Ear Hustle

Blind Teacher Forced To Retire After Being Fired For Allegedly Drinking On The Job; His Drink Of Choice Was…Listerine

People have been terminated from jobs for some of the craziest reasons but this one EarHustle411 is having a tough time coming to grips with.  A popular blind African-American teacher in New York was terminated from his job as a gym teacher because he was suspected of drinking on the job.  It was reported that Steven Sloan was obsessed with cleanliness and always used mouthwash throughout the day.  His mouthwash of choice was Listerine (the original version).  Anybody who has used this brand of mouthwash KNOWS its potency.  Even the cool mint version is loaded with alcohol.

It’s a shame the man was fired without even really investigating into the claims made by the parent (who by the way went fishing in Sloan’s trashcan in HIS office after having allegedly smelled alcohol on his breath).  Trust and believe if Sloan had a problem with alcohol, it would have been known long before the parent looked in his trashcan that day.  One can’t hide alcohol abuse for a long time without it being found out at some point no matter how hard they may try to hide it or cover it up.

After 29 years on the job, to be fired and forced to retire and not be able to say goodbyes to the students and staff who loved him so dearly is just so unacceptable.

EarHustle411 and the writing staff wishes Steven Sloan well in his retirement and pray that he has a blessed and prosperous journey. 

Read more as reported by the NY Post:

steven sloan

Photo: Helayne Seidman

Legendary blind gym teacher Steven Sloan may have lost his job over Listerine.

Sloan, 60, a popular coach hailed as a role model for overcoming his handicap, was yanked from PS 102 in Harlem after a parent setting up for a party last year complained she smelled booze on his breath. He claims it was the alcohol-based mouthwash.

His colleagues are outraged. Several recalled his obsession with cleanliness and hygiene, saying he rinsed religiously with Listerine.

“The DOE took an outstanding career and trashed it,” said teacher Lisa Ortiz.

Sloan, who was born with macular degeneration, brought glory to PS 102 when actor Tony Danza nominated him to carry a torch at the 2006 Olympics in Italy. Former principal Sandra Gittens, who worked with Sloan for 14 years, said he arrived early, ran after-school programs, volunteered for lunch duty and chaperoned class trips.

“The students respected him,” she recalled. “He cleared his throat — ahem — and everyone got into line. It was really amazing.”

Sloan knew the halls of PS 102 so well, he didn’t use his cane. He taught exercise and sports with an assistant who served as his “eyes” to make sure the kids did as instructed.

He knew students by their voices and gave each one a silly nickname.

Brianna, 11, was “Peanut Butter and Jelly,” she said. “He would push us and make sure we’re healthy. He was nice and funny.”

But his 29-year career came crashing down on Oct. 30, 2014.

Legendary blind gym teacher Steven Sloan may have lost his job over Listerine.

Sloan, 60, a popular coach hailed as a role model for overcoming his handicap, was yanked from PS 102 in Harlem after a parent setting up for a party last year complained she smelled booze on his breath. He claims it was the alcohol-based mouthwash.

His colleagues are outraged. Several recalled his obsession with cleanliness and hygiene, saying he rinsed religiously with Listerine.

“The DOE took an outstanding career and trashed it,” said teacher Lisa Ortiz.

Sloan, who was born with macular degeneration, brought glory to PS 102 when actor Tony Danza nominated him to carry a torch at the 2006 Olympics in Italy. Former principal Sandra Gittens, who worked with Sloan for 14 years, said he arrived early, ran after-school programs, volunteered for lunch duty and chaperoned class trips.

“The students respected him,” she recalled. “He cleared his throat — ahem — and everyone got into line. It was really amazing.”

Sloan knew the halls of PS 102 so well, he didn’t use his cane. He taught exercise and sports with an assistant who served as his “eyes” to make sure the kids did as instructed.

He knew students by their voices and gave each one a silly nickname.

Brianna, 11, was “Peanut Butter and Jelly,” she said. “He would push us and make sure we’re healthy. He was nice and funny.”

But his 29-year career came crashing down on Oct. 30, 2014.

steven sloan

Photo credit: Helayne Seidman

After smelling alcohol on his breath, the parent dug through a trash basket in Sloan’s office — which was near a doorway to the street — and pulled out a Styrofoam cup she claimed Sloan’s assistant was carrying. The “brown liquid” in the cup smelled of liquor. She never saw Sloan holding it but accused him of drinking.

Sloan adamantly denied ever drinking on duty.

“I cherish my job,” he testified at a hearing. “Ain’t nothing for me to do but to teach physical education and work with my children. So why, after 30 years, would I risk or jeopardize that?”

Sloan contends any odor on his breath likely came from swishing with Original Listerine, which has 26.9 percent alcohol, after a spicy lunch.

The city Department of Education charged Sloan with drinking on the job and sexual harassment because he had asked a group of moms that day, “Anybody want to go on a blind date?” Sloan said he used the joke to put people at ease about his disability. But in August, Sloan settled with the DOE by agreeing to retire.

“I’d rather retire than have a bad record,” he told The Post.

Sloan is devastated his career ended this way.

“They didn’t even let me go back to my school and say goodbye,” he said. “I just want to let everybody know I did my job diligently, with all my heart and soul.”

Source: NY Post

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