NYC: Parents Holding Sit-In to Demand Removal of Principal

Central Park East 1 elementary school was founded by Deborah Meier many years ago. It is an iconic progressive public school in East Harlem that has attracted a diverse student enrollment. Debbie wrote to tell me that the school is interible trouble now. Its current principal is opposed to the original philosophy of the school. Parents are demanding her removal:

“***Breaking Update: Following a meeting of more than 100 parents, teachers and community members, families have been occupying their school at CPE1 since 6:30pm on Thursday, April 6th. The DOE has promised to send someone to meet with occupying families at 8am. Parents are asking Mayor de Blasio to step in and resolve the crisis at CPE1 by removing Principal Garg immediately. Supporters and families will be holding a press conference and rally at 8:30am to explain their demands and next steps in their struggle.***


“CONTACT: Jen Roesch (917) 319-7008 or
Kaliris Salas-Ramirez (718) 704-7387
Kenya Dilday,

“Parents Sitting In at Central Park East 1 to Demand Principal’s Removal

“Letter Sent to Mayor DeBlasio asking him to personally intervene after DOE’s failure to address long-standing issues

“Majority of Families Want ‘Worst Principal’ in NYC Out; Retaliation Against Teachers, Abuse of Parents, Children Must Stop

“Afternoon of April 6th, Central Park East 1 at 1573 Madison Avenue: Parents, including members of the Parents’ Association leadership and School Leadership Team, are currently refusing to leave their school until their principal, Monika Garg, either resigns or is removed. They say they represent a majority of parents who have signed a statement of “no confidence” in the principal. This letter was presented at the School Leadership Team immediately preceding the sit-in. Other parents and supporters are holding a solidarity rally outside.

“Parents say they have appealed to the DOE for over a year about significant concerns but have not had their needs adequately addressed. Garg is statistically the WORST principal in NYC: she has had the greatest drop in ratings from parents and teachers on the 2016 DOE school survey of any principal in the city and oversaw the city’s largest drop in test scores after her traumatic first year at the helm (2016). NYC has approximately 1800 public schools. They are refusing to leave until Mayor De Blasio intervenes. They cite his claim that his administration will make parent voice and building trust in our schools a top priority.

“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.

“Parents say that children have been harmed as a result of these investigations. Garg interviewed very young children without parents’ knowledge or consent. Many only found out as a result of other parents whose children had told them. In one instance, a 7-year old child had documented emotional issues and was being assisted by the school guidance counselor. This child was interviewed without his parent or his guidance counselor being informed. He was asked about 2-year old incidents and told that his cooperation was necessary in order to keep his school safe. This parent failed to receive an answer to her concerns from either Garg or the DOE. More than 55 parents filed complaints with the DOE without any response. Children in the classes with teachers removed are suffering emotional and social distress and have not received proper support.

“Since her appointment in 2015, which came via a questionable process, Garg has deliberately fomented division, mistrust and turmoil at the iconic public progressive elementary school. With the support of District 4 Superintendent Alexandra Estrella, Garg has harassed and retaliated against teachers, mistreated students and families, and undermined the school’s successful practices.”

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from sarah


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