NYC Teacher Bribed Students With Soap

By Deanne Katz, Esq. on October 24, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Marlon Scanterbury, a high school teacher in Brooklyn, NY, saw homework passes as a way to make a few dollars by selling his homemade soap.

The scheme started out as an incentive program where students could 'buy' trinkets using 'keys' earned through good academics and behavior. A few months into the program Scanterbury offered a deal of 10 keys in exchange for the purchase of a bar of soap.

That didn't tempt many students so he included a free homework pass in the deal. Unfortunately, that's what things went sour for Scanterbury.

When school officials heard about students paying for homework passes they weren't happy about the situation. Scanterbury quickly owned up and discontinued the program.

What Scanterbury did isn't illegal but that doesn't mean he escaped punishment.

Like other workplaces, schools have a code of conduct that teachers must follow. In this case, the city has a Conflicts of Interest board to enforce those standards.

The board found that Scanterbury's actions were inappropriate and fined him $4000 for his behavior. That makes his soap sales a net loss of about $3975, according to New York Daily News.

But Scanterbury wasn't fired for what happened. Given the unusual nature of the offense the school may have thought it wise to give him a chance to change instead of just terminating his contract.

It also likely worked in his favor that what Scanterbury was selling only cost a few dollars and students weren't required to buy it.

While the deal may sound sweet, only three students took him up on it, reports The New York Times. Of those, only one chose a homework pass when buying the soap. The others chose 'keys' instead.

The school may have been shocked but students weren't so bothered by the soap selling. While school may not be the place for the sales, he's still a good teacher.

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