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…