September 21, 2008
The Truth and Nothing But the Truth...
As my fellow bloggers and many others have confirmed, the OSI interview procedure is not designed to uncover the truth when allegations are made against a teacher. (Chaz's article on OSI Double Standards) It is designed to serve its' employer(the DOE), by twisting the truth and conjuring up a slanted version of whatever statements are made by the teacher during the investigation. Thus, serving up a horrendous one sided 'transcript' that barely resembles any of what was said. (Exactly the type of transcript that I have received this week.) Paid by the DOE, it is the investigators job to go to any length-no matter how dishonest, to substantiate the accuser's allegations against teachers.
Prior to my interview, my Union Rep advised me to make eye contact, be clear and consistent. The Investigator will be looking for statements that reveal your 'intent' as to how and when the alledged acts occurred. Now if this were a fair and honest investigation, done by a real investigator (not a DOE Puppet) she may have actually observed some revealing behaviors that would affect her final conclusion. Whether she observed them or not, it is obvious that she chose to ignore them.
Just out of curiosity, I looked up some of the methods that Professional investigators are trained to look for in criminal cases. Body language, speech patterns and consistency in the statements can be very telling during questioning.
"Generally people who are lying will not look you in the eye, although very practiced liars may be able to tell lies and do it with eye contact. People who are lying will usually be very stiff. They may have a stiff body or neck. When someone tells a lie it raises the blood pressure. Their face, chest or neck may become red.
The liar usually keeps their arms and legs closer to themselves. They will wrap their arms and legs to cover their body as if protecting themselves.
Liars will usually touch their face or neck when fibbing. The higher they go up on the face the bigger the lie.
Liars might fake an emotion like happiness or sadness. The expression may be limited to their mouth, but will not reach their eyes. Look for twitches. When someone is lying they may have a physiological reaction such as an eye, lip or cheek twitch.
Other physiological reactions include sweating or fidgeting.
They will not react in the correct emotional way. For instance if they tell you they are sorry, but their lips are turned up."
from eHow Article: How to Detect a Liar Using Body Language
Check out the variety of support resources available to principals who want to get a teacher in trouble...
DOE's corporal punishment reporting form A-421
ATU-Administrative Trials Unit
TPU-Teacher Performance Unit