2002-10-19 / Front Page

BCHS Principal Mistakenly Drops 225 Students

By Howard Schwach

BCHS Principal Mistakenly
Drops 225 Students
By Howard Schwach


"The principal made a mistake when she sent those letters," Margie Feinberg, a spokesperson for the Department of Education, told The Wave late last week. "The letters were supposed to be sent to 18 and 19-year-old students who are not performing, not to the younger students.""The principal made a mistake when she sent those letters," Margie Feinberg, a spokesperson for the Department of Education, told The Wave late last week. "The letters were supposed to be sent to 18 and 19-year-old students who are not performing, not to the younger students."

In what Department of Education officials are terming a "mistake," Andrea Holt, the newly-appointed principal of Beach Channel High School, recently sent letters to the parents of approximately 225 students informing each of them, "your child's academic record indicates that your child has not made sufficient progress to maintain a seat at Beach Channel High School," and that "... your child's program and Metrocard will automatically be cancelled... "

Many of the students whose parents got the letters are sixteen and seventeen years old and their parents were angry that the new principal was trying to expel their young children.

State school law says that students younger than eighteen years of age must attend school and that schools must retain those students.

"The principal made a mistake when she sent those letters," Margie Feinberg, a spokesperson for the Department of Education, told The Wave late last week. "The letters were supposed to be sent to 18 and 19-year-old students who are not performing, not to the younger students."

"Somehow," she added, the list of younger students was used as well."

Feinberg said that the school had explained the mistake to the parents involved and that the school was "correcting the mistake."

As of Thursday, however, a check of a small number of the parents involved revealed the fact that the school had not yet contacted them.

"The letter asked us to come up and discuss an alternative placement, so I went to the school," one parent of a 16-year-old, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Wave. "We were asked to wait in the hallway and then the principal came out and asked all the parents of students who were younger than 18 to raise their hands. She took our letters and told us that we could go. There was no apology and no explanation."

Acting under Department of Education mandates, neither Holt nor John Lee, the Superintendent of Queens High Schools, was allowed to comment on the letters.


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