Staten Island, NY – The controversial “rubber rooms” for teachers in New York were shut down two years ago, but the heated debate about the practice continues. Teacher Francesco Portelos videotaped himself doing nothing inside the rooms, which essentially served as detention centers for teachers who were not permitted to instruct students in the classroom. While doing time in a New York rubber room, Portelos still earned a $75,000 salary from the taxpayers.
Portelos, 34, decided to video himself and share the results to illustrate to New Yorkers where their taxpayer dollars were going, according to the technology teacher’s statements to the New York Daily News. The live video cam showed the public school educator playing on the internet at a conference room table. The teacher placed a Don’t Tread on Me flag on top of an edition of the teachers union paper; he was the elected chapter leader at Intermediate School 49. He maintains he got on the wrong side of administrators and further claims he caught the school principal engaging in financial misconduct, according to the New York Post.
Once the rubber rooms closed, teachers who were temporarily removed from the classroom were assigned administrative duties. Some educators have allegedly claimed they do not actually perform any tasks when assigned such duties. Portelos plans to live stream his rubber room video on until 3 pm on Friday unless he gets blocked by administrators.
Francesco Portelos had this to say about the rubber rooms:
“I’m getting paid $75,000 to sit around. They came after the wrong guy, and I’m not taking it lying down. My methods are not conventional. I’m very tech-savvy, and for the short five years of my career, used that knowledge to educate and improve the school. Now I have to use my tech-savviness to survive.”
School officials insist that times have changed since the so-called rubber rooms and that reassigned teachers are working under supervision in an administrative capacity. They also claim that Portelos has been difficult to work with and has been transferred twice and that multiple investigations are currently pending against him.