13 Years in the 'rubber room' with full pay and benefits

In the financially challenged New York public school system hundreds of teachers punch the time clock and report to their assigned room every day where they sit around and wait until it is time to go home. That may sound perfectly normal to many us who have firsthand experience with the public school system, but these educators are actually are supposed to do nothing.

Public school teachers who have been charged with misconduct or incompetence and removed from the classroom are sent to the "rubber room" to wait (an average of 3 years) while their case is resolved. They continue to receive full pay and benefits in exchange for which they must clock in and spend the normal school day in detention. Some of these public servants read and play games with their fellow educators or catch up on their sleep.

According to the New York Post, 75 year-old Roland Pierre has been soaking up $97,101 per year plus full benefits (including pension and vacation) for an astounding 13 years, ever since he was accused of molesting a sixth-grade student at Brooklyn‘s PS 138 where he had been employed since 1986.

On June 26, 1997, Pierre, then 62, was arrested on felony sex-abuse charges after he allegedly called one of his students into an empty classroom where he taught English as a second language, closed the door and molested her.

First he wrapped the girl in a "bear hug," according to a statement by then-schools investigator Ed Stancik. "He then kissed her on the mouth, inserted his tongue in her mouth, fondled her chest and reached under her skirt."

The girl left and went to the administrative office, where she "burst into tears" and reported the incident, Stancik said in a March 6, 1998, report on the investigation, released to The Post last week.

The report says Pierre refused to speak to investigators, but gave a two-page typed statement acknowledging that he had met the girl behind closed doors.

Mr. Pierre admitted in his statement that "we hugged each other and I gave her three kisses." The teacher claimed that he was not sexually aroused and that the child did not "protest" his advances.

After conducting an extensive investigation, Ed Stancik recommended that Mr. Pierre should be terminated.

Officials would not explain what happened since, but sources said the criminal charges were apparently dismissed, and a DOE disciplinary case was dropped on a technicality.

The Department of Education cannot fire Pierre, cannot force him to retire and Chancellor Joel Klein will not allow him to return to the classroom, so he continues to get well compensated for doing nothing and he still gets his summers off. Pierre is a dues paying member of the United Federation of Teachers without whose help he could never have pulled off this outrage against the overburdened taxpayers of New York.