Phys Ed Fiasco: Principal Forgets To Schedule Gym, Chaos Ensues

100 Seniors May Not Graduate Unless They Make Up 2-3 Years

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — It’s an unbelievable case of a Queens principal who seems to be undergoing a gigantic “senior moment.”

He forgot to make his students take gym and now members of the senior class may not graduate.

It’s a full-scale, phys ed fiasco, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

The principal of the of Robert F. Wagner Jr. Secondary School in Long Island City won’t be able to redeem himself by doing 100 push-ups or even 1,000 sit-ups.

“Words can’t even express how mad we all are,” senior Jas Gill said. “They messed up big time and they’re not coming up with a plausible solution.”

“I’m very angry and I’m very stressed out. It’s a lot,” added student Lena Juliano.

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Even though he’s worked for the Department for Education for 43 years, Principal Bruce Noble somehow forgot to schedule gym for his students — and about 100 members of the senior class may not graduate unless they can somehow make up two or three years worth of gym in the next three months.

“A school can’t forget to give a class. It’s their responsibility,” student Ahmed Hasan said, adding when asked when he thinks he might graduate, “2013.”

In frantic effort to make up the gym credits the principal told the students they could count doing exercises on Nintendo Wii or go to an outside gym.

“We have to pay for it out of our own pocket,” student Jessica Rivera said.

And there’s another problem: the kids claim the principal said they could fudge the numbers.

“They’re telling us to even cheat on the hours. Let’s say you go today for like an hour. They say change it to three hours,” student Amao Khamis said.

Kramer reports at least one student as Noble on tape saying just that – lie about the numbers.

A number of students told Kramer about Principal Noble’s meeting with their class to tell them about the mess up. Juliano said she recorded the meeting on her cell phone where noble told them to get private gyms to sign papers saying they worked out.

But when asked what should the students do if the gyms said no, Noble on tape is heard saying “if no one cooperates with you, then put in your hours, bring it to Peggy and she will sign it.”

“But that’s cheating,” one student surmised.

The students said “Peggy” is Assistant Principal Peggy Jayne.

“He wants us to cheat the Board of Education,” student Bridget Mena said.

“So, basically, if he’s telling us that were allowed to lie why can’t you just give us the credit?” Juliano added.

The Department of Education said the entire matter is now under investigation. It sent investigators into the school Friday to examine the records of each member of the graduating class. The principal could face disciplinary charges.

Can you believe this? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Marcia Kramer
  • Dan Te

    Now you know why so many students are overweight and obese…

  • Annie

    How many phys ed teachers were cut from this school recently? Did this have any thing to do with it? These budgets are depriving are kids of a decent education, even if its only gym!!!

  • randomwatcher

    what were the gym teachers doing for 2-3 years? all the gym teachers, supervisors and the principal should be dealt with … they did not do their job and got paid? .. then telling kids to lie, cheat and in effect steal? shame.

  • Do Not Spam Me

    The school should be given an award. Gym class turns kids off to sports and physical activity, in which they would likely engage naturally on their own were it not for the bad taste that gym leaves in their mouths. And it’s a good way to save money that would otherwise be paid to incompetent and often sadistic “teachers.” As Woody Allen famously said: “Those who can’t, teach, and those who can’t teach teach gym.”

    Let the kids show competence at some physical activity and be done with it.

    • Auburn Dale

      I thought it was, “…those who can’t teach teach teachers.”

      • Upper West Side

        That one’s not from Woody. See the movie, “Annie Hall.”

    • PE_NJ

      This comment is ridiculous!!

      Just because you may have had a bad experience in gym class doesn’t mean it’s the same for everyone. You say gym class turns kids off to sports and physical activity. How? You make a statement but fail to back it up in any way! I’ve been teaching PE for 7 years now and kids LOVE PE class. The older the kids get, there may be an increasing number of students that fail to realize the importance of physical activity. However, MANY more students look forward to PE and are active.

      Who are these incompetent and often sadistic teachers? Again, a comment with no basis for it.

      I think the incompetence lies within yourself.

  • PAM- NYC High School

    It is all about saving units. In my school, the principal does not want to provide certain services for special education students. One such service is adaptive physical education. Instead of providing an adaptive class for the students,they are sent to work in offices. This is totally illegal.

  • 2gruesome2b

    i recall reading, in the past, that one of the unions whose members had the highest median annual income was that comprised of new york city high school principals. they were in a league with commercial air line pilots, for example. i suspect that their union has extorted tenure as a benefit also, so that incompetency cannot be dealt with as in private industry. my humble suggestions: repeal the wagner act, from roosevelt’s new deal days the race belongs to the swift.

  • Matt F

    What an idiot. Fire him.

  • Mikey Dean

    Didn.t the kids know they never went to gym? why the surprise…everyone knows its requires.

    • Auburn Dale

      That’s just it… It shouldn’t be required. PhysEd has NO STANDARDIZED TEST, so it’s legally irrelevant under “No Child Left Behind.”

      • PE_NJ

        But it is required. You’re arguing something that’s not the point here.

  • kev

    the school should just be closed down due to the lack of funds and credits. The D.O.E should just fire the principle and search for another one especially now a days since there’ people looking for work

    • Mike

      I think the school YOU went to should be closed down ,since your “principle” and teachers didn’t teach you any spelling or critical thinking skills. But, that’s how it goes “now a days”. Everyone figures since “there'” out of work, that they can do everything better than people that have jobs.

      You’re an idiot. The principal deserves to be fired. Nothing he did should reflect on the school, its funding, its teachers or anything else.

  • Jennifer

    I am a student at this school and the principal did know about the credits that the state required but since many other seniors before us were graduationg with out these credits he did not care but as soon as the state started pressing down on him he became worried and told us that we had to make up these credits in only 2 months honestlyy most of the staff didnt even know this desicion was made by bruce the rest of the staff had nothing 2 do with it! and being in the school system for soo long he honestly wasnt gonna noe how many credits we relle needed pleasse thats BULLSHYT! and me or the rest of these seniors are not gonna pay for the carelessness of an adult it was not our fault!

    • Pappabee

      If this is an example of your English Composition abilities then you deserve not to pass. Not on the inability to process Phys Ed but on your inability to write and spell.
      The h-ll with Phys Ed let them get their exercise lifting and opening books.

      • jennifer

        I also don’t understand what my grammer and spelling have to do with gym.. last i read this article is about gym credits not english! so if your going to attack my spelling at least get your facts straight i complain because i am a straight A student and i am not going to risk my diploma for gym credits ok!

      • Jennifer

        I got a 98 on my english regents thank you very much!

      • Diana

        It’s the Internet, relax. I know plenty of adults who have gone to great schools and use shortcuts online to type faster or still can’t use decent grammar in their speech, but I don’t let it get to me. Typing online doesn’t account for the type of education you had or how intelligent you are, especially if it’s definitely readable and understandable.
        In any case, Bruce is absolutely demented and should have been gone from that school ages ago. He has been nothing but a pain in the ass for everyone. I don’t know why he even has the job – he hates children and it definitely shows. Physical Education is important, yes, but I say let the kids pass and make Bruce pay. How are teenagers supposed to know what is required of them? It’s ridiculous.

    • Jennifer C

      You STUPID I know you from the school and you did not get 98 on your English regent. Even if you did have gym class you are still a big lazy pig, you don’t do anything in gym.

    • C Baker

      If you don’t want people to criticize your poor spelling, learn to spell. Nobody believes you got a good score on your English regents when you leave comments like this, because you type like a drunken monkey. Believe it or not, how you type DOES affect how people view you online.

  • Like it should be!

    The kids should graduate and the Principal, Vice- Principals and whoever else had anything to do with this should be fired.

  • Herbie Original Situation Raskin

    I am willing to bet this was an organized plan to save budget money! The principle knew and the parents and other staff members were complicit! As well as the students themselves!!!

    • Janet

      What are you talking about. First get your info straight, Do u even go to robert f wagner? Anyways if we were his complices then we would not have protested.

    • Melissa

      u dont know anything about the school. who are you to talk in this way??

    • jennifer


  • Soren

    Ok, I’ve spent five years at that school, and I can honestly say I’m not surprised. Bruce was always viewed as an incompetent fool, and it didn’t help matters when my last year there a beloved, very intelligent and great teacher was let go for reasons never explained. When students started asking what happened to him, he made an announcement over the PA system stating that no one was allowed to talk about said teacher being let go inside or out of the school, as he’d find out via investigation (it was well known that he had a personal vendetta against said teacher, having refused to fund his class and being proved an utter fool by the teacher’s students when he accused him of not teaching a real lesson when they all presented him with loads of facts that proved the lesson relevant, amongst other things).

  • Herbie Original Situation Raskin

    Oh come on… for 3 years these kids and their parents knew they had no gym and now they are suprised the kids can’t graduate without it? Were the parents washing the gym uniforms, shorts, sweats, etc?

    The situation is actually more dire than just jeopardizing their graduation All graduates over this period are not officially graduated if they didnt meet the requirement, as well as all the other students who were promoted to the grades they entered over those 3 years!

    This is basically a disaster that reaches out and spreads it’s tenticles exactly like the Madoff situation! The genie can not be put back in the bottle!!! The principle must be fired!

    I feel the school knew exactly what was happening and was probably caught by some kind of audit or doing a review for a tupe of certification! Shame on all involved!!

    • Melissa

      u dont know anything about the school ENTIRELY. who are you to talk in this way??

    • Soren

      RF Wagner Jr doesn’t have a uniform for gym (only people on teams get any type of uniform), and since such emphasis is placed on the regents and other state/city mandated tests it’s no wonder that the students are shocked to find out that the gym class they’ve never had/not have had enough of is required to graduate.

      • Herbie Original Situation Raskin

        there are requirements that must be met for each class! U.S. history is a perfect example of thT – in NJ 2 yrs worth of U.S. history is required – do you think anyone would notice an entire grade not taking U.S. history? Where were the phys. Ed teachers?
        How about sex ed and driver ed?
        This situation is a conspiracy on a major level at every level!!!

  • Dan

    Seriously, taping the principal who’s trying to help you out? Don’t get me wrong, this guy’s a moron, first with this error and then publicly telling students how to fudge the numbers. But gimme a break. You’re given an easy way out, and you complain about it. If you’re really that offended, by all means take the other options. Join an outside gym or stay after school for 2 hours and run around every day until June. Yes, horrible message to give these students, but its not exactly like being exempt from 2 years of Math or Science. Relax.

  • HUGO

    I like how the principal “forgot” for years and how everyone else didn’t even think about it. It’s incredible that the human race made it this far.

  • pny

    Is there no accountability? Does no one other than the principal notice that the kids’ resport cards don’t list gym for three years? Yes, the principal needs to be punished, but it is inexcusable that this went on for so long with no one questioning things. I’d say that from today until the end of the school year, the kids should have field sports every day for 2 hours (M-F) after school to make up for the lost time.

    • Soren

      Having Field Day, while a nice idea, is completely impossible to do for RF Wagner, seeing as they lack any kind of outdoor area to call their own. RF Wagner is located in a very industrial area in Long Island City, so having the students go out is quite dangerous (as I and anyone else who have gone to that school can tell you, at least once a day you run the danger of being run over by a truck driver).
      Wagner has (or at least had) a Field Day (held at Astoria Park), but as I recall, for the past year or two, the principal has forgotten to arrange for that as well.

      • jennifer

        So if you hated the school that much why didn’t you transfer the f–k out. You is the only fool that keeps going.

    • david

      just another example of sheer stupidity!

  • pugphan

    It’s phys ed for crying out loud, exercise, it’s not an academic criteria. Somebody needs to get their head out of their freaking arse…smokersodysseycom

  • Christina Blake

    Listen up people , my daughter is one the students in the story. And she is the 4th of my children to go to Robert F. Wagner. For you all uniformed people, it’s more than just a “gym” class. And my other children played on sports teams for this school. As well as my daughter(the current student) who played on the gof team, was told that those didn’t count. These seniors were just told yesterday at Parent- Teacher conference about the snafu. Not only that Mr. Noble (said principal) did not give us parents any answers. In fact, he hid out the entire time I was at the school last night. Because of his bungling and inpetitiude, my child and others may not graduate in June. And to top it off, he told them to go pay a private gym, what kind of garbage is that? So it’s easy for people to condemn and criticize when they’re not in your shoes. Most of the parents, myself included, support the students. My daughter has been accepted into several colleges to not to be graduating. And I’m urging all parents of the seniors at Robert F.Wagner to contact the chancellor and the mayor ( if needed) to make sure these kids graduate. So while most of you looking at and reading this story, think it’s not a big deal. Guess again, it’s a big deal!

    • dan

      Your child is going to graduate, they cannot punish 100 kids for an error on the administrations part.

    • Steven

      Christina, you mentioned your child not graduating on time because of the principal’s snafu (we’ll call it that to keep it clean). The fact she has been accepted to several colleges goes to show the ineptitude of our educators. It is a BIG deal students receive physical education and if the school let the kids slide, it should be up to the DOE to grant an exception. The principal should pay for the mistake and not on your child’s back.

  • Corey

    1 guy forgets to assign 1 class <<< 100 students overlooking that they don't have said class. Did they think the gym was there for show? What were they doing when they should have been in gym?

    • ...

      it’s highschool… where staff is expected to hold your hand the entire time. If this mistake was made in college it’d be understandable, you’re expected to know your graduation requirements in college, but who really cares about these things when they’re 17 years old? You’d expect that just showing up and doing the work should allow you to graduate, that’s the way highschools have worked in my experience.

  • Auburn Dale

    He probably forgot about gym because there is NO STANDARDIZED TEST for it, so it’s irrelevant under the No Child Left Behind law.

  • yak

    As a student that goes to the school it is not our fault.
    I’ve attended Wagner since the 7th grade and every other
    Senior class has graduated with the same gym credits
    ive watched class after class graduate and now its my years to graduate
    and someone higher then Bruce tells him basically “are you kidding me? these students cant graduate with those amount of credits”….

    Wagner being such a small school allows the “BOSSES” of education
    look over us… i mean seriously if you were to look at my school
    its in a god damn warehouse which we have 2 floors in
    not very big ones at that we hold grades 7-12 have roughly 500 students
    not counting the what we call the “delinquent kids” that take up our first floor..
    jamming all 500 students on ONE floor…

  • badman

    gim is a woth while endevor and shoul be part of an helthy breakfast

  • Kim

    I’m sorry, I can understand the principal should have been more responsible when scheduling these students, but you would think any student that is in high school would have some idea of what they need to graduate (any school worth anything would have an Academic Planning/Course Guide with the graduation requirements listed and should create a 4 year plan with each student so that the students know what they need to take each year in order to meet graduation requirements) and if by the time the students became Juniors and knew they needed 2 years of P.E. but hadn’t taken any yet, they should have spoken up and told the principal that they needed to be in P.E. Students at the high school I work at (a public school in Texas) are aware of what they need to graduate and help in the process of creating their 4 year plan, so they know when they need to take something and speak up before it’s too close to graduation to prevent them from graduating.

    • Nick

      What are you talking about Kim, 4 year plans? Plenty of high schools across the country hand kids a schedule the first day of freshman year, and so on each year after for 4 years. And that’s that. You may get to pick a few electives your senior year.

      Not many schools start kids off with “4-year course planning” courses. You take what you’re told to take, until college. Or unless you’re paying 20-grand a year in high school tuition.

      • PE_NJ

        Kim is right. Public schools are obligated to list all the credits students NEED. Usually it’s listed in a school handbook. Nick – maybe your description is how things were decades ago, but nowadays, schools put all that info out for their own backup.

  • John Ayala

    I work in a NYC high school it.s impossible to believe the grade advisors or guidance counselors who monitor the students requirements could allow this to go on for 3 years !

  • Josh

    People really need to chill out a bit. The Principal made a mistake. He should do whatever it takes o help these kids out and then be held accountable when all is said and done. Considering the size of the error, I somehow see the Dept of Ed granting waivers to these kids and they will graduate on time, without some financial hardship. I just don’t see them being held back because of an error on the school’s part.

    • Herbie Original Situation Raskin

      Josh, how about the other grades? The seniors were brought to light because of graduation requirements. But, those same requirements exist for all other students as well, for them to be promoted to the next grades!!!



    • iteachnyc2

      Bloomy only likes the ones he groomed in his “stepford” like Leadership Academy (aka: Principals academy). He hates those that have more knowledge than what he allows his “robots” to learn. This principal will be fried for this….if he doesn’t retire first (and I am sure he will, just before they nail the coffin shut.) That’s the advantage to having the ball in your court and working past the retirement age/years.

  • J

    This is funny. He should be fired like any of us would! No a leader to me!

    • Lil

      didn’t any of the students , during all that time, complain that they never had gym???

      • Melissa

        im one of the students, they only had one year of gym (of 9th grade) this is why the seniors put blame toward the principle.

      • Herbie Original Situation Raskin

        Melissa, please answer Lil’s question… did any students complain they didn’t have gym?

        Also, who does ur laundry at home? Wouldn’t that person realize you had no worn sweat socks or worn gym cloths?

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