If a naughty schoolteacher happens to figure in your fantasies, New York is the place for you this week. Actually, forget teachers — the city is apparently awash in principals whose degree of naughtiness varies from comical to horrifying.
First there's Lance Cooper, of P.S. 71 in the Bronx, fined a cool $10,000 yesterday for electioneering on the school's dime. Cooper reportedly sent out an e-mail asking his students' parents to vote James Vacca for City Council and Jeffrey Klein for State Senate. The note requested that the parents "endorse these Community Leaders when they need our support as a way of saying thank you for always being there for P.S. 71!"
Then there's principal Maurice Collins, who's about to be fired for covering up his subordinate's trysts. In 2005, Collins learned that teacher Johnny Cuevas was spotted cavorting poolside with a student at a Dominican Republic hotel. Instead of passing the matter on for investigation, Collins authoritatively declared that "nothing happened" and lived happily for the next year or so — until the story resurfaced, as stories tend to do, with an anonymous 311 call.
Rounding out the trifecta is Steven Mark Rubinstein, an assistant principal at Manhattan's Murry Bergtraum High School. Rubinstein was sentenced to ten years in jail yesterday after being busted in an online sting. The two "13-year-old girls" he propositioned were in fact fully adult undercover officers, hopefully male and hirsute; the rest is criminal history.