A Washington Heights principal has sparked local outrage in the academic and legal community after she reportedly axed several white teachers due to their race. Principal Paula Lev of the High School for Law and Public Service was the subject of the Department of Education investigation last year.
According to the New York Post, last July, Lev allegedly told a fellow faculty member she was “going to get rid of all these white teachers that aren’t doing anything for the kids of our community,” The insanity that has ensued in the past year has led to a petition issued three months ago by an incoming senior and class valedictorian to Change.org – asking for awareness and action.
It all began when Lev, who’s Dominican, gave notice to four white faculty members. An insider for the New York Post said that some excused teachers found new jobs on their own not to be officially cut from the staff, and other white employees left of their own volition, quitting before they could be subjected to the same fate.
“There are many more teachers who have voiced that they plan to leave, and they feel demoralized,” the staffer said.
Students have been sharing similar allegations as the staff. Angel Diliwar took a big step to call for action in her creation of a petition in early May that offered insight into the utter disorganization these targeted cuts have brought upon the school environment at the High School for Law and Public Service. She wrote, “Many students at the High School for Law & Public Service would like to bring to your attention that 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 continued, “the lives of our students and teachers have become miserable. Unfortunately, we have some new teachers that are super underqualified, and staff members that were fully experienced and qualified were excessed. It has been our experience that the lack of knowledge of a few new staff members has affected our learning.”
The upcoming senior described that coming to school had become downright frightening.
“The environment is so dangerous on our floor because of the insane number of fights, constant arguing, and improper administrative action that we do not feel comfortable or safe going to school. Sadly, improving the appearance of our school and making it the most visually appealing school has become more of a priority to the principal than focusing on providing quality education to our students.”
Many teachers who were beloved to students were released with illegitimate justification. She finished the petition with, “We aim to restore HSLPS’ former glory, and with your assistance, we can do so!”
A spokeswoman from the DOE told the New York Post about the situation, “The Department of Education is absolutely committed to providing a strong and supportive environment in all of our schools and for all of our students. We work with our principals every day to ensure that students and staff receive the support they need,”