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Aug 9, 2011 1:38 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Fate Of Eastport South Manor Social Studies Teacher Remains Cloudy

Aug 10, 2011 1:29 PM

It remains unclear if an Eastport South Manor High School social studies teacher will return to the classroom in September following his fourth DWI arrest late last month, an incident in which authorities said he attempted to flee police to avoid arrest.

Timothy Schroeder, 38, of Long Beach was arrested on July 25 in his hometown and charged with his fourth DWI, a felony. According to Long Beach Police, Mr. Schroeder led police on a chase in his car and then on foot while attempting to evade arrest; three officers had to subdue Mr. Schroeder before arresting him.

William Petrillo, the Rockville Centre attorney representing Mr. Schroeder, said this week that his client is now blind in his right eye due to injuries he suffered while in police custody. A mugshot released by police shows Mr. Schroeder’s right eye swollen shut.

“The police beat him mercilessly during the arrest,” said Mr. Petrillo, who declined to say whether or not Mr. Schroeder plans to file a civil suit against the Long Beach Police Department.

Police said Mr. Schroeder was driving with a suspended license and did not have an interlock device installed on his car, as mandated by the State Department of Motor Vehicles as a result of his prior DWI convictions. Additionally, he was charged with first-degree unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a felony, and unlawfully fleeing a police officer while in a motor vehicle, resisting arrest and reckless driving, all misdemeanors. He also was ticketed for 21 traffic violations.

Mr. Schroeder was arraigned in Long Beach City Court on July 27 and remanded to the Nassau County Jail in East Meadow after failing to post $100,000 bail. At a follow-up hearing on July 28, bail was reduced and Mr. Schroeder was released after posting $25,000. Mr. Schroeder is due back in court on Friday, September 9, just two days after school is back in session, according to Mr. Petrillo.

In a prepared statement issued last Thursday, August 4, Eastport South Manor Superintendent of Schools Mark Nocero said he could not comment on Mr. Schroeder’s situation because it is a personnel matter. The superintendent did note, however, that school officials are “taking this situation very seriously” and plan “to pursue any and all remedies available under the law.”

According to Jane Briggs, a spokeswoman for the State Education Department, a school district has two options when it comes to disciplining teachers. According to Education Department code, Mr. Nocero can file a complaint with the state, and the district can hold what is called a 3020a hearing, at which an arbitrator decides the fate of a teacher who has been charged with a crime or accused of other serious wrongdoing. In this instance, the hearing officer and an attorney representing the teacher’s union, the latter representing the accused teacher, would meet to discuss the complaint.

The second option that could be pursued by the district is that it could hold a Part 83 hearing, according to Ms. Briggs. To begin this process, Mr. Nocero would have to file a formal complaint with the State Education Department that outlines his issues with the teacher in question, specifically concerns that address character. In that scenario, the department would then investigate the charges and bring them before a panel whose members would then decide whether or not to revoke teaching certification.

“If there is a question of moral character, there are a number of consequences,” Ms. Briggs said. “The most severe would be that he could lose his teaching certification.”

If that happens, Mr. Schroeder—who has been employed by the district for the past decade—would no longer be allowed to teach in the state, according to Ms. Briggs.

“Every case has to be looked out individually,” Ms. Briggs added.

In an interview on Tuesday, Mr. Nocero said the district cannot take any action on the matter until next month at the earliest, when school is back in session—a point confirmed by Ms. Briggs. Mr. Nocero pointed out that the School Board has not met since Mr. Schroeder’s arrest late last month, adding that he would have to discuss the district’s options with board members. Their next meeting is on Wednesday, August 24, and begins at 7:30 p.m.

“We’re aware of what’s gone on in the past,” Mr. Nocero said when asked about Mr. Schroeder’s three prior DWI arrests. “I’ve spoken to a couple of parents about this, but the phone has not been ringing off the hook.”

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UNCLEAR? Guess the tenure is getting in the way, got to love that tenure ;)
By just breath (82), yuck on Aug 11, 11 1:21 PM
Yeah I want this clown teaching my kids....
By 1640sWhaler (74), Sag Harbor/Easthampton on Aug 13, 11 12:23 AM
This school board has guidelines to follow. He earned his tenure let's not forget that. I doubt he will return to his position but let the school go by their guidelines. If he is allowed back I'm sure he will be harassed by a lot of parents. We still don't have all the facts on his previous DWI's. Courts often make deals to lesser charges but in this case I don't think he has much to stand on. I feel bad for his wife and new baby.
By Cali (4), Sag Harbor on Aug 14, 11 11:38 AM
What wife?
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Aug 14, 11 1:22 PM
irony=that this guy teaches social studies.
By kaluss (113), Southampton on Aug 14, 11 3:34 PM