- Special to Newsday
- September 20, 2007
- A group of elected officials called on the city’s mayor and schools chancellor to reinstate the former principal of the embattled Khalil Gibran International Academy, a Brooklyn school that emphasizes Arab studies, culture and language.The demand, made yesterday outside Department of Education headquarters in lower Manhattan, marked the first time local elected officials have publicly backed ousted educator Debbie Almontaser.
She resigned from the new school in August, before it opened, amid an outcry over her defense of the word “intifada” on T-shirts sold by a local youth group.
“[KGIA] has faced unfair attacks…That has created a pressure that the DOE has not stood up to.”
~ Donna Nevel, Communities in Support of KGIA
Councilman Robert Jackson (D-Manhattan), who chairs the Education Committee, called for a meeting with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein to discuss the Boerum Hill academy’s future.
“I’m going to ask them to give the school the support it needs to grow and succeed,” Jackson said. “And I’m going to recommend they stand with me in order to reinstate Debbie.”
Jackson, who was joined by City Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing), state Sen. Bill Perkins (D-Manhattan) and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, said they did not speak out earlier because they did not want to jeopardize the school’s opening earlier this month. More…