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NY Post
New York Post
15 Apr 2023

NextImg:NYC DOE hit with record number of complaints about misbehaving teachers in 2022

Complaints about misbehaving New York City Department of Education teachers and workers skyrocketed to a record 9,813 last year — up 60% from 2021, a disturbing new report found.

The Special Commissioner of Investigation’s troubling tally eclipsed the record set in 2019 of 9,638 complaints.

Investigators concluded last year at least 263 school employees broke criminal law or administrative rules, including 40 cases involving inappropriate or sexual misconduct.

Yet only 17 SCI cases were referred to prosecutors, and only four of those cases made it to court.

“We are deeply concerned by the lack of follow through and accountability regarding cases of sexual misconduct in New York City Schools,” Emily Miles, executive director of New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault, told The Post.

“All survivors, no matter their age, deserve systems that take them and their experiences seriously and work to keep them and their peers safe from future harm.”

Criminal cases often fall apart because an alleged victim stops cooperating with an investigation or parents forbid police to interview their children.

Paul Narducci allegedly groomed a Brooklyn Academy of Science and the Environment student beginning when she was a freshman, investigators said. Narducci

One of the most egregious allegations came against a 22-year-old DOE vendor, Iber Poma II, who was arrested for raping a 12-year-old girl on June 20, 2022.

He is awaiting trial in the Bronx — one of the few cases headed for the courtroom.

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The SCI did not release any additional details about Poma, including what company he worked for, the access he had to children, and any of the circumstances surrounding the alleged sexual assault.

Other cases include a Brooklyn Academy of Science and the Environment teacher accused of a “brazen pattern of grooming” a female student when she was a freshman before repeatedly sexually assaulting her, according to an SCI investigative report.

The Crown Heights science teacher, 32-year-old Paul Narducci, even moved across the street from the alleged victim, who came forward after graduating from the school and is now 21 years old, according to the report.

Narducci resigned a month before SCI closed its investigation in December 2022 and recommended his firing.

The alleged victim eventually stopped cooperating with authorities despite investigators substantiating her claims.

Charges were never filed and Narducci still holds a state teaching license.

Natalie Black.

Natalie Black allegedly sent at least 15 pictures of herself to a 17-year-old student at Hillside Arts and Letters Academy, according to an SCI report.

SCI-substantiated allegations of sexual misconduct include:

“It’s not acceptable,” Dr. Elizabeth Jeglic, a John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor who focuses on institutional sexual abuse and grooming, told The Post.

“It’s not acceptable if there any boundary violations.

“These are the people that we entrust our children to that are foundational in our children’s development and future learning.”

Jeglic authored a study last May that surveyed over 6,600 people and found that 11.7% experienced some form of educator sexual misconduct between grades K-12, mostly inappropriate comments although a small percentage reported being physically abused.

Paul narducci.

Narducci resigned a month before SCI closed its investigation.
Brooklyn Academy of Science and the Environment

She said her study found that children who report the incidents face more negative psychological effects — such as drug abuse and suicide — than those who don’t.

“It could be either that the educator misconduct is causing those things or they’re choosing kids that are already troubled and taking advantage of them,” Jeglic said.

Poma II, Liriano, and Choi could not be reached for comment.

Narducci did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Younis told The Post that he does not remember the incident SCI investigated.

The DOE did not respond to requests for comment.

Additional reporting by Susan Edelman