Sign the petition and spread the word.
Peter Lamphere – firstname.lastname@example.org
United Federation of Teachers Chapter Leader
Pan American International High School, Elmhurst, Queens
Kevin Powell – email@example.com
Community Activist, President of BK Nation
Teachers and staff at a Queens high school have asked for a local superintendent to step in to repair an abusive work environment.
The school was recently shaken by allegations that principal Minerva Zanca fired African American teachers, saying on one occasion that a teacher “looked like a gorilla in a sweater with nappy hair” and asking about another “did you see his big lips quivering?” [tinyurl.com/QnsRacistComments
An online petition for removal of the principal has received over 1,000 signatures. [tinyurl.com/
These are not the first reports of difficulty with the new principal. In early June the faculty wrote a formal letter to Superintendent Juan Méndez requesting support in what they described as “an abusive environment and culture of fear in the school.” [tinyurl.com/QnsTchrLetter].
Teachers say that they are “often punished, humiliated or belittled in front of their colleagues when a simple conversation would have sufficed.”
The letter, also addressed to Children First Network Cyndi Kerr and Internationals Network Leader Claire Sylvan (two administrators who support the school’s functioning), was approved by consensus after a number of union chapter meetings.
In the letter staff noted that they attempted to have “discussions with Ms. Zanca about trying to work together to find a proactive and productive solution for everyone.” When this effort failed, they were left with no other option than to appeal to her supervisors.
“We have received no response from our request to DOE officials for intervention to help address the toxic environment,” said Peter Lamphere, the local UFT representative. “Our students and their parents deserve better than to be left stranded while their school community is dismantled by an abusive administrator.”
At least 15 of 38 staff in the seven-year-old school have left or are planning to transfer this coming school year, many due to the hostile and threatening environment created by Ms. Zanca.
Note that MORE's Peter Lamphere is the chapter leader. This was the school the UFT found for Peter when they parachuted him out of Bronx HS of Science where the vicious Valerie Reidy, now retiring - Valerie Reidy, Ding Dong - U rated him twice for - well -- being chapter leader. Yes, that is the UFT response. Go after our chapter leaders and rather than fight this basic attack on the union, we will get the guy out of your hair.