This blog is a little different than the others, but it is about a cause close to Janine's heart.
Her daughter, Sonnie, goes to Port Richmond High School. Any caring parent wants a successful, safe, productive and professional school environment.
Port Richmond was all those things and more. The school had a great reputation. The school's principal, Tim Gannon was keeping the school moving in the right direction. But, what happens when you do a great job? Well, in this case, you get picked for promotion. He got moved to a position in the Department of Education to mentor principals, assistant principals and other administrators.
The person picked to replace Gannon as interim principal is Oneatha Swinton and parents haven't been happy since. I have it on good authority that the first thing Ms. Swinton did was claim that she was sent to Port Richmond because the school wasn't doing well and that she was picked to make improvements.
Improvements? The first thing she cut was the honors program. How is that an improvement? Parents were outraged. Some commented on a blog that Port Richmond's Honors Program were why they sent their children there in the first place.
Also discovered were comments about how Ms. Swinton referred to herself as "Mathtarded." Parents and other witnesses took great offense at this term asking what kind of professional educator speaks like this? She also has referred to students with disabilities as "SpEds (Special Eds)". Does she have any clue how insulting and hurtful that is?
You can read more outrage and comments about the Ms. Swinton by clicking here: Comments.
There are other complaints about her, too and not just at Port Richmond. The parents feel that Port Richmond has been used as a dumping ground by how the Department of Education has put her there. I found many complaints just by Googling her name. Janine has had problems with her directly. Janine has tried three times to call Ms. Swinton in reference to the Honors Program being taken away. Janine couldn't make the PTA meeting covering the issue, so she made a point to contact Ms. Swinton to discuss it.
Janine's daughter, Sonnie, was upset that the programs were being discontinued. Sonnie is due to graduate this year and was anticipating having these courses on college resumes. Janine has called three times to try and have a conversation and has not received any response back. When the superintendent was contacted, the solution offered was to contact Ms. Swinton directly. How can parents contact her if she's not responding to calls?
You will probably see stories about this on NY1 and in other media outlets soon. Hopefully, the community can rally together and have a more appropriate and competent individual take over as principal.
If you are in the Staten Island area, it is time to rally together. On October 3, from 6:30 to 7:30 at P.S. 048 there will be a town hall meeting to address concerns. Join Janine and other parents to voice concern.
There is also a Facebook group to join and keep up to date. Look on Facebook for "Save Port, Get Your Raider Spirit Going" and join!