Blog Post About Stripper Days Could Get NYC Teacher, Melissa Petro, Canned
Count on a media circus. If the disciplinary hearing to decide Petro's fate occurs after Jan. 3, this could be NYC Chancellor-to-be Cathie Black's first crisis. Even if it's scheduled before Black's start date, she could still get dragged in. The new media game is to publish Black spottings throughout the city. "There is Cathie at a school." "There is Cathie back at Hearst."
The background: Department of employee.officials label Petro's behavior as "conduct unbecoming a teacher." But what they might be really thrown by is that Petro blogged about her past as a call girl who had advertised her services on Craigslist. She also posted on her days as a stripper. Consequently, last September, Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered her out of the classroom. The next step is to have her out of the school system as an
However -- as the union, lawyers, public, and media know -- it is difficult to get rid of a tenured teacher in the New York City system. There are so many arguments that could be used to defend Petro, ranging from that her past is not her present to the question of whether she is being punished for exercising free speech by blogging.