Several schoolteachers are suing Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, claiming their confinement to “rubber rooms” — holding facilities for teachers removed from duty, usually on disciplinary charges — violates their rights. They claim the Chancellor has no authority to charge or hold them, and that conditions in the rooms are unpleasant and dangerous.
Among the plaintiffs is David Pakter, who has portrayed himself as a whistleblower against the poor administration of city schools, and claims that because of his attempts to bring them to the city’s attention, “Joel Klein, Esq.’s lapdogs, lackeys, sycophants and stooges, leaped out from under their countless dark and clammy rocks and went after me like a bat out of Hell” for bringing plants to his school, showing students the Robert Rodriguez film El Mariachi, and other trivialities.
A former Teacher of the Year, Pakter has been in and out of rubber rooms for years.
Another plaintiff, Josefina Cruz, was one of no less than nine teachers sent to rubber rooms by Graphics Communications Arts HS principal Jerod Resnick.
Teachers have brought suit against the city on similar grounds before, and occasionally the press pays outraged attention, but the rubbers rooms persist; Mayor Bloomberg is against them, too, but on the grounds that the teachers thus charged and confined should not be paid.