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Mayor: Schools chancellor should be able to fire 'perv' teachers
Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants school officials to have the power to fire teachers accused of sexually abusing students.
Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott announced their support Tuesday for a bill that would change the way instructors who are accused of sexual misconduct are punished.
Under current state rules, accusations are brought before an arbitrator who decides whether a teacher can keep their job. If a state Senate bill introduced yesterday passes, then Walcott and the head of the state's other school districts will get the power to make that decision.
Bloomberg said there were too many cases where teachers kept their jobs despite overwhelming evidence against them.
"Our administration will absolutely not accept regulations that will put our children at risk," he said.
United Federation of Teachers president Michael Mulgrew dismissed the mayor's claims. He said every case is throughly investigated and the arbitration process is fair.
"Giving the Chancellor -- who has previously said that an accusation is not the same thing as a finding of guilt -- the power to ignore the evidence and an arbitrator's decision is not an answer," Mulgrew said in a statement.
Walcott disagreed, saying that when he came into office last year, he saw 24 teacher sexual misconduct cases where the arbitrator made "questionable decisions."
The city's push for reform comes amid several incidents of teacher misconduct this year.
At least nine educators have been arrested this year on sex abuse charges.
Bloomberg said it makes sense for Walcott to be able to fire teachers because it is his job to advocate for parents and students.