Yesterday afternoon I attended an amazing School Leadership Team meeting at Central Park East I, the renowned East Harlem progressive elementary school founded in 1974 by Debbie Meier. Since Monica Garg was appointed the principal last year, the school has devolved into angry accusations by parents, teachers and alumnae that she is intent on undermining the morale and democratic spirit of the school and destroy its progressive traditions.
School Leadership Team meetings are now open to the public since we won our lawsuit in October vs. the DOE and Chancellor Farina in a unanimous decision by the NY Appellate Court.
More than 100 people crowded into the music room at CPE 1 to watch the meeting- advocates, parents and teachers from throughout the city, UFT reps, newly elected City Council Member Bill Perkins and former CM Robert Jackson.
Ten to twenty police were there and outside, where a rally for CPE I was taking place, along with Marilyn Martinez, the chapter leader who had tape over her mouth.
The police were constantly on their radio, and apparently, someone in the Police Department or the Mayor's office decided it would not look good to arrest parents, especially in an election year.
The parents and teacher spent the night in the auditorium, with the heat off and temperatures fell to the 30's, according to Jen Roesch, one of the parents sitting in. Their press release is below.
The truth is despite all his promises and talk about how unlike Bloomberg, he would listen to parents, our supposedly progressive Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Farina have been just as high-handed and dismissive of their concerns.
Date: April 7, 2017 at 7:51:08 AM EDT
To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Subject: Parents Occupy East Harlem School Overnight Demanding Principal's Removal
Parents cite serious concerns about Principal Garg’s leadership, including abuse of teachers, children and families. Two teachers have been removed from the school for investigations that parents consider retaliatory in nature. The investigations come in the wake of an open letter signed by tenured staff expressing concerns. Another third of the teaching staff left at the end of last year. All tenured teachers have faced investigations and disciplinary action under Garg’s tenure.