Teachers at School 18 push to remove principal for allegedly creating unsafe environment

Local News

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — An elementary school principal in Buffalo is under pressure after allegations against her surface from teachers.

Teachers at School 18 are pushing to remove Principal Aakta Patel for allegedly creating an unsafe atmosphere in the school.

The Buffalo Teacher’s Union says Principal Patel continues to ignore misbehaving students and the union claims she repeatedly makes inappropriate comments.

One teacher claimed the principal once said quote “who do you have to sleep with to get a snow day around here?” Another teacher claimed the principal said “families were late because they are on CPT, colored people’s time.”

Buffalo Teacher’s Federation President Phil Rumore, told News 4 that the behavior has been going on for the last two school years. Rumore says teacher’s fear someone will get hurt because student behavior is out of control.

In a survey sent home to teachers the union says most educators do not believe the principal disciplines students appropriately.

“It’s the leader of the building that sets the tone. The stress at the school is becoming unbearable, we have over 25 teachers that were going to apply for a transfer, and that’s a good school,” said Rumore.

A mother of three of the students told News 4 that she believes the teachers are bullying the principal. She says she pulled all of her children out of a charter school to attend School 18.

“This principal, she stepped up and she really did a good job with everything and I think kids could get out of hand, but she deals with them really well. I don’t understand how they can make her look as bad as they made her look,” said Marisol Antonetti, parent.

Buffalo Public Schools sent a written statement to News 4 that reads:

When allegations are made against an individual, a thorough investigation with the purpose of identification and resolution is carried out by the District.  In the case you have referenced, the District put together a team last week to work with the staff at School #18.  The team is comprised of the Associate Superintendent of School Leadership assigned to School #18, along with the Associate Superintendent for Student Support Services, the Assistant Superintendent for Student Support Services, a Buffalo Council of Supervisors & Administrators (BCSA – Administrators Union) representative, and a Principal Coach (a principal currently serving at another school), to work with all parties involved toward resolution.

Superintendent Cash stated at Wednesday’s meeting that the objective is to move forward with all factions working together so that there is no distraction and disruption to our education priorities.”

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