Ex-CNN anchor Campbell Brown has joined New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg in combating the United Federation of Teachers and American Federation of Teachers over the handling of teachers who are accused of sexually charged misbehavior.
In late July, Ms. Brown released a series of outraged tweets saying, "Teachers union must stop protecting those who commit sexual misconduct with children," and "Unions have to be there to support great hardworking teachers. Not ones who sexually harass and endanger our kids,"
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The New York Times reports:
Since July 2008, the city Education Department has brought 100 cases for "sexual misconduct" against teachers, social workers and guidance counselors. But arbitrators allowed just 26 to be fired; in many other cases, they ordered discipline ranging from reprimands to suspensions. The Bloomberg administration has been pushing to change the law to allow the schools chancellor to override arbitrators who do not fire such teachers. Teachers unions have fought the change, saying that the arbitrators — who are jointly picked by the city and the union — are the only people who can stop falsely accused teachers from losing their livelihoods. …
One person drawn into the skirmish is Steven Ostrin, 59, who became Exhibit A in Ms. Brown’s campaign for change.
Accused of telling a sophomore student that, in her words, "I could give him a striptease any time," as she took a global history exam in his classroom at Brooklyn Technical High School in March 2005, Mr. Ostrin was found by an arbitrator not to have solicited sex but engaged in "sexual banter" and was suspended for six months.
Ms. Brown's response to such behaviour:
"I don’t think it’s fair that we cannot guarantee every child in this country a great education and that, in New York City, in some cases, your child is at risk in some part because of the policies the union endorses. It is impossible to not see that we have a broken system that is in need of change."
Ms. Brown has come under fire from union officials for her marriage to Dan Senor, Mitt Romney’s senior foreign policy advisor, who is also on the board of StudentsFirstNY, an education policy group that Mayor Bloomberg is close to. Ms. Brown maintains that her views are her own and she is not doing someone else’s bidding.