June 6, 2023



Queens superior school stored instructor scandals quiet for yrs

An esteemed Queens significant faculty quietly fired a physics instructor who carved “DEAD” on his chest in photographs seen by pupils, and a chemistry trainer who stayed in the classroom for 8 decades immediately after investigators discovered he touched ladies, documents present.

The alleged misconduct at Townsend Harris HS  — retained under wraps for years from most workers, pupils and mothers and fathers —  is in depth in public reviews produced by the Unique Commissioner of Investigation for metropolis faculties at The Post’s ask for.

The revelations adhere to news that SCI located Joseph Canzoneri, a Townsend Harris English teacher, coach and drama director, had sexual intercourse with a previous scholar. Right after the woman refused to testify against him, Canzoneri was returned to the faculty very last slide, where he continue to experienced contact with young ones unaware of the expenses, The Typical scholar newspaper documented. 

“This genuinely reveals that the method is broken and it’s not genuinely secure for every person,” a freshman stated at a sit-in to protest students currently being exposed to accused predators.

Earlier scandals were also hushed, The Post uncovered. Thomas Sangiorgi, an award-successful chemistry instructor, was the focus on of two probes, in 2008 and 2016. The two discovered that he touched and rubbed up towards ladies, and produced leering responses. He lastly retired from the DOE in 2016 to settle misconduct prices, steering clear of community scrutiny. He has worked because as an adjunct lecturer at Queens Higher education, wherever Townsend Harris is found.

Joseph Canzoneri was discovered to have slept with a previous scholar, in accordance to reports unveiled by the Exclusive Commissioner of Investigation.
Townsend Harris HS

“This personnel make any difference is below critique by the college’s Human Means office,” stated Queens Higher education spokeswoman Maria Matteo. She would not say regardless of whether the school was at any time informed of the DOE charges.

In the initially SCI report, despatched to then-Chancellor Joel Klein, one particular pupil reported Sangiorgi handed powering her in a slim passage and “intentionally,” she considered, rubbed the front of his body versus her backside. Two other pupils advised SCI that Sangiorgi experienced touched or rubbed towards them.

The principal at the time simply slapped Sangiorgi with a “letter of reprimand,” the DOE claimed. Sangiorgi stayed another 8 several years right until the second probe.

In the 2016 report, one student claimed Sangiorgi performed with the zipper on her costume, set his fingers up her sleeve and twirled her locks, indicating, “I would like my girlfriend had hair like you.”

Thomas Sangiorgio
Thomas Sangiorgi was the concentrate on of two probes, in 2008 and 2016.

The report, despatched to then-Chancellor Carmen Fariña, stated two college students told probers that the teacher raved about their look at the promenade – telling a person she “looked like a woman” –  and questioned them for pictures.

“Student A” stated the instructor as soon as massaged her neck, making use of his thumb “in a circular fashion.” She “described feeling sick when Sangiorgi touched her.” In yet another incident, she mentioned Sangiorgi advised her the unbuttoned cardigan sweater worn over a shirt was way too loose for the chemistry lab. He then “physically eradicated the sweater from University student A’s entire body.”  He stood so close “she could odor the coffee and cigarettes on his breath and it designed her want to vomit.”

“Student C” instructed SCI that Sangiorgi “touched her breast employing his index finger” five to 10 periods from 2015 to 2016, and “touched her thigh just higher than her knee” other occasions as she sat on a desk, the report mentioned.

Sangiorgi also commented to a female on Facebook, “I know you have a dark facet,” and “I’ll check out not to excite you as well a great deal,” the report explained.

The instructor declined to converse with SCI investigators, and did not answer to The Post’s messages. 

In one more circumstance, physics instructor Edward Gruszecki posted disturbing images on Facebook – the place some of his college students have been “friends” – demonstrating self-inflicted cuts on his deal with, torso and arms, the SCI stated in a 2015 report to then-Chancellor Fariña.

Edward Gruszecki
Edward Gruszecki was terminated by the DOE in 2014.
Leanne Gonzalez

“In addition to the photo demonstrating ‘DEAD’ carved on Gruszecki’s upper body, another confirmed cuts spelling out ‘WHY,’” explained the report despatched to then-Chancellor Fariña. Some pupils turned alarmed and alerted college team. In a person submitting, Gruszecki wrote that he was not suicidal.

A previous scholar, now 26, advised The Put up she formulated a extremely emotional and wrenching personalized romantic relationship with Gruszecki, exchanged intimate e-mail with the married instructor, and considered the photographs. “I know a bunch of learners saw the Fb photos,” she reported. “He did it for interest, to make other individuals come to feel bad for him, for sympathy.”

Gruszecki, now 51, shown a different picture demonstrating what appeared to be blood smeared on his mouth in a creepy “Joker” grin. Resources told The Post he dressed up as the fictional villain in a university output and at Halloween. The instructor also posted an invitation to a local bar with cost-free drinks “if you are underaged,” the SCI uncovered.

The DOE promptly terminated Gruszecki in 2014, officers stated. Untenured, he was not entitled to a disciplinary trial. He unsuccessful to react to investigators in January 2015, the SCI claimed, and did not return The Post’s messages.

 Edward Gruszecki
Gruszecki dressed up as the Joker in a college production and at Halloween.

Both of those Gruszecki and Sangiorgi are still certified to educate in New York, a state Instruction Office site exhibits.

“This carry out was totally unacceptable and the DOE took action to assure these previous employees could no longer do the job in our faculties ever once again,” said spokeswoman Katie O’Hanlon.

Among the reforms, she extra, a Chancellor’s regulation amended in 2019 forbids any DOE employee to “create a hostile university ecosystem for a college student by conduct and/or verbal or prepared acts.”