Vincent Serpico, a teacher who taught at Piscataway High School since 2009, heard music on a boom box in a boys’ bathroom. He deemed the lyrics “offensive” and ended up going off on special education students citing the song by yelling the the N-word and profanities. He has been fired.
The incident occurred on May 8 of this year. After the bathroom incident, Serpico was in his class as the students were talking and laughing about what had happened involving another student and the teacher.
Serpico got upset again and proceeded to get in the teen’s face shouting at him. He was so close to the student that he was forced to get up from his seat.
“I’m tired of this sh-t you pull every day,” the instructor said in a video, which was taken by at least five students, “I go in the bathroom I hear n-word, n-word, n-word. This is all I hear all day.”
One student was so upset she asked to leave the class to see a counselor. He allowed her to leave. Serpico explained that he wasn’t directing the words at anyone but was simply repeating what he had heard in the bathroom.
He, then told the students, that he wouldn’t get in trouble for the tirade “because nobody cares.”
The students’ videos went viral, sparking anger from parents. Serpico had problems in the classroom previously. He had previously been disciplined for referring to students as “idiots.”
Parents complained to Teresa Rafferty, assistant superintendent of the Piscataway School District. Earlier this month, an arbitrator for the district determined that Serpico should be fired for his behavior.
“The Piscataway School District is pleased that the arbitrator affirmed our decision to file tenure charges against Mr. Serpico,” Rafferty said Wednesday, according to MyCentralNewJersey.com. “A successful learning environment includes respect and discipline among students and staff. The arbitrator completely accepted the district’s position, and his decision regarding Mr. Serpico’s conduct speaks for itself.”
“I am just tired of saying the same stuff, numerous times, everyday for X amount of years,” Serpico testified. “[The students] got the best of me. I’m sorry I even did that.”
John Sands, the arbitrator, wrote that Serpico’s rant “served no legitimate pedagogical purpose” and that there was no reason for him to continue teaching.
“Those wordshave nothing at all to do with mathematics and, with a few legitimate exceptions, have no place in a classroom,” Sands wrote, adding that the rant was “destructive of what special education students need to hear.”