Matter of Wu v. NYC Bd./Dept. of Ed.

Schools and Education

New York Law Journal


Justice Joan Lobis

Teacher Wu moved to vacate an arbitration decision which found she engaged in conduct unbecoming a teacher. The arbitrator imposed a one year suspension without pay. The Board of Education (BOE) cross-moved for dismissal of the petition arguing it failed to state a cause of action. After a hearing, the arbitrator found the charges preferred against Wu were substantiated as they supported a finding of conduct unbecoming a teacher and neglect of duty. Yet, the arbitrator rejected the BOE's contention that Wu's conduct constituted corporal punishment, and rejected the proposed relief seeking dismissal. Wu argued the arbitrator's findings were unsupported, and shocked the conscience. The court stated Wu's allegations the arbitrator's findings were improper were contradicted by the record, including Wu's admission regarding misconduct relating to one incident, and witness testimony establishing the others. It ruled the penalty imposed did not shock the conscience noting this was not the first time Wu's conduct "has been found wanting." Thus, as the disciplinary proceedings herein involved more incidents of misconduct, the penalty imposed was proper. Hence, the BOE's cross-motion to dismiss the petition was granted.

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