Qns. school feels anger of Haitians

Dozens of angry parents demonstrated yesterday outside a Queens elementary school where an assistant principal allegedly forced Haitian-American kids to eat on the floor "like animals."

"This should not happen to any kid," said Gerald Etienene, 45, whose fourth-grade daughter, Vanessa, was one of the students who said they were humiliated at Public School 34. "I could not believe it."

Carrying signs reading "We Demand Respect," parents called for the firing of Assistant Principal Nancy Miller, who allegedly ordered the bizarre punishment after some kids misbehaved last month.

Ronald Fils joined the protest as he picked up his two children, ages 8 and 9, from the school in Queens Village.

"I feel mad," Fils said. "These kids should not be treated that way."

Schools investigators have been interviewing the children involved and others who may have seen the alleged incident.

Neither Miller nor Principal Pauline Shakespeare have been disciplined so far. Neither could be reached for comment.

"Obviously, we are taking the allegations very seriously," said Jean Desravines, a top aide to Schools Chancellor Joel Klein who was at the school yesterday.

"It's something that's disturbing, if true," added Desravines, who is of Haitian descent.

Originally published on April 13, 2005