Monday, August 13, 2007

Freedom of Speech

It's alive and well here in NYC, but there are limits. For example, if you're a high school principal, you're free to practice Santeria, or whatever religion you choose. But if you get caught using it to purge your school of negative energy, particularly if you've coerced staff members to contribute, well, perhaps you've created yourself a problem.

Maritza Tamayo, principal of the Unity Center for Urban Technologies, paid a woman named Gilda Fonte to lead several Santeria rituals at the Manhattan school during midwinter break in 2006, when students were not there, according to Richard Condon, the special commissioner of investigation for city schools. Tamayo coerced staff members to participate in and help pay for the cost of the ceremonies, investigators said.

Hmm...ya know it's one thing when the principal asks you to teach that music class, or to do a bulletin board, but paying for the cleansing ceremonies is a bit much. So it appears this principal will soon be seeking greener pastures.

One thing, though...maybe we oughta follow up and see how this chicken blood thing improves the school. Since Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein have so firmly rejected the overly costly good teachers, small classes, and decent facilities route to good schools, isn't this worth a looksee?

Thanks to California Teacher Guy
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