Madhumita Chaki and Maria Caya are two former public school teachers who have popped back into the news this week. America needs to know about both of them.
Chaki had been a tenured science teacher amid the suburban sprawl of New Jersey. In 2011, the Franklin Township school district fired her for allegedly making racially offensive comments about blacks, whites, Hispanics and Asians as part of a classroom lesson.
This week, a state appeals court upheld the dismissal, reports The Star-Ledger of Newark.
The comments themselves allegedly occurred in a chemistry class back in the fall of 2010. Chaki, who has ethnic roots somewhere in Asia, allegedly described black people as lazy and Asians as super-smart and endowed with a super-strong work ethic.
According to evidence noted by the appeals court, Chaki also told students that “Spanish people were working class” and that “Caucasian people could no longer afford to live in New Jersey.”
“Chaki consciously introduced stereotyping into her lesson plan, which was negatively perceived by her students,” the court added.
The teacher’s attorney, Michael Barrett, told The Star-Ledger that his client didn’t have any racist intent. Instead, she was trying, somehow, to use a “demographic distinction” to make a point about chemistry. That point apparently had to do with “whether a sample of isotopes collected from a location would remain constant all of the time.”
Meanwhile, Caya, the other teacher to make this week’s hall of disrepute, didn’t technically get fired because she quit first.
And there’s more good news: she won’t walk away empty-handed. She secured a sweet lump-sum separation agreement worth $18,452 from the local school board for her trouble.
Caya, 50, had been a teacher at Washington Elementary School in Janesville. She resigned after she had appeared to be drunk during an end-of-the-year field trip for 120 fourth- and fifth-graders at a local bowling alley.
The excitement began at approximately 9:00 a.m., reports The Janesville Gazette. Caya was acting so strangely that her colleagues called her husband so that he could take her away. He took her to the emergency room. She reportedly had an impressive blood alcohol level of 0.27 percent.
Caya allegedly said she had consumed a bloody Mary at around 6:00 a.m. She also may have been taking an anxiety drug called Ativan, which could have intensified the effects of the alcohol.
The ex-teacher’s husband is an attorney for a local law firm, Nowlan & Mouat, which provides legal services to the Janesville school district. The Gazette notes that he helped her obtain the settlement.