Campbell Brown destroys Al Sharpton over union protections for sex offenders in schools

Jul 5, 2013 by

alcoholism1NEW YORK – Campbell Brown debates Rev. Al Sharpton over teachers’ union lax policies on firing sex offenders.


CAMPBELL BROWN: There’s a very specific process for how this plays out. And that’s what we’re focused on, trying to highlight the process because I think a lot of parents don’t even know that this is the way it works. When an accusation is made or allegation is raised with regard to a teacher or school employee,  a special investigator comes in and looks at this to figure out, you know, is there anything there. there’s going to be cases where some kid gets a bad grade on a test and makes up a story. you want to make sure that those cases don’t get before an arbitrator or have a hearing. once an investigator determines something happened here, he substantiates the accusation, then the Department of Education decides do we want to fire this person or not. If they decide we have to remove move this teacher they get a hearing before an arbitrator. That arbitrator has the final say. in other cases with other public employees, the arbitrator makes a recommendation to the head of the department who decides whether to fire. But only with regard to the teachers. The arbitrator has the final say. And in many cases these  arbitraitors are making really bad rulings.

AL SHARPTON, MSNBC: I think she raises a good point. i don’t know that i agree with the conclusions about the unions. I think there’s another…

BROWN: Why not? Why don’t you?

SHARPTON: Let me make my point. You’ll find out. I think there’s enough blame to go around. I don’t think that the administration of the mayor has been as vigilant as it could be. I don’t think the chancellor has been as vigilant as it could be. And I think the union has defended situations that I don’t agree. But I think that teachers deserve to be defended.

I mean, I work right now, my group has just done two schools with the chancellor, though the mayor has amnesia about it because we’re fighting over stop and frisk, but that’s another issue.

But I think that the kids must be protected but I don’t think you do that at the expense of teachers having the right to defend themselves. But the teachers that do anything, even what you say that is not criminal, ought to be absolutely removed and I think the arbitrators are in many cases being unfair.

HOST: But there has to be a zero tolerance policy. Protecting the kids 1.1 million kids in the New York school system, how do you implement… and, of course the teachers have a right to defend themselves but in a lot of cases profiled here, teachers have been found guilty of inappropriate action. They’ve just been slapped on the wrist, suspended.

SHARPTON: Which is wrong. Which is why i’m saying the arbitrators and the administrators, as well as the teachers unions, I think have to be challenged. I don’t think we should just deal with it just as a union problem.

BROWN: But there’s a simple solution to this problem. Okay? Changing the teachers’ union contract. Right now, the reason that the teachers union says we have a zero tolerance policy, we think — what they’re saying is wrong. There are, the teachers union will argue that the chancellor is trying to get rid of people who aren’t found guilty. That’s not true. The teachers union’s contract has a verry narrow definition of what sexual misconduct means, which is why these cases we’re talking about, this banter and inappropriate touching, doesn’t fall within that definition. All we want to do is change the contract. Expand the definition, say these things fall under it. Then change a state law.

SHAPRTON: Expand it to say what falls under it?

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BROWN: If a teacher asks a girl to give him a striptease that teacher ought to be fired.

BARNACLE: That’s not a bad idea.

BROWN: I think it’s so common sense. So why then is the teachers union fighting this?

SHARPTON: I don’t know the rationale on either side of it. I just think that to single out the unions like just dealing with a union contract, but not dealing with the fact that the administration tolerated a lot of this or at least did not highlight a lot of this is only telling half the story.

BROWN: But, the union is the one whose fighting this change. The administration isn’t fighting the change. why –

SHARPTON: Well, i’ve known a lot of situations brought to the chancellors, i mean we just went through the catastrophe of Miss Black, a lot of situations I can tell you that has been brought that was not dealt with and i’m one who has worked with them in certain areas.

HOST: As the son of a former public schoolteacher and librarian and union member i have to say on this one, Campbell is right. The teachers union in the city of New York has enormous political power. The ad you run is pointing that out. They’ve finished competing for the union endorsement. They are one of the most effective political organizations. I think it’s a mystery to some extent why the teachers union doesn’t say on this one, right, we’ve got to change the contract. adhere to their benefit as well, i think.

Campbell Brown destroys Al Sharpton over union protections for sex offenders in schools – powered by Education Action Group Foundation, Inc..

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