Friday, June 10, 2016

DOE and UFT Did Nothing as MORE Protested Racist Principal Minerva Zanca in 2013, Current CPE Principal Monika Garg was AP at Pan-American HS

The high number of toxic work sites in the DOE calls for a super fund cleanup. As reported in the NY Times Preet Bharara may have only just started the ball rolling.

RBE is on the case:
The UFT has done nothing to protect its members against the egregious assaults being waged by the de Blasio/Farina DOE because they've been brought in by the mayor to co-manage the system.....the truth is, this same kind of thing is happening across the city to other teachers, based perhaps not on blatant racism, but on other criteria that have nothing to do with teaching effectiveness. Sometimes it's based on more subtle racism, sometimes it's based on ageism, sometimes it's based on cronyism, sometimes it's based on "Well, we have to throw somebody under the bus because that's what the DOE wants - who should that be this time?"... Perdido Street School, Note To Preet Bharara: Discrimination And Retaliation Is The Official Policy Of The NYCDOE
RBE has a great piece out today on this remarkable story in the NY Times about the feds suing the DOE over 3 black teachers targeted by the principal at Pan American HS 3 years ago. The Times article is a must read:
The federal government accused the New York City Department of Education in a lawsuit on Thursday of engaging in a pattern and practice of discrimination against the three black teachers who worked at the Pan American International High School in Queens.
The lawsuit, filed by the office of Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, made it clear that the government believed that the school’s principal, Minerva Zanca, had targeted the three teachers with the goal of having them removed from their jobs.
MORE's Peter Lamphere was chapter leader at the time. Peter called a demo and rally at the school and a petition, as reported by Ed Notes in July 2013.

I know there are some readers out there who think racism in the DOE is dead - that only older teachers are targets.

An interesting point is that Monika Garg, the current principal inserted by Farina to kill the progressive ed program by attacking senior teachers and creating racial divisions at Central Park East, the Debbie Meier school, was the Assistant Principal at Pan American at the time working under Minerva Zanca. While Garg was silent, another Assistant Principal refused to get into a witch hunt for these teachers and paid a price:
Ms. Zanca once told the school’s assistant principal, Anthony Riccardo, that one of the black teachers “looked like a gorilla in a sweater,” and that she could never have “nappy hair” like another of the teachers, the lawsuit said. The lawsuit also claims that Ms. Zanca retaliated against Mr. Riccardo for his complaints about her treatment of the black teachers. Once, when he refused to give an unsatisfactory rating to a lesson by one of the teachers, Ms. Zanca yelled at Mr. Riccardo, accusing him of “sabotaging her plan,” and calling school security to have him removed from the building, the lawsuit says.
The high number of toxic work sites in the DOE calls for a super fund cleanup. Preet may have only just started the ball rolling. Why can't we claim that the Fair School Funding formula inherently discriminates against higher salaried teachers?
Here are the Ed Notes reports from July 2013 where it was clear that both the DOE and the UFT ignored pleas from the teachers at the school, just as they are now ignoring complaints from Central Park East about Monika Garg.

Ed Notes: July 1, 2013

MEDIA ALERT: Queens Teachers Warned DOE Officials of Abusive Principal Minerva Zanca, Demand Action

Why should the DOE and press worry about a trifling item like racism by a principal? If a principal murdered a teacher and was found holding a bloody knife Walcott and Queens HS Supt Juan Mendez, who like Walcott has always been such full of bullshit, would cover for the principal.

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.” [].
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.
Juan Mendez is still in charge of Queens High Schools. At what point is he held accountable? I wrote in 2013:
Hmmmm, what will Tweedies do? Back the principal of course. Tweed does support racist apartheid doesn't it? Nelson Mandela would get a U rating and Walcott would bring him up on 3020a charges.
I quoted a news article that reported how teacher pleas were ignored:
“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.
I noted 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.
Pan American was the "safe" school the UFT found for him after he was attacked by Reidy over doing his job as chapter leader, one of which he is still fighting.

All kinds of discrimination and discriminators is alive and well at the Farina DOE, with UFT complicity.

My old school about 12 years ago had a principal who discriminated against black teachers - older white teachers too - and maybe even some non-Dominican Hispanics. That former principal was appointed by Farina as a district superintendent and so-called retired Minerva Zanca seems to still have some kind of gig at the DOE.

The Daily News also has a piece today.

After Burn: Ed Notes reports from July 2013
From Peter Lamphere who is chapter leader at this school. Let's see now, a principal gives teachers U ratings because they are black.

Please consider signing this petition support these teachers who have been victims of racist harassment and asking for the DOE to comply with its own anti-discrimination policy.
If you have media contacts, please share this story with them - we are trying to build up pressure on DOE. Check out the TV interview and press release below.
TV interview with New York teachers who say principal called them “big lipped,” “nappy haired,” and “gorillas”:

Jul 1, 2013 ... MEDIA ALERT: Queens Teachers Warned DOE Officials of Abusive Principal Minerva Zanca, Demand Action. Why should the DOE and press ...
Jun 28, 2013 ... These two teachers, as well as tenured Theatre teacher Lisa-Erika James, have filed a discrimination claim against Principal Minerva Zanca ...
Jul 7, 2013 ... Local Councilmember Julissa Ferreras says "The allegations brought against Ms. Zanca are very serious and concern me deeply.

1 comment:

  1. I was there. She did those racist things against the black teachers. I didn't speak up because I did not want to be targeted or fired for opening my mouth.

    The unknown secret is that she also had it in for the WHITE teachers, and most left the school after her first year. Why, you ask? Here is another secret: even though the media is trying to spin this as an 'evil white' thing, she is in fact a Puertorican mulatta with a slight accent who dyes her hair blond from time to time.

    She hates whites and all but told us so during one staff meeting through a story about how the 'evil white' editors of a magazine she used to write for 'held her down' and denied the quality of her writing. As principal, she hired almost all Asians and Latinos as new staff her second year after driving away almost all the white teachers (and firing the black ones).


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