Thanks to intrepid pupil journalists, an English teacher and coach at prestigious Townsend Harris HS in Queens was yanked from the college this week after it got here to gentle that metropolis investigators confirmed he had intercourse with a former feminine pupil.
Joseph Canzoneri, 53, allegedly introduced the lady to an condominium the place he plied her with wine and marijuana earlier than that they had intercourse and oral intercourse, the Special Commissioner of Investigation for metropolis colleges discovered.
The SCI beneficial Canzoneri be fired, and the Department of Education tried to take action. But the lady refused to testify at a listening to, so the case was dropped and he was entitled to maintain his job beneath New York tenure protections.
After greater than a yr in a rubber room, an area the place accused academics await the disciplinary course of, he quietly returned to Townsend Harris at the beginning of the college yr in September. The principal stored him out of school rooms in an workplace.
The scandal remained beneath wraps till three weeks in the past, when somebody leaked the case to teen journalists at the college’s pupil newspaper, The Classic.
Known for aggressive reporting, the paper has run a series of articles within the final yr on six former college students who claimed sexual contact with three Townsend Harris academics — instances all stored secret at the time. The unnamed academics now not work at the college. The editors have referred to as for larger openness and coaching on educator sexual misconduct.
In gentle of this marketing campaign, an nameless “concerned parent” despatched The Classic the bombshell SCI report on Canzoneri. The precocious journos noticed him within the constructing and on Wednesday filed a Freedom of Information Law request with SCI to authenticate the doc.
Suddenly the DOE took motion. The identical week — the company wouldn’t say which day — officers shunted Canzoneri from Townsend Harris right into a “central office” someplace exterior of the constructing. After making $135,000 final yr, he stays on the payroll.
“It is past time for greater transparency about what has gone on at Townsend Harris and for the DOE and school administration to engage students and families in an open, honest conversation about the horrific allegations we have reported on,” editors-in-chief Ryan Eng, Julia Maciejak, and Jasmine Palma informed The Post.
The college students plan to put in writing in regards to the SCI report, and the way Canzoneri managed to maintain his job, amongst different points. The newspaper can’t be censored by the DOE or faculty directors, they stated.
The leaked doc obtained by The Classic just a few weeks in the past was a May 31, 2019 letter from SCI’s Anastasia Coleman to ex-Chancellor Richard Carranza. The 11-page missive mixed the outcomes of two probes of Canzoneri, which began in March 2018.
The Post obtained the identical SCI letter. It concluded that Canzoneri, then 49, had engaged in “numerous inappropriate acts” involving teenage feminine college students, comparable to touching one lady inappropriately, driving college students in his automotive, and exchanging textual content or Instagram messages.
Most damning, Canzoneri engaged in intercourse and oral intercourse with “Student G” on two events in 2015, the report says.
Student G, who was in Canzoneri’s class through the 2013-14 faculty yr, informed investigators she developed a “big crush” on the teacher, who additionally coached baseball, women’ tennis and labored with youngsters on theater productions.
According to the report, Canzoneri gave her a guide signed, “You’re an amazing woman. Love, Joe.”
A day after she graduated, the smitten teen requested Canzoneri to satisfy together with her “to say goodbye.”
She informed SCI investigators they “walked and talked” in a park. Then Canzoneri pulled her beneath a tree, the place they kissed. He then fondled her beneath her garments, she informed investigators. They organized to satisfy in just a few days, when he might get keys to a buddy’s condominium.
At the condominium, she was “very nervous” sitting subsequent to him on a sofa, she informed probers. They drank wine, smoked pot and began making out, the report says.
Moving to a bed room, Canzoneri informed the lady to take off her garments and lay on her abdomen. During intercourse, he misplaced his erection, saying “it must be the guilt of being married,” the report stated.
In August 2015, earlier than leaving for faculty, Student G texted Canzoneri to ask if he needed to satisfy once more to say goodbye. He drove her to the identical Queens park, the place “he led her behind some bushes.” They had intercourse — however “only a second or two” as a result of he once more went limp, the report says.
While mates had informed SCI that Student G had intercourse with Canzoneri, she herself didn’t come ahead till 2018, saying she didn’t need the identical factor to occur to her youthful sister at Townsend Harris.
Canzoneri declined to talk with SCI investigators. He didn’t return messages from The Post.
Conizeris’ actions with Student G and others present “a pattern of grooming” women for sexual contact that “threatens the wellbeing of these and other students at THHS,” SCI’s Coleman concluded.
She beneficial termination. The DOE served Canzoneri with fees of misconduct. As a tenured teacher, he was entitled to an administrative trial. But not one of the college students agreed to testify. The listening to officer dismissed the case and ordered Canzoneri be reinstated.
“This employee was not permitted to set foot in a classroom once these deeply disturbing allegations came to light, and is not working with any students or in any classrooms.” DOE spokeswoman Katie O’Hanlon stated.
Canzoneri was “reassigned to a position outside the school this week,” she added.