September 6, 2010
September 7, 2010- The Rubber Room Charade Continues...
It has been 71 days since the NYC Department of Education and the UFT Leader Mike Mulgrew proudly announced their shocking closed door agreement putting an end to the NYC Rubber Rooms. Just a day later, the Rubber Room Movie premiered, exposing the horrific denial of due process that accused teachers must endure when reassigned to the Guantanamo Bay of the DOE.
Having been there myself, I can say from experience that from the time that a teacher is sent to the reassignment center having been accused of some wrongdoing or having been targeted by a jealous or vindictive principal, they are caught in a web of uncertainty, fear and doubt. In many instances, teachers do not even have a clue as to why they were removed from their schools. Throughout the lengthy dehumanization process of spending time in the Rubber Room, they are further humiliated and abandoned by the very same Union that collects their dues and is supposed to protect them. As a result, the reassigned teacher slowly spirals downward into a whirlwind of answered questions, confusion, grief, depression, denial, shame, anger and doubt. Many retreat, repress or totally withdraw. Others attempt to take positive action or act out in a myriad of unhealthy ways. Overall the reassigned teacher quickly learns that the saying, "God helps those who help themselves", does not apply to the Rubber Rooms. Letters to the DOE go unanswered, complaints to the UFT fall on deaf ears, stress is high, teachers get sick, depressed and even suicidal. The only support or comfort that a reassigned teacher may receive might come from another 'reassignee' who knows very well what the teacher is experiencing.
As anyone who works for the DOE knows very well, their so called 'reorganizations' always leads to more disorganization.
So...Here it is, the night before the first day of the 2010 school year and I still haven't received any word as to where I am supposed to report tomorrow. Having spent two whole years in the Rubber Room and seventy days on summer vacation, the DOE still can't get their act together.