At age 75, Roland Pierre is the granddaddy of the rubber room — 13 years in the purgatory of teachers yanked from the classroom for alleged wrongdoing.
But the Department of Education can’t fire Pierre, and he’s stuck around long past the minimum retirement age.
Pierre was permanently removed from the classroom in 1997 after he was accused of sexually molesting a sixth-grade girl at PS 138 in Brooklyn.
But since then, Pierre has continued to receive full pay and fringe benefits, including health, pension and vacation, officials said. He pulls down $97,101 a year.
He’s one of six tenured teachers that Chancellor Joel Klein has refused to return to the classroom, even though any criminal charges were dropped and DOE hearing officers let them off the hook.
Pierre has been “permanently reassigned” the longest of all.
On June 26, 1997, Pierre, then 62, was arrested on felony sex-abuse charges after he allegedly called one of his students into an empty classroom where he taught English as a second language, closed the door and molested her.
[…]Officials would not explain what happened since, but sources said the criminal charges were apparently dismissed, and a DOE disciplinary case was “dropped on a technicality.”
Even if dropped, the arrest and disciplinary case would almost certainly prevent Pierre from ever getting another teaching job, said lawyer Joy Hochstadt, who has represented other teachers.
“Every application asks, ‘Have you ever been brought up on charges?’ ” she said.
The DOE has no required retirement age. Hired in 1986, Pierre could have retired at age 62. At his age, he can collect Social Security as well as his full salary, so his income may be close to $125,000 a year, sources said.
The Alabama Department of Education has stopped the pay of a Washington County teacher who was still getting her salary while locked up in federal prison serving a 10-year sentence for child enticement.
Charlene Schmitz was suspended from Leroy High School in August 2007 for inappropriate behavior with a 14-year-old student and was terminated after her February 2008 conviction.
She was the first teacher in Alabama to continue getting paid under the state’s reworked tenure law after being convicted and put behind bars.
Washington County Schools CFO Larry Moss told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Schmitz received her last paycheck on Nov. 30 after a license revocation hearing. He said she had been paid more than $158,000 in salary and retirement benefits since she was first suspended.
If teachers had any concern for students at all, they would support vouchers and a national right to work law. Let the parents have the money, and let them choose their school. We can’t be paying for teachers like this.
This is why teacher unions exist. They want to extract money from taxpayers without having to care whether children learn anything or not. They oppose any alternative to forced attendance in public schools – be it vouchers, homeschooling, private schools. They are in this job for one reason: MONEY. At least this is the way it is in the United States and Canada.