[Rushtalk] School principal bans Santa, Thanksgiving and Pledge of Allegiance

John A. Quayle blueoval57 at verizon.net
Mon Feb 15 17:29:50 MST 2016

         Time to riot.................

At 01:40 PM 2/15/2016, Carl Spitzer wrote:
>Santa Claus is banned. The Pledge of Allegiance 
>is no longer recited. “Harvest festival” has 
>replaced Thanksgiving, and “winter celebrations” 
>substitute for Christmas parties.
>New principal Eujin Jaela Kim has given PS 169 
>in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, a politically correct 
>scrub-down, to the dismay of teachers and parents.
>“We definitely can’t say Christmas, nothing with 
>Christmas on it, nothing with Santa,” PTA 
>president Mimi Ferrer said administrators told 
>her. “No angels. We can’t even have a star 
>because it can represent a religious system, like the Star of David.”
>Kim, 33, did not return a call or e-mail seeking comment.
>A memo last month from assistant principal Jose 
>Chaparro suggested a “harvest festival instead 
>of Thanksgiving or a winter celebration instead 
>of a Christmas party.” He urged staff to “be 
>sensitive of the diversity of our families. Not 
>all children celebrate the same holidays.”
>Ninety-five percent of the 1,600 kids at PS 169 are Asian or Hispanic.
>In a recent directive to all schools, the city 
>Department of Education said it permits holiday 
>symbols including Christmas trees, kinaras 
>(candleholders for Kwanzaa), dreidels, Hanukkah 
>menorahs and the Islamic star-and- crescent. 
>Displays that “depict images of deities, 
>religious figures or religious texts” are prohibited.
>In a memo to staff this month, PS 169 business 
>manager Johanna Bjorken added: “In case you are 
>wondering about grey areas: Santa Claus is 
>considered an ‘other religious figure.’ ”
>But a DOE spokesman told The Post that Santa is allowed as a secular figure.
>Santa was a part of the holidays at PS 169 for 
>years. Joseph Iorio, a longtime assistant 
>principal and the acting principal who preceded 
>Kim, recalled state Assemblyman Felix Ortiz 
>visiting the school dressed as Santa “many times.”
>Iorio also said he tapped student leaders to 
>lead the Pledge of Allegiance every Monday 
>morning. When Kim arrived, the school-wide pledge ended.
>A DOE spokesman said classrooms can recite the 
>pledge “at the teacher’s discretion.” But PS 169 
>teachers said that Kim never told them they could do so.
>Kim has other wacky priorities, school sources 
>say. Soon after joining PS 169 in May 2014, her 
>first time as a principal, she ordered the 
>faculty to clear their classrooms of “clutter.” 
>She moved hundreds of books and loads of 
>supplies into the gym, where parents and other 
>community members took what they wanted. The rest was tossed in the trash.
>She also dumped boxes of newly purchased reading 
>books in the basement because she preferred another curriculum, staffers said.
>Kim bought seven 70-to-80-inch Sharp flat-screen 
>smart TVs, which retail at about $3,000 each. 
>After painting over and removing historic 
>murals, she had the TVs mounted in the 
>auditorium ­ three over the stage and two on each side.
>“It was ridiculous,” Ferrer said. “They have never been used.”
>Kim holds a lottery for students to get academic 
>assistance after school or on Saturdays. She 
>also started a “professional learning period” in 
>which teachers observe each other in class, but 
>it eliminates one period of core instruction a 
>week for students, staffers said.
>Kim recently told staff that Chancellor Carmen 
>Fariña praised PS 169 at a town hall meeting.
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