Open Letter to President Barack Obama by zuw43706


									                   An Open Letter to President Barack Obama

Dear President Barack Obama Congratulations. Your election to the office of President of the United

States signals the end of an era filled over the last forty years with America‟s fight for Civil Rights, its

struggle for Humanity and Hope for a better tomorrow.

My name is Jennifer Saunders and I want to thank you for taking the time to read this letter. You have

stated that one of your administrations top priorities will be to help get Americans back to work.         I‟m

writing you this letter because I‟ve been out of work for the past 4 years and would like to get back to work.

I have one of the most important jobs in the world, a valuable set of skills, and an open market for hire. As a

matter of fact, there is a dire need in my industry for the kind of work that I do.

I‟m a New York City High School Teacher. I teach Video and Film Production. I‟ve been a Teacher for 24

years and should be teaching students everyday but instead I languished for three years in what is called a

NYC Rubber Room.

Instead of teaching students, I‟m fighting for my right to due process,

life, and liberty in one of the most critical times in our history and for

one of the most critical social issues of our times; Education.

You may be asking yourself, Rubber Room? Did she say Romper

Room? What‟s a Rubber Room?             Our awareness of the Rubber

Rooms began when each one of us was handed a letter by our respective Principals.
These letters contained a simple, yet foreboding declaration: SERIOUS ALLEGATIONS have been made

against you. As of today, you will report to Manhattan Reassignment Center at 333 7th Ave (or wherever the

Teacher‟s Reassignment Center is located).

No other information or explanation is included. The Teacher is handed this written condemnation by the

Principal, who then commands the Teacher to leave the school immediately and report to the Reassignment

Center and remain there until further notice.

“THE RUBBER ROOM” is a term aptly coined by a Teacher who found out shortly after arriving at one,

that the “Reassignment Center” is in reality: a detention center of concentration camp qualities where

Teachers “Bounce” off the walls day in and day out from sheer boredom.

These so called Rubber Rooms which exist only in NYC are dangerously overcrowded windowless fire

traps filled with resentful teachers who bicker with each other everyday over things as miniscule as space

and property rights over chairs in the room.

Where they were once brilliant Educators who taught great lessons in their classrooms they resign

themselves to playing boards games all day like Scrabble, Dominoes, Checkers and Trivial Pursuit. Some

read, write, sleep, eat, watch a movie or surf the net with their personal laptops, practically anything just to

pass the time away.

                                       Teachers are required to spend their time in the Rubber Room like

                                       it‟s a normal workday in order to get paid. Approximately 1000

                                       Teachers are languishing in Rubber Rooms in NYC today who have

                                       been waiting for years and months to clear their names and return

                                       back to their classrooms.

Rental space, leased by the New York City Department of Education for each of the 13 different remotely

secured locations, the cost of Substitute Teachers to fill classrooms, remote surveillance and security guards
to monitor Teachers‟ whereabouts cost NYC Taxpayers 100 million dollars a year. In these harsh economic

times, this is a disgrace.

Imagine Teachers sitting in a Rubber Room all day collecting full salary and benefits while our children

suffer at the mercy of School Politics. Most of the Teachers in the Rubber Rooms are experienced, qualified

teachers who haven‟t done anything wrong and who have a real passion for teaching.

Many of the Teachers being reassigned to Rubber Rooms are Whistleblowers who are innocent of charges

they are accused of but are there because they challenged ‘The Wall of Silence’ used to hide the Corruption

and Injustice taking place at our schools today. Most are also near top salary having at least 20 years of

service and are over 40 years old.

Under the leadership of former Chancellor Harold Levy and Chancellor Rudy Crew, Rubber Room cases

were ‘quickly reviewed’ and in 2000 the’ Rubber Rooms were closed as they should have been. (Click to

read NY Times Article, Speed Is Urged In Disciplining Of Teachers,)

In 2002, Mayor Bloomberg took over NYC schools. In order to appoint Joel Klein as his NYC Educational

Chancellor, a former US Attorney Prosecutor for whom not one college credit in Education exists and for

whom his greatest claim to fame seems to be his prosecutorial zeal and skill at destroying large entities like

Microsoft, Mayor Bloomberg got NY Legislators to grant him a special waiver to do so.

Chancellor Klein and Mayor Bloomberg made no secret of the fact that they wanted to get rid of Tenure, a

legal protection established by the government in 1937 that ensures that Due Process be granted to Teachers

before they can be fired. And so, by the end of 2002, two years after Chancellor Rudy Crew emptied the

Rubber Rooms, the Rubber Rooms were reopened and 126 Teachers confined.

In the spring of 2003, Klein launched a major assault on Randi Weingarten and the United Federation of

Teachers when Randi publically withdrew her support for Children‟s First, the Bloomberg Administration‟s

blueprint for turning around city schools.
On May 11th, from outside the Convent Avenue Baptist Church in Hamilton Heights, Klein publicly

lambasted Weingarten for flip-flopping over a plan he proposed to the Union to help the city save money.

Klein was quoted by The NY Daily News as having said the Teachers Union was “playing politics as usual”

and refusing to make financial sacrifices. “What‟s changed”, he said, “Is they were unwilling to roll up

their sleeves to get the kind of savings -meaningful savings- that could have come about if they were willing

to make sacrifices”.

Since the Teachers Union was unwilling to roll up their sleeves to get the kind of meaningful savings Joel

Klein wanted, a campaign of intimidation, harassment, slander and defamation of character ensued that used

                                                        Rubber Rooms as a form of punishment against

                                                        Teachers before charges were even made or proven.

                                                        In 2003, The Leadership Academy for NYC

                                                        Principals was created and Principals and other

                                                        Administrators were recruited, trained and retained

who hated Tenured Teachers statuses and privileges. These NYC Principals had a propensity for anger,

belligerence, violence, jealousy, discrimination, hostility, retaliation and other conduct that was designed to

cause Teachers to be charged and sent to the Rubber Rooms.

A manual entitled, How To Fire Tenured Teachers was printed and circulated in the Fall of 2004 to all NYC

Principals who were then used to have teachers removed from their classrooms and schools.

In the Fall of 2004, the NYC Department of Education also entered into negotiations with the UFT for the

2005 Teachers Contract. Primary issues surrounding negotiations between Chancellor Klein and Union

President Randi Weingarten were salary increases, the discipline of Teachers and Tenure.

When Randi Weingarten told the UFT membership that “negotiations for the 2005 contract left Tenure

intact”, it appears she betrayed our membership. While she did win a 43% increase in starting salaries for

Teachers, the UFT‟s collective bargaining agreement according to Rutgers University Law Professor Bruce
Afran “made substantial departures from the accepted norms of due process and diminished the due process

rights NYC Teachers would continue to enjoy compared to other Teachers in New York State”.

                                  The sacrifice Klein spoke of and got Union President Weingarten to agree

                                  to must have been the sacrifice of hundreds of Tenured Teacher‟s

                                  positions. The hundreds who languished in the Rubber Rooms for years

                                  or those forced to resign, quit or were wrongfully terminated.

                                  Their salaries must have represented the kind of “meaningful savings”

                                  Klein wanted to see come about because at the Press Conference in the

photo-op depicted above that was held to announce that The Mayor‟s Office and The United Federation of

Teachers had come to an agreement over the terms of the 2005 Union Contract, Klein delivered to

Weingarten‟s the infamous “kiss” that signaled that a back room deal had been cut that Klein was pleased

with it.

Teachers who were removed from their classes and confined in Rubber Rooms rose from 126 Teachers in

2002 to over 500 Teachers in 2005. Typical charges made against Teachers included allegations of

misconduct, incompetency, physical or emotional abuse, and insubordination.

In 2006, as more NYC Principals sent Teachers to the Rubber Rooms, effectively removing high salaried

Teachers from their school budgets, 90% were over 40 years old. Then when Randi Weingarten on behalf of

62 Teachers, filed an Age Discrimination lawsuit against the NYC Department of Education in 2006, it

mysteriously disappeared without explanation shortly thereafter.

By 2007, The Office of Special Investigations, the New York State Department of Education,

Superintendents, Principals, Administrators, and Klein‟s Deputies and Assistants jumped on the bandwagon

and confined an unprecedented 769 Teachers to NYC Rubber Rooms to sit and await adjudication.

Charges and allegations landing Teachers in Rubber Rooms started to get more and more bogus. One 2nd

grade 30-year Veteran Teacher was sent to the Rubber Room and charged with misuse of the (Elmer‟s) glue,
use of the word „thingy‟ and poor rug management. Stories of good teachers hounded by Administrators

who went to extremes to remove them became common.

For innocent men who were particularly hated by their Administration, sexual misconduct allegations were

alleged for unmeritorious circumstances so that the severity of emotional harm these teachers suffered

would have the maximum impact necessary to destroy both their lives and careers.

For Mayor Bloomberg; hiring two to three Teachers for the price of one high salaried Teacher saved money.

For Joel Klein, Rubber Room cases led to contracts for his lawyer friends.

While Principals are used in order to have Teachers removed from their schools, New York State

Arbitrators are used to terminate Teachers. They‟re paid up to 1,800 for a 4-hour workday to drag

Teacher‟s cases out over months and years before scheduling and hearing them then make arbitrary

determinations and rulings that exclude, alter or preclude evidence that proves a Teachers innocence from

being placed in the 3020-a Hearing Records.

This bias and prejudiced Panel of Permanent Arbitrators agreed upon by both the Department and the

Teacher‟s Union to stand in judgment of these multiple, outdated, frivolous charges know that the

arbitration process as its being practiced violates Teacher‟s Due Process Rights due to Timing and other

procedural problems.

The issuance of awards and decisions rendered by them for Teachers assigned to the Rubber Rooms since

Mayor Bloomberg took office, has in practically all cases, resulted in Teachers being given ruinous fines,

penalties or being terminated and defrauded of their salary, license, medical benefits and other property


Rubber Rooms are being used in NYC to coerce, harass, intimidate and terrorize. They implement statues,

administrative rules and regulations designed specifically for Rubber Room assigned Teachers in order to

frustrate their ability to defend themselves and make them fearful of going through the 3020-a Teaching
Hearing in order to clear their names. In this way Teachers are being easily forced into Retirement,

Resignation, ruinous fines or Termination settlements.

In 2008, a Teacher named Florian Lewenstein who was assigned to a NYC Rubber Room organized

Teachers 4 Action, along with 62 Rubber Room assigned Teachers and filed a Federal lawsuit against the

NYC Department of Education and the Teachers Union for violation of their constitutional rights.

But in a series of public relations stints orchestrated by Weingarten, all of Lowenstein‟s‟ claims were

publically countered and Attorney Charles Moerdler of Strook, Strook and Levan, one of the most powerful

lawyers and law firms in the country was used to defend the union‟s interest and successfully prevent them

from being held accountable for the part they play in having Teachers subjected to Rubber Rooms.

For Randi Weingarten, the hire of two-three more Union dues paying Teachers to replace Teachers sent to

the Rubber Room and her own personal gain must mean more than defending Teachers turned into victims

and Children‟s Rights.

When Mayor Bloomberg introduced Randi Weingarten as the Nations new President of the American

Federation of Teachers before the National Press Club in Washington DC this past November, he credited

her for helping to make Mayoral Control of NYC schools possible, for her willingness to discuss traditional

"third rail" issues and for her ability to work with Chancellor Klein to achieve improvements in the system.

                                                         “A cooperative relationship that should be duplicated

                                                      and used as a national model” is Mayor Bloomberg‟s

                                                      assessment of his relationship with UFT President

                                                      Randi Weingarten.

                                                      Unfortunately, the union of these three people proved

                                                      fatal for the future of Education in NYC and for its
teachers, parents and students. Those of us who have suffered extensively under her leadership, pray that her

appointment to guide and direct Teacher Unions throughout the nation do not result in the same travesties of

Injustice NYC Teachers have endured.

Inexperienced Teachers are being used to replace experienced Teachers sent to Rubber Rooms and the

neediest of students are made to suffer those repercussions. The New York Board of Education is the largest

school system in the country and the 10TH Largest Corporation in the world boasting an annual budget of 17

billion dollars a year.

Nonetheless, Randi Weingarten knows what the average student in NYC goes through who attends NYC

Public Schools. She knows that the system is largely segregated and that the hope of our neediest students

is to be able to get to know their Teachers, bond with them and receive and depend on them for things that

experienced Teachers bring into the classroom.

Teachers being reassigned to the Rubber Rooms are removed from their classrooms and schools and ripped

from their students in the middle of semesters, in the middle of important lessons and for important

challenges they face like Regents exams. Then Teachers, forbidden to have any contact with their former

students while they are reassigned are also forbidden onto their former schools‟ grounds until further notice.

The students primarily impacted by a Teachers arbitrary removal to a Rubber

Room are Black and Latino. Its poor children from poor neighborhoods who are

assigned to schools with a history of failure, poor performance results,

bureaucratic ineptitude, corruption and indifference. And it‟s Teachers of these

children who are being reassigned in disproportionate numbers to NYC Rubber


The Rubber Room that I was assigned to at 333 7th Avenue was so overcrowded, (there were 80 Teachers

there), that I had no air to breathe. Overcrowded conditions became so intolerable that Teachers started

leaving the room for long periods to hang out around town just trying to pass time away.
Rubber Room Clerks and Administrators whose responsibility it was to monitor Teachers began to have

increasingly more and more hostile confrontations with Teachers about Time and Timesheets. The staff

would accuse Teachers of fudging their Time and Teachers would accuse the staff of changing their Time.

Clerks were chasing Teachers down the hall shouting about Timesheets and calling the Cops, Teachers were

shouting at the Staff and calling the Cops, and the Cops were who were caught in the middle were calling

their Supervisors.

As more Teachers were being sent to the room from their schools, more Teachers began to contract

                                    Pulmonary Illnesses. The NYS Public Employee Safety and Health

                                    Commission were notified by Teachers confined there and a Site

                                    Inspection was performed.

                                    For    the   lack   of

sufficient mechanical ventilation for the windowless

rooms‟ occupant load, for having no more than one exit

through a door that was installed to swing open in the

wrong direction and for having no Emergency Exit Plan,

the Rubber Room was cited.

It still took well over a year and a second visit from the

Public Employee Health and Safety Commission before the overcrowded conditions in the 333 7th Avenue

Rubber Room were addressed.

But the NYC Department of Education didn‟t care about the fact that they were being fined everyday that

they were out of compliance with NYS building codes because the money they use to pay fines are NYC

taxpayers dollars and they get 17 billion of them a year.

The NYC Department of Education‟s answer to the overcrowded conditions at the site was not to speed up

the review of cases that confined Teachers to the Rubber Rooms so Teachers could go back to work. The
NYC Department of Education created two more Rubber Room sites and hired an outside security agency,

Allied Barton to monitor the Teachers whereabouts.

One Rubber Room site created was at a remote building in Harlem. 20 Teachers were reassigned there and a

second Rubber Room site was created at an abandoned Catholic Church in Washington Heights. 25

Teachers were reassigned there.

The single exit out of the room that was cited by PESH was eventually hung to swing in the right direction

and the Emergency Exit Stairwell got a patch job to hide the electrical outlets exposed in the walls that lead

down the steps. An Emergency Exit Plan however, was never developed for Teachers there.

I never imagined that I would be out of the classroom for 4 years, in a Rubber Room for 3 years and

embattled with the NYC Department of Education for acknowledgement of my basic Human Rights. What

I witnessed happen to so many of my colleagues confined to the Rubber Rooms and especially to Teacher

Gilda Teel made me wonder how this could happen in America.

Gilda was a dedicated High School Social Studies Teacher who was „set-up‟ on

a fabricated charge of stealing a $245.00 Teachers Choice Check she had been

given by the school to buy supplies for her students. Gilda kept that un-cashed

$245.00 Teachers Choice Check in her possession everyday as proof of her

innocence while she sat for a year in the Rubber Room waiting to clear her


When she was interviewed by the NY Times in October of 2007, in an article entitled “Teachers In

Trouble”, she was quoted as having said “I‟ve only been here just a month and it‟s made me more nervous,

more aggressive. It‟s changed my whole temperament”.         (Click to read, Teachers In Trouble NY Times


Gilda wanted to take action, felt wronged, sought help and guidance in the process and along with other

Rubber Room Teachers filed a Federal claim against the NYC Department of Education. When she died of
pneumonia two days before the return of another school year of Rubber Room mental and physical torture

in August of 2008, „Teachers 4 Justice Now’ formed and stepped up our fight for Justice.

We couldn‟t believe that this kind of thing was happening to dedicated NYC Teachers. As far as Teachers 4

Justice Now is concerned, we are all Gilda Teel.

                                   We were all forced to share „air‟ with up to 80 other Teachers and a

                                   service animal and its owner for 7 hours a day. In June 2008, Teachers

                                   petitioned the courts, and requested an inspection, testing and

                                   documentation of the conditions in the room.            We believed that

                                   dangerous mold, spores, mildew, viral bacteria and other pathogens

                                   surrounded the air vents and may have contributed to the progressive

                                   pulmonary illnesses teachers were beginning to suffer and that this may

                                   have contributed to the death of our colleague, Gilda Teel

                                   There were no Air Purifiers in the room. The floor was covered with

                                   Indoor/Outdoor Carpet containing Formaldehyde and was not regularly

                                   washed or vacuumed and other unsanitary and hazardous conditions

there. The Emergency Exit Stairwell with its broken steps, inadequate hand rails and improper lighting was

filled with dead Water Bugs and Roaches.

Teachers who stayed in the Rubber Room for the 7 hours required of them in order to get full pay began to

develop illnesses they never had before.           Emphysema,

Asthma, Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Pneumonia, High

Blood Pressure, Diabetic and Pre-diabetic symptoms, back,

leg thigh and spinal nerve pain and damage resulting from

sitting on chairs all day long never designed for long term

seating, emotional stress and duress, insomnia/sleep disorder,

post traumatic stress disorder and obsessive compulsive
disorder were all illnesses being exacerbated by the dangerous conditions in the Rubber Room.

When Teachers presented Safety Grievances about the conditions there in 2006 and implored the UFT to

                                               support our request for medical examinations and medical

                                               accommodations including preventive care and treatment,

                                               we were rebuffed and our requests and safety grievances

                                               denied. The UFT and Randi Weingarten continue to

                                               demonstrate a deliberate cold indifference and disregard for

                                               excessive risks to the health and safety of Teachers assigned

                                               to NYC Rubber Rooms.

The NYC Department of Education and The United Federation of Teachers disregard for African American

and Latino communities is no less appalling. The reversal of a racially inclusive NYC Pedagogical staff is

also unfolding.

While NYC‟s student population is 75% African American and Latino, the NYC teaching staff which was

27% African-American before Mayor Bloomberg took over the schools in 2002, is now approximately 11%.

Latino Teachers, who made up 14% of the staff in 2002, account for no more than approximately 8% of the

staff today. White teachers, who made up 53% of the teaching staff before Mayor Bloomberg, now make up

approximately 70% of the teaching staff.

So blatant is the disregard for the African American community that this week‟s assault against it was the

announcement of the planned closing of one of its oldest and most legendary High Schools; Boys and Girls

HS located in the predominately African American community of Bedford Stuyvesant. As in the case with

this closing, most school closings are in minority communities and are being replaced by privately owned

and operated Charter Schools.

Nonetheless, The New York City Department of Education Administration has become so convinced that

their discredited theories about how to educate children and propaganda about increased minority test scores

and closed achievement gaps fooled the public that in an article written by the NY Times in September of
2008, Chancellor Klein when questioned about his numbers was quoted as saying that his approach to

managing the New York City public education system was to cause; “creative confusion”.

Also of grave concern over NYC Department of Education policies has been The New York Civil Liberties

Union. Under Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein, the zero tolerance policies and harsh penalties for

minor infractions that is helping lead students directly from the schools to the juvenile and criminal justice

systems is being intensified by an overwhelming New York Police Department armed presence in the


For their own protection, students solicited the support of the New York Civil Liberties Union and together

they have initiated the ‘Schools to Prison Pipeline Project’ to monitor unprecedented cases of police

brutality against students. Before the wholesale shipment of experienced teachers to the Rubber Rooms of

NYC, Teachers stood as the respected authority figures capable of resolving student conflicts.

On December 9th of 2008, The New York Civil Liberties Union took up another cause against the policies of

The New York Department of Education. Congressman Charles Rangel with more than two-dozen federal,

state and local policymakers, urged Chancellor Klein to immediately suspend a new policy that makes it

easier than ever for military recruiters to obtain the personal information of New York City public school


Congressman Rangel told the press that he is concerned that the DOE has become a central recruiting

station for the U.S. Military and that by giving The Department of Defense preferential access to the

                                               students, Rangel said “the DOE is at least implicitly

                                               promoting the military without giving students a full picture

                                               of the breadth of career options that lie outside of the armed


                                               Donna Lieberman, the NYCLU Executive Director was

quoted as saying that the DOE policy should focus on protecting student privacy and ensuring that the

children receive complete information about the advantages and disadvantages of a military career and that
it shouldn't just roll out the red carpet for aggressive military recruitment, which invariably is focused on

schools in poor, largely minority communities.

Parents don‟t fare much better under the Bloomberg Administration. A year ago, a public school parent

refused to accept Mike Bloomberg's attempt to marginalize public school parents and filed a formal

complaint with the state education commissioner.

The Bloomberg administration's attempt to revise a regulation policy that shifted all decision making power

away from parents and other school community leaders to give all decision making to the Principals was

found to be in violation of State Education Law and was ordered by the State to be revised.

Teachers 4 Justice Now is writing this open letter knowing that NYC sets the stage for how other big cities

deal with their school systems and because we know that Mayor Bloomberg and NYC Chancellor Klein are

touring the country and telling everyone to follow their lead.

If the Bloomberg Administration has his way and is able to buy off, like he did term limits

for his Mayoral ship, the right to decide who will be educated, how and to whose

advantage that particular kind of education will benefit, Teachers, in order to keep their

jobs may have to be willing to pile on top of each other and lay naked on the floor like

prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

Billionaire Mayor Bloomberg believes in using the top to bottom governing philosophy

and in a recent public message advised you to do the same. But in the 1950‟s President

Eisenhower warned America about the Military Industrial Complex.

A „do me a favor and I‟ll do you a favor‟ system among the rich and powerful who support each other‟s

programs and sit on each other‟s Corporate Boards so that they can horde all the goodies for themselves is

the same kind of system that the NYC Department of Education is practicing.
Recent NYC DOE agency documents revealed that between October 2004 and April 2008, 320 positions

have been created for jobs at the Tweed Courthouse DOE Headquarters. Ironically, positions within the

Office of Accountability Department grew the most. They sprang from 19 staff members in 2004 when the

Manuel entitled; „How To Fire Tenured Teachers‟ was first printed to 79 staff members today.

And without regard for the „across the board hiring freeze‟ currently taking place, the DOE‟s website is still

posting job openings with titles like; “Knowledge Management Domain Leader for Leadership &

Organizational Management”, “Senior Achievement Facilitator”, “Knowledge Management Domain Leader

for Mathematics and Science”, and “Director of School Quality”. All of which pay 177,000 a year. Newly

appointed Executive Director, Office of Arts and Special Projects will receive $188,000 a year.

One of the last Tweed Bureaucrats Klein hired before the freeze took effect appears to be George Raab, the

school system's new Chief Financial Officer.      His previous job? Managing Director at the now defunct

Bear Sterns. Raab will make $196.000.

A top to bottom philosophy for governing a city so sharply divided between the rich and the poor and filled

with so many who are lost, lonely and left behind is morally irresponsible and corrupt.

Capitalism as an economic structure for a society makes living at peace with each other difficult enough.

Forced to measure our worth as human beings based on our functional value, forced to split an unequal

distribution of the wealth created by our work, and forced to compete against each other for that wealth

makes survival of the fittest; the law of our land and cold indifference to each other‟s struggles acceptable.

Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein‟s top-to-bottom philosophy for governing NYC schools gives to

much authority over our children‟s lives to Principals who are beholding only to them and sets up unfair

competition between Teachers for Merit Pay and other incentives that breed corruption, bigotry and a cold

indifference to New York City‟s poor.

While the rest of the nation has taken the progressive step forward that‟s marked by your election to the

Presidency of our nation and the end of a 143-year old African American campaign against racism in
America, the NYC school system and the Teacher‟s Union is more like a throw-back to the days of

Segregation. They both functions like a huge slave plantations.

This era‟s Civil Rights struggle; the Class Struggle and its inherent link to Education have begun and the

moral issue that surrounds how Education is provided for „the least among us‟ is our test. It will determine

whether our nation will continue to be able to function as a great nation or from moral decay, as World

Leaders we perish.

The divide and conquer strategy that has worked for so long and for so well in the past that served to benefit

the privileged few has destroyed the hopes and dreams of so many others. Today our collective involvement

is needed to expose and make right, the wide spread systematic problems and practices of the NYC

Educational System.

Teachers blame the Bloomberg Boss Tweed style of government and sometimes the Students and their

parents for an educational system gone mad. Chancellor Klein and his Administrators blame Teachers and

Tenure. But for those who understand why America ranks 34th in Education in the world today and why

American schools are being „dumb-downed‟, we know that big money interest will continue to exploit by

any means necessary and sometimes for nothing more than the thrill of petty acquisition, Education and the

world‟s greatest natural resource; the Human Mind.

For African Americans whose bodies were used for centuries for corporate profit and for whom laws were

constructed that prevented them from learning how to read in order to be more easily enslaved, the rage that

scared a nation into full Civil Rights legislation in the 1960‟s for among other things, access to a meaningful

Education, is the same rage that any people demonstrate at the threat of being „left behind‟.

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of the period of social

transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people but the appalling silence of the good people”.

Teaching students lifts humanity, has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking

excellence. Instead highly trained NYC Teachers who want to be about the business of Teaching cannot
because they sit for months and years in NYC Rubber Rooms watching absolute power corrupt what use to

be one of the finest school systems in the country.

Many of us are being told by the Bloomberg Administration that we are too old to be „Teaching‟. But

Pedagogy, the Art of Teaching, like wine, gets finer with time. We need the young and we need the Elders

in our schools today too.

Marvin Gaye asked us in 1972 to „Save The Children‟. “But who really cares”, he asked. “Who is willing to

try, to save a world destined to die”? Members of Teachers 4 Justice Now care and refuse to have our

Constitutional Rights trampled over by the Bloomberg Administration. We have exhausted administrative

remedies to correct the Rubber Room abuses and must now re-stake our claims in Federal Court.

But for the hundreds of thousands of students who are also victims of Rubber Room Politics; those for

whom time and money wasted will result in loss opportunities for the development of their potential and

talent, we pray that with Godspeed you will acknowledge the information we share with you and act

quickly and with sound reason to help us correct this matter.

We cannot overcome this McCarthy style „Witch Hunt‟ without support from your Administration who has

promised Change We Can Believe In. We want to believe in Change, need it and must have it.

                                               The Change we need requires the backing of a committed
                                               President who can stand up to the 8th richest man in America;
                                               the Mayor of NYC, Michael Bloomberg, Chancellor
                                               Prosecutor Joel Klein and UFT President, Randi Weingarten
                                               and concerned citizens throughout the world.

                                               Our children‟s future depends on this change.     America‟s
                                               promise depends on this change and the World looks to our
Headship. Help get NYC’s Most Dedicated out of the NYC Rubber Rooms and back into the classroom
where we belong.
‘Teachers 4 Justice Now’, represent the collective voices of all One Thousand Educators who sit in NYC
Rubber Rooms and as members, we are willing to stand behind your pledges and offer our undying support
to help promote positive change and be of any service that you may need of us at any time.

Best of luck to you and your Administration as we pull together to work for a better America in the weeks,
months and years to come.

Thank you for your consideration and „Thank-You‟ for your service.


Jennifer Saunders
Teachers 4 Justice Now

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