Staff: PS 42 ‘Set Up For Failure’
Claiming that the Arverne school was, “Set up for failure” by the Department of Education so that it could close the troubled school, the protestors, carrying signs and chanting “UFT, UFT,” and “Call 311,” demanded the transfer of the acting principal.
“Teachers and parents at P.S./M.S.42Q feel that their school has been set up to fail,” said a staff member on the protest line, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution from the principal. “The staff members and parents question why the DOE would allow Interim Acting Principal Stephanie Martin to be a candidate for the second level of the C30 process. Under the failed leadership of Ms. Martin, the school has been investigated for administration not reporting a sex incident, numerous safety incidents and recently a school bus accident.”
Some of the staff members told The Wave that the school has undergone dramatic changes since Martin has been the principal.
“Martin’s motto is ‘No consequences,’ ” a teacher said. “The students run the hall, leave the building, fight, continually pull the fire alarm and even have sex, and nothing happens.”
“Just last month a student set a garbage can on fire and the students had trouble exiting the building,” the staffer pointed out. “Last week, two teachers were assaulted by middle school students. When the police arrived, the student had left the building. When teachers notified Martin about the assault, she simply just shrugged it off and continued walking to her office with her lunch.”
A parent said that Martin is not accessible, that parents come up to school frustrated and screaming that their messages to the principal are ignored and go unanswered. Many of their concerns about their children are of a serious nature. Many of these com- plaints by parents are about their children suffering at the hands of a bully, that they have been injured through physical assault, or are in an unsafe environment.
Both teachers and parents at the protest said that the C-30 process, the process for choosing a new principal, is rigged so that Martin wins.
A member of the 14-member committee told The Wave that they were given five questions to ask each of the three candidates, and that Martin did not answer the questions satisfactorily.
“We didn’t want to choose her, and she was the second runner-up in the three person field,” the committee member parent said. “We should have seen some improvement in the school over the past year, and we haven’t seen any at all.”
The parent added that they are waiting for the board’s decision, but she is sure it will be Martin.
“The process is rigged,” she concluded.
There have been several incidents at the school that have been reported in the pages of The Wave in the past year, including a sexual assault, an unreported bus accident in which children were injured and which was ignored by the school administration as well as several fires and missing children reports.
Calls to the Department of Education for comment were not returned.