UTLA holds morning rally to insist Deasy be thrown into ‘jail’
Vanessa Romo | September 3, 2014
UTLA is calling on Superintendent John Deasy to lock himself in teacher jail while he’s under any investigation over iPads, computer systems or anything else.
At a rally earlier today union President Alex Caputo-Pearl told a crowd of teachers, “We are saying that he has to play by his own rules… He must not report to work here, he must report to teacher jail or report to home.”
Caputo-Pearl also called on “whoever is at the head of this district to be focused on schools and students and the day-to-day operations, and not scrambling to try to get out of investigations.” Assuming that’s Deasy, Caputo-Pearl did not explain how he might do that from “jail.”
The union claims that since Deasy took over, the district has escalated the practice of removing teachers accused of misconduct from the classroom and reassigning them to the central office where they often do nothing but continue drawing a paycheck. And many teachers who have been reinstated after a stint in teacher jail complain they were never informed of the charges against them.
In that respect, Caputo-Pearl said, “He [Deasy] actually has an advantage over many of our members who experience this, he knows the allegations against him.”
Deasy is also under scrutiny for his dealings with Apple and Pearson, leading up to the iPad deal, which was expected to cost the district upwards of $1 billion. He’s also under fire for launching MiSiS despite reports the student data base management system was riddled with problems.
UTLA hopes to end the widespread use of teacher jail for all but the most egregious offenders — those who pose a real threat to student safety.
Deasy responded to the protest in an interview with KNX calling it political grandstanding and pledged to continue to do his job.
“Our team is way too focused about lifting youth out of poverty to be involved in nonsense politics,” he said. “I think the only opinion that matters is what we’re doing for students.” The superintendent also defended his involvement with the tablet makers in a memo to the school board, leaked to the LAT Times.
“Today, even though we have taken advantage of a number of opportunities to constantly improve processes associated with this work, this extremely important initiative for the youth of LAUSD has been sidetracked by insinuations, innuendoes, and misleading statements,” he wrote.