2003-10-31 / Front Page

New BCHS Principal Faces Parent’s Security Concern

By Brian Magoolaghan
New BCHS Principal Faces Parent’s Security Concern By Brian Magoolaghan

Parents called for Beach Channel High School officials including new principal Dr. David Morris to address school safety, at Monday night’s Parent Teacher Association meeting.

Morris, who replaced Barbara Pleener after she stepped down a week ago, was not able to attend the PTA meeting where many parents accused the assistant principal in charge of security, Robert Comer, of frequently calling the police to the school.

Morris, an adjunct professor in the Curriculum and Teaching Department at Hofstra University, lectures at the Hempstead, L.I. campus at the same time the PTA meeting was held.

Joan Gordon, one of the newly-appointed instructional supervisors for Region Five, represented Regional Superintendent Kathleen Cashin at the meeting. Gordon told parents that Morris had visited every classroom in the school, and had even taught several lessons on his first school day as principal.

According to Gordon, Morris grew up poor in his native Barbados, one of seven children. His mother, however, insisted that her children become educated, Gordon said. Morris earned a BA in 1982 from Hunter College, a MA in ‘84 from New York University, then a Ph.D. in ‘91, and a MA in ‘96 from Bank Street College of Education. He was a social studies teacher for more than two decades, Gordon said, and worked at Lawrence and Maxwell High Schools.

Gordon urged parents to give him a chance. "Come to your own conclusions, but not in 10 seconds," she said.

Numerous parents, already angered by what they perceived as a lack of school safety, were also annoyed by Cashin’s absence. Cashin walked out of the PTA’s emergency meeting on October 15, and didn’t attend the first meeting of the school year.

Gordon said she could not answer questions about Claude Monereau, whose transfer from BCHS sparked the controversy, which ultimately led to Pleener’s resignation and the appointment of Morris.

Sources at the Department of Education say that Monereau will most likely be given administrative duties and then be transferred to another school.

Morris did not return calls requesting an interview with The Wave by press time.


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