Justin Zaremba (NJ.com) reported this morning that Emilio Perez, a former New Jersey high school teacher who had been “convicted of harassing students using racial, religious and homophobic slurs lost his appeal Friday and will continue to be barred from teaching in a New Jersey public school.” Zaremba said that Perez, who had been a computer teacher at the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical High School, “was convicted in 2013 of harassing four students and forced to forfeit his teaching license, both of which were the subject of his appeal.”
According to the appellate court ruling, Perez made numerous harassing statements to students including:
– Insulting a Jewish student by saying “go count your money, that’s all you’re good for,” using expletives to refer to the student, insulting him for celebrating Chanukah, and telling the student to pick a coin off the floor because he’s Jewish.
– Calling an African-American girl “ghetto” and saying “we all know that black people steal.”
– Calling a student by a homophobic slur.
It was Perez’s behavior, according to the court, that caused a student to cut her wrists and another to harbor suicidal thoughts.
The court said that Perez’s argument was “wholly without merit” and that his inappropriate behavior was “ongoing and pervasive” and “extremely egregious.”
…Defendant commenced employment as a teacher at the Middlesex County Vocational School in Perth Amboy in September 2009, and was suspended from his employment in January 2012. In the course of his employment, defendant verbally harassed several of his students. Defendant targeted one student in particular, S.L., who is Jewish. In the presence of other students, defendant told S.L. to “go count your money, that’s all you’re good for.” Defendant dropped a coin on the floor and told S.L. to pick it up since he was “Jewish.” S.L. cried as a result of defendant’s comments. Upon observing S.L. crying, defendant said “don’t get all that [expletive] on my desk, take that somewhere else.” Defendant also used expletives when referring to S.L. and ridiculed him for celebrating Hanukah.
Defendant also referred to an African-American girl, A.A., as “ghetto” and stated “we all know that black people steal.” Defendant also called a student by a homophobic slur. Defendant’s classroom conduct caused a student to engage in cutting her wrists. Another student harbored suicidal thoughts as a result of defendant’s racist remarks and religious slurs.
Among the other allegations that the school district lodged against Perez were that he:
– Stored two binders filled with pirated software and movies in an unlocked file cabinet in the classroom — some of which were pornographic.
– Wrongfully used students for an outside business venture.
Wrongfully distributed chocolate containing alcoholic beverages to students…
– Used punishment techniques that were contrary to district policy.
Falsely accused two student of posting his online date profile in the school building…
– Disassembled a server, rendering its warranty void and value of the equipment useless…
– Installing a cell phone blocking device in the closet of his classroom in violation of federal law.
Perez sounds like a real gem of an educator, doesn’t he?
STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. EMILIO PEREZ (Justia)