Saturday, June 23, 2018

Video: Parent Activist on Abusive Principal Oneatha Swinton, Arrested Yesterday

"She will remain as interim acting principal at the school while we review the charges," said a spokesman for the Department of Education.  "We treat these matters with the utmost seriousness and will ensure it's appropriately addressed." ... Staten Island Advance, June 22, 2018
Today is Port Richmond HS interim acting principal Oneatha Swinton day at Ed Notes as we put up a series of reports on the breaking story. Swinton, who was arrested yesterday in Pennsylvania for insurance fraud, came to Port Richmond as a principal who abused teachers and parents at her old school in Brooklyn's John Jay campus at the School of Journalism, didn't change her stripes at Port Richmond.

One of the founders of MORE and GEM, a strong fighter against racism in his political work, was the chapter leader at the Brooklyn school and posted this response:
I had the “pleasure“ of teaching at her school for five years. Can’t cheat karma :)
I mention racism because Staten Island politician Debbie Rose has defended Swinton by charging the critics were racist.

A leading parent from Swinton's old school -- the PTA President was Annette Renaud. As a black woman abused and physically assaulted by Swinton and put in the hospital in 2016, Renaud rejects these charges of racism. (We will have more details of this assault which was ignored by OSI - until this past month when the DOE probably learned that something was going on that would take Swinton down and is trying to cover its ass.)

Here is the first video I posted on FB of Annette outside the Delegate Assembly where she handed out a leaflet to raise the issue in the hope the UFT leadership would take strong action.

Later, I will put up another video of Annette in front of the DA and in Brooklyn at the location of the PEP meeting which seemed to have been moved - with more news stories.

Here is a short video I made of a large group of parents and teachers who attended the April PEP meeting:

Video: PEP April 25, 2018 - Port Richmond HS Protest Principal

And here is the Staten Island Advance story from yesterday:

Interim Port Richmond High School Principal Oneatha Swinton was arrested for insurance fraud, authorities said.

Interim Port Richmond High School Principal Oneatha Swinton was arrested for insurance fraud, authorities said. (Staten Island Advance/Annalise Knudson)

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Interim Port Richmond High School Principal Oneatha Swinton was busted Thursday for car insurance fraud in Pennsylvania, authorities said.
Swinton, 39, of Woodstock Avenue in Tompkinsville, was charged with four counts of insurance fraud, a third-degree felony, theft by deception and criminal conspiracy, according to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
Her alleged accomplice, Tanya John, 44, a former employee of the New York Department of Education, is charged with insurance fraud and conspiracy in connection with the scheme.
"These two defendants concocted a plan to fraudulently obtain lower insurance rates," Shapiro said in a press release.
In May 2014, authorities said Swinton fraudulently obtained her Pennsylvania driver's license by using John's local address.
John allowed Swinton to transfer the energy account for her residence into Swinton's name to secure proof of residency, authorities say.
After obtaining the license, the Staten Island resident then allegedly registered her two Lexus vehicles in Pennsylvania to secure cheaper rates.
Swinton filed two car insurance claims after obtaining this policy, and both incidents occurred in New York City, officials said.
In December 2017, the controversial administrator found out about the Pennsylvania investigation, and got a New York driver's license that listed her Staten Island address, according to a release from the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office.
Swinton and John were arraigned Thursday in Monroe County court and released on $5,000 bail.
Their next hearing is Aug. 15.
According to a source, Swinton was at Port Richmond High School Friday.
Attempts to reach her at the school and her home were unsuccessful.
"She will remain as interim acting principal at the school while we review the charges," said a spokesman for the Department of Education.  "We treat these matters with the utmost seriousness and will ensure it's appropriately addressed."
Parents have expressed their discontent over changes at the school under the interim principal, according to Advance reports.
Swinton has been under scrutiny since the beginning of the school year, when rumors spread about Port Richmond's honors program being eliminated.
In October, the DOE told the Advance that there were no programs eliminated. Instead, the Honors Academy pooled resources to allow greater financial support for all participating students.
Parents had sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo in an attempt to stop the city from appointing Swinton as principal.
This is embarrassing and deplorable. A clear violation of the rules by having this relationship with a vendor. She should not be allowed to make decisions for a school building, she broke a code of conduct and ethics..... But Lodico and his team as well as Moran and his team will continue to feed the dog that runs around the office treats and act like nothing is happening. Time to put the political agenda and company line aside and do what is right for students. If they want equity and access, place someone in the position that is respected and known in the community.  
Amazing how after being arrested she is still allowed to work at PRHS, exactly how much school work will she be doing as she prepares for her case !! If they cannot fire her than transfer her the BOE HQ to staple papers !! 

Will she still be allowed to enter the school building? The DOE says she will remain IA principal pending investigation. A teacher, under the same charges, would be unable to enter their school building and barred from contact with students. Are the standards different for principals under investigation? And if so, why?


  1. I am a former Chapter Leader at SSL (John Jay Campus) and the teacher Norm referenced (Can't cheat Karma)

    The charges of racism are a red herring, meant to distract us from a principal with a history of abusive behavior. Race or racism was never mentioned while Swinton was principal at Law (John Jay campus, Brooklyn). Unfortunately, from what I can gather from comments about her on another blog, some Staten Island parents are adding legitimacy to the racism claim by attacking her for her relationship with the NAACP and Black Lives Matter, being "anti-NYPD," etc. This is a FAR CRY from the Swinton I knew while she was my principal at Law. Teachers from several schools on the John Jay campus tried to get her to support our efforts to get rid of school scanning/metal detectors. She refused to take a side. When we fought against the co-location of Millennium HS, she told us at a faculty meeting not to get involved in that fight and to limit our activism to educating our students. When protests broke out on campus after the NYPD told black children from the campus to leave the neighborhood after dismissal, where was Swinton? My guess she was in her office, door closed as usual. My point - it would be GREAT, in my opinion, if Swinton was the BLM activist some parents frighteningly say she is. But she isn't. At Law she regularly attacked anti-racist and activist teachers, causing most to leave the school. She hounded and eventually excessed a very popular African American teacher in a case of age discrimination that should have been investigated. She attacked another teacher of color for having a bulletin board that looked like "s--t", loudly enough for the teacher to hear. She tried to discipline a teacher because her husband, not a teacher at the school, called the DOE "racist" at a co-location hearing on campus. She questioned an anti-racist teacher's mental health for speaking up at meetings.If you questioned any policy, you could expect a surprise pop-in observation. If you requested help with classroom management, you were observed and rated poorly. At faculty meetings AND at school assemblies in front of children, she said teachers should find another school if they weren't up to the task. She asked at least one teacher how he was going to vote in a UFT election when a pro-admin candidate was running against a chapter leader who had filed grievances against her. And I could go on.

    Thank you, Norm for keeping your eye on this.

    1. all of the above is true and more. If you weren't one of her minions, you were available to be attacked.

  2. So glad to see this. She effed over so many teachers at Secondary School for Law (including me) and ruined careers. Glad to see her start getting some comeuppance. Hopefully the DOE and new Chancellor will act. She needs to go before she ruins yet another school and additional teacher's careers.

  3. Abuse of power seems to be rampant in the NYC DOE.
    Letters after letter, complaints about abuse of power, personal attacks and harrassment,lawsuit after lawsuit.all against the REIGN OF TERROR AT TOTTENVLE HIGH SCHOOL and NOTHING DONE.
    Read the speech from graduation bulleting the principal Joe Scarmato by
    The keynote speaker, mark cannizzaro.
    His message was about ABUSE OF AUTHORITY AND POWER...
    SO, even he know about the bullying and torment AND STILL COVERS FOR IT!


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