News

NYC Teacher Live Streams Himself Sitting In ‘Rubber Room’ Doing Nothing

Francesco Portelos sits in a "rubber room" awaiting his administrative hearing on Oct. 5, 2012. (credit: UStream.com)

Francesco Portelos sits in a “rubber room” awaiting his administrative hearing on Oct. 5, 2012. (credit: UStream.com)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A New York City teacher who was removed from the classroom is streaming live video of himself pushing papers.

Francesco Portelos has been blogging about his battle with the city Department of Education since he was removed from Intermediate School 49 on Staten Island in April.

He’s streaming from the office where he must sit and wait for his disciplinary hearing.

The live stream shows Portelos sitting in what appears to be a conference room, looking at a laptop. Sitting on the table, among other things, is a sign that says “I’d rather teach!!” and a “Don’t Tread On Me” flag.

“It’s just crazy, I never thought this would happen especially in the New York City Department of Education,” Portelos told 1010 WINS. “A $24 billion budget and I’m being paid $75,000 to sit here, it’s ridiculous.”

Click here to view the stream.

“I’m not here because I’m a bad teacher, I’m not here because I did anything to anyone physically, I’m here because they were trying to shut me up and it backfired big time,” Portelos told 1010 WINS.

On his blog, Portelos suggests his punishment is retaliation for his calling for investigations into “potential financial misconduct and educational neglect.”

“For five years I made that school as best as it could be and then I ask about the budget as a parent in the neighbor who wants the school to be better and they send me over here. It just shows the corruption at hand,” Portelos told 1010 WINS.

The Department of Education released a statement on the matter: “All teachers who have been reassigned are working under supervision in an administrative capacity. Francesco Portelos has been extremely difficult to work with, was transferred twice, and there are multiple investigations pending against him.”

“We are taking action to address this situation,” said DOE Communications Manager Connie Pankratz.

There are 218 teachers currently reassigned, the DOE said, adding that generally less than one tenth of one percent are reassigned at any time.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)