Innovate Manhattan Charter School

“Banned teach gets job at city charter.” New York Daily News (NY), 9/12/2012

The Manhattan charter school that hired an ex-con heroin dealer also apparently employed a teacher banned from the city workforce.

Innovate Manhattan Charter School’s website shows that staff included Bart Ocuto, who got busted in 2011 for asking a public school student if she ever had anal sex and for insulting other students...

As of Sept. 2, Ocuto was listed as the science teacher on Innovate Manhattan’s website, but his name has since been scrubbed. The Daily News reported Monday that the school hired a felon, Carlos Tapia, without the required background check.

Charter school officials declined to discuss whether Ocuto had ever set foot in a classroom. Former head of school Peg Hoey, now president of Kunskapsskolan USA, the for-profit group that manages the school, hung up when asked about Ocuto...


“Convicted drug dealer hired by charter school.” New York Daily News (NY), 9/10/2012
... A charter school hired a convicted heroin dealer — and put him to work with kids — without a background check that would have quickly turned up his criminal past.

Carlos Tapia, 31, was hired in May at Innovate Charter School, where he supervised kids in the cafeteria. He expected to be fingerprinted so his past could be checked, but the school didn’t bother, he said.

“I could have been a person who was dangerous,” said Tapia, who was a public school teacher’s aide before he served a year and half for heroin distribution.
The high-profile school, then sharing Tweed Courthouse space with the Department of Education itself, did fire Tapia after three months — but he still can’t believe that he was even hired by a charter school in such a prime location.

“It’s just crazy. What if I was someone who really couldn’t be trusted?” Tapia said. “What if I had anger-management issues?...

A source familiar with the inner workings of the school said officials were entirely in the dark about Tapia’s past until contacted by the Daily News...


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