Kids at Queens’ notorious “School of No” have been forced to pay for a bizarre fifth-grade party at which their principal makes them dress up as little brides and grooms, The Post has learned — as the DOE announce that it would probe conditions at the school.
PS 106’s fur-clad principal, Marcella Sills — who is known for frequently being absent — has for at least the past three years orchestrated an annual prom at a posh rental hall.
She has required parents to pay more than $110 per child for the shindig.
The girls must rent little white dresses that look like bridal gowns, and the boys must attend in tuxedos, sources told The Post.
The kids, many of whom live below the poverty line, must foot the bill for the strange get-ups, which Sills personally picks out at stores such as Men’s Wearhouse and David’s Bridal, parents and ex-teachers said.
Sills, meanwhile, sets herself up as the belle of the ball — donning her own long, white bridal-type gown for the event, which was held last June at Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach. The outfit comes complete with elbow-length white gloves, witnesses said.
“It’s absurd,” said one former teacher at the crumbling Far Rockaway school.
“This is a school where children are given a free breakfast and free lunch, and you’re asking them to pay money for a lavish, unnecessary event.”
According to the Post article, while the principal forces families to spend money on this Belle of the Ball stuff, the school struggles to provide basic supplies and instruction for students.
No gym, no art classes, no textbooks, no nurses's office.
Former staff and students do not mince words about Marcella Sills:
Staff described PS 106 as a dysfunctional campus with rat-infested instruction trailers.
Sills often doesn’t show up. Last week, she missed every school day but one. Nevertheless, she managed to rule in absentia through fear and retaliation, sources said.
She cuts quite a figure, when she does appear. She arrives in a BMW wearing expensive fur coats. She makes a base $128,000 salary. “She’s evil,” former PS 106 teacher Patricia Walsh said. “She finds pleasure in ruining people’s lives.”
“She’s been getting away with it for years,” said Silaka Cox, an NYU freshman who graduated from PS 106 on Sills’ watch.
Two questions to pose here:
First, if Sills has been ruling her medieval fiefdom like this for years, why no blame from the Post for the former chancellor, Dennis Walcott, or his boss, Mayor Bloomberg?
Didn't most of this malfeasance happen under the watch of Walcott and Bloomberg?
Second question - how many other PS 106's are out there?
Bloomberg made every principal the CEO of their school and destroyed much of the oversight apparatus that used to ensure compliance with such niceties as providing a nurse's office instead of holding a Belle of the Ball party.
You can bet PS 106 isn't the only place where a principal has run amok with no oversight or accountability.
What's worse, with the new evaluation system in place, they basically have total power to do what they want to whomever they want with little that can be done to stop them.
Farina says she's sending a deputy chancellor to PS 106 to see what's going on.
That's a start - but how about putting a clamp on principal power at the policy level so that they cannot rule a school with fear and intimidation like Sills has done at PS 106?