2002-03-30 / Letters

Obvious Ethnic Slur

Obvious Ethnic Slur

Dear Editor;

Aside from the obvious ethnic slur in her letter to the editor, Mrs. Ehresman hit the nail on the head with her analogy of the leprechauns holding the pot of gold at PS 114. Sadly, Mrs. Ehresman writes with glee about this situation and doesn't for the life of her perceive the egregious nature of it. PS 114 is a PUBLIC school, and is supposed to be there to serve the needs of all children, equally, isn't it? Or, maybe I'm missing something.

Mrs. Ehresman wants to discuss privacy rights. Let me tell you a true story about violation of childrens' privacy rights at PS 114. Three years ago, at the end of my child's second grade year, and nearly two weeks before report cards were distributed (the usual way parents are informed of class placements), these women who Mrs. Ehresman attempts to defend approached the then assistant principal, whom they trusted, with specific information about the proposed placement of my child, and others, for the coming third grade. So arrogant are these women that it never occurred to them that their revelation would have to spawn an investigation into how they obtained this information. And, my child wasn't even supposed to be placed in the "number 1" class! So arrogant are they, that they actually think they have a right to discuss not only the placements of their own children, but the children of others as well. I had publicly disagreed with them on matters being hotly debated at PS 114 at the time (most specifically homo vs. heterogeneous grouping,) and so to Mr. Boyle, Mr. Thompson, Mrs. Ehresman and others who wonder why people fear identifying themselves in this debacle, I present myself and my child as perfect examples of what has happened to those who dare to disagree with this crowd.

This breach of my daughter's confidentiality, and complaints from this crowd about the placement of children NOT THEIR OWN, spurred an investigation by Brenda Isaacs, then superintendent, into the entire process of class assignments, which her staff deemed had been executed fairly and appropriately after three days of examining records and interviewing the administrators. A scant two weeks later, Mrs. Isaacs herself was out of a job. So, for those of you who wonder where current superintendent Matthew Bromme is in this situation, have mercy on him, he knows he is dealing with career-breakers – they are responsible for the ouster of a former principal and very likely Mr. Bromme's own predecessor.

And, what became of that portion of the investigation pertaining to breach of my child's right of confidentiality? The information wasn't on any computers, and the conclusion I was given was that either they had obtained this information from some sympathetic staff person directly or by examining the contents of a desk of a staff member. I was told, "so sorry, but we will never be able to prove definitively where or how this information was â018leaked'." Now, three years later, we have more accusations of these people rifling through the desk of a teacher. Doesn't surprise me in the least – their unfettered access to the school, in which they have been known to spend hours daily, and their inappropriate onsite relationships with some staff, may well be the sources of confidential information they have been gaining access to for years. I just wonder how long this situation is going to be allowed to continue. When is PS 114 going to be blessed with an administrator strong enough to stand up to these bullies, with their career-breaking record? I hope the answer is that she has arrived!

Lastly, I am so sorry Mrs. Ehresman had to pollute this debate with unseemly references to ethnicity. I am so glad to know that my colleagues in this debate wouldn't stoop that low.


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