Kidney donor’s CPS job in jeopardy – again

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A man who generously donated his kidney to a grocery store clerk in 2010 nearly lost his job as a social worker after Chicago Public Schools realized he lived in Evanston. He thought he had been given a waiver when CPS decided he could keep his job.

But now a different CEO at CPS says "rules are rules.” He either has to move to Chicago or lose his job.

WGN's Julie Unruh has the full story.

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  • Julian

    Because he had already been granted a waiver, then they changed the rules on him. He has kids in school, a home, etc. and it’s tough to up and relocate on a social worker’s salary. As a CPS parent, I really want people like Dan in the system. Some minor flexibility, which doesn’t harm students in any way, in order to keep top quality people in a system that is developing a bad reputation seems both humane and business-like.

  • A friend

    Dan is a great asset to Ogden International. In a short amount of time he has come in and made the students feel safe. Yes there are other social workers out there but you should see some of the people they try to send to the schools to service our students. Just because you have the degree, does not mean you are the right person for the job. Dan is the right man for this job.

  • Rachel

    Either Coyne is aloof or he’s lying about the CPS Residency Policy. EVERY CPS employee knows about the residency policy and is asked to sign a statement at the time of their hiring stating where they live. If a employee, like Coyne, is hired in a ‘need basis subject’ area they can attain a 3-yr ‘renewable’ residency waiver provided the employee continues to work in a need basis subject area or their area is a still a need basis subject area. Unfortunately for Coyne and others receiving residency waivers, one of the repercussions of the CPS strike (which landed CPS teachers raises for three years, closed 48-51 schools, and forced major budget cuts) a few years ago was the loss of 7000 teaching positions. And, how can there be a need basis for almost all subject areas if there’s a huge line of teachers in those areas without a job?

    Coyne knew the rules and so does many other CPS teachers violating the residency policy. if CPS teachers and staffers are allowed to live outside the city, so, should al the other city employees. The argument for allowing CPS teachers and staffers to live outside Chicago is CPS should get the best employees to help the children regardless of where they live. But, the argument against that is shouldn’t Chicagoans get the best police officers, fireman, electricians, engineers, etc as well and all of these city employees are forced to live in Chicago.

    • Stan

      Your either/or opening sentence is fallacious. There are more than two possibilities in this situation. I can guarantee that Dan Coyne is neither lying nor aloof. Whatever your views on residency requirement, there is no need for personal attacks on a fine man’s character.

      • Rachel

        What are the other two options? Dan knew about the residency policy. If he was given permanent residency waiver by Huberman, he should have gotten it in writing. Coyne has now received two CPS Warning Resolutions for violating the policy, one in 2010 and one in 2014. And, he was hired in 2001 and has been in violation for going on 14 years now.

  • Rachel

    Here’s what the appellate courts said about CPS Administrator Tim Cawley in a separate case involving two other CPS teachers violating the residency policy and what led to Coyne’s situation:

    “After disciplinary proceedings against the two (CPS teachers found in violation of the CPS Residency Policy) commenced, the teachers did not attempt to dispute the allegations concerning their residency. Rather, they argued the policy had grown “stale” through years of lax enforcement, while CPS had allowed certain employees, including social workers and Chief Administrative Officer Timothy Cawley, to maintain their employment with CPS, despite living outside the city.

    Separate CPS hearing officers sided with the teachers, but the Board of Education rejected the hearing officers’ findings, and moved to terminate.

    The teachers sued and the like the board, the trial judges and the appellate court sided with CPS.

    The appellate court justices also determined the Board of Education acted within its rights to terminate Crowley and Pruitt.

    They found the attempt to compare the teachers’ situation to “an at-will, high-level employee not covered by a union contract,” like Cawley, was “particularly inapt.”

    “It is elementary that the Board can apply different employment standards to the [Chief Administrative Officer] of one of the nation’s largest school systems than its rank-and-file teachers,” Delort wrote for the panel.

    The panel further determined CPS was justified in establishing different requirements for social workers and teachers.”

    • Anna Christina Nelson

      Dan Coyne’s residency waiver should continue to be “honored” When he donated a kidney to nearly a stranger who by the way is a mom who is raising two teenage children by herself he was working at Pershing School. As a result of his heroic act Pershing School now has a Dan Coyne Day is March 23rd. So it is my understanding that every March 23rd at Pershing School the students are divided up and each group makes a card or writes a get well letter to children at Children Memorial Hospital, x-soldiers at the VA hospital, etc. What message are we sending to our children by firing this man. He and whatever other social workers were under this original agreement should be grandfathered in. Again, what message are we sending to our young people everywhere that is ok to lie?

  • Rachael

    I feel sorry for Mr. Coyne because he sounds like a positive, well respected and influential person. CPS certainly needs more employees like him, that genuinely care or the well being of the students and others. When I heard Mrs. Bennettes words “Rules are Rules” on the news something stirred inside of me. I guess she forgot about School Board Rule 6-21. “No employee of the Board of Education may inflict corporal punishment of any kind upon persons attending the public school of the City of Chicago. This Rule includes PUSHING, GRABBING, twisting, pinching, and/or forcing students to kneel, sit on the floor or stand in one spot for long periods of time. A PRINCIPAL WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO DEFEND OR PROTECT A TEACHER OR ANY OTHER EMPLOYEE FROM DISCIPLINARY MEASURES FOR ANY OF THE ABOVE MENTIONED ACTIONS”. I was working as a Lovely Teacher Assistant for twelve years until I was laid off in 2012 due to “lack of funds”. I know it was because I reported the assistant principal for aggressively grabbing a third grader by his left arm twice and yelling at him. The principal tried to get me to “perceive it as he had to grab the student” for her report and I said No, there was no reason for him to have grabbed that little boy like he did. Afterwards another report of him pushing a now sixth grader in her face when she was in third grade, and other incidents against this assistant principal surfaced. I went to the school where he came from because one of his former coworkers had a meeting at our school and saw him walking across our foyer and said to be careful of that man, don’t trust him. When I inquired about our assistant principal and told the clerks at his school that this man is bullying my students and no one is believing them, they immediately said oh the principal sent him away because of what he did. I asked what was it because since he’s been at our school the environment has been negative. She wouldn’t elaborate further. So I went to my hearing with my union representative and tried to inform them of my reporting the assistant principal for bullying the students and he didn’t want to hear it. He said my layoff was justified to seniority. I said I understand that but I’m the only voice for the children, someone has to investigate these matters. Two years later the parents haven’t heard anything and the boy transferred to another school and the girls are being home schooled. This Mom never understood why her daughter cried to be home schooled until the truth came out. The assistant principal is still working at the school and probably still abusing his authority. You already know bullies continue to bully especially when he’s already confident he’ll get away with it. don’t This experience has deeply affected me because I always encouraged, inspired and protected the students. I think it wise to support someone with great credibility that lives outside of the city rather than someone that lives in the city and abuses his authority. Just speaking from experience. Have a great night!!!

  • sixthromeo

    if one lies about one thing, one will lie about another. The generous donor is also a scofflaw, his ego prodominates his actions and because of his altruism, he thinks he is above the law.

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