In 2011, Alberto Willmore was a teacher at the Ella Baker public school in New York City. Alberto was admired by his students and colleagues alike. While smoking a cigarette off of school property, Alberto - who is African-American - was approached by a NYPD officer and accused of smoking marijuana.
The result? Alberto was arrested, and when he returned to work the next day, he was informed that he was no longer welcome at the school. It seems smoking marijuana - even if it is actually tobacco and is smoked off of school property - is on the same list of "serious misconduct" as physically or sexually abusing a student under New York Department of Education guidelines.
Alberto is still barred to this day from doing what he loves to do more than anything: teaching his students at Ella Baker. He had one previous arrest for marijuana possession, a charge that was later dismissed; he has no criminal record.
Marijuana arrests are the most common type of arrest in New York City, over 39,000 being arrested for a small amount of possession in 2012. Of those arrested, 85% are either black or latino.