2006_11_pinacolada.jpgLast month, it was revealed the Department of Education was investigating claims that teacher Johnny Cuevas vacationed with a student during spring break - and that school officials at A. Philip Randolph School tried to cover it up. Now it turns out that while Cuevas has been investigated, he was chatting up a 16 year old student online. From the Daily News:

While Cuevas was under investigation for the trip, he allegedly started contacting a 16-year-old from the school.

He called the girl on her cell phone, asking how many sexual partners she'd had, inviting her to come to his apartment - and even asking her to the Dominican Republic with him, the report said.

Cuevas also allegedly had sexually explicit Internet chats with the girl, asking her to send him photos and telling her that he wanted to see her in various lingerie items.

Note to all teachers: Do not chat on the Internet with your students.

The Department of Education is looking to fire Cuevas as well as Principal Maurice Collins. Collins is criticized for how he handled the 2005 spring break incident, where two teachers saw Cuevas kiss a student and drink alcoholic beverages while at a resort in the Dominican Republic. From the NY Times:

Upon returning to New York, the second teacher, identified as German Sanchez, reported the sighting to an assistant principal, who reported it to Mr. Collins.

But Mr. Collins failed to report the matter to the special commissioner’s office, as required. Instead, investigators found, he told other school officials that he had looked into the accusation himself and determined that “nothing happened.”

The sighting of the tryst, and Mr. Collins’s knowledge of it, resurfaced this January, when someone called the city’s 311 complaint phone line. After the call, the report said, Mr. Collins summoned five assistant principals for a meeting, at which he described the accusations as new and said he had no knowledge of them. According to the report, three assistant principals scoffed at that portrayal, observing that Mr. Collins had been told about the sighting the previous year. At that point, the report said, Mr. Collins changed his story, saying he had known about the accusations and found them baseless.

Cuevas claimed that the drinks came with the resort's meal plan (thus he did not buy them for the teen) and that the kisses were "pecks on the cheek," but was very roundabout with school investigators. Collins was also investigated last year after telling parents to "lie about their income on school-lunch forms" in order for the school to get more aid. An assistant principal who did not cooperate with investigators (four other assistant principals gave detailed descriptions of their meeting with Collins) may be fired as well.

Cuevas has been reassigned since the investigation began earlier this year; Collins was reassigned yesterday. And in trying to get them fired, the DOE is going through this byzantine process.