2006-04-28 / Community

BCHS Protest Demands Return Of AP

By Howard Schwach


NAACP President Ed Williams exhorts students to join the protest as other protestors stand by with their homemade signs.NAACP President Ed Williams exhorts students to join the protest as other protestors stand by with their homemade signs. Beach Channel High School students returning to school on Tuesday morning were startled by a line of demonstrators loudly demanding the return to the school of Assistant Principal Regine LiFranc, who was re_cently transferred to the region's Regional Operations Center (ROC) a space that many call "The Rubber Room).

Chanting "Bring Back LiFranc," and "Morris lied to us," students and family members, led by NAACP President Ed Williams, stood in front of the school attempting to get students to join their ranks.

Few, however, did so, although a few yelled "Black Power" as they walked into the building.

Williams said that the demonstration was designed to get justice for the ex-assistant principal, who was removed from the school just before the vacation period.

"The region, led by Kathleen Cashin," are big bullies," Williams told a Wave reporter. "LiFranc was doing things for the children that Cashin did not like her to do. The students in the school know that she cared about them and Cashin doesn't. That's why they had to get rid of her."

Many of the homemade signs carried by the protestors or planted in the ground complained that Principal David Morris lied to the students and that Regional Superintendent Kathleen Cashin was a bully.Many of the homemade signs carried by the protestors or planted in the ground complained that Principal David Morris lied to the students and that Regional Superintendent Kathleen Cashin was a bully. "She fought the system to do right by her students and, as a result, she's out of her job and assigned to the rubber room."

LiFranc was not at the protest rally. Williams says that she is sick, "devastated by being removed from her school and in physical collapse."

He said that the assistant got a letter just prior to the vacation, removing her from her position and assigning her to the Region Five Operations Center in Long Island City.

"{Principal David] Morris lied to the students," he added. "He is just trying to cover up the problems in the building that LiFranc was exposing."

Two women identified as LiFranc's relatives at the protest demonstration.Two women identified as LiFranc's relatives at the protest demonstration. Cashin, however, tells a far different story.

"[Her removal] was a personnel action that had to be taken," Cashin told The Wave after the protest ended. "We had to do the right thing for the students and address such issues as long-term absences, credit accrual, and graduation rates. We are all evaluated by the data and she was evaluated by the same data."

Cashin said that LiFranc will have the right to return to a position in her last tenured license, which is as a teacher.

While Cashin would not rule out the possibility of her going back to Beach Channel High School in that position, school experts say that it would be highly unlikely for her to be assigned back to the school from which she was removed as a supervisor. A member of the parent association, who asked not to be identified but who was in the building the entire duration of the protest said that the building was very quiet, as opposed to a demonstration a few years ago where many fires were started in the school and a large number of students walked out.

Lots of cops responded to the protest demonstration, but there was little for them to do. Most students walked past the demonstrators and went to class.Lots of cops responded to the protest demonstration, but there was little for them to do. Most students walked past the demonstrators and went to class. "We have to congratulate the students for not acting in a negative manner," the parent said. "I don't think that the protestors got the reaction they were looking for."

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