New York Teacher Gets Paid $75,000 To 'Do Nothing' And Live Streams The Proof

suspended teacher sits in rubber room

Lots of workers waste time at work, but few would want to broadcast video of themselves doing it. But New York technology teacher Francesco Portelos is doing that just to protest his suspension, which he says has left him to languish in a "rubber room" -- a detention center for teachers.

Portelos (pictured above) wants taxpayers to see where the dollars that pay his salary are going, New York's Daily News reports. "I'm getting paid $75,000 to sit around." So he's streaming live images of himself from the office where he must sit and wait for an disciplinary hearing.

The live stream (embedded below) 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, The Associated Press reports (via WCBS in New York).

The 34-year-old teacher was pulled from his classroom at Intermediate School 49 on Staten Island last spring after knocking heads with administrators. Portelos, who is the elected chapter leader of his school, alleges that his "timeout" in one of New York's infamous "rubber rooms" is retribution for having blown the whistle on administrators "engaging in financial misconduct."

No charges have been filed against the principal, Linda Hill, who didn't respond to requests from media for comment.

Officials at the Department of Education declined to list the allegations against Portelos, but said that they were serious enough to warrant his removal from the classroom, the New York Post reports.

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They also denied that rubber rooms still exist.

Faced with public ridicule, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the city's teachers' union agreed two years ago to do away with the reassignment centers and speed up hearings for teachers accused of wrongdoing or incompetence. Before the agreement, teachers sometimes languished for years in the "rubber rooms" as they awaited possible disciplinary action.

Following the agreement, teachers were to be assigned to administrative work or non-classroom duties in their schools while their cases were pending.

And that's still the case, according to Department of Education spokeswoman Connie Pankratz. "All teachers who have been reassigned are working under supervision in an administrative capacity," she said, adding: "Francesco Portelos has been extremely difficult to work with, was transferred twice, and there are multiple investigations pending against him."

Portelos told the Post that most of the allegations against him involve frivolous charges, such as hacking into his school's website.

"I'm very tech-savvy, and for the short five years of my career used that knowledge to educate and improve the school," Portelos wrote in an email to the Daily News.

"Now," he added, "I have to use my tech savviness to survive."

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Angela Killpack

I think I'm a little confused. They give teachers disciplinary action by still paying them as they do nothing in a room? Why would they do that?

March 28 2014 at 11:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Strong

I have a friend that currently does nothing in New York. Diane keeps telling me that she is a dancer, but never makes it to any big shows. This teacher and her seem to have a lot in common.

March 24 2014 at 10:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is really interesting. I'll have to look up more stuff on this soon. Where was he located again?

Molly |

January 30 2014 at 4:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The new America. Politics and Unions above all. Lazy azz Americans want to take and not give. We have the an administration that lies, cheats and now dictates. As long as the new Americans get freebees they don't care. Does it sound like some other country in the late thirties? Put a mustache on Barack.

October 07 2012 at 7:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Teaching is the career tha creates ALL others. Teachers deserve RESPECT! And believe me, they do get the RESPECT they deserve, everywhere, except in America. What a shame!

October 07 2012 at 3:45 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to bumblebee2674's comment

No, PARENTING is the career that creates ALL others. The teachers unions in Ireland have lowered scores, created some of the highest paid "education managers" in the world, and creates homework for kindergarten level student that averages 2 hours a night to complete.

It's great retoric, but teaching is NOT not the perfect career everywhere.

October 07 2012 at 6:14 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Respect is earned. The facts are that teachers are very well paid for their labors, and through public unions, not held accountable to any sort of results. Good teachers certainly do deserve respect - but denying that bad teachers exist is an affront to teachers.

October 13 2012 at 4:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It shouldn't take that long to process these people. Sit down, figure it out, and either put him back in the classroom or fire him. It should be easy - maybe take a week, not months or years.

October 07 2012 at 3:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hey Bloomberg... Are you proud of this situation? A person who seems to be a real teacher is being labeled a troublemaker, has been sent to the Rubber Room Purgatory, and actually wants to be freed to resume teaching. It is totally logical that the city of New York would endeavor to keep a likely good teacher from coming into contact with any student. Mayor Bloomberg.....Go Buy a 32 ounce Coke...get a caffeine Buzz, and find the energy to get Mr. Portelos back into the classroom

October 07 2012 at 2:44 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Then they wonder why our children can not read, write are do math, and why our nation is so poor in it's overall education rating.

October 07 2012 at 2:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lawrence G

where do I sign up ??

October 07 2012 at 1:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Rubber rooms were a topic on Law and Order, i thought it was mad up. Wow! Am shocked. Tho, do gotta say, Great Union.

October 07 2012 at 1:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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