This is from Sue Edelman in the NY Post:
The faculty of a Washington Heights high school is rebelling against their principal, charging in a vote of no confidence that she has “flagrantly but unsuccessfully attempted to divide our school by race.”
Paula Lev, principal of the High School for Law and Public Service, is now under investigation by the city Department of Education for allegedly telling a faculty member she “was going to get rid of all these white teachers that aren’t doing anything for the kids of our community,” a complaint states.
Lev, a Dominican, also asked the faculty member to “conspire with her” to try to oust a white colleague, according to the complaint filed last week with the DOE’s Office of Equal Opportunity.
“She definitely has something against white people,” says the complaint, obtained by The Post.
On the last day of school, Lev gave the faculty member a notice that he was “placed in excess” — meaning no longer needed at the school — and should look for a job elsewhere in the DOE.
“He blew the whistle on her and a week later he was excessed,” a colleague said. It’s unclear whether Lev knew about the complaint.
The complaint came amid simmering unrest at the school, which staffers blamed on what they said was Lev twisting the current concepts of equity and anti-racism, which the DOE promotes and teachers overwhelmingly support.
Dissatisfaction with Lev, 39, boiled up in February, when teacher Nick Bacon, the union chapter leader, filed a routine grievance about a scheduling issue that could have affected most of the faculty, staffers said.
In front of a half-dozen other staffers, Lev questioned Bacon’s motives.
“I wasn’t sure what your problem with me was, maybe it’s because I am a woman of color and you’re a white man?” Lev asked Bacon, according to a March 2 letter to District 6 Superintendent Manny Ramirez and signed by most of the school’s tenured members.
Staffers were outraged that Lev had seemingly accused Bacon, who was raising their labor concerns, of being racist. The school has a diverse staff — about half white, some Jewish and Greek. A mix of black, Hispanic and Asian make up the rest.
The grievance raised by Bacon was resolved in the union’s favor. In an effort to quell the furor over Lev’s remark, Ramirez agreed in a meeting that what she said was “inappropriate,” but added that the comment expressed Lev’s feelings, and urged Bacon to work with her, staffers said.
Sue gives more details:
Four months after the conflict involving Bacon, another faculty member filed the discrimination complaint alleging that Lev had pressured him to help her engineer the ouster of a colleague, an unidentified white female staffer.
Lev wanted the faculty member to get a state education certification, the complaint states, so he would not have the same title as the targeted colleague, clearing the way for Lev to “excess” the more senior staffer.
“Ms. Lev has asked me to conspire with her on a couple of occasions in getting rid of my colleague,” the faculty member alleges in the OEO filing.
“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,’” the complaint states.
It concludes, “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.
“As a school staff, we have lost confidence, creditability, trust, and most importantly we have lost hope in Ms. Lev as a principal at the High School for Law & Public Service.”
83% voted no confidence in the principal.
We support Chapter Leader Nick Bacon and the UFTers at the High School for Law and Public Service.