Controversial Educator Challenges Her Dismissal
By Charles Maldonado
NEW YORK — Khalil Gibran International Academy founder Debbie Almontaser, who resigned from the school last August amid controversy that she was connected with an organization that produced T-shirts reading “Intifada NYC,” faced cross-examination Monday before Judge Sidney Stein in Manhattan Federal Court.
Last week, Almontaser testified that in the days following the article Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott demanded that she turn in a letter of resignation in time for Bloomberg to announce it on his radio show that week.
Almontaser was asked Monday why she did not apply for the job of school principal until Oct. 16, the last day the job was posted. It had been posted since August, when she resigned. Almontaser said that she had not been aware of the job posting until early October, when the head of the Department of Education’s Office of New Schools, Garth Harries, told her about it.
“In the course of the end of September and early October I met with Garth Harries. I told him I wanted to go back to KGIA,” she said. “He said that it wasn’t feasible.”
She said that during that time, she was told not to say or do anything that could jeopardize the school, which opened in September. Read more…