For the latest installment of what has become an alarming trend at New York City schools, another teacher is accused of having sex with a student. The Latest: 33-year-old Urszula Jankowska. Her alleged victim: a 13-year-old girl.
According to authorities, Jankowska abused the girl on multiple occasions over a several-week period last year. In some cases, the abuse allegedly happened in the girl’s Queens home.
It’s unclear whether the victim was a student of Jankowska’s, who teaches English as a second language at Williamsburg High School for Architecture and Design.
New York City teachers sexually abusing students has become a fairly common/serious problem for the city. Earlier this year, three different teachers were arrested for sexually abusing students — in three
separate incidents — in less less than a week.
In addition to how frequently New York City teachers are accused of sexual misconduct involving students, the ones who are busted often get hit with little more than a slap on the wrist. The problem has gotten so
bad that Mayor Mike Bloomberg recently proposed legislation that would give the mayor, via the city’s school chancellor, more power to dismiss teachers who engage in acts of sexual misconduct in the classroom.
At a press conference in May, the mayor explained that allegations of sexual misconduct, in the current policy, lead to investigations that are resolved by arbitrators who work to please the interests of the United Federation of Teachers and the Department of Education, which can sometimes lead to decisions that are not in the
best interest of the students.
Under the proposed law, the DOE says it has been blocked from getting rid of teachers in cases where the city’s own independent investigator found instances of inappropriate sexual conduct.
The mayor cites an example of a teacher who touched a number of female students’ buttocks, breasts, waists, stomachs, and necks but was only given a 45-day paid suspension by the hearing officer, who determined that the teacher had hugged one student and hugged and tickled another on her waist.
As for Jankowska — she has been charged with criminal sex act, forcible touching, and endangering the welfare of a child.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 4, 2012