Ground ape masquerading as teacher sues district because she was fired.
Wait until you read why.
Former Public School 123 fifth grade teacher Monica Johnson was fired in 2008 after an investigations found she called a student “a liar and thief” and threw objects in class.
The Department of Education also noted that Johnson was warned repeatedly for using corporal punishment on students in 2004 and 2005, including allegations she grabbed a student “by the neck and hit him in the head,” according to DOE documents cited by the New York Post.
Investigators also substantiated allegations from 2006 that she ordered fifth-graders to “rub lotion on her legs and feet and comb her hair during instruction time,” the news site reports.
Now, more than eight years after her termination, the 49-year-old is suing the education department to secure a new teaching job with an after-school social services organization, University Settlement.
Johnson was offered a site manager job with University Settlement, a Department of Education vendor, but that offer was rescinded in light of her history in the district, the New York Daily News reports.
“The nature of your professional misconduct, in addition to the exploitation of your position within the department, causes grave concern when considering your application for security clearance to work with a DOE-contracted vendor,” district officials wrote in a letter to Johnson.
The former teacher, who has spent recent years working education-related jobs at places like the Harlem Children’s Zone charter school, thinks the DOE rejection is totally unfair.
“They’re looking at the past,” she said. “I have learned from my mistakes.”
Johnson told the Post she suffers from a disease that causes her limbs to swell and students took it upon themselves to help her.
“The kids, they saw that I was trying to do something to rub my own legs and I guess they felt sorry for me and they tried to help me,” she said. Johnson denied hitting a student, or calling any “a liar and a thief.”
She also offered several excuses for her bad behavior in her lawsuit against the DOE, in which she’s seeking $100,000 and the privilege to work in the city’s schools again.
From the Daily News:
At the time she got in trouble, Johnson said she had been misdiagnosed with cancer, had endured a nasty custody battle and was homeless.
Johnson, who is representing herself in the case, said she now knows that “professionalism is a non-negotiable” and wants a second chance.
A DOE spokesman told the news site said that’s not going to happen.
“Ms. Johnson’s behavior was inappropriate and completely unacceptable, and she is no longer eligible to work in our schools,” he said.
A spokesman with the city’s legal department told the Post “we will review the lawsuit.”