Parent Charges PS 183 With Failure To Notify
By Howard Schwach
A Rockaway parent is charging the officials of Public School 183 in Hammels with dereliction of duty after the school failed to notify her that her fourth-grade daughter was allegedly pushed down and injured by another student on April 27.
According to Akiya Allen, her nine-year-old daughter, Kiyonna, was playing Double-Dutch in the school's gymnasium during a health education period when another young student continually disrupted the game by interfering with the rope.
Allen says that the girls then began to play a game of "tag" in the gym, when the girl, angered that Kiyonna tagged her, pushed Kiyonna to the ground so hard that her face hit the divider between the double doors of the gymnasium.
Akiya Allen, in her statement made available to The Wave, said that her daughter told her later that the PE teacher sent her to the nurse's office, but the nurse was not present. A note on the door directed her to the main office, where Principal Renee Pert reportedly gave her an ice pack and sent her to the school's dean.
The dean reportedly spoke with both girls and then, satisfied that the incident was over, sent them back to class.
After school that day, Kiyonna called her mother at work and told her what had happened.
She immediately called the school, which is located at 245 Beach 79 Street, and spoke with an assistant principal, questioning the official as to why she had not been notified that her daughter was injured.
According to Allen, she was told that somebody who knew about the incident would call her back.
When she got home that evening, however, she found her daughter in pain and the right side of her face "swollen and puffy." She says that her daughter's eye was almost closed and there was a gash on the right side of her upper lip.
She rushed her daughter to Peninsula Hospital Center, where the emergency room doctor ordered a CAT Scan to determine the extent of her injuries.
After looking at the results of the test, Allen says, the doctor told her that nothing was broken, that it was tissue damage and prescribed Motrin and warm compresses.
The next day, Allen says, she went to the school and the assistant principal apologized for not notifying her.
She says that the gym teacher told her that she did not believe that Kiyonna had been injured in the incident and that she saw her on the ground but "thought that she had slipped." The gym teacher reportedly told the mother that she only calls parents about disciplinary or grade problems.
A staff member at the school, who asked not to be identified because she has no permission to speak with the media told The Wave that when Kiyonna was seen at the end of the school day, "she had no bleeding and she clearly had no visible swelling."
Allen says that she went to the 100 Precinct and filed a complaint against the girl who pushed her daughter. The Wave is withholding the girl's name due to her age.
On Monday, Allen was called to a meeting where Pert apologized to her for not calling, saying that her daughter was not swollen when she saw her after the incident.
She added that the girl who pushed her daughter had been suspended.
Allen, however, is not satisfied. She had contacted Chancellor Joel Klein to advise him of the incident and to ask him to improve administrative procedures so that parents are routinely notified in cases such as her daughter's.
"Parents really need to know what is going on in the schools with their kid's education and any incidents like this that happen during the school day," she said. "They really should have called me to let me know what happened even if they did not consider it a major incident."
Pert issued a statement on Thursday, saying, "Since the incident, all the parties involved have had several meetings and came to a positive resolution. Effective follow through on policies and procedures to be followed have been addressed."