Most parents send their children to school to be educated by knowledgeable teachers. Most don’t concern themselves with a teacher’s skin color or gender, as long as they are well-qualified. One principal in New York, however, has been accused of trying to get rid of staff who have white skin, and the students at her school were not happy.
Students at New York City’s High School for Law and Public Service in Washington Heights have complained that their principal, Paula Lev, has made their lives “miserable” and say the school has become a place of “utter disorganization and insanity,” reports the Daily Mail. At least one faculty member has filed complaints with the New York City Department of Education as well.
The students at the school were so upset about what was happening to their school, that the senior class Valedictorian created a petition on Change.org. Angel Dilawar said she did it because “we have had enough and cannot bear to witness the utter disorganization and insanity at our school, especially that we once proudly called home.” She added that “the lives of our students and teachers have become miserable,” saying that “we have some new teachers that are super underqualified, and staff members that were fully experienced and qualified were excessed.” She even said that some of the new staff “require student assistance to accomplish simple tasks.”
The petition accuses the principal, Mrs. Lev, of prioritizing the appearance of the school over the quality of education the students are receiving. Dilawar says that the school “had been blossoming before this principal took over. Happiness, pleasure, and contentment have now become filled with tears of agony and sorrow. Many of “our teachers and administrators” whom we truly valued, are now gone.”
Last year, the New York City Department of Education investigated Principal Lev after it was alleged that she told a teacher she was “going to get rid of all these white teachers that aren’t doing anything for the kids of our community.”
In a DEO complaint filed last year, a faculty member claims Principal Lev “approached him with a plan to terminate an unidentified white, female employee. He alleged that Lev asked him to get a state education certification so he would have more qualifications than the white employee and Lev could fire her as “excess’ staff,” reports the Daily Mail. The faculty member complained, “Ms. Lev has asked me to conspire with her on a couple of occasions in getting rid of my colleague. She also stated to me in Spanish that she was ‘going to get rid of all these white teachers that aren’t doing anything for the kids of our community. I believe Ms. Lev is not suited for the position of principal because of the comments she has made to me about white people and the malicious ways in which she thinks and speaks. She is not fit to be a leader of a school.”
According to the Daily Mail, “Lev reportedly laid off the faculty member who filed the complaint on the last day of the 2020-2021 school year, claiming he was no longer needed at the school and should look for work elsewhere in the DOE.”
There have been other tensions between Principal Lev and the white staff. However, DOE Press Secretary Nathaniel Styer told DailyMail.com that the DOE was “committed to providing a supportive, high-quality learning environment at all our schools, and the superintendent and executive superintendent are working closely with the principal and the whole community to address concerns,” adding “[w]e will work to ensure students and staff continue to receive the support they need.”
HIgh school has enough drama without adding what’s going on at that school. It seems that the students are feeling the effects of the drama between their principal and members of the school’s faculty and staff. What should happen here?