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New York City principal under investigation after allegedly firing teachers for being white

Paula Lev is the principal of the High School for Law and Public Service and promised to "get rid of all these white teachers that aren’t doing anything for the kids of our community."

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Joshua Young Youngsville North Carolina
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A New York City principal who fired four white staffers allegedly without cause and who divided her school by race is up for review with New York State's Division of Labor.

According to the New York Post Paula Lev is the principal of the High School for Law and Public Service and promised to "get rid of all these white teachers that aren’t doing anything for the kids of our community."

Principal Lev, who is ethnically Dominican, came into power at the school in February of 2020 and began administering the concepts of equity and anti-racism that New York's Department of Education promotes. The school's diverse staff overwhelmingly supported the implementation of the plan.

Lev's execution of anti-racism first came for white teacher and union chapter leader Nick Bacon. After he filed a grievance over a scheduling issue she asked him in front of staffers, "I wasn’t sure what your problem with me was, maybe it’s because I am a woman of color and you’re a white man?" That report came out of a March 2, 2021 letter to Superintendent Manny Ramirez.

Ramirez said her comments were "inappropriate" but that Lev's feelings were significant and Bacon along with other staffers should work with her.

Lev then said Bacon needed to read the abridged anti-racist doctrine "White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism," by white author Robin DeAngelo.

That book argues white people are racist if they "get defensive when questioned about racial inequality" but are also racist if they say they're racist.

Four months after the Bacon incident, a discrimination complaint was filed against Principal Lev by a teacher who said she pressured him to conspire with her in finding cause to fire white teachers.

It was to this anonymous teacher that Lev promised to fire white educators, and that caused him to write, "Ms. Lev has asked me to conspire with her on a couple of occasions in getting rid of my colleague."

The Office of Equal Opportunity filing concludes "I believe Ms. Lev is not suited for the position of principal because of the comments she has made to me about white people and the malicious ways in which she thinks and speaks. She is not fit to be a leader of a school."

On June 24, the school's faculty voted over 80 percent towards "no confidence" in the principal, saying she had "flagrantly but unsuccessfully attempted to divide our school community by race."

Three days later Lev fired four white teachers via an "excess notice" which argues teachers can be fired because they're simply not needed at the school anymore.

In July, the original DOE complaint reached the state Division of Human Rights who will decide the principal's fate. Meanwhile, according to students, the school has descended into chaos.

Class valedictorian 17-year-old Angel Dilawar started a petition for the principal's removal and said "we have had enough and cannot bear to witness the utter disorganization and insanity at our school. We have some new teachers that are super under-qualified, and staff members that were fully experienced and qualified were excessed."

Dilawar said Lev spent ridiculous amounts of money on hallway TV monitors and hoodies while school violence has exploded.

"Right now students can do anything they want and they’re not going to get in trouble." Dilawar also said she's having to write recommendation letters for students as a new educator Lev brought in had a tenuous grasp on the English language.

The petition had over 370 signatures while the state decides Lev's fate.

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