New York City: Principal Under Investigation, Suspected of Being a Communist

Shades of McCarthyism. The principal of a small high school in Brooklyn is under investigation after someone tipped off the Department of Education’s Office of Special Investigations that she might be a Communist.

“It was early March when a representative from the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Special Investigations sat down with Jill Bloomberg, the longtime principal of Park Slope Collegiate in Brooklyn, a combined middle and high school, to inform her that she was under investigation.

“The representative told Ms. Bloomberg that she could not tell her the nature of any allegations, nor who had made them, but said that she would need to interview Ms. Bloomberg’s staff.

“Then one of her assistant principals, who had met with an investigator, revealed to her exactly what the allegation was, one that seemed a throwback to another era: Communist organizing.

“I think I just said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me. This is something O.S.I. investigates?’” Ms. Bloomberg said, using an abbreviation for the Office of Special Investigations. “I mean, what decade are we living in?”
But after the initial shock, she said she realized she had been waiting for something like this to happen for a long time.

“Over the years, Ms. Bloomberg has become one of the most outspoken and visible critics of New York City’s public schools, regularly castigating the Education Department’s leadership at forums and in the news media. Most of her criticism is aimed at actions that she says perpetuate a segregated and unequal educational system and that penalize black and Latino students. Through the years, she has helped organize protests and assemblies to push for integration and equal resources and treatment for her almost entirely black and Latino student body.

“Last Friday, Ms. Bloomberg filed a lawsuit against the school system saying it violated her rights under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects an individual’s civil rights and the right to free speech under the First Amendment. Ms. Bloomberg was seeking an injunction to stop the investigation until her lawsuit is resolved.”

Do employees of the New York City Department of Education have freedom of speech?

More on this subject: See here.

from sarah http://ift.tt/2pOkfmT

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