Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, June 21, 2014

How Would The Education Reformers Solve This Mess?

From the NY Post, in full:

A Bronx principal hid in shame on Friday rather than explain why she ignored pleas from a bullied teen’s dad to have the kid removed from the school before the torment drove him to kill.

Delise Jones darted out of IS 117 at dismissal and shielded her face with her car’s sun visor rather than answer questions about the transfer request from the father of alleged killer Noel Estevez, 14.
Jones had told the worried father on Tuesday that the school year was almost over and it was too late to do anything.

A day later, Noel was ambushed by another student, Timothy Crump, also 14, while leaving the school — and stabbed the teen to death in the fight.

IS 117 was the subject of a 2010 state audit that concluded that “the leadership at the school should be re‐-evaluated . . . If necessary, changes should be made, or a mentor principal could be assigned to the school in order to model the qualities of an effective instructional leader.”

Jones — who has led the Morris Heights school since 2003 and makes $143,426 a year — has never been sanctioned by the board of education, sources said.

But parents and students told The Post the school is a breeding ground for violence and intimidation, with much of the brawling ending up in online videos.

“This is an everyday thing, but no one does anything about it,” said Ruth Santiago, 34, a home health aide whose 15-year-old son once attended IS 117.

Santiago said students post their footage on sites like and YouTube.
Parents complained to school brass at a heated meeting Friday.

“They kept asking the same thing: How are they going to prevent this?” said one attendee, adding that a parent complained that her child had been put in the hospital by a school bully.

Timothy — suspended at the time of Wednesday’s skirmish — has a deadly family history.
His mother, Tane Crump, 52, spent eight years in prison on a manslaughter charge for a 1982 Bronx slaying, sources told The Post.

Noel’s home life was just as appalling.

His fragile mental state deteriorated sharply after his brother, Justin, committed suicide in 2013, sources told The Post.

He attempted to follow his sibling’s tragic path last month when he wrapped a belt around his neck and tried to hang himself.

Once close friends, the two kids began feuding after Timothy stole a phone and gave it to Noel for safekeeping.

But Noel’s mother, Marie Estevez, found the phone and destroyed it because she thought it could be located by via GPS.

Enraged, Timothy and his pals began a campaign of torment that ended in his own death.

The Post goes after the principal because that's what they do - blame teachers or principals for stuff.

But given the horror in the lives of the two boys involved in the fight that ended in the death of one of them, there's a lot more to blame for this mess than just a principal who allegedly failed to take action after being told about the bullying.

When you have students who bring the kind of fear, anger and self-loathing that these kids brought to school with them, there's only so much schools can do to mitigate the damage.

That doesn't mean I'm exonerating the principal here - if it is found that she had knowledge of the bullying beforehand and did nothing because it was "too late in the year," then that's a problem and she should be disciplined.

But there's a whole lot more wrong about this story than just the principal.

And let's be frank about how our erstwhile education reformers would solve this kind of mess.

They would never take these kids into their schools.

These problems will never come up for Eva Moskowitz and Company because Eva doesn't do "problem kids."

Children like Timothy and Noel never make it to Success Academies, and if by some miracle they did skate through the lottery, they wouldn't last for long.

Eva likes to make believe that she has all the solutions for the problems in the education system.

But we know what her solution for the problems IS 117 experiences would be - she'd toss those kids out of her schools faster than she used to dash off emails to former chancellor Joel Klein.

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