A teacher booted from one city high school for flirting with students and posting a nearly nude photo of himself on Snapchat is back in the classroom at an elite Manhattan school under a different last name – with the apparent blessing of the city Department of Education, The Post has learned.
Gabriel Mitey, 28, who is certified in special education, worked last year at the Lower Manhattan Arts Academy, or LOMA, where several students complained to other faculty of bizarre behavior.
Mitey now goes by Gabriel Torres. And despite being the subject of five different probes, he is teaching classes in algebra and earth science at the highly coveted 6-12 Professional Performing Arts School, known as PPAS, in Midtown. A photo of a smiling Mitey on the cafeteria bulletin board identifies him as “Mr. Torres.”
A PPAS mom who had another child at LOMA last year first recognized the teacher as Mitey, insiders say. Word soon spread among students, who shared a Post article about allegations against Mitey, and told their parents.
To those who asked, a guidance counselor and Principal Kevin Ryan conceded that “Torres” is Mitey, parents said.
Ryan told parents he needed a special-ed teacher this fall, and the DOE sent “Torres,” who he said, “came highly recommended.”
Ryan insisted to parents the DOE did not inform him that Torres was actually Mitey, or divulge the teacher’s troubled history, until he asked higher-ups. “He feels the DOE played him,” said a father who learned of the subterfuge.
“I believe in second chances, but not when it comes to kids. I don’t want to risk my daughter in that type of situation,” said the dad, asking to remain anonymous to protect his child.
Parents and students were told that Mitey has not been charged with misconduct. The Special Commissioner of Investigation for city schools cited five investigations of Mitey in 2020 and 2021. SCI referred two cases to the DOE, and three others were closed, a spokesman said.
The SCI released no findings. The DOE refused all comment on Mitey, not saying if the two probes it handled are ongoing or closed, or whether the students’ complaints were substantiated.
Mitey’s father is a veteran city teacher and his mother is a city Health Department employee.
Rather than remove Mitey from LOMA last year pending investigation – which is standard practice for alleged sexual misconduct – he was kept on by Principal Derek Premo, who himself remains the subject of a sexual harassment complaint. Premo resigned in March.
Finally, after inquiries by The Post, the DOE pulled Mitey from the school in August 2021, citing “extremely disturbing allegations.”
In one case, a student told investigators that Mitey harassed him during remote instruction, and asked the teen to visit his apartment “for coffee” after graduation.
“He basically asked me on a date,” said the student. “I felt so uncomfortable going to his Zoom classes.”
In another case, student Jolissa Jones said Mitey obtained her mother’s permission to videotape the girl for a master’s degree course, then had Jolissa pretend to have difficulty reading on the tape. After she graduated, Mitey flirted with Jolissa in texts, she said, reminding her to delete their conversations: “Chat has got to disappear,” he wrote.
Mitey also posted a photo of himself in a bathroom with a towel barely covering his groin on Snapchat, where it was shared by many students who followed him on the social-media platform, Jolissa said.
DOE returned Mitey to LOMA several months after yanking him, but students protested, holding up papers saying “Mitey Must Go!” One teen ran up on the stage during a music assembly and started yelling “We don’t want any pervert teachers,” a LOMA dad said.
Some parents at PPAS fear Mitey is not fit to work with kids.
“My biggest concern is that he’s allowed to be a teacher,” one said. “I’m mad about the school turning its back and looking the other way.”
Officials could not say if Mitey has legally changed his name. He did not return emails seeking comment. Nor did Ryan.
Additional reporting by Georgia Worrell
Read the full article here