If you hate your current teaching job, here’s a tip on how to get canned: email your colleagues and ask them if they’d like to butcher a moose with you.
In Canada that might sound like a good pick-up line, but in New York City, it was grounds for dismissal for high school volunteer John DeWind, 64, in June 2012. Mr. DeWind was working at the Academy for Conservation and the Environment (ACE) as advisor to the student literary journal and newspaper when, according to reports, he sent one of the creepiest emails (moose-related, or otherwise), to another female teacher.
In the June 21 email, obtained by DNAinfo.com, Mr. DeWind reportedly invited his colleague and her boyfriend to his home in Vermont over summer vacation. Here are some snippets of the email—note: Mr. DeWind refers to himself in the third person. Get ready for goose bumps (or moose bumps?).
“When you turn left … John appears on the porch. Little to [sic] you know he has recently killed a moose and plans to give you five pounds of moose meat.”
But wait, there’s more!
“[John] envisages the two men [Mr. DeWind and the boyfriend] bonding over the carving of the rest of the corpse. How he got the impression your boyfriend was a butcher is not clear, perhaps in a dream, but what is clear is that the encounter is going to be horribly embarrassing for everyone, and things are made no better when John turns on your sister and asks, ‘Well surely you know how to carve up an animal.’”
According to a report by the office of the Special Commissioner of Investigation for the Department of Education, Mr. DeWind was terminated because the teacher would feel uncomfortable working with him—a justified reaction on her part, we’d say.
Mr. DeWind insists that his email was harmless.
“I may be guilty of a poor sense of humor,” he told DNAinfo.com, “but humor was what I intended.”
He also maintained that ACE really fired him because they wanted to cover up the fact that they had been sending students to the community farm without any liability insurance.
But according to investigators, Mr. DeWind had a history of inappropriate emailing. In 2008, he was fired from Brooklyn International High School for calling students “losers,” and responded to the dismissal by firing “abusive and menacing” emails at the teacher who ratted him out.
Following his sacking in 2012, in a move that’s not at all surprising for someone who randomly sends moose butchering emails, Mr. DeWind reportedly continued to show up to volunteer at ACE-sponsored community garden—illegally breaking the locks in order to do so (the NYPD initially gave him a trespass summons, but Mr. DeWind said it was eventually thrown out).
Today, you can still find Mr. DeWind working at the garden, now called Sunny Triangle Flatlands Community Gardens. He presumably works there full-time, as the city Department of Education has banned his consulting firm, Comprehensive English Preparation Project, from further contract work.
We guess sending that email turned out to be a big moose-take.