Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
Evidence of Incessant Persecution
Due to Advocacy in Favor of Students’ Rights &
By: Luis Ángel Perez, Educator & Advocate
2010 – 2011
Department of Education Email Violation
On the morning of Thursday, January 7, 2010, an administrator mistakenly sent all teachers and other administrators an email using my personal Department of Education email account. Later everyone was asked to delete the email. This administrator used my personal password to open up and access my Department of Education email account. When I requested for answers about how this could have happened and why was it happening principal Miriam Perdraja told me that she will look into it and she will get back to me.
After getting the “run-around” from the principal regarding this problem, I inquired about it again and was met with aggression. I was reprimanded and told that when she finds something out she will let me know. I never heard about this incident again.
On the morning of Sunday, January 10, 2010, I emailed administrators and teachers about this problem. Here I wrote in all caps, I FIND IT QUITE DISTURBING THAT SOMEONE OTHER THAN MYSELF HAS ACCESS TO THIS E-MAIL ACCOUNT AND IS ACTUALLY SENDING INFORMATION OUT TO OTHERS AS IF IT WERE ME. Administrators never responded to this email.
Neglect of Basic Classroom Supplies (Science Textbooks)
Sunday, September 12, 2010, I send an email to Principal Miriam Pedraja, informing her that the Science textbooks were not where she told me to look for them. It turns out that they were never actually ordered.
For the following school year (2011-2012), the wrong textbooks were ordered. This time they sent us many of the books we already had for a completely different grade. These textbooks remained in their boxes on the side of the classroom for several months before they were removed, despite my numerous complaints. Eventually, an administrator came to the room to take the boxes away. I was told that they are going to have the company pick them up and send us the correct books and that it should only take a week. When I inquired about the books again I was condescendingly told that when the books arrive I will be the first to know. The Science textbooks never arrived.
Evidence of Harassment
1. Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 1:00 pm, I emailed Principal Miriam Pedraja a letter of concern regarding excessive classroom interruptions titled The Attention Span of a Squirrel.
2. Monday, January 31, 2011 at 8:45 am, Principal Miriam Pedraja emailed me a message informing me that she will arrange meeting to discuss in person my letter of concern regarding excessive classroom interruptions titled The Attention Span of a Squirrel.
3. One minute later: Monday, January 31, 2011 at 8:46 am, Principal Miriam Pedraja emailed me the scheduled meeting to discuss in person my letter of concern regarding excessive classroom interruptions titled The Attention Span of a Squirrel.
This second email also contained a list of complaints against me. It is important to mention here that this is the first time ever that Principal Miriam Pedraja (or any other administrator for that matter) has written a list of complaints against me.
4. Later that day: Monday, January 31, 2011 at 8:54 pm I emailed Principal Miriam Pedraja a response to each of the complaints on her list.
5. Principal Miriam Pedraja and I met briefly on Thursday, February 03, 2011 at 1:15 pm. Principal Miriam Pedraja was apparently irate. She briefly made comments about some of my responses to her list of complaints and in reference to my letter of concern regarding excessive classroom interruptions titled The Attention Span of a Squirrel I was reprimanded and told that as the principal in the building she has the right to go into any classroom as many times as she wants and with who ever she wants. I maintained a calm disposition but she would not allow me to talk.
Conclusively, the list of complaints presented is a mere pretext to deflect attention away from the programming concerns that I have raised (both verbally and in writing) to administration. The list of complaints is also a form of intimidation geared to gag me from further advocacy.
Incessant Persecution Unfolded
* Reckless and excessive summonses were implemented. Summonses were abruptly scheduled (last-minute), scheduled during my only preparation period, scheduled during teaching (interrupting many lessons) despite my pleas to reschedule for the sake of the students, some summonses were petty and others bogus.
* Removed from the middle school (after teaching mathematics and science for 6 years) and intentionally forced to teach 1st grade (despite no prior experience working with this age group).
* Paging my name excessively over the loud-speaker almost everyday (sometimes several times on the same day) to report to the main office.
* Bogus and or petty complaints and disciplinary write-ups.
* Despite providing enough medical documentation to show that I was hospitalized and seriously ill due to a student related medical illness, immediately after I returned to work, administrators ordered me to get an additional medical clearance from the DOE and administrators sent two special investigators to investigate my claim and to interrogate me inside of the principal’s office. The principal was not present during this meeting and I did not have a UFT representative.
Everyone in the main office was wondering why I was being investigated. After telling me that they interviewed my doctors and that all of my medical paper work “checks-out”, one of the special investigators asked me, “Why would she do this to you?” To which I responded, because I am supposed to keep my mouth shut and not advocate for improvements.
* Administrators warning teachers that if they plan to support me to be careful because I may be recording them which is why I am always walking around with my bag.
* I’m too exhausted to continue.
Principal Miriam Pedraja and her administrative team’s barrage of bogus complaints is a mere pretext to their retaliation against me for advocating for students, for advocating for improvements, and for not allowing their intimidation to muzzle me from further advocacy. Their retaliation and harassment also intensified because my rebuttals to their bogus complaints brought to light many more contractual, ethical, and moral questions.
Principal Miriam Pedraja does not respond well when a subordinate poses a sound and valid argument which happens to contradict her position. As a result, she gets angry, rants, and people let her say what she wants and fearfully conform to the way she wants it done.
Below are only some of the areas I advocated against:
The way students are treated.
Protocol to ambushing parents in meetings
Student behavior anecdotes logged into the computer and internet
Impeding students from demonstrating peaceful protest for a cause that directly affects their adolescent culture
Disparate treatment of the subject of Science
Jail/street lingo and disposition when addressing students directly and indirectly (repeated offenders, suspects, up-against-the-wall, …)
Scolding teachers in front of students shortly before they have to go and to teach a class
Resistance to address bullying
Engaging in Bullying
Intimidating and harassing people for speaking-up
Summoning teachers to meetings without providing a reason in order to fairly prepare a defense
“Rigor” using grades, and rules to be punitive to students, “one minute late – do not take
Creating a hostile environment
Excessive testing (black-line test, science test, and others)
Excessive lesson interruptions
Neglect of basic classroom materials (textbooks x2 years)
Misuse of preparation periods
Lunch period used for management meetings
Separation of language by color
No follow-up meetings that were promised
Anonymous surveys were not anonymous at all
No support or inspiration