Tenured Pedagogical Personnel Have “Cadet Rights”
What are “Cadet Rights” and why are they important?
“Cadet Rights” are named after Andre Cadet (His last name is pronounced “Cud Day.”), a tenured teacher who had gotten himself into difficulty with DOE over a romantic relationship with a student.
Decision No. 13,589 of (then) Commissioner of Education Richard Mills, and the Third Appellate Division’s decision in Board of Education v. Mills (250 A.D.2d 122) explain what was at stake:
According to the above two decisions, a tenured teacher could not be compelled to answer questions posed by SCI investigators.
The Third Appellate Division’s decision was relied on in Condon v. Sabater (113 A.D.3d 203) where the First Appellate Division found that a tenured assistant principal was not required to comply with a subpoena ad testificandum issued by SCI.
The lower court’s decision in Condon is here:
“Cadet Rights” are important because they come from Education Law § 3020-a(3)(c)(i)(C) which states in part:
The employee shall not be required to testify.
Education Law § 3020-b(3)(c)(iii) contains an identical provision.
So, if tenured pedagogues can’t be required to testify during their Education Law § 3020-a (or § 3020-b) hearings, then they can’t be required to testify during investigations which could possibly lead to the filing of Education Law § 3020-a (or § 3020-b) charges.
This would appear to include the right to refuse answering questions about a tenured pedagogue’s work (or alleged incidents) originating from a principal or assistant principal rather than an SCI/OSI/OEO investigator.