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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.