NEW YORK (CBS 2) — One of the top public schools in Manhattan is under investigation and its long-time principal has been removed. But a group of parents say the investigation is hurting the students and destroying the school. So they’re now suing the Department of Education.
The halls of PS 184, known as Shuang Wen School on the Lower East Side, are filled with more than 600 children who are taught in English and Chinese.
While the school earned an “A “from the DOE and was named a Blue Ribbon School, some parents say their children are being cheated due to an ongoing investigation and the removal of principal Ling Ling Chou, who has headed the school since it opened in 1998.
The DOE started investigating the school 3 years ago over it’s financial and enrollment practices. It removed principal Chou over the summer. Parents say the cloud of controversy is ruining their school.
The DOE has frozen more than $400,000 raised by the parent association as it investigates several allegations, including questionable wire transfers to China-based companies and funding for after-school programs.
The parents say investigators are going too far by questioning students without parental consent. Trinh Eng says her son was frightened.
“This is in his words, ‘mom there were 2 FBI agents that came to the school and pulled children out of classes,’” Eng told CBS 2′s Cindy Hsu.
They were not FBI agents, but investigators from the DOE. Now parents have filed a lawsuit against the DOE, claiming the school is being unfairly targeted and the investigation needs to concluded before the students lose out.
“The school is really declining at a rapid pace,” parent Vincent Wong said.
Parents want the DOE to end the investigation so their kids can get back to the lesson of learning. Parents also said they hired a forensic accountant to go over the schools finances and no evidence of impropriety was found.
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