NEWBURGH – The Newburgh school teacher who blew the whistle on “grade-gate,” the continued practice of adjusting student athlete grades and attendance records so that they could continue to play in high school team sports, has now taken his case to the US Department of Education.
Richard Desiderio, a fourth grade teacher at Horizons on Hudson school, filed a discrimination complaint with the Office of Civil Rights on Wednesday, maintaining retaliation against him when he was the girls varsity basketball coach and for bringing to light the grade-rigging that prompted an Orange County grand jury investigation and a scathing report against the school district.
I would like them to provide somebody to come in and provide some relief for the district whatever that is, whether that’s taking over the district or providing monitors. I don’t know if that is going to be granted, but I would to see that happen,” he said.
Desiderio said while all the issues he has raised have taken place during the administration of Superintendent Roberto Padilla, he is not accusing anyone of anything.
He said he was fired from his coaching position because he yelled at team members and that the administration has also attempted to fire him from his teaching position as a result.