In the 2006 Olympic Games in Italy, blind gym teacher Steven Sloan, 60, was nominated by Tony Danza to carry a torch. He immediately became a hero to the students he teaches at PS 102 in Harlem.
Recently, the Department of Education (DOE) charged him with drinking on the job and sexual harassment. The first charge comes from a woman who reportedly smelled alcohol on Sloan's breath on Oct. 30, 2014. The parent then dug through a trash bin in his office where she allegedly found a Styrofoam cup that was filled with "brown liquid."
Sloan says that he rinsed his mouth with Original Listerine after a spicy lunch. Listerine has 26.9 percent alcohol. The second charge comes from an incident where Sloan allegedly asked a group of moms, "Anybody want to go on a blind date?"
Sloan said he makes those types of jokes to put people at ease with his disability--he was born with macular degeneration. Teacher Lisa Ortiz told the Post “The DOE took an outstanding career and trashed it."
Sloan said “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?” In August, Sloan settled with the DOE and agreed to retire from his position.
Sloan told the Post “They didn’t even let me go back to my school and say goodbye. I just want to let everybody know I did my job diligently, with all my heart and soul.”
Multiple Reddit users came to Sloan's defense. One person wrote, "What a world where asking someone on a date is sexual harassment."
Photo: Ear Hustle 411, SL Spotlight
Blind gym teacher fired for controversial reasoning.