Principal must go, Haitian parents say
Frank Lombardi
NY Daily News
Originally published on April 30, 2005

Now it's time to can the principal.

That's the word from outraged parents of Haitian children who were forced to sit on the floor and eat with their hands at Public School 34 in Queens.

Assistant Principal Nancy Miller already is facing dismissal after investigators found she called the fourth-grade bilingual class "animals" and made them eat a lunch of chicken and rice with their hands as punishment for misbehavior.

But parents and Haitian community activists said the principal, Pauline Shakespeare, also needs to go.

"We cannot accept a principal in our school who is disrespectful of students, parents and the community," Sony Isac, the father of two children involved in the incident, said yesterday.

A spokesman for the Department of Education said it plans no action against Shakespeare, who investigators found was never told all the details of the March 16 incident. But Isac insisted yesterday that Shakespeare failed to properly report the abuse and "participated in a coverup."

Councilman Leroy Comrie, a Queens Democrat, said the principal has "an opportunity for redemption" by apologizing and taking remedial action when school resumes Monday after its week-long break.

"If she can't do it, she's got to go," he said.