A Bronx elementary school teacher fired after allegedly using corporal punishment and bullying students wants his job back — claiming the termination was “wholly outrageous,” according to the instructor’s lawsuit against the Department of Education.
George Ohakamnu worked for the city Department of Education from 1993 to March 2017, most recently teaching science at the Bennington School.
A DOE arbitrator decided in March to can him after finding Ohakamnu grabbed a student by the “hood and/or back of the neck” on June 20 of last year, department papers related to his firing indicate.
Ohakamnu — who published a book in June 2015 called “Improving On-Task Behaviors in the Classrooms” — also told a pupil “you should have thrown the book at his head” during a minor altercation between two students, DOE documents say.
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The DOE arbitrator was compelled to fire Ohakamnu for retaliating against a student who complained about the book-throwing comment by asking “Did I tell you to hit him in the head with the book?,” the disciplinary papers state.
“To rule otherwise would make a mockery of the protection accorded children to be safe from wrongdoing by adults who are supposed to protect them,” the arbitrator wrote.
“It would send a message that retaliation is acceptable and that should a child cooperate in a formal investigation they proceed at their own risk.”
Ohakamnu, who taught science at the elementary, located on Adee and Bronxwood Aves. in Allerton, filed a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit on Friday to fight his firing.
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Ohakamnu, who most recently made 8,811 at the school, has four letters in his file for corporal punishment or verbal abuse, DOE records show.
But he emphatically denied the allegations Friday, telling the Daily News they are “hearsay and flimsy.”
“I am a victim of racism,” said Ohakamnu, who is from Nigeria. “I never hit any students,” he said. “I never caused any problems for anybody.”
The city Law Department said it “will review the complaint.”
- teachers busted
- crimes against children
- new york public schools
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