Jack Tunney had nothing on Dick Condon. From the New York Times’ David M. Herzenhorn.
At Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in Queens, he was known as Matthew Kaye, an earnest social studies teacher shepherding his ninth- and 10th-grade students across the panorama of global history. But out of school – on the professional wrestling circuit – he was Matt Striker, a muscleman known for a move called the lung blower.His double life may have body-slammed his teaching career.
According to city investigators, Mr. Kaye, 31, falsely called in sick for 11 days in December and February when he was actually on the wrestling tour. Faced with disciplinary action, Mr. Kaye resigned in April, but yesterday he said that he hoped to get his job back.
“There are people out there who touch children inappropriately who are still allowed to work,” Mr. Kaye said in a telephone interview. “The only thing I did was I put in sick days instead of personal days, because I didn’t know there was a difference.”
But Richard J. Condon, the special commissioner of investigation for the city schools, said it was not that simple. Teachers get 10 sick days a year and only 3 of those can be used for personal business.
Investigators from Mr. Condon’s office said a woman who identified herself as Mr. Kaye’s mother called Cardozo in December and said that he was out because of a family emergency. Mr. Kaye later told an assistant principal at the school that his sister was ill.
Then Mr. Kaye was absent in February, when wrestling Web sites said that he appeared on the television show “SmackDown!” in a match against Kurt Angle.
Kaye (above) has also wrestled under the following names : Modern Marvel, Hot Stuff, Party Boy, Matt Martel, Prince Striker, Matt Lachey, Hydro, and Ultimate Striker.