BCHS Teacher Removed From Classroom
Beach Channel High School has received its fair share of attention over the past few weeks, first when a paraprofessional was recently arrested for having an affair with a student, followed by last week’s altercation between a longtime math teacher and a student, on whom the teacher spat, leading to his placement on administrative leave.
David Pecoraro, 52, was caught on tape when someone began filming his heated exchange with the student, which concludes with Pecoraro spitting on the student who allegedly raised his raise and struck the teacher.
Reports as to what sparked the exchange conflict. Some reports say the student had fallen asleep in class when Pecoraro approached him and another story pegs Pecoraro arguing with the student over using a cell phone.
The video clip, which was posted on YouTube.com shortly after the incident last Thursday, shows Pecoraro screaming at the student who has his head down on the desk and jacket covering his face.
The video begins with the confrontation already in progress when Pecoraro screams, “You can’t make contact with me, that’s illegal.”
The video continues with Pecoraro talking at an extremely close distance to the student, who continuously swatted his arm, which led to a brief shoving match between the two as the teacher kept trying to remove the student’s jacket.
“You want to go to jail now?” asked Pecoraro. “You’re gonna go to jail.”
“What the hell are you doing here?” the student shot back.
“I’m gonna teach you math,” Pecoraro replied at close range as the student muttered in Spanish.
After going back and forth with the student, Pecoraro briefly walks away from the teen and then turns back into his face and spits on him, while the other kids in the room laugh and one other student stays asleep on a nearby desk for the duration of the video, seemingly oblivious to what was happening around him.
“Are you crazy?” asked Pecoraro after the student spat back at him.
According to New York City Department of Education spokesperson, Margie Feinberg, the 19-year veteran has been reassigned to an administrative office pending investigation into the incident.
Pecoraro has been quoted in The Wave as a vocal and outspoken critic of Mayor Bloomberg’s school reform policies.
Pecoraro says the video clearly doesn’t tell the whole story.
“That kid stuck a piece of gum that he had previously chewed and placed onto his desk and onto my rear end — he put it into my mouth and I was spitting it out,” he told the New York Post. “Then he spit in my face.”
The failing school is slated to close in 2014 after it phases out its current student class. Pecoraro, the UFT leader for BCHS, is a vocal opponent of the DOE, its policies and their decision in 2010 to close the high school.