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Monday, December 24, 2007

North Bellmore - New York

My Nightmare at North Bellmore
I nominate North Bellmore, School District, in Bellmore, New York, winner of the worst employer list. I worked as their District Orchestra Director from 2002-2005. Although the union contract states that you should get TENURE after 3 years, I was awarded TERMINATION by the new Superintendent, Mr. Mucci, who had not a clue what I did.

The North Bellmore Board of Education asked no questions as to WHY I was terminated and I was also denied due process by the board of ed as well. I was awarded TERMINATION as I completed my successful probationary period and after I had conducted 27 concerts thrououghout the district, in addition to other concerts and workshops throughout Nassau County, New York .

My picture conducting the North Bellmore District Orchestra

The union representative and president did absolutely nothing to defend me. She did not process my grievance and she did not take my grievance to arbitration. Thus, the union did not do their job. The school district broke the contract rule by not giving me the required 90-day notice of denial of tenure hearing and by denying me due process of law. The superintendent broke the law by also denying me due process of law by hiding my response to his "termination request" in the Board Meeting of May 5, 2005.

This was also an act of official misconduct. My right of representation and due process was denied me at that board meeting. This district also broke Education Law by not providing me with annual reviews.

They also committed acts of fraud by stating in a document that they DID in fact observe me, when in fact they did not, and no written observations exist for the years that they stated. They also continually falsely accused of not having my teaching requirements in order and falsely accused me of not having my credentials completed, when in fact I was more qualified than anyone in the district for my speciality. In fact, Education law requires that I have had my credentials and diplomas on file, for my speciality music position, so they also broke the law by not having these documents in my personnel file.

The same principal who wrote me up with false documents also misrepresented herself as a music expert. Later, at a NYS hearing, the superintendent perjured himself by stating in court that I had NOT held the position as district orchestra director of North Bellmore school district. However, I do have documents, letters and pictures and Music Journal evidence to support the fact that I WAS their only district orchestra director between 2002-2005.

The district also broke education law by not providing me with the Mandating Mentoring Program for all teachers with an initial certificate, which became law in 2003. In fact, I did not even have a supervisor, who could have defended me from these false accusations.

This is called malfeasance when a district does not provide this for a new teacher. It was because of all their negligence that I was fired from this job and falsely accused of being an incompetent teacher. No one knew what I did in this schools district, so the superintendent fired me. But that did not stop the Superintendent from collecting funds from the community when they voted to continue the program that I had developed.

I worked diligently for this career from 1994-2003 at the Queens College Music Education Program, earned my Bachelors in Music Education in 2000 and Masters Degree in Music Education in 2003 and have all the required updated music certifications and more. I also have an outstanding Federal loan for my education of $23,000. All this for a dead-end and abusive career which started and ended at North Bellmore.

Thus I was exploited, big time, and they were cunning enough not give me a job title which defined my role in the district, even though I conducted 27 orchestra concerts. Instead, they merely referred to me as a "teacher", in order to not pay me for all the extra work that I did, and skilled level of teaching needed for this position. An opportunistic maneuver to get quality and experienced teaching services of an orchestra director at Walmart prices. This is how it's done at North Bellmore.

I have not worked as a teacher since their termination and black-balling of my career since the superintendent, in addition to all the above, reaffirmed in court that he would give me a negative recommendation for all efforts at future employment.

I am grateful to be able to report this to Americas Worst Employers so that I can help other aspiring teachers avoid what I have experienced. If I can save one teacher from being employed by the North Bellmore School district, it will be worth it. My career started and ended at North Bellmore. My career ended, my professional and personal reputation was ruined, my healthcare abruptly taken away, retirements plans were destroyed, and chances of finding another job in the NYS public school system is null. Yet the superintendent gets off scott free, and there are NO consequences for him and he has continued his job, still makes approximately $250,000 per year, and this whole issue has been burried and taxpayers continue to pay through the nose for a superintendent who commits crimes such as these.

I still have nightmares and flashbacks of my termination and still experience severe bouts of post traumatic stress syndrome, all because I chose teaching as a career. Superintendent Mucci, Principal Marilyn Hirschfield and North Bellmore School District are truly Americas Worst Nightmare.

I have since discovered that this is happening to teachers all over America and is Americas best kept coporate secret at this time in our history.

Thank you for this opportunity to share my experience and to help other teachers.

D.H. New York

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ellee said...

Subject: The "Damage Control Shuffle'
IP: Logged

I lost the battle, but not the war.
Amityville UFSD has been investigated by the Feds, the County DA, and now the state dept of education. GOD BLESS

I lost my discrimination case because of reasons that are very, very, disturbing.

1) The $uperintendent shuffles people around in the district to keep from getting statements from them. All they have to say is "I do not remember" and the complaint is dismissed.

2) The $uperintendent calls a faculty meeting to get everyone on the same page of lies.
The $uperintendent tells everyone what to say to the questions anticipated from Human rights.
They all follow suit and lie, lie, lie in writing to human rights.

3) The superintendent says he hired a zillion new teachers of all ages and races. How could I claim discrimination. Because we all know the superintendent will fire and hire a zillion new teachers every year, only tenuring family members, cronys, and to hush up teachers with potential lawsuits like the art teacher who was severely assaulted by a student,
DeSorbe is now clamoring to give her tenure.

But Human rights does not have the manpower or the proper tools to do an extensive investigation!!!! Which would turn up more foul smelling goings on than you could shake a stick at.

THIS IS WHY THEY CAN get away with it!!!!!!!

My first mistake was missing the statute of limitations with the Federal EEOC
You must file immediately when you suspect foul play. They will coach you how to build a case.
They are competent, capable, and very thorough.

Otherwise you are stuck with the State Human Rights Dept as in NY. The computers are always down, the Investigators are overworked and to save money, the state hires para's instead of full fledged trained investigators. The investigations are half/assed, lack of working technology, manpower, etc...

Now I am told to go after Brian DeSorbe in Civil Court. This is where I get them caught up in all the lies.
I was told I stand an excellent chance in civil court.

Like O.J. who won in criminal court but lost in civil, this is what I am Hoping for

Why am I bothering?

So all of you can learn from my mistakes and hopefully my successes.

So all who were tortured and abused like me will hopefully file successful discrimination suits.

We are doing this for the future of our grand and greatgrand children. We must stop the corruption in the public schools and make them our public schools once again.

We must take our schools back from elite family groups who feel they and their offsprings are the only people entitled to the public school jobs,
and taxpayers money.

We must stop the colleges from knowingly and willfully taking money from people who think they will get a teaching job when this is the furthest from the truth. And the college certification professors know it. The college certification professors are well aware of who to support in their endeavor and who not to support.

This is one big racket.
This is why I will continue to fight!

Anonymous said...

I was looking at your plight and I feel very sorry for you. I checked out North Bellmore Staff and now they have five instrumental teachers (probably replaced you with two green teachers that they can do the same thing to when comes tenure time) Can you sue them in civil court like Ellee plans to do. They should not get away with destroying a person's career when you have worked so hard to acheive what you did. My thoughts and prayers go with you.

D. Hall said...

Thank you, Anonymous!

There were also 5 instrumental teachers at North Bellmore when I was employed. I was the only qualified string teacher and director of the string program for the whole district. My replacement is younger, was not permanently certified for teaching music K-12, when they hired her as I was.

In addition, the North Bellmore District Orchestra Program does not exist as it had for the past 17years, as my "replacement" only teaches in 2 schools, whereas I taught in all 6 schools of the district. I also carried a much heavier work load than my "replacement" does. How can the district carry on a tradition which lasted for 17 years, when there was no knowledgeable & competent person, no music chairman, and I had no supervisor to know about such traditions? With no supervisor, who did I have to defend me against false accusations? I believe this is intentionally done by malicious administrators to keep the district's budget low and their salaries HIGH.

It seems like no laws apply to school districts and age discrimination is alive and well in 2007. I was 59 years old when this occurred, older than any other instrumental teacher at North Bellmore. My much younger male assistant, who was not trained in string instruments and did not have my certifications, degrees, education or skills, DID receive tenure one year before I was axed.

All's fair in the education world, where teachers have no representation, and any law can be broken. Age discrimination is alive and well.

Thanks for your comment.

D. Hall

Anonymous said...

It is so easy for a superintendent to get rid of a teacher in New York State, since all the laws are stacked in favor of administrators and big districts. That $uperintendent could have fired you LEGALLY for any reason, in a timely manner, like they do in all the Long Island districts, before you completed your probationary period. But instead he forged ahead in an illegal way, which continues to cost those community taxpayers a fortune in litigation expense.

Why didn't he just say that the music department was downsizing? Your superintendent unnecessarily destroyed your career because he must have realized the irrationality of it too late, then had to make up lies in order to fire you, once the machinery was set in motion. These administrators have become too powerful and arrogant. They are clueless, but become sloppy and malicious when it comes to saving their own hides, and protecting their own position and lifestyles.

Anonymous said...

The Superintendent you refer to is well known to me. His stature and actions mimic those of a past megalomaniac known as Napoleon. Let's just say the voters of North Bellmore approved last year's school budget in order for the school to be improved. How did Napoleon reward himself? He gave himself a $50,000- raise.

Anonymous said...

That's a shame.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing these thoughts. I know of all the hard work there is in just getting into any district on LI. So, I can certainly feel your anguish & pain from all you've been through. Do know that there are still good people out there in administration, even some who choose righteousness in the face of temptation. :-)

Anonymous said...

I recall your situation very well, how very sad for you. Where was the Union (NBTA), they certainly earn plenty of $$ from your union dues, however, they did NOTHING for you (and many others!). And where were all of the other puppet principles, it would seem that they should have spoken of your outstanding attributes. Just what kind of a hold does this inept Superintendent have over each of them?

Anonymous said...

It's hard to believe that this sick individual who portrays himself as a superintendent has such power. It sounds as though he is trying to compensate for an inadequacy. Why are people afraid of him? By not standing up to this poor excuse of a leader you are only enabling him to mistreat others. Take the power away from him by standing up for your rights. There is safety in numbers. Where was your union in all of this? Your union sounds just as inept as your poor excuse of a superintendent. Is your school board fully aware of this superintendents tactics?

Anonymous said...

He who laughs last laughs best -- I just heard that the superintendent you speak of has been asked to resign. Justice for one and all.

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain! I went through a similar situation in Orlando FL, but is was racial. (more like reverse discrimination)

LZ said...

We have something in common. Although I had been employed by N. Bellmore School District from 2001=2008 as a teachers assistant and union dues were taken from every paycheck I was told I was not a union member after I was let go. The child I was working with had a mother who became extremely jealous of me. The accusations were so rediculous that the principal placed me in another classroom the last month of the school year. She told me the mother was crazy and not to take it personally, that she was just protecting me. Two weeks before the school year was over I was called in and told by the principal and the head of Special Education that I may be a really good mommy but they didn't think I was a good teachers assistant. There was never a yearly review but whenever the principal needed me to work full time with another student she called me a "seasoned teacher assistant". When I asked why they couldn't transfer me within the district I was told that "negativity was following me". I was planning to finish school to become a teacher but don't know if my self esteem has been permanently knocked down. I am know hoping to get work in another district or BOCES and have many teachers and parents on my side. Seven years later and a business degree that I didn't use because I loved working with children feels like a lot of lost years and a very wrong decision in my career.

Anonymous said...

Thank G'd you are not letting up on the corrupt administrators in North Bellmore's School District. It used to be a good district. Now they are only known for former sports glory days and former musical glory, et al. The schools in the USA are failing everyone now that the "National Idiot" pushed through the "no child left behind" nonsense. McCain and Bloomberg have no idea how to run school systems. Hopefully Obama will take the reigns. His wife Michelle is very wise and has the national bestsller in hand to instruct the "quick study" Barack with "White Chalk Crime" .... Everyone should get a copy and share it with the media, poiticians parents, students misguided to think teaching would be a good career choice....Your mistreatment mirrors my own in the NYCBOE. I am 50 and highly skilled and it was scandalous what abuse and lies they spewed. I have two masters degrees and passed all requirements, like the mentoring program, and student teaching with a highly regarded graduate school, at my own expense, certified on own at own expense, many tests many fees in the NYS scandouslous education billing scheme. Getting students hooked into education programs, lying about the future employability and tenure and benefits, and giving them false hope. They should be required to close their doors and refund all education course fees and test fees , et al, and treat teaching like Medicine. It is difficult to get in, highly competitive, and numbers are kept down by the lack of availability of a new crop of doctors/teachers, because it is professionally controlled. The influx of untrained NYC rookies and the foreigners being recruited undermines the investment and wage earning ability of US Citizens, teachers educated here in the USA at their own expense. Teachers should unite to storm Washington DC and demand fairness.

We should start with each Mayor and each Governor and move towards the White House.

Why hasn't any incensed fired teacher assasinated the guys who are oppressing them? Teachers must rise up and take arms and FIGHT BACK!

Anonymous said...

Let's organize to take back the classrooms and the schools and throw the bums who are oppressing good teachers with their own biases and power games OUT! Throw the bums out, and smear them like they smear us. It is criminal. It must stop.

Anonymous said...

Let's begin now, with a national petition of teachers to stop the abuse! I will put my signature on it first! KP

Anonymous said...

The "affordable housing" fight which was aided massive organizing, and by use of the court system of the state of New York. The ruination of this woman's carrer and any hope of securing any further employment, along with her professional reputation, could be remedied by massive and continuous exposure of this scam, perpetuated by unions and municipal governments, who, instead of helping her, have contributed the contamination of the system with the elements of organized crime.

Although Andrew Coumo has to defend state agencies, he cannot openly condone violation of law. We will win in the end, if only we can raise our heads from the sand, and get angry enough to realize that the activities of these administrators and union officials and HMO organations are no accident!!

Anonymous said...

Keep getting the message out. Never stop. The bastards who did this to you should pay. And if they don't pay, then at least they should be hunted and haunted until they go to their graves. Do you now understand why the Holocaust people don't stop remembering and reminding others. . . It's not about revenge. It's about justice. Revenge is something their maker will take care of after they are stripped naked of all their arrogant and hypocritical layers of vested garments.


Anonymous said...

They are criminal. It is amazing how they get away with it all. Yes they do blackball epople b/c they feel it is their right. They get some preverse satisfaction on ruining lives.

Anonymous said...

All who read this need to check the principals (Hirshfields) past. She is not open to change the only version of the right way is her way. One day when she steps off her imaginary pedistal she will see reality, she has lost sight of whats really important educating the children.I can go on and on but shell get hers and we all do in the end. I pray she can change and amend her ways. peace

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