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Betsy Combier

Help Us to Continue to Help Others »

The E-Accountability Foundation announces the

'A for Accountability' Award

to those who are willing to whistleblow unjust, misleading, or false actions and claims of the politico-educational complex in order to bring about educational reform in favor of children of all races, intellectual ability and economic status. They ask questions that need to be asked, such as "where is the money?" and "Why does it have to be this way?" and they never give up. These people have withstood adversity and have held those who seem not to believe in honesty, integrity and compassion accountable for their actions. The winners of our "A" work to expose wrong-doing not for themselves, but for others - total strangers - for the "Greater Good"of the community and, by their actions, exemplify courage and self-less passion. They are parent advocates. We salute you.

Winners of the "A":

Johnnie Mae Allen
David Possner
Dee Alpert
Aaron Carr
Harris Lirtzman
Hipolito Colon
Jim Calantjis
Larry Fisher
The Giraffe Project and Giraffe Heroes' Program
Jimmy Kilpatrick and George Scott
Zach Kopplin
Matthew LaClair
Wangari Maathai
Erich Martel
Steve Orel, in memoriam, Interversity, and The World of Opportunity
Marla Ruzicka, in Memoriam
Nancy Swan
Bob Witanek
Peyton Wolcott
[ More Details » ]
City Closed Hundreds of School Sex Harassment Cases With No Findings
From Betsy Combier: "My opinion as an investigative reporter/advocate is that the New York City Department of Education has no personnel I would call "investigators" or more specifically, "fact finders". An allegation is automatically believed to be true, if the Department wants to target the accused for some reason. Then the person accused of the misconduct/neglect/conduct unbecoming must prove their innocence or be punished for something they may - or may not - have done. As there are no strategies to hold anyone accountable for his/her actions, anyone can make up anything and get it to stick. A good defense team digs up the truth, documents the evidence in a cohesive argument, and presents it in a timely manner to the trier of fact (arbitrator, hearing officer, judge, panel). Adherence to procedural rules and factual content is the only way to win a case and overcome the imbedded bias in the system. Finally, the word "evidence" can mean different things to people who choose to believe one side. If there is no in-depth investigation, the side that wins is the side that is the most credible, speaks excellent English, and can memorize the script."
   NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio   
City closed hundreds of school sex harassment cases with no findings
by Ben Chapman, NY Daily News, August 8, 2018

Are accusations of sexual harassment in the public schools true? If you want to know the answer, don’t ask the city.

Education Department investigators failed to determine whether hundreds of sexual harassment charges in the city school system were legitimate, despite closing probes of the cases, official data shows.

The city reached conclusive findings in just 21 of 338 sexual harassment probes completed between 2014 and 2017, according to figures provided by the Education Department.

Of those 21 cases, seven were substantiated and 14 were unsubstantiated — meaning the accusations couldn’t be proven to be true.

But the remaining 317 probes — representing nearly 94% of cases closed during that period — did not reach a conclusions.

“Giving victims a platform to speak up and tell their stories only works if they feel protected from retaliation,” said former Robert Wagner High School Principal Annie Seifullah, who is litigating a sexual discrimination suit against the city.

“In my experience, most DOE employees do not feel protected in this way,” she added. “It’s shocking that people in power are still questioning claims made by those brave enough to speak up.”

Of those cases that were closed without a finding, 249 were ended because the accuser withdrew the charges, something that may be stipulated as a condition of a settlement with the city.

Education Department spokesman Douglas Cohen said the agency takes each allegation of harassment seriously.

“We have strict protocols in place to ensure that every allegation of sexual harassment is thoroughly investigated, and we’re hiring additional investigators to address allegations more quickly and ensure appropriate disciplinary action where there is wrongdoing,” Cohen said.

“We address each case based on the evidence,” he added.

City officials have been tracking sex harassment scandals in schools since April, when Mayor de Blasio published figures showing 471 sexual harassment complaints from 2013 to 2017.

Stats showed the DOE substantiated less than 2% those complaints, a relatively low number that de Blasio blamed on a "hyper-complaint dynamic" in the city agency.

He later walked back those comments on Twitter, writing that “every single person who has the courage to come forward with a sexual harassment complaint deserves to be believed.”

City schools Chancellor Richard Carranza was at the center of a $75,000 sexual discrimination settlement in San Francisco, where he was a superintendent before coming to New York.

Carranza has denied the claims in that suit, and de Blasio has said he doesn’t believe them.

New York City Department of Education Closed Hundreds of Sexual Harassment Probes Without Findings

New York City’s Education Department failed to determine whether “hundreds of sexual harassment” cases in the school system were “legitimate” despite the department closing investigations of those cases, the New York Daily News reports. Between 2014 and 2017, the city obtained “conclusive findings” on 21 of 338 sexual harassment investigations. Of the 21 cases with findings, 14 were deemed unsubstantiated and only seven were deemed substantial claims. Two hundred forty-nine of the investigations without findings ended because “the accuser withdraw the charges,” which may be a requirement for those seeking a settlement with the city. Between 2013 and 2017, the department substantiated less than 2 percent of all harassment complaints. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the number was so low due to a “hyper-complaint dynamic” but later walked back his remarks and said, “Every single person who has the courage to come forward with a sexual harassment complaint deserves to be believed.”

© 2003 The E-Accountability Foundation