Protest Principal’s Racist Epithets
In reaction to alleged racist comments linked to two teachers being terminated, and another being forced out, leaving not a single Black teacher at Pan American International HS in Elmhurst, Queens, a protest has been called for next Monday, noon, at Tweed.
This is what the organizers have written: (except I’m linking the Times for media, couldn’t find PIX or NYC links)
WHAT? Picket demanding an immediate, rapid and unbiased investigation by the Chancellor’s office into allegations that a Queens Principal called African American teachers she was firing “big lipped,” “nappy haired,” and “gorillas.”
WHEN? 12 noon, Monday July 8th.
WHERE? In front of Chancellor Walcott’s offices at DOE Headquarters in Tweed Courthouse, 52 Chambers St., Manhattan (4/5/6/N to City Hall)
ENDORSEMENTS Teachers and staff from PAIHS Elmhurst and around the city, Councilwoman Jullissa Ferreras, Kevin Powell and BK Nation [List of endorsements in formation].
Peter Lamphere, firstname.lastname@example.org, 917-969-5658
Kevin Powell, email@example.com, 718-399-8149
WHY? Pan American International High School will be without any African American teachers next year, because two teachers have been fired after a Queens Principal, Minerva Zanca, made racist comments about them in closed-door meetings with her assistant principal. The third African American teacher is leaving the school because of severe budget cuts to her hugely successful Theater program which were racially motivated.
We demand that there is a full investigation into these allegations and, if they are substantiated, that the DOE hold the principal accountable to its zero-tolerance policy against discrimination. We also demand that the discontinuances of the personnel involved (Teachers John Flanagan and Heather Hightower and AP Anthony Riccardo) be reversed.
Local Councilmember Julissa Ferreras says “The allegations brought against Ms. Zanca are very serious and concern me deeply. As a representative of an extremely diverse district, I cannot and will not stand for this type of behavior.”
Kevin Powell, president of BK Nation, adds “It is not only important to have high standards for our public school teachers but we must also support the good ones, like these teachers, who are completely dedicated to their young people. I find it unacceptable that a principal can engage in this kind of conduct without any repercussions. We are not going to stop until due justice and process is served here.”
See media coverage in The New York Times for more details.