WHO IS NEXT TO GUEST BLOG? A ROLE MODEL

This country has never been very good at picking role models. I remember growing up one of our role models was a blond steroid and drug addict.

This country has never been very good at picking role models. I remember growing up one of our role models was a blond steroid head and drug addict.

I thank Ms. Ortiz for her inaugural post here yesterday as a guest blogger. Now that we have an idea of who she is and from whence she is coming, it is a good time to introduce the next guest blogger to you. As you will see, this next person is at a totally different stage in their life and career.

Those of you who have followed this site, or New York education news in general, will be familiar with this person. I thought it was important for you to hear what this person has to say and to give them a chance to say it.

The person to whom I refer is Christine Rubino.

If you don’t know the case of Christine Rubino, you can familiarize yourself with it here, here and here. I first learned about her situation from the New York print media who were, not surprisingly, less than fair. For this reason, I decided to write about her situation myself. Despite the fact that this site can never hope to have the type of reach of the New York Post or Daily News, I would have been remiss if I didn’t use this little corner of the internet to give her a fair hearing. I am glad that I did because, since my first piece about her, Christine and I have become friends.

What convinced me of the need to talk about her story were the responses it elicited in the comments section of the news sites. People could not wait to pass all types of judgments on her character and fitness to be a teacher. It was sadly ironic that people who bemoaned the lack of role models for our children were saying some of the most vile and hateful things to be found on the internet. Vile and hateful not only describes the treatment she received from anonymous Puritans, but from the Puritans at the Department of Education as well.

As most of us know, Christine’s nightmare stemmed from a comment she made on her private Facebook page. It is a comment that Christine has never defended. She removed it very soon after it was posted. Very few people saw the comment. Since no students or parents were on her Facebook page, it would have been very unlikely that anyone who would have been truly offended by it would have ever known of its existence.

Unfortunately, one of the people who saw the comment during its brief life span was the resident teacher snitch of Christine’s school. Not only did he see it, he took a screen shot of it, saved it, printed it out and showed it to the assistant principal, a man with whom he had a “special” relationship. It usually works out that the people who have the most to say about their coworkers are also the ones with the most skeletons in their own closet.

The rest is history, a sad and bizarre history. The Special Commissioner of Investigation of the DOE sent goons to her house to rifle through her garbage. Those same goons harassed and threatened Christine’s friends. They lied through their teeth at her hearing. Her union-appointed lawyer wanted to roll over and die, pretty much advising her to accept her termination without a fight. The DOE lawyers tried to cast a pall of doubt on her character. Since Christine had a clean record as a teacher of 14 years, they weren’t above coaching the principal and students to lie about her, not to mention making up lies themselves. The head of the Administrative Trials Unit ensured that the “independent” arbitrator, Randi Lowitt, came to the right decision: termination.

Did it matter to anyone that this was a comment made on her private Facebook page? Did it matter that the comment expressed the normal frustrations of being a teacher? Did it matter that she had taken the comment down almost immediately after it went up? Did it matter that she showed remorse and never defended what she said? Did it matter that she had a spotless record as an educator?

It mattered to Christine Rubino, who took Lowitt’s decision to the New York State Supreme Court. It mattered to Judge Barbara Jaffe, who ruled that Lowitt’s termination decree was “shocking to the conscience” of the court.  It matters to any teacher or thinking person who has an ounce of empathy.

The Department of Education likes to say that it puts “students first”. Christine’s two children are students in the DOE. Did they put those students first when they took away the livelihood of their mother? Are they putting them first by denying the woman they tried to destroy any form of unemployment compensation? If people are so concerned about role models for our children, why don’t they criticize the unethical and underhanded way the DOE harasses teachers? Barring that, why don’t these people act like the role models they seek by not judging an entire person’s character based upon one news article?

It is for these reasons that it is important we hear directly from Christine Rubino. When I had the idea of getting some guest bloggers, Christine was the first person who came to mind. I have seen first-hand the type of good person she is. I have seen her be a mother to her children, protecting them from the misery through which she has been put so they can have as normal a life as possible. I have seen her open her house to people and share what she has, despite the fact that she can barely make ends meet herself. I have seen how she maintains friendships she has had since childhood, a sure sign of a person with character and integrity. I have seen Christine help me get some of the things I needed to get settled into my new apartment when I moved a few months ago. Perhaps if other people see the type of person she is, they wouldn’t be so quick to pass ignorant and misinformed judgments on her.

Up until now, Christine has had people speaking for her. Me, her lawyers, the DOE and the media have all been allowed to paint the picture of what type of person she is. But she deserves a space where she can speak for herself.

The Christine  Rubino case has been a lesson in the best and the worst in humanity. On the one hand, you have a person who has done nothing but be generous and helpful to everyone around her; someone who always wanted to be a teacher and did the job with distinction. On the other hand, you have a bureaucracy that lied, sneaked around and harassed to get what they wanted, and what they wanted was the destruction of another human being.

You can decide for yourself which one is the bad role model for our children. I, for one, would not allow a bad role model to be a guest blogger on this site. Stay tuned because tomorrow, for the first time, Christine Rubino finally speaks for herself.

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10 responses to “WHO IS NEXT TO GUEST BLOG? A ROLE MODEL

  1. Christine’s story is not special, it is what goes on EVERYDAY in the NYC DOE…the media suppresses it and scapegoats the teachers…they are ruthless and I spit on them.

  2. To clarify, no disrespect to Ms. Rubino whatsoever, I have have been rendered permanently disabled and research seems to indicate I can connect it directly towards the abuse at the hands of administration all the way up to Bloomberg and his guy Klein. The NYC DOE is no longer focused on teaching but rather using our children as cash cows, sabotaging the system so schools fail so that they can be ‘privatized’ and more charter schools can be set up…this has been going on for years. The UFT is simply a bill collector, totally useless, Ms. Randy is now sitting fancy in D.C. while she sold out a whole slew of good teacher…of course this is my ‘OPINION’ I wouldn’t dare call it ‘fact’…I can back up my opinion however. While on medical leave, they elected to terminate me…after three years of successful ratings, and ranking TOP in my school…somehow I began to get sick and all of a sudden became incompetent. It was disgusting…while facing the possibility of Breast Cancer I received harassing notes from the Assistant Principal, the Principal and recovered and what I now believe was a pathologically disordered recovering alcoholic terrorized his teachers constantly subjecting them to goals that were not humanly possible, every June teachers walked around in fear he had a habit of targeting individuals…daring to demand textbooks he began screaming at me…he was verbally abusive but I was not one to take that kind of abuse…unfortunately it’s put up or shut up. If I knew then what I know now I would have filed charges against him with the police. THE NYC DOE is perhaps one of the worse offenders when it comes to non-physical violence…it is Workplace Bulling and there needs to be an awareness of it…it has the SAME effect as Domestic Violence…the lack of awareness is what is directly contributing to the increase in bullying in schools and the reason why children are coming home and killing themselves. The bullys (Principals) triangulate, they play one against the other, the sabotage, and they create abusers by proxy…teachers work in FEAR…and they know for the most part, the union picks and chooses who to defend, so their only choice is silence…Ms. Rubino…you are lucky to be out of the swamp…give it time…you’ll age gracefully my dear child…I’ve been out ten years and still have nightmares in my sleep…and they got away with the damage…the media, the politicians, the lawyers, everyone I tried to contact totally ignored me…

    • Thank you for stopping by and sharing your story. I would say that I am surprised but nothing the DOE surprises me anymore. The sad thing is that the people who do the dirty work in the DOE are some of the most incompetent people around. If they didn’t have this bureaucracy to sustain them, they would be bagging groceries somewhere. Their investigators are NYPD rejects, their lawyers are disgraces and their arbitrators are little more than hired mercenaries. Anyway, sorry to hear your horror story. More people need to share what happens within the DOE because, as you said, they are some of the worst harassers out there.

  3. At one time I could write well and spell; however, part of my disability includes cognitive challenges so please excuse the errors…

  4. Yes. Finally. Christine, you should have written a long time ago.

  5. Michelle Theurer

    Kudos to you for a very well-written article. I know Christine personally, as well, & couldn’t agree more with your words about her character. She was an excellent teacher, is a great mother & friend. The cards that were dealt to her were not fair & so not deserved.

  6. Christine Rubino

    ^^^Michelle is the girl…thst helped us..with the move. Also, thank you for all your kind words. It is greatly appreciated.

  7. Pingback: DECLARATION OF A LIFELONG TEACHER | Assailed Teacher

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