Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Janey to meet with Deal Parents

Bill Myers of The Examiner updates the controversy surrounding leadership at the Tenleytown Middle School:

District of Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Clifford Janey will meet with a group of parents demanding the firing of a junior high principal today — but the group’s leaders said they have promised that they won’t relent on their demands whatever the superintendent says.

A handful of parents have picketed outside Alice Deal Junior High since last month in an attempt to show their commitment to their cause.

The parents claim that they have evidence that principal Melissa Kim has emotionally and physically abused their children for years.

“Melissa Kim is abusive toward our children,” said Lacrisha Butler, one of the parents organizing the protests. “We went through the chain of command. They have failed us and they have failed our children.”

The protesters have met with top officials, including Deputy Mayor for Education Victor Reinoso, but Butler said that “the buck stops with Dr. Janey.”

Janey spokesman John White confirmed that the meeting will take place, but refused to reveal Janey’s position.

“He never said he would not meet with them,” White said in an e-mail. “He cannot tell you what he will say before the meeting occurs.”

The protesters say that Kim has targeted black and Hispanic students for punishment and that she has struck their children.

Kim has denied the allegations.

The protests have divided the parents of Deal children. Most members of the school’s parent-teacher organization have backed Kim, and some have suggested that the protesters aren’t comfortable with her because she’s Asian.

“That’s an insult,” Butler said. “No one would spend two years documenting abuse and then 30 days on picket for something so trivial.”

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