About/Contact DTOE


Targeted? Have a question about what to do? Simply email UFT Solidarity help@uftsolidarity.org and we will get back to you. This email is sent to our support team who can respond quickly.

If you want to take a more proactive role in NYC education and are a UFT member, then check out UFT Solidarity at uftsolidarity.org

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Don’t Tread on Educators’ (DTOE) mission is to empower educators by utilizing the strength and courage they already have inside to fight against false claims and other unacceptable attacks on their careers and the teaching profession as a whole. DTOE believes that when we defend and protect educators, we in turn defend and protect the students who sit in front of them.


The New York City Department of Education is fond of touting its diversity.  Unfortunately, diverse indeed have been the methods by which some administrators have persecuted many of its educators. Along with the assistance of countless Department attorneys and directors, these school and district supervisors have fabricated diverse reasons to fire teachers in order to stop them from reaching their tenure dates and diverse, capricious reasons to fire educators in order to stop them from retiring with pensions. In addition, by bullying and firing teachers, the system can then have a revolving door of new non-tentured and mostly docile workforce. “If you see something, say something.” is not mentality they want when grades are changed, budgets are misused, services are not provided to children and corruption runs rampant.

The teachers unions are ostensibly the first line of defense for teachers, but it has forgotten its mission.  It has gone haring off in irrelevant directions and left those who depend on it unprotected.  In the absence of the protection which educators have a right to expect,  they need to find other means outside of the contract to fend off the warrantless attacks on their careers.

Don’t Tread on Educators (DTOE) was formed as a reaction to the damage the Department of Education has done and continues to do to teachers. Early in his battle, teacher Francesco Portelos saw potential in bringing the fight his administrators and others started, to the public forum. After seeing how his site, www.protectportelos.org, a chronicle of his own story, helped others,  Francesco thought to create a venue for others to share their stories and offer support to them.

We provide practical support to teachers. We try to draw attention to the abuses. We try to raise the price tag for administrators who abuse their power by going after those administrators directly and publicly. These administrators are not always necessarily school principals, but also assistant principals, superintendents, network and cluster leaders, college and university administrators, ATR supervisors, attorneys, corrupt investigators and office directors, as well as top brass at 52 Chambers Street (Tweed Courthouse, New York City Department of Education headquarters).

We believe teachers should be able to work hard for their students and earn a living without having to worry about unwarranted antagonism from bullies who are acting in bad faith and who are backed by the city government.

DTOE’s ultimate goal is to shine a very public spotlight on administrators who have shown horrific disregard for their employees. It is not enough to stop the abuse and corruption. These bullies must be held accountable; by hurting educators, they have negatively affected students’ learning conditions..  Even if their actions were taken with complete approval of their superiors at the time, these cruel and amoral  individuals must not be in positions of power. By showing such an utter disregard for the well-being of the people they supervise, they have forfeited the right to hold their positions.  Nobody should be forced to work for or with people who have shown that they have no regard for the well-being of others including the students.


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  3. Just wondering if anyone knows why Ms. Felice BUSTO was let go from the 3020a hearing panel? Just heard the news …. HA HA HA HA City must of been sooo mad at BUSTO for letting Portelos go. UNLESS…. you don’t think…..Did NYSUT vote her off the island for not exonerating him altogether??? NAAAH – I bet it was the DOE….It would be great though – Think about it NYSUT standing up against arbitrators who tread on educators? Anyway she’s gone!

  4. Chayvonne Harper, PS 270 the photo is not of the principal but the union rep.

  5. Gayle Mullins-Shurling

    I am so glad to see this website! I have taught for many years and the last 12 of those years have been a struggle. I have multiple sclerosis, and I have disclosed this to my administrators. I have been bullied by four administrators and I was about to give up and retire, but I will be damned if I will let them do this to me again. In an attempt to get out of the principal’s office where I was being falsely accused, I suddenly felt a panic attack coming on and I said I will resign. This led to being forced to agree to something I did not want to do. I signed a Personnel Action Form under duress. I was two weeks away from having surgery, and I did not want to lose my insurance. I tried to rescind but the principal called Personnel and got it pushed through as a resignation. I am in the process of pleading with the Superintendent to allow me to continue as an employee, although it will have to be on FMLA since this has caused more health issues, and my eye surgery, (cornea transplant) is not healing properly. I am partially blind, in and out of bed due to severe panic attacks and I have had to cancel all of my after-school tutoring appointments.
    Is this site just for people who work in New York? I would like to start a chapter of DTOE in Florida via Facebook. I like this much better than being a BAT as I do not like the name they have chosen to call themselves.

  6. At the end of April, after only being observed twice during the entire school year, I was told by the assistant principal that the school was going to file for my discontinuance and that they were already looking for the teacher that was going to replace me the next school year. Immediately after these threatening statements, I was repeatedly harassed by the AP in the form of disciplinary action meetings related to incidents between students that occurred either during recess or after dismissal, which are times when students are not under my supervision. Another one of these meetings was about an accusation that stated that I didn’t follow through with coaches’ directions presenting evidence of my work with the coaches, who did not cooperate with me to refute the charges against me. There was another meeting scheduled to accuse me of not reading an email that was sent to me at 6:00 pm regarding last minute changes that were supposed to happen earlier the next morning.
    These acts of harassment encouraged me to decide to resign from my position from PS 369 at the beginning of May, fearing that no matter what I did, they were determined to give me a poor rating. I was observed about four times within the last week of May and the first week of June. Without any form of feedback, most of the observations rated me as a developing teacher.
    Since the administrators had made very clear that “This is not the school for me” I was more than ready to transfer somewhere else however, as I’ve been rated “Ineffective”, this will certainly lessen the chances to be hired anywhere within the DOE. What are my next steps?
    Recently I got hired in a school from another district and as a response to rescinding my resignation, my prior principal filed for my discontinuance. Will this affect my employment in the school where I was recently hired?

  7. Also have a witness when you are dealing with these people. Always keep a copy of what is on your personnel file. Never sign any form under duress.

  8. James Gaudette and Stephen Bevioch need to be investigated on charge of racism. They fired The Junior Accountant on July 11, 2016 stating that she has a heavy accent and she’s not a good fit after giving her a 3 percent increase then one week later letting her as though they have something to hide.Why is that position a revolving door? What are they covering up each time?

  9. Concerned educator

    Any reason comments are closed for principal Ramon Namnun at highschool of world cultures? Has he also managed to silence one of the few voices left to expose the abuse going on in that school? Have you all completely abanonded all staff and left them at the mercy of his lover and Ap ms Maehlum and sexist racist narcissist Ramon Namnun? Have you also forgotten about the students who will not have a chance if this administration is continued to run this school?

  10. Here is a letter I sent to the Chancellor’s office last month:

    Chancellor Carmen Farina
    Tweed Courthouse
    52 Chambers Street
    New York, NY 10007

    November 11, 2016

    Dear Ms. Chancellor,

    I’m writing in regard to your recent email “Embracing a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace at the DOE.” We, the staff at Forest Hills H.S. have embraced the Equity and Excellence for All vision you detailed in your email of October 25 for several years already. We celebrate our own diversity throughout the school year through art, food festivals, dance and music performance, innovative programming, credit recovery opportunities, C-DOS intensive individual guidance counseling, Council for Unity, gender -neutral restrooms, and a culture of empathy, tolerance and inclusiveness. I confidently state that we successfully attend to the academic, and social-emotional needs of our students, on a personal level. This we do despite our traditional, large high school model and our dramatic over-enrollment. It is because of the great teamwork and collegiality of teachers with our administrative leaders that we continue to excel.
    On December 1, we will begin a new chapter in school leadership when our principal, Saul Gootnick retires. There is a great deal of trepidation about who will be appointed to succeed Principal Gootnick. An uninformed choice would upset the chemistry that has yielded our great success.
    What would go a long way to alleviate our anxieties would be for the staff to be included in this crucial decision; Empowered to act as a wise voice in the selection process, just as Equity and Excellence for All envisions.
    The staff has made huge investments in the success of FHHS to create both an excellent school for our students and a positive work environment for the staff. We are certain that our invaluable input (via the Consultative Council) we will maintain the excellent school that the staff and students deserve.
    The staff understands that the final decision on the appointment rests solely with the Superintendent. We have and will continue to do all we can to meet our students “where they are.” What we ask is for Superintendent Mendez to uphold the tenets of Equity and Excellence for All and to meet us where we are.
    Thank you for your consideration.
    Yours truly,

    Jordan Pincus,
    Senior Teacher, Social Studies

  11. It seems like you comments are one sided. You claim to put a bright light on the abusive administrators but you are abusive as well. You don’t want to look like the bully as well. Rather than indulge in the abuse use the examples anonymously and provide insight on the steps those abused teachers should take. Deformation of character without reason is a hefty lawsuit. This sight can be powerful if you receive the complaints, then talk about the next steps one should take. It protects the site and those who make the complaint.

    This site is a great idea, channel it in positively so that you capture one group of educators.

    Teacher Giving Insight who went into the Business world…

  12. How does a link to a person’s name get removed? Who should be contacted?

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