Amazing evening - parents and teacher sit in at CPE I demanding principal's removal
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.
At the meeting the CPE parents repeatedly brought up how the principal, Monica Garg, had repeatedly lied to them, had ruled the school in an authoritarian manner, had victimized children by her actions, and had removed at least two teachers who opposed her and put them in the rubber room -- the latest one the UFT chapter leader Marilyn Martinez.
A teacher on the SLT said that every single teacher who challenged her were put under investigation one by one by the DOE. One parent on the SLT, K.A. Dilday, made the point that not a single teacher said they trusted the principal on last year's DOE survey, and the majority of parents at the school have signed a petition asking for her removal. The principal, Monica Garg, then said that many of those teachers have since left the school -- and the audience erupted - of course they did -- you pushed them out!
Finally, parent and SLT member K.A. Dilday read a letter signed by many other members of the SLT, asking her to resign. Garg said she refused to resign and that she answers only to her superiors, the Superintendent Alexander Estrella and Chancellor Farina.
There were so many people crowding the room that the meeting they had to move it to the auditorium. At that point, one after another parent stood up and passionately spoke out how the principal had lied to them, had refused to respond to their concerns about events that had happened at the school, and one parent stood up in tears to say that Garg had grilled her child without her present, and tried to make her admit that her teacher had abused her.
The latest outrage was putting beloved teacher Marilyn Martinez in the rubber room with charges DOE has refused NYC Public School Parents: Amazing evening - parents and teacher sit in at CPE I demanding principal's removal: