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Education Unions

What would happen to You if You Were Late for Work 111 Times in Two Years? For a New Jersey Teacher the Answer is Simple… Nothing

From the loony land of the liberal-left comes another horrible story of government ineptitude and union cronyism.

Arnold Anderson is a teacher at Roosevelt Elementary school in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He has been teaching for 15 years and apparently has a difficult time arriving to work on time… because he’s been late 111 times over the last two school years (and this was discovered at an arbitration hearing in March – nearly 2 ½ months before the school year actually ended). For his pathological behavior the school system finally reached the breaking point and decided to fire him. Sadly, last week, an arbitrator (who’s apparently not very good at his job either) ruled in Anderson’s favor saying that the teacher was entitled to “progressive discipline” before adding that he relied on “micro-quibbles of a few unpersuasive explanations, with a macro-default position that even when he is late he nevertheless delivers a superb educational experience to his grateful students,”

Yes, the arbitrator did just say that even though the man was late 111 times, once he arrived he delivered a superb educational experience to his grateful students. I’m pretty sure that most of you would agree with me that this is complete and utter hogwash. Anyone who has ever been a teacher knows how long it can take to get rolling with the learning process, and if you’re already behind because you were late… you’ve likely just ruined any chance at meaningful learning opportunities that you had.

Even so, let’s say he is a good teacher… should that matter when the employee has been negligent in his duties for such a prolonged amount of time? Of course not. If your best employee is late a handful of times, perhaps you’ll be more likely to forgive the situation because of the value that employee brings to your business… but 111 times in less than two years? No way. In any other profession Mr. Anderson would have been fired about 90 late arrivals earlier.

Even worse though, the arbitrator seems to miss something that every teacher is taught before they ever step into the classroom. Liability. If something happens in their classroom and a student is hurt because the teacher was inattentive that teacher (and the school) could, and likely will be, held liable. Mr. Anderson should have been fired not only for his chronic tardiness but for the liability he created with his tardiness. By being late to school so often he put his students in danger — and that is something NO school should ever abide. And neither should an arbitrator.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

Onan Coca

Onan is the Editor-in-Chief at Romulus Marketing. He's also the managing editor at, and the managing partner at You can read more of his writing at Eagle Rising.
Onan is a graduate of Liberty University (2003) and earned his M.Ed. at Western Governors University in 2012. Onan lives in Atlanta with his wife and their three wonderful children.

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