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SI Teacher Claims He's Been Rubber-Roomed

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TWC News: SI Teacher Claims He's Been Rubber-Roomed
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A Staten Island middle school teacher says he's been rubber-roomed and says he has the video to prove it.

Francesco Portelos says after accusing the principal of IS 49 of "double-dipping," he was reassigned to a so-called rubber room.

He says he's been there for months.

According to the Department of Education, rubber rooms were done away with in 2010, with teachers awaiting hearings doing clerical work instead.

But a live stream set up by Portelos Thursday shows him doing no work at all.

Now he says teachers are afraid it could happen to them and it's the kids who suffer.

"It's such a fear put in for retaliation," Portelos said. "If I was removed and I ran all these things for the school, then they're like 'well, I gotta really do this, I can't get experimental and start engaging with kids, I gotta follow the rules because I might be next.' It's unfortunate because the students are last."

The DOE says all reassigned teachers work under supervision in an "administrative capacity" at one of its numerous administrative offices.

It also says Portelos has been extremely difficult to work with.

The department says he was transferred twice and there are multiple investigations pending against him.

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