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Brooklyn Teacher Fired After Allegedly Threatening To Shoot Principal

By James Fanelli | September 21, 2012 6:47am

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — A city teacher with a hair-trigger temper lost her job after flying into a rage and threatening to "gun down" a principal who rejected her transfer request, investigators say.

Tiffany Taylor-Moody, 22, erupted during a Dec. 22 staff meeting at the Brooklyn Academy of Global Finance, cursing and screaming that she was "going to kill" the Bedford-Stuyvesant school's principal, Kavita Gupta, according to a report by the Office of the Special Commissioner of Investigation Richard Condon.

The blow-up stemmed from Gupta telling Taylor-Moody, an NYC teaching fellow, that her request for a transfer to another school had been denied, the report says.

A co-worker later told city investigators that after the staff meeting she saw a "visibly upset" Taylor-Moody enter the school office, spew profanity and intentionally knock plants off a counter.

Another colleague said Taylor-Moody "burst into the room" and began screaming and slamming chairs, the report says.

"She is a f----ng b---h," Taylor-Moody allegedly yelled.

Colleagues tried to calm Taylor-Moody, but she continued to fume and shouted she was "going to get her," the report says.

A report about the incident was made with Brooklyn's 81st Precinct, which advised school officials to go to court to obtain a restraining order, according to the report. But the Brooklyn District Attorney's office said a restraining order was never obtained.

Taylor-Moody was officially removed from teaching classes on Jan. 13. When the NYPD's School Safety Division closed its investigation in February, Taylor-Moody was fired.

The report says Taylor-Moody later denied to investigators that she threatened to kill Gupta. But she admitted calling the school official a "f----ng b---h" during the meeting, the report says. She told investigators that she lost her cool because she was still stewing from an earlier incident when the school official denied her sick pay, according to the report.

Taylor-Moody admitted to DNAinfo on Thursday that she had an outburst and cursed.

"It wasn't the right thing for me to curse at a principal," she said.

She noted that she never made a death threat, but said that Gupta "guns for" people.

"I told her that she 'guns,' as in she chases them and goes after them," said Taylor-Moody, who had taught special education at the school since September 2010.

Taylor-Moody said Gupta had it out for her since September 2011, when she docked Taylor-Moody pay for taking sick days for surgery. Taylor-Moody also claimed that at the time, she had received a job offer at another school, but Gupta nixed the opportunity.

She said she continued to try to switch jobs because she wasn't "comfortable" there.

"I didn't feel she was an effective leader, and I didn't feel like I was growing professionally," Taylor-Moody said.

Gupta is no longer the principal at the Brooklyn Academy of Global Finance, which Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz co-founded in 2009.

City investigators issued their report on July 18 and recommended to the Department of Education that Taylor-Moody be made ineligible to work at any city school.

Taylor-Moody graduated from CUNY in 2010 and is working toward a master's degree at Long Island University, with a specialty in urban students with disabilities.

She was earning $48,434 a year at the time of her firing, according to the Department of Education. From 2005 to 2009, she had held an administrative job with the DOE. 

Taylor-Moody, who dreamed of becoming a teacher since she was 5, said she has been unable to find work since losing her job at the school.

"I don't deserve to be blacklisted in this way," she said. "I've been out of work since then. It's really hard for me to find a job."