Report: Fired Teacher Allegedly Offered Bribe Of Better Grades

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Investigators are alleging that a Queens teacher tried to bribe students with better grades in exchange for supportive testimony at a disciplinary hearing.

Bernadette Camacho, was a social studies teacher at Hillcrest High School until being fired in May for yelling at her class said a report by the city’s special commissioner of investigation, Richard Condon.

Camacho told students that they had “their minds in their a–”, investigators say.

In March Camacho faced disciplinary action for a previous incident and, according to the report, called a female student five times over a five day period and begged her to give her a glowing review during the hearing.

The student refused, and Camacho allegedly responded by saying “Thank you for making my life worse,” investigators said.

Apparently this was not Camacho’s first outburst.

Over the course of her 10-year teaching career Camacho was regularly charged with corporal punishment and verbal abuse.

In 2010 she paid a $6,500 fine, began taking anger-management classes, and attended four sessions of therapy every month for a year, according to the report.

Camacho denied the allegations and chalked the incident up to a misunderstanding that stemmed from a language barrier between her and students whose first language was Spanish.

“My Spanish is not that good so I struggled,” said Camacho.

Camacho said that she was given an unruly class and that several students with learning disabilities made things even more difficult.

“They were just thrown into my class. These were the same kids that made statements against me,” she said.

Camacho said that she did lose her cool in class from time to time but that she never cursed and that it was “nothing to be fired for.”

Abusive authority figure, or misunderstood teacher? Let us know what you think in our comments section…

Comments

One Comment

  1. RoyAllen says:

    and to add insult to injury,she’s probably vested ,and will get a pension…….ps,you can tell who the teachers are,by reading the comments,whining,snivalling,cry babies

  2. RoyAllen says:

    It took 10 years to fire this low life,it should have taken 10 days…………….so much for the board of ed disciplinary committee.they should be fired too……

  3. Frank Macc says:

    Sorry to say that this is another area where DOE procedure is broken. Principals have exclusive access to students, and can pick and choose which student statements are relevant. In theory and practice, two or three students can say they heard or saw something and 30 that they heard or saw nothing and the Principal can find only those two or three statements relevant and throw out all others. The teacher and the union have no opportunity to investgate, and teachers like Ms. Camacho may indeed be reduced to calling students at home. I can’t say what happened in this case, but I can say that this process is unfair to teachers, and that Bloomberg and Walcott want to extend that one sided unfairness to teacher assessment.

    1. Debbie Paesano says:

      I totally agree, and it must be so hard to go to work everyday, and have to teach unteachable students. Students these days have very little to none when it comes to respect for adults, teachers, police, their parents, and society in general. They feel they can do what they want, and regardless that they actually go to class, they’re loud, unruly, talking back, on their cell phones, have their little Ipods listening to music tuning everyone out, & we wonder why teachers have to get loud to get their attention. And yes, students will lie to get back at a teacher they don’t like, or their covering for a friend. It does seem like she attempted to get help by taking anger management and like the post written by Al, I feel that the school DOE is part of the problem.

  4. Libby says:

    Ms. Camacho was hired as a bilingual social studies teacher. For her to make claims that she was ill prepared negates her original claim of proficiency. Her classes were no different than any other class at Wingate High School. This school was just given an A rating, so how much of a zoo can it be. Ms. Camacho is not an example of the wonderful teachers teaching at Hillcrest. Her entire tenure at Hillcrest was six months before she was broght up on charges.

  5. Bernadette Camacoho says:

    To the editor;
    The article published January 1, 2012 is factually untrue. There was never an investigation by SCI before I was forced to undergo 3020-a proceedings. The SCI “investigation”, if it can be called that, occurred in September, while my 3020-hearings were in March and April. My NYSUT Attorney argued that the principal was the investigator, judge, and jury, and therefore my rights to a fair hearing was denied to me. My Attorney, Mitch Rubenstein, also told me to call students to find witnesses for my hearing, and I therefore called the student cited in the article, but never, never “bribed” the student in any way. This is completely false, as are the charges that the principal made up, “proved”, and testified to at the 3020-a hearing. The Gotcha Squad at work…
    By,

    Bernadette Camacho

    1. Juan Azulymedia says:

      You can’t even spell your own last name. Pendejo! Guilty.

  6. Blackrock says:

    It is very difficult to be an educator within The NYC Public School System. A system that is controlled by politics and PEOPLE who don’t have any children within the Public School System, nor do they have any genuine interest in the education of innercity children.
    On the other side of the spectrum are TRUE EDUCATORS who are met with the roadblocks of disinterested parents, incorrigible students, and POLITICS.
    An entire classroom of motivated students should not be subjected to the rants and raves of incorrigible blockheads. Sometimes it becomes necessary to tell little Johnny or Sue to SHUT-UP. Don’t subject educators to catch-22 situations and expect them to be successful.

  7. Raymond Leslie says:

    Most of them suffer from autism spectrum disorder.

  8. anemone singh says:

    Sometimes students are coerced (by someone who they know and trust) into saying things against a teacher who is not favored by management.

  9. AL says:

    Since I don’t know all the details in this particular case, I can’t really comment on whether this teacher was good or bad. But it’s safe to assume that after numerous instances of verbally abusive behavior, and anger mgmt, this teacher clearly should not be allowed to teach.

    However with that being said I would like to comment on our NYC School System which is a shameful attempt at teaching.

    I believe that the city school’s are so screwed up and mismanaged that they would throw in kids that don’t speak english, kids with learning disabilities and unruly kids all in the same room and expect a single person to stay sane trying to teach them all. The school system is a bureaucracy attempting at political correctness when they need a kick in the rear and need to wake up to the real world.

    Many kids in our nyc school system don’t want to be there, they don’t respect the teachers and as far as I’m concerned the teachers should have more authority to straighten these kids out. Many of the kids parents don’t give a rats ass and think the nyc school system should act as a babysitter. There are metal detectors in our schools now, students of varying levels, ages, languages are all mixed into the same classrooms with the same curriculum and many will have a difficult time barely passing. The city’s budget cutbacks have no money left to put in programs aimed at truly teaching these students. They just want to “push” them through the system and get them out into the world. By the time these students get out into the world, they barely qualify for a janitorial position because they are so inept. I graduated from the nyc public school system and the system is a joke. Thankfully I had parents that pushed me to excel and set higher standards for myself.

    1. Helen Morgenstern says:

      I coudn’t have said it better.

  10. DON RIC says:

    ANOTHER ROGUE TEACHER, ( AND PROBABLY A MINORITY ) GIVEN WAY TOO MANY PASSES FOR INEXCUSABLE BEHAVIOR. THAT KIDS ARE A PAIN IN THE ASS IS A GIVEN, BUT TRYING TO BRIBE THEM TO GIVE FAVORABLE TESTIMONY AT HER HEARING IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. SHE SHOULD BE FIRED WITH A LOSS OF ALL BENEFITS. AND THEN AFTER ATTENDING 100’S OF HOURS OF ANGER MANAGEMENT CLASSES, AND ALSO DOING COMMUNITY SERVICE, MAYBE SHE CAN APPLY FOR A CUSTODIAL JOB, WHERE SHE CAN BAD MOUTH TOILET BOWLS AND URINALS.

    1. Lewis Sanborn says:

      Maybe you can both get a clue and find the caps lock button too.

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