Probe: NYC teacher had students write to inmate
2/15/2012 4:17:00 PM - AP News
NEW YORK (AP) — Investigators say a New York City teacher had her class make Christmas cards for an incarcerated felon.The special commissioner of investigation for city schools says teacher Melissa Dean asked her fifth-graders at Public School 143 in Queens to make holiday cards for someone who was lonely.The report issued Wednesday says Dean mailed the cards to her friend John Coccarelli at the Groveland Correctional Facility upstate. Coccarelli is serving time for weapons charges and violating an order of protection.Some of the cards included students' names and addresses. The packet was intercepted by prison officials, who called the school principal. That triggered the investigation.The report says Dean declined to speak with investigators.Dean was removed from the classroom, and the Department of Education is seeking to fire her.