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Parents Plan To Protest Over Reinstatement Of Teacher Accused Of Harassing First Graders

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A public school teacher in Queens has been reinstated after being removed last year for allegedly physically and verbally abusing his first grade students.

Richard Parlini was removed from his position last December, fined $2,500 and ordered to attend a private six-hour training course due to the allegations against him, 1010 WINS reported.

“We just ask that he doesn’t work with children any more. And that’s it,” parent Tom Renna told CBS 2’s John Slattery. “He put his hands around the girl’s neck, allegedly, and choked her. That was the allegation.”

Now, Parlini is back and parents at P.S. 101 in Forest Hills are not happy about it.

Renna is leading the charge to oust the longtime teacher, citing troubling behavior of alleged verbal abuse and corporal punishment. Renna also claims Parlini has humiliated children in front of his class several times.

Maria Kaufer told Slattery it happened to her child in a science class two years ago.

“I want him first removed from our school. I don’t believe he should be working around children,” she said.

City education officials say claims that Parlini grabbed a student by the neck were not substantiated, but parents aren’t convinced and some plan to protest the decision on Thursday, 1010 WINS reported.

Despite what city education officials say, New York City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz told 1010 WINS there are at least 40 people who believe the allegations against Parlini are true and she plans to work with parents with the hope of finding a resolution.

“I mean I had 20 parents that were sitting in my office yesterday that make this claim and there are 20 other people out there who make the same claim,” she said. “I’ve been in touch with the DOE and they’ve been working with me and the mayor’s office and I just want to see a resolution to this problem.”

Koslowitz said 6-year-olds should not be harassed by their teachers and that she believes Parlini does not belong in a classroom right now.

“Kids that are first experiencing school, going to school. It’s something that should not happen to a child,” she said. “He should be removed from the school and get whatever help he needs, and then come back and see if he’s fit to be a teacher.”

The Department of Education said Parlini had been previously disciplined for claims of verbal abuse and corporal punishment, but would not provide specifics, the Daily News reported.

Efforts to reach Parlini for comment, both through him and his union, regarding the allegations were not successful, CBS 2 reported.

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