Oh Lawd! Another freaky teacher in the headlines…
A grabby Queens gym teacher accused of flashing her students and dropping F-bombs in the classroom is still earning a hefty salary doing desk work, the Daily News has learned.
Carmen Rodriguez, who survived three investigations and a near-firing, pulls down $75,000 a year despite the raunchy antics that forced her into administrative duties.
According to city investigators, her salacious teaching style included stroking one student’s inner thigh during class, routinely using foul language — and inviting another student to visit her home and “see her cat.”
In addition, while teaching a GED Plus phys-ed class at Fort Totten in November 2010, Rodriguez — wearing either a thong or no panties — did a series of leg lifts, students said, that left nothing to their imaginations.
The three probes by special commissioner of investigation Richard Condon also found she spoke openly about sex during class time and once swore in Spanish at a student.
Rodriguez also made inappropriate sexual remarks, telling one male student “you like it rough” and commenting on how she enjoyed watching football players “run around in their tights.”
And in one memorable exchange, Rodriguez told her students that she would go “ape s—“ if Crystal Light powder was ever made available in grape flavor.
But it wasn’t enough to cost Rodriguez her job, despite two letters of reprimand and a city Education Department call for her dismissal.
Instead, she was fined $15,000 — taken out of her paycheck across 18 months — after a series of 2011 hearings before an independent arbitrator chosen by the city and the teachers union.
Even the arbitrator who spared Rodriguez from unemployment blasted her conduct.
“Not only did (Rodriguez) not model proper behavior, the evidence demonstrates she instigated and promoted bad behavior in her class,” he wrote in his decision.
In interviews with the arbitrator, the teaching veteran — who started with the Education Department in 1998 — insisted she is innocent.
She declined to comment when reached by The News at her Queens home.
Rodriguez worked in several schools as a health and physical education teacher, moving to the GED Plus program in August 2007.
She was yanked out of the classroom in September 2011 after the third investigation.
“In 2011, when (investigators) substantiated additional incidents of misconduct, (the Education Department) brought charges seeking her termination,” said department spokeswoman Margie Feinberg.
“Following a hearing, however, an arbitrator decided not to terminate her.”
Frank Davis, Rodriguez’s arbitration lawyer, said his client wasn’t fired because the Education Department didn’t have evidence.
He added that the witnesses called against Rodriguez were not credible and one of them had been suspended for attacking a teacher.
Dang… so basically you can get away with all that as long as there’s no credible witnesses???