TRENTON — New Jersey's education commissioner has ruled that a teacher should forfeit more than $50,000 pay for making a four-minute personal call during class.
However, Desly Getty won't lose her job as a performing arts teacher at Asbury Park High School.
Court records show Getty was covering for another teacher for 45 minutes in 2008 when she called suspended superintendent Antonio Lewis.
A student recorded two students dancing while she was on the phone and posted it on YouTube.
Getty went back to the class the next day to question students after she had learned about the video.
The teacher was reprimanded.
Asbury Park prohibits teachers from making personal calls while performing assigned duties.
Getty can appeal the ruling.
Aside from the grossly inappropriate relation of the fine to the offense, this case is not an anomaly in New Jersey.
Let me explain. I do a lot of consulting on Teaching American History grants, and a lot of it is in New Jersey. New Jersey school districts are no longer allowed to purchase lunch for their teachers during a day of professional development.
About two years ago, one NJ District Superintendent went to England on some sort of government-paid educational junket, and charge a meal (one meal!) on his state credit card that came to something like $170.
The State legislature reacted to this outrage by passing legislation forbidding school districts from ever paying any of their employees for meals again. That'll show the bastard!
Yep: the NJ way. Instead of punishing the person who actually committed the infraction, the government punished every teacher in the State.
Ultimate insult to injury: that former superintendent is now a NJ state legislator.