“Judges criticize city’s handling of NY Arabic school’s principal” : Newsday.com

February 5, 2008

By LARRY NEUMEISTER

NEW YORK– Federal appeals judges on Tuesday made comments suggesting they thought the city overreacted in its handling of the resignation of the principal of its first Arabic-themed public school as they heard arguments aimed at letting her get her job back.

Newman and Barrington D. Parker Jr. repeatedly questioned the city’s intentions in its handling of the uproar.

Two members of the three-judge panel were sharply critical of the way the city reacted to a newspaper interview Debbie Almontaser conducted before she stepped down in August as interim principal at the Khalil Gibran International Academy.

City lawyer Drake Colley conceded that what Almontaser said in the interview was correct and that a Department of Education spokesperson who monitored the interview thought it went well.

Judge Jon Newman asked: “Does the city really think she was properly disciplined?”  Read more…

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