public school principals exert tremendous power over both employees and students.
principals can impact both parents and children. principals act on both matters of discipline to class assignment which can impact a child’s academic trajectory.
likewise, principal can impact both teachers and school staff. principals have the power to subject to them to discipline, unfavorable classroom assignment, unfavorable evaluations, and denial of income opportunities.
in a public school setting, principals should act without bias or prejudice. thus, principals’ powers should require individuals who do not display an appearance of bias.
in ny, principal amanda bueno, a public school emailed her staff “you can take action today by protesting, attending a vigil, making a public commitment to palestinian liberation, signing a petition, or calling your government officials to place sanctions on isreal (sic)” nypost.com
her actions raised legitimate concern for israeli nationals, jewish people, and supporters of israel that there would be a legitimate concern that they will be treated fairly by principal bueno. thus, children, parents and employees of the school could all be impacted by principal bueno’s activism. thus, any negative action taken by principal bueno against any of these individuals could and should be questioned as to whether she exerted bias against them.
thus, when school chancellor meisha made an unprincipled decision to request an apology, it fell short of what was required. she send out a message that “the ms 136 principal [bueno] must apologize for her email,” porter tweeted. “this was a clear exercise of poor judgment & we will take appropriate follow-up action. we must teach complex current events without bringing our political activities or beliefs into the classroom.” nypost
while principal bueno has a right to have her own opinion concerning the middle east crises, her decision to inject into the administration of a public school constitutes both educational and employer malpractice.
in sum, the district should have removed her from performing any functions that involve administrative impact of either employees or students.
in sum, an apology is meaningless. the chancellor must protect the integrity of the school system. further, she must protect employees and students from anti-semitism. the chancellor should be reminded that some u.s. palestinian protestors have translated their activism against israel into violence against jews in the united states. thus, allowing for this activism on a public school could create violence in the schools. if encouraged by management, school district liability will follow.
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