IF ALL ELSE FAILS, CALL IN A FINK
In education, psychiatric evaluations are commonly used as scare tactics.Often teachers will resign to avoid having to go through one, knowing the power a psychiatrist has to ruin their reputation.
Case law dictates that a teacher does have to obey directives to participate in a medical examination ordered by her school board, but it provides for an unbiased doctor, and a choice of three to assure that. However, law is not intended for our schools, just in case you weren't aware of this. Avoca District #37, Wilmette, Illinois, ordered Horwitz to go through a psychiatric examination with Dr. Peter Fink, a child psychiatrist and forensic psychiatrist commonly used by the district's law firm. In fact, only a couple of years prior to Horwitz's case, the district engaged Fink to dispose of a previous teacher. The district ordered this teacher to go through an examination by Fink. She resigned before the report was written - something the district incorrectly predicted Horwitz would do. This tactic, of holding a psychiatric report over the head of the teacher normally works.
It didn't in Horwitz's case as she was determined to complete this game with the district so she could later expose them. Horwitz did initially refuse to undergo an exam her superintendent illegally ordered, and followed orders once the school board voted four against three that she be examined by this biased doctor to see if she was fit to return to the classroom the next fall.
Board members Dorothy Ballantyne, Marilyn Horwitch, Sheryl Swibel, and Janice Feinberg voted to ignore the law and send Horwitz to their hand picked doctor, in their established fashion of supporting whatever the superintendent wanted. Although she knew this was a retaliatory act, Horwitz obeyed this order wanting to preserve her chosen career.
Not only does Fink advertise his testimony-for-fees business on the Internet, but he is also known for his infamous decision in a case involving a retarded nine-year-old boy who allegedly killed his brother. The police removed this boy from his parents, read him his Miranda Rights in the middle of the night, and managed to secure a confession from him. His attorneys attempted to have this confession thrown out based on this boy's inability to understand the Miranda Rights. The prosecutor hired Fink who determined that this retarded nine-year=old could fully understand his rights. Fink arrived at this conclusion in less time than he spent examining Horwitz. It is amazing how Fink managed to have all the right answers for his clients. Yet, the judge in this boy's case disagreed, as she decided in favor of the boy, stating that they needed to change the name of the Children's Welfare League if decisions like this were being determined.
Horwitz's visit with Fink lasted two and one half hours in which Fink typed all of her answers into his laptop computer. At the onset of the visit, Horwitz asked if she could tape record this session. Fink declined, and later used this request as evidence that she might be paranoid in that she didn't trust him. During the visit, Fink had to excuse himself to use the washroom twice, the second time being about ten minutes before she had to leave. Each time she was asked to leave the room as Fink could not allow her to be in there alone with his personal belongings. But he wasn't paranoid. Only she was. The highlight of his questioning was when he asked about her sex life. Horwitz sat there thinking that school districts have the right to invade a teacher's privacy to that degree and they think anyone with a brain would want to be a teacher? Given that she was forced to release the contents of this exam to the district, this meant that she was being ordered to discuss her sex life with the district. At that moment it was hard for her to believe that there was any other position she could hold that would be more demeaning.
Horwitz used an attorney to create a release that protected her rights. It stated that Fink could not release a report to the district unless it was simultaneous. No report was released for months after the visit, and Horwitz was permitted back in the classroom that fall in spite of the fact that the district had no information from Fink.
Horwitz's attorney was delighted to have proof that this exam was retaliatory since had it not been, they would have had to secure the report to let her back in. However, at Horwitz's dismissal hearing several years later, Fink testified that he did release an oral report to the district before school began, backing up the superintendent's testimony that he had. So Fink had no problem violating the release. When questioned by Horwitz's attorney about his violation of Patients' Rights, his response was that she wasn't a patient.
When he finally wrote his report, he decided that Horwitz might have a personality disorder since she imagined harassment at her school. He decided that if she continued to imagine problems at the school, she would need further psychological testing as she might be paranoid and delusional. Right after Horwitz filed her lawsuit later that fall, Superintendent Sloan decided she needed this testing and Fink arranged an appointment with a Dr. Hoffman, in violations of the Patient's Rights Act. Later, Horwitz discovered Hoffman's smiling face on the same testimony-for-fees Internet site. Conflict of interest is rarely a concern in education.
Fink gave the district what they paid for while increasing his own business. Steve Rubin, an alleged impartial judge, determined that Fink's testimony was more credible than Horwitz's private psychiatrist who was on Northwestern Hospital's staff. Rubin decided that Horwitz had to be delusional since it was impossible that the administrators could have done anything wrong. He also decided that Horwitz was insubordinate for not following Sloan's illegal order for an examination by Fink, an order that was subsequently replaced by a Board directive, which Horwitz obeyed. State law says that only the board has the power to order medical exams; Rubin decided the law was irrelevant. Fink's documented violation of Horwitz's signed release didn't phase Rubin either. Rubin had little regard for laws or agreements.
It is amazing how people cut from the same cloth gravitate toward education. Fink was no exception. Where there is money there are Finks.
Are these educators who believe in trapping teachers with psychiatric games the kind of people who we believe can educate our future generation properly, or are these the kind of people that make us all targets for terrorists who despise our materialistic country?
NAPTA knows it is the latter and this frightens us far more that the small minded power brokers who instill fear in their enemies. A future with no strong leaders is something to really fear, not these punks who sell their souls for peanuts and steal from children who can't measure up to the successful greedy corporate beings who grab the millions from adults. NAPTA believes that educators who steal our schools are lower than corporate executives that steal from adults and that if they were put in jail, where many of them belong, for their betrayal of public trust and misuse of public funds,they would be the primary targets of thugs who despise child abusers, an appropriate ending for their stories.
It is time teachers saw these people for the ethical midgets that they truly are and stood up to them. Only then will this stop. We would like to be able to forgive these people, but we can't as long as they are hurting our children. We need to maintain our anger so we can stop them. Someone has to, and so far not one public official shows any promise of taking these scoundrels on.