McKinley teacher transferred to da Vinci after last month’s student assault

Feb 15, 2019

A McKinley High School teacher, injured in a student assault last month, is being transferred to Leonardo da Vinci High School in Buffalo. But as WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says the leader of Buffalo Teachers Federation (BTF) is crying foul.

Outside McKinley High School, Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo.
Credit WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley

"And the teacher is put on administrative leave and then punished by moving that teacher out of the school,” remarked Phil Rumore, president of the Buffalo Teachers Federation.

Buffalo Teachers Federation president Phil Rumore.Credit WBFO News file photo by Eileen BuckleyEdit | Remove

Rumore tells WBFO News the teacher is being punished. Rumore said the teacher was "severely injured" in a student assault and that the student had been involved in other serious discipline issues at McKinley.

“What is the message that goes out then? That you can punish the victim and then 'hey' if you want to get back at the teacher – you can hurt the teacher and that teacher will be the one that gets punished,” Rumore said.

“We strongly disagree with the statement and the sentiment by the BTF that this is any way shape or form of punishment,” responded Nate Kuzma, general counsel, Buffalo Public School District.    

Nate Kuzma, general counsel, Buffalo Public School District.
Credit Photo provided by Buffalo Public School District

Kuzma tells us the transfer is in response to the teacher's concerns that he is "unsafe" at McKinley.

“To protect his own safety and his feeling that he is unsafe at the school – we have elected, in the best interest of all involved, to place this individual at a different high school,” Kuzma stated.

The district has scheduled the teacher to begin at da Vinci February 25th.

But Rumore said the the union will be filing a grievance and taking other legal actions. Rumore blames the currently McKinley principal for discipline issues at the high school.  Rumore has called for the removal of the principal.