The Stop the Madrassa Coalition held a press conference yesterday to call for the closing of the failing Arabic school in Brooklyn. Frankly I am not surprised the school is failing to deliver a quality education to our students. Bottom line? Teach reading, writing, math and history. Keep religion and "culture" out of the public school system. Pretty simple.
"CHAOTIC” ARABIC PUBLIC SCHOOL MUST BE CLOSED NOW
Laws Possibly Violated as Special Needs Pupils Neglected; Chancellor Klein, Dept of Ed Get An "F" for Accountability
PRESS CONFERENCETHURSDAY, JAN 31st, 11am, CITY HALL STEPS
The Stop the Madrassa Community Coalition will hold a press conference this morning at 11am at City Hall to call on city and state education officials to close down and began an immediate and thorough investigation into the Khalil Gibran International Academy (KGIA).This week, new allegations of incompetence, confusion and neglect -- from insiders -- were leveled at the Brooklyn-based Arabic school, which has been under fire since its inception, and which now has its third principal in six months.In recent weeks, teachers, staff, and students have complained of a “chaotic” learning environment, including inability to provide properly, as is mandated by law, for special needs students who are enrolled at the school.Stop the Madrassa filed an Article 78 Proceeding in the Supreme Court of the State of New York against Mayor Bloomberg’s Department of Education following an insufficient response to requests under the Freedom of Information Law for complete information concerning textbooks, lesson plans and design documents being used at the Khalil Gibran International Academy. Perhaps if Chancellor Klein and the Department of Education had responded fully and in a timely fashion to Stop the Madrassa's FOIL request before the school opened, the public might have known just how disorganized, unstable and chaotic this school would be.
Here's what happened from Pamela;
Our press conference was definately hijacked. That's a first for me.
At the beginning of the press conference, I introduced Jeffrey who then passed the microphone to Irene and then to Stuart. After their statements, I encouraged the press to ask questions of them.
Stuart Kaufman, Irene Alter, and Jeff of the Stop the Madrassa Coalition.
I was talking film and pictures, so I did not see the hijack happen, I simply became aware the press was splitting up and the only people they seemed to be interviewing were KGIA people.That's when I headed over to Feinberg and Bklyn 12. He became very agitated.After that...no matter where I was he kept yelling at me, putting his hand up in front of my camera and then, when I followed him accosting Jeffrey, he actually turned and tried to chase me away.He was feeling his oats, I guess, because he was shamelessly aggressive.
Once they started snapping at us and being so confrontational all I could hope to do was use that as an opportunity to counter their lies and slander right as it was happening. I kept filming but trying to catch reporters. I spoke in particular to Heather Abraham from Bklyn 12 and Elizabeth Green...oh...and Yoav Gonen from the Post . Guess we can't count on the press to see and report on what is actually happening.
Talking to Brooklyn 12 reporter is "rabbi" Feingold who accosted Pamela, has accosted Joe Kaufman at the Islamists day parade (video here), and threatened me at the Anti CAIR rally. He is an Islamist operative. The woman standing beside "rabbi" F isThe woman in this first photo said her name is Donna (don't know her last name) We've gotten three different names for this woman. She must say whatever she feels like.
She has been very confrontational member so the coaliton before. One of these was at Columbia recently.
She and Feinberg were there...an adalah. palestine event (of course),. She introduced herself to someone and said she was from Center for Homeless Families. She seemed to be an organizer for the event.
Belligerent "rabbi's" hand attacking our cameras.
The focus was on the Muslim women particularly from Elizabeth Green of the NY Sun and Yoav Gonen from the Post.
One reporter talking to Stuart Kaufman of the Stop the Madrassa coalition. Elizabeth Green of The NY Sun glued to the Muslims.
WATCH THE VIDEOS!
Here is part of Green's account in the NY Sun. Why doesn't Green do some investigative journalist and look into the academic failings of the school?
Yesterday, opponents of Khalil Gibran said the school is "in chaos" and that it is at risk of becoming a mouthpiece for violent radical Islamic ideology. They said they are going to court to force the Department of Education to turn over documents proving the school's curriculum is safe and reasonable, as the city has been arguing.
The press conference turned into a commotion of shouting matches when supporters of the school, who came with cameras and a press release of their own, began firing back and accusing the school's opponents of bigotry.
"Did we invite you here?" a leader of the group opposing the school, Stuart Kaufman, asked supporters.
Moments later, a co-founder of the Center for Immigrant Families, Donna Nevel, a supporter of the school, ran after a member of the Stop the Madrassa Coalition, Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, as he left the press conference.
"As a Jew to another Jew, you should be ashamed of yourself," Ms. Nevel said to Mr. Wiesenfeld, a trustee of the City University of New York.
Mr. Wiesenfeld had said that Khalil Gibran represents a disturbing national trend of Arab-Americans failing to assimilate into American culture.
"It's no different from cab drivers in Minnesota who refuse to pick up passengers bearing liquor. It's no different from the special provision of Islamic footbaths in universities," he said.
Supporters of Khalil Gibran acknowledged that the school is struggling, but they said they are pleased it exists for the sake of Arab immigrants and other students who want to learn about Arabic culture.
And this from the NY Post (you'd never think it was their heads we were trying to spare, eh?)
ARAB SCHOOL FIGHTIN' WORDS
By YOAV GONEN
February 1, 2008 -- Angry opponents of an Arab-themed public school in Brooklyn got into a shouting match yesterday with supporters. Stop the Madrassa Coalition held a City Hall press conference calling for Khalil Gibran school to be shut down. A school supporter called the protesters "anti-Arab and anti-Muslim." A coalition member told two women wearing head scarves they were "in the Stone Age."
UPDATE: Remarks of Stuart Kaufman
Stop the Madrassa
KGIA has become a parody of itself.
It started out as a political statement: multi-culturalism run amok, and it is now a full-fledged travesty.
Stop the Madrassa had filed a Freedom of Information request, and we are now in Court in order to enforce that request. The Court has expressed deep frustration with the Department of Education - that we are still at this 7 months after the original request. At the last hearing, the DOE actually affirmed that all documents had been provided, but our counsel was able to show from the documents that were actually produced that this was false. The Court said that it would enter an order demanding that DOE produce ALL the documents by Feb 14. If the DOE fails to meet a deadline for the 6th time, we will move the court for an order of contempt.
I can just picture the bureaucrats at the DOE, who are right now sitting in their cubicles, with their heads in their hands, wondering what to do about this problem that they created.
We will tell them what to do. Right now.
The Students put their faith in KGIA and it failed them.
Their parents put their faith in KGIA and it failed them.
Their teachers put their faith in KGIA and it failed them.
It’s time to stop the chain of failure and free these students to get a good New York City public school education in a functional educational environment.
Enough already. Shut down KGIA and be done with it!