At One Year, Turmoil Persists at Arabic-Themed School

June 20, 2008

By Amanda M. Fairbanks

The first year, it is safe to say, has not passed without its share of problems at the Khalil Gibran International Academy in Brooklyn. The school has gone through multiple principals and lawsuits and even an equal employment opportunity complaint, not to mention a change in location, since opening its doors as the city’s only Arabic-themed school last September. Even the lone science teacher was recently ousted.

“Sadly, the school is a shadow of its former self,”

The biggest problem surrounding the school has no doubt been the removal of its founding principal, Debbie Almontaser, who resigned in August under enormous pressure, much of it from a chorus of critics who said she had a militant Islamic agenda.

Given the turmoil of the past year, it seemed curious to some of Khalil Gibran’s parents that a party and fund-raiser for the school had been planned for Thursday night.

“The families deserve the school they were promised,” said Donna Nevel, a member of Communities in Support of KGIA, an advocacy group that has demanded that Ms. Almontaser be reinstated.  Read more…

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