When I was honored as the Woman of the Year by the National Council of Young Israel in March, I was asked what motivates me to expose anti-Semitism and failures within our New York educational system. The answer is simple, people have no idea what is going on, despite paying for it with their tax dollars, knowing students and hired staffs.
Worse yet, even when a case is made public, when Jewish leadership, clergy and heads of organizations are contacted, little or no response or action plays into questioning the controversy. Non-Jews then ask: "Why should we get involved when the Jews don't help themselves?"
I am sharing one case, with a history of anti-Semitism, a health emergency gone awry, corruption tied to a convicted New York City Democratic Councilman and a petition with more than 100 signatures demanding the immediate removal of Rushell White.
MS226 Principal Rushell White, the "Bad Jew" principal and the years of her leadership
In addition to my facts, I am going to share multiple story links and prove my point, that anti-Semitism was reported in the mainstream media on this case since 2015.
On July 11, 2016, I spoke at a press conference along with staff members, parents, community leaders and local politicians calling for appropriate discipline and further investigations and oversight into the leadership of MS 226, in Queens, NY, led by principal, Rushell White.
At that time, White was the center of controversy and the subject of not one, but two Federal lawsuits that had begun the year before, citing, among other issues, anti-Semitism and discrimination, performance review and safety among students and staff. Among complaints were her attacking a well-respected Assistant Principal, David Possner and calling him a "Bad Jew" while stalking him with a phone call on Yom Kippur on his own time. At that time, Possner was a well-respected staff member who was beloved by coworkers, students and parents.
The other case involved an Orthodox teacher, plaintiff Jane Seidemann vs. DOE, with Russell White as a defendant. Seidemann, an Orthodox Jewish staff member, was denied religious observance days by White. The case was settled after our press conference that summer.
Many complaints were made to 311 and the main offices of both the New York City Department of Education and the United Federation of Teachers regarding concerns over White's ability to run the school.
In June 2016, White did something so offensive, she not only publicly humiliated Possner, but offended the entire Hindu Community. Rajan Zed, president of the Reno-based Universal Society of Hinduism, made a public request for an apology from Mayor de Blasio for the mural hung in the school depicting White as a Hindu goddess, saying the painting trivialized a venerated deity. Unfortunately, not ONE Jewish political, community, educational or clergy leader spoke out.
A press conference the following month, as fore-mentioned, bought out parents, staff and volunteers from local Queens community groups demanding action.
Life Or Death
You would think that the Department of Education would take some measures to at least discipline White. Instead, things got worse. Only months later, in October 2016, It was reported and verified by multiple school witnesses that Rushell White violated state laws and chancellor's regulations when she failed to contact 911 and call a "code blue" when Assistant Principal James Randall suffered a heart attack. Randall suffered serious brain damage and ended up in a coma for days because White violated Department of Education protocols of reporting and safety. Over 100 people signed a petition for her removal and an investigation.
Corruption, Poor Grades and More
Why would the Department of Education still support White's position? No one can fathom it. The school does not have great reviews or academic success, even with cheating accusations.
According to the DOE Middle School 226 website, during the 2016-2017, only 32% of the students met State standards in English Language Arts, and 21% of the students met State standards in mathematics. These percentages both fell well below the city and district averages.
White has been tied to convicted Councilman Ruben Wills, currently serving a sentence for up to six years for stealing city funds in five counts of corruption. Copies of checks given to the school were blown up and displayed in the school's corridors. Republican and Conservative leaders in Queens, including Michael O'Reilly, running for Congress against Gregory Meeks, demanded investigations, transparency and accountability for this money and just how these Democrats are tied to this school.
Rushell White is still the principal of MS 226. The Jewish staff members she attacked are no longer there.
MS 226 is located in South Ozone Park, Queens, run by a Jewish Borough President. The United Federation of Teachers Queens Borough Chapter Leader, Rona Freiser, is Jewish. This school is driving distance to the Ohel Of The Lubavitcher Rebbe, the Jewish communities of Kew Gardens, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates and all the major Jewish groups of the Tri-State area.
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case. I will be covering others in the near future. It is not limited to New York or public schools. You can send me details of other cases through Arutz Sheva.
See, you can get away with anti-Semitism in New York-- if you wish-- and even get paid for it.