My wife does a great job of raising my son, Alexander. I do what I can and play around with him but I run around a lot taking care of this and that so she should take all the credit. I admire her strength as she continues while 7 months pregnant with our second child. Last week, my wife took the car to run some errands. I stayed home to babysit. Now fellas be very careful, because apparently it’s not called babysitting if it is your own kid. Oops…it’s called being a parent. In any case, as soon as my wife backs out of our driveway, Alexander makes a couple of grunting noises, a funny red face, and the living room stinks of baby poop. Oh and by the way I hate changing all diapers!! So at this point as I see my wife drive away, I look at little Alexander and I say or mutter “I’m going to kill you.” STOP– I would never want any harm to come to a child and I felt awkward as I even typed the phrase. Phrases like that are common and we never mean it. We all have those moments as parents and sometimes as teachers. If they are ever used against us, then they are done so with an ulterior motive and agenda.
In June of 2010, elementary school teacher, Christine Rubino, also had one of those moments. She had a bad day at school and shared her frustration to friends on Facebook. One of those “friends” was a school colleague. Before Christine took down the post, Facebook Friend David Sanatore, had given a copy to the principal. Where is Christine Rubino now? Enjoying paid summer recess with her two children? No. She has been terminated, has her house up for sale because she owes the bank money and has become a major target because she is fighting back. It makes me sick when I frequent the schools.nyc.gov website and see the phrase Children First. Always. What about her children and what about her students who missed out on the education while she was in the rubber room and now terminated?
Where is David Sanatore, the Facebook friend? He too has been sent to the Rubber Room for more serious allegations. Apparently he threw Christine under the bus to take any heat off himself as there were allegations Christine and others made that he was doing something inappropriate. Wow…this sounds all too familiar. I too brought up issues that my School Leadership Team’s Chairperson, Susanne Abramowitz, and Principal Linda Hill had violated State Educational Law 2590-H (15) and Chancellors Regulations A-655 and B-801 in December 2011. So strange that soon after that my innocent Facebook posts were printed and winding up on my principals desk. Must have been a coincidence that Susanne has been seen with a binder full of my Facebook wall. By the way, no investigative body has performed any investigation of those violations to my knowledge. It’s funny how Karma works though. Principal Hill, Susanne Abramowitz and former UFT leader, who aided them, tried to remove me from the School Leadership Team and from the school so I won’t win the UFT Chapter Leader seat. Now I won, became UFT leader and am granted an automatic seat on the SLT. Richard Candia is now no longer UFT Leader and Susanne Abramowitz is no longer on the SLT. Funny how things work.
Sorry, I digress. Back to Christine Rubino, who is now a good friend of mine. We have the same support group that is helping us as well as the same Lawyer, Bryan Glass, esq. Bryan was actually able to overturn the DOE’s decision in the Supreme Court, however the judge, sent the case back to the same arbitrator for a lesser punishment. Arbitrator Randi Lowitt, then gives out a 2 year suspension WITHOUT pay and the DOE’s stance is not that Christine wrote something on Facebook, but rather that Christine’s friend lied during an investigation about the incident. What? So did they realize that they couldn’t get her on a Facebook post (Freedom of Speech) that did not interfere with her capacity as a teacher so they grasped at straws and came up with her friend lying? To really get a better understanding I would like you to refer you to these sites. I just read Betsy Combier’s and they are some interesting twists I did not know.
Help support Christine Rubino, teacher turned fighter, so she can support her family as well as pay for legal expenses. Remember, that Christine’s fight is a fight for all educators. If you are a teacher, who thinks they are under the radar, think again. At any point you too can come under heavy fire. We need to protect our own.
Please to the Christine Rubino Legal Fund
Read these blogs for a more detailed account of Christine’s Story: