Disabled Teacher Faces Eviction
Mary Bozoyan, a veteran 30 year math teacher from William Cullen Bryant High School in Queens, has spinal stenosis. In the 2012 school year, shortly after Ms. Namita Dwarka became principal at the school, she attempted to force Mary into retirement by trying to give her her first unsatisfactory rating in 30 years.
Mary has had some of the highest math regents scores in not only Bryant High School (her alma mater by the way) but the entire NYCDOE. This is an attempt to remove a veteran teacher from the NYCDOE illegally through intimidation and retaliation in the lowest of ways by not accommodating her disability. Then when injured, withholding her pay, which she is entitled to by law.
Ms. Dwarka did not allow Mary to use a handicap entrance that others with disabilities could use, which is shown in the video. Dwarka locked Mary out of a restroom that she had used next to her classroom for 15 years. Mary was forced to walk down the hall and use a restroom that is in an unsafe condition. Both of these cruel actions were taken as retaliation for Mary reporting unsafe and illegal actions going on at Bryant. Bryant High School is notorious for retaliation of it's veteran teachers if they have the audacity to report wrong doing.
Mary was injured in that restroom and sustained a concussion. She has not been back to school since her injury. She is being treated by several specialists and suffers from migraines, and other post concussion symptoms daily. Initially the NYCDOE followed procedure and paid Mary while she is recuperating from her injury. They later decided to ask for more information about her injury, claiming that the decision to pay her was pending, holding up 14 weeks and counting of pay from Mary, literally forcing her into possible homelessness via eviction, not to mention all her other monthly obligations because of the NYCDOE's retaliatory actions. In addition to the concussion, Mary has not been able to go to her physical therapy for her spinal stenosis due to lack of funds, which is adding insult to injury.
Please consider donating whatever you can spare to help someone who has dedicated her life to teaching. Her dream came true when she got a job at the school where she graduated from...that dream is now her biggest nightmare. .It is unconscionable that in 2016 in the greatest city in the world Mary is being victimized and humiliated like this...Mary is humbled and so very thankful for your assistance.
My name is Mary Bozoyan and I am a 31 year veteran math teacher of William Cullen Bryant H.S in Queens. I graduated from this High School in 1980.
Throughout my years of teaching at Bryant I enjoyed a stellar reputation and served as a mentor to many new teachers and student teachers. I lived my dream of helping kids and have gotten many to not only learn math but to love it and to go on to become highly successful adults in careers where all levels of math is a necessity.
During my 31 years at Bryant , I have worked for many principals and assistant principals, all of whom highly respected me and my ability to teach, that is, until my current principal, Namita Dwarka. Ms. Dwarka started at Bryant in the 2010-11 school year eventually she observed me teaching. During my post observation conference she had nothing positive to say and informed me that I could and should retire. I was in shock and very upset by her comments. My response was that I had no intention of retiring I loved my job , retirement was not even on my radar. That was when my nightmare began. Constant harassment ensued. I attended the first rally at Bryant and went on the record with the Daily News stating the inhumane treatment of Ms. dwarka. I felt I had to stand up for myself my co workers and my students
I suffer from spinal stenosis and arthritis. As my condition progressed over the years, I asked for an accommodation so that I would not have to climb the 15 steps in the front of the building. The "accommodation" I was given by Dwarka was two side entrances that are worse and more difficult to climb than the front steps. This accommodation required that I call to be let into the building, in addition there are no handrails outside and the stairs inside the building are steeper. When I asked to use another entrance that has four small steps and a ramp (also this was requested for me in my channel 4 interview on Oct 23) Ms. Dwarka's response was no, that that was an entrance used only for deliveries. However, there is documented proof that Ms. Dwarka regularly uses this entrance herself and when disabled visitors come to Bryant they are allowed access to this entrance, but not me who was struggling daily. .
Last summer I went on the record in the New York Post. at another Bryant rally attended by parents students and co workers asking the DOE to remove Ms. dwarka from her position because of her abusive behavior. There were many dangerous conditions documented in the school, there was grade changing, there were inappropriate sexual relations reported and there was $195,000 missing that Ms. Dwarka was in charge of.
In September a few weeks after I had spoken to the media once again about Dwarka not accommodating my disability, and other troubling issues at Bryant The ladies room adjacent to my classroom ,a bathroom that was available to ALL female staff since Bryant opened. and I used this bathroom daily for 15 years because it is next to my classroom. Ms. Dwarka had the lock changed and I was not allowed to use it, only the four assistant principals could use this restroom now. I was now forced to use an unsafe bathroom down the hall, I have well documented the violations in this bathroom. On November 18th, I hit my head badly enough to sustain a concussion. Daily I still suffer post concussive symptoms such as severe headaches, vomiting and lightheadedness and am taking an anti- seizure medication to try to combat these debilitating symptoms.
The DOE, who took close to two months to originally approve my line of duty leave (for which I have yet to receive my pay),is now stating that they are no longer approving any further leave for this injury, The DOE required me to go to their doctor on May 24th he agreed that I was not fit to return to work because of this injury and set my revisit date for a check up for August 24th , This exam aligns with the findings of my neurologist ..YET the DOE over rode their DRs findings and is denying my leave This means I will no longer receive any income from the DOE, they said I can take leave without pay, retire, or return to work, which I am not able to at this time. Their non compliance with certain regulations caused my injury and after I dedicated 30 years of my life in doing this job that I put my heart and soul into I will be left homeless and kicked to the curb by the DOE..
I know that there are laws that protect not only disabled but people but employees injured on the job and I will try to seek justice but I am about to be evicted from my home and left with no health insurance ..no income. The DOE offered me temporary disability while I appeal their decision these disability payments they have offered me do not cover my monthly rent not to mention my insulin and other medications . I will be owed 17 weeks of back pay by the end of June and then owed my summer pay...I will get none of that if I can not find someone to help with this abusive system that has stolen my dignity and my pride, what once was my greatest accomplishment and passion teaching in the greatest city in the world..has now become my worst nightmare.
I am not asking for anything that I am not entitled to. I just want what is rightfully mine and what I have worked for for over thirty years, my financial security and my self respect.
Very respectfully Yours,
That same profit center you are mandated to send your kids to on the daily, has no regard for disabled employees. You get sick on the job it's PUCK YOU...do not pass go, do not expect to receive the benefits you paid for and don't let the door hit you in the bum on the way out. The NYC DOE violates ADA accommodations and disguise that slandering employees as incompetent and taking steps towards constructive discharges/terminations. The Union aids and abets.
Join our group EndTeacherAbuse.org and post your story at our site as well as check out the other stories. Karen
You are not alone! Stay strong, Mary! ♥
Mary stay strong, we stand with you❤️