How did he get hired to work with children or teenagers when this was in his background?
Mr. Shaynak was living in Havre de Grace, Md., on Oct. 3, 2005, when an 11-year-old named DeVonte Watson was playing outside his home across the street. He was throwing rocks; one apparently hit Mr. Shaynak’s house, and Mr. Shaynak then came across the street and confronted the boy.Mr. Watson, now 20, his older sister and his father said that even though Mr. Watson apologized, Mr. Shaynak beat him and threw him to the ground. The boy had to go to the hospital, and the Watson family was granted a restraining order against Mr. Shaynak for six months. Although a criminal charge was filed against Mr. Shaynak, he was not convicted. The charge was later expunged.“I feel like somebody who would do that to an 11-year-old should not have become a teacher,” DeVonte Watson said.
The Daily News says the NYCDOE was "aware" of Shaynak's arrest prior to his employment as a NYC teacher:
Education officials also acknowledged they were aware of Shaynak’s 2005 arrest in Maryland — although they would not say if they knew the target of his rage was the 11-year-old Havre de Grace boy.
He was hired in August 2008 despite a background check that turned up the arrest because there was no conviction in the case, officials said. The court document was revealed during a fingerprint check.
No doubt Campbell Brown and a host of other anti-tenure individuals and entities will use this case to try and rally a horrified public against teacher tenure and due process protections.
But the real story here is, why did the NYCDOE hire a man who had been arrested (though not convicted) with beating an 11 year old, a man who had had a restraining order against him for six months as a result of those alleged actions, without looking further into his case?
I don't think an individual having an allegation against them in the past for something automatically disqualifies them from NYCDOE employment, but I do think it means the NYCDOE should check the individual out and get to the bottom of the allegation.
There's a reason there are background checks for teachers, including fingerprinting checks - it's to see if anything comes up in an individual's background that would disqualify them for employment with the NYCDOE.
My feeling is, had the DOE done even a rudimentary check of the Maryland incident, they would have come to the conclusion that Shaynak should not have been hired as a teacher.
But they didn't do that rudimentary check.
They simply hired him.
And remember, this was the vaunted Bloomberg NYCDOE, the uber-competent DOE run by our uber-competent former billionaire-mayor.
Nonetheless they hired a guy in 2008 who had been arrested (though not convicted) for allegedly beating an 11-year old in 2005 without questioning anything about his background.
I bet Campbell Brown and the rest of the tenure-bashers never get around to asking how it is the Bloomberg DOE hired this guy with the 2005 arrest in the first place.
They'll be too busy using the story to push for the end of tenure for all teachers - even the ones without any previous arrests or allegations against them for anything.