Schools Chancellor Under Fire For Abruptly Leaving Public Meeting


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City’s schools chancellor is under fire for the handling of some disturbing allegations at a middle school in Queens.

The matter may have gotten worse after the chancellor abruptly left a public meeting.

At that meeting Thursday night in Queens, parents from Marie Curie Middle School 158 had a lot of questions for the head of New York City Public Schools — Chancellor Richard Carranza.

Tempers flared and parents yelled, demanding answers about a handful of disturbing incidents at the middle school. Those incidents include a violent lunchroom brawl, a reported case of sexual harassment in a classroom and even an alleged sexual assault in a school bathroom.

Marie Curie Middle School in Queens (Credit: CBS2)

After all of those events, parents say they were not informed by the school that anything had happened.

“I just would like to be a little bit more aware when things like that happen, versus hearing it on Facebook,” parent Andrena McRae said.

Even the parents of the alleged victims may not have been notified.

Fast forward to Thursday night’s meeting where, facing jeers from parents and teachers, Carranza abruptly walked out.

Friday morning, CBS2’s Nick Caloway asked Carranza about the tense meeting and why he left.

“It was unproductive. People were yelling. People weren’t allowing anybody to answer. They weren’t allowing me to answer. And it was grandstanding,” he said.

But parents who spoke to CBS2 were not happy the chancellor left in the middle of a meeting.

“It’s the cause of all the problems. No one’s listening,” grandparent Janet Gonzalez said.

“I don’t like the fact that he walked out without making people feel as if he was trying to address the situation and make it better,” Rep. Grace Meng said.

Meng is one of more than half a dozen elected officials from Queens who signed a letter to the chancellor, demanding answers about the incidents at the school.

Meanwhile, parents say they just want their kids to be safe.

“I’m afraid to bring the kids to school. It’s concerning,” Gonzalez said.

One parent said if the chancellor was standing in front of her, she’d ask him one question: “Why don’t the children here matter?”

CBS2 asked Carranza what specifically was being done to address safety concerns at the school. He declined to comment.

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