-By Warner Todd Huston
In 1997 a Brooklyn teacher was accused of attempting to molest a sixth-grade girl at PS 138. As it happened, he admitted the behavior, but no criminal charges were filed when all was said and done. Still one would think the fact that he inappropriately fondled a teen should be enough to get him fired from his teaching position. But then again, in New York you can't even fire a child molester if he happens to be a teachers union member.
Thanks to the fact that it is nearly impossible to fire a teacher, this lowlife has been drawing his almost $100,000-a-year salary to do nothing. You heard that right, to do nothing. You see, even as the union agrees that this pedophile isn't fit for a classroom, the union still won't agree to his being fired. So, teacher Roland Pierre sits in a "rubber room" five days a week and does nothing and he's paid $97,101yearly to do so. And that doesn't include benefits.
For particulars on the accusations and how the case came out, see the New York Post piece written by Susan Edelman. Suffice to say that it's the taxpayers getting taken to the cleaners.
Edelman also casually notes that the school system has five other such teachers that have been on the clock but doing nothing for years and at full salary.
For those unaware of what a "rubber room" is, it is an office to which union members report when they are on suspension and/or are under investigation for misconduct. They go to these offices and read newspapers or magazines and sit around drinking coffee and watching TV. They do this while their cases are winding their way through the system before a determination can be made if they are to be fired or returned to the job.
Rubber rooms are not just seen in the New York school system but in many school systems across the country (usually in the larger cities) as well as other union infested industries like the auto industry under the heavy hand of the United Auto Workers (UAW).
The problem with these rubber room policies is that teachers are being paid sometimes for months and other times for years -- as in the case of Mr. Pierre - while their cases snail through the system of constant claims, counter claims and arbitration forced on school systems by unions. Sadly, taxpayers across the country are footing the bill for thousands of these union members to sit around in a relaxing climate without having to work day in and day out.
Often it is so hard to fire these people that some of the most outrageous cases of misconduct never sees justice done and teachers fired. Another New York teacher, for instance, actually impregnated a 16-year-old student and a few years later molested two 12-year-olds yet the state still found it impossible to fire him.
Stories just like these in New York also happen in Los Angeles and many other cities.
Sadly, even when it comes to protecting child molesters, our teachers unions only care about the dues money they can pry out of our taxes and making sure that no union member is ever held to account for their behavior.