May 17, 2016

Brooklyn teacher punished for selling books to students


Brooklyn English teacher Todd Friedman is facing disciplinary action (possibly even termination) by the Department of Education after selling copies of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to his students, Carl Campanile reports for the New York Post.

Mr. Friedman ordered 102 copies of the book and sold them to his students for $2 apiece, “to recoup most of the expenses.”

“I was providing a service to the students,” Friedman told the Post. “This isn’t sexual abuse. This isn’t child molestation. I’m not a danger to the students.”

After reviewing the invoices, investigators noted that Friedman had “sold the paperbacks ‘at a financial loss.’” None of the students interviewed in connection with the investigation complained about the arrangement.

Friedman, who has been teaching for more than 29 years and is a winner of the state Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Award, suspects the disciplinary action was “retaliation for his filing unfair labor charges against the school in March of last year.” The charges, the Post reported after speaking with him, were “to protest a new ‘dumbed down’ curriculum and unfair evaluations.”



Taylor Sperry is a former Melville House editor.