EXPOSED! From sexting to sharing nudes with underage students, meet NYC's pervy teachers

EXPOSED! From sexting to sharing nudes with underage students, meet NYC's pervy teachers
(Clockwise) Danielle Medellin, Michelle Zak, Natalie Black, and Makita Brooks were named in the SCI reports (Danielle Medellin and Makita Brooks/Facebook, Michelle Zak/ Touro University website, and Natalie Black/YouTube)

The article contains description of sexual acts. Discretion is advised. 

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: Multiple cases of sexually-charged and illegal behavior by female teachers have come to attention. From sending explicit photos to sharing nude videos with underage students, the newly released report from the Special Commissioner of Investigation (SCI) for city schools states that one of the teachers removed her pants in front of a student and told him to “eat my a**", while another exposed her bare breasts.

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According to the SCI report, as per New York Post, Natalie Black, 27, a teacher at Hillside Arts and Letters Academy in Queens, sent at least 15 photos of herself “in lingerie or nude” to a 17-year-old male student in 2021. The boy was interviewed by the NYPD, but no charges were filed. However, in March 2022, the teacher’s illegal behavior got escalated. She displayed photos of her vagina to male students, pulled down her pants in a student’s home, and told him “eat my a**". The sexting didn't stop there, she also sent a video of her "deep-throating" a liquor bottle and another video of her dancing while half-naked, the report added.

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A Department of Education spokesperson said Black was removed from her teaching position. The outlet states that she hasn't cooperated with investigations into her behavior. On her LinkedIn page, she's still listed as working as a special education teacher within the Department of Education. She is a graduate of SUNY and Brooklyn College. She is also an awardee of New York State’s 2017 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.

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In another instance, Makita Brooks-Stanton, a paraprofessional at Walter Francis Bishop PS 160 in Jamaica, Queens, streamed a breast exam at the doctor’s office in May 2020 to her preschool students via Google Meet. A mother, who was tracking the session with her 5-year-old, said, "She even had the doctor say hi to the class on Google Meet. She was in her blue gown and that’s when she was exposed. It was a frontal view." The flashing lasted for about two minutes. "I felt really bad when I registered the complaint. I think this was just a poor judgment call on her part," the mother said.

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Another teacher, Danielle Medellin, then 24,  who is a graduate of New York University, was accused of exchanging 5,500 texts filled with “sexual tension” with an 11th-grade student in a math class at the Manhattan Co-educational Institute. She resigned before she was fired. According to Medellin’s LinkedIn page, which has been deleted, she currently works as a data analyst at the New York Times, a position she has held since August 2020.

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Another teacher reported by SCI is Michelle Zak. She “engaged in inappropriate relations” with not one, but two of her underage students at the Queens Graduate School of Teaching, Liberal Arts and Sciences. She was accused of inviting students to sleepovers and smoking marijuana with them. After the investigation, Zak was transferred to a non-classroom DOE job and is now a self-employed tutor.

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In 2018, Juliana Garofalo, also a teacher at the Institute for Cooperative Education, admitted to colleagues that she had a sexual relationship with a student. She was 33 years old at that time. She later left her job and took a role at Pinnacle School in Greenwich, Connecticut. When they found out about her previous activities in New York, they let her go. In turn, Garofalo sued the DOE. However, her lawsuit was dismissed by the New York State Supreme Court in December 2021. The judge said Garofalo’s actions were “utterly disqualifying” for an education position.

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If you or anyone you know suspects child abuse, you are urged to immediately call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential and the hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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