nailed it.
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. When you see stories like these, it’s easy to see why.
Should Weingarten have acted to end these emails? In the interest of women and students, I suggest yes.
Cindy Grosz is an education activist.
For the entire email and additional information, contact Jonathan Clarke, Esq. who is a partner in the law firm of Clarke and Bellows, located in
Long Island, NY.