New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, in his last few weeks in office, is attempting to silence parents critical of public education policies, according to two parent leaders.
Proposed Chancellor’s Regulation D-210 would give the Department of Education (DOE) the authority to “discipline and remove” elected parents from Community Education Councils (CEC) — the city’s version of a school board — if they criticize the school district they are charged with holding accountable, write former District 2 CEC president Maud Maron and current District 2 CEC vice president Danyela Souza Egorov in the New York Post.
According to Maron and Egorov, the “whole point of an elected parent council” is to be able to freely oppose DOE policies. The proposal is set to be voted on December 21, a date chosen, write the parent leaders, because it is “not a historically high parent-participation date.”
One section of the newly minted “Code of Conduct” bars council members from engaging in “frequent verbal abuse and unnecessary aggressive speech.” It also gives the chancellor the authority to remove a member if they the chancellor determines their conduct is “contrary to the best interest of the New York City school district.” Removal from the CEC might come if member conduct “creates or would foreseeably create a risk of disruption within the district or school community.”
Maron and Egorov say the new proposal also “establishes yet another administrative position to monitor parents: the equity-compliance officer.” This officer would be “charged with deciding who to target for removal.”
Noting the timing, the two parent leaders say the regulation comes immediately after an election in which, for the first time, parents were able to directly vote for CEC members. According to Maron and Egorov, some seats were “flipped,” electing members critical of DOE policies.
As Breitbart News reported, a Manhattan school decided to racially segregate students to participate in “affinity groups,” a policy apparently being followed across the city and one which Maron and Egorov say parents have “sharply objected to.”
The parent leaders also noted other city school policies that they believe are the reason for flipping CEC member seats to DOE skeptics. “Over the last three years, we parents have vocally opposed the DOE’s misguided school-closure and masking policies,” they wrote. “Parents have clashed with the DOE regarding plans to scrap the SHSAT entrance exam to specialized high schools and eliminate gifted and talented schools and programs.”
“Calling parents ‘domestic terrorists’ did not work to silence parents at school-board meetings,” Maron and Egorov conclude, “and trying to do an end-run around democratically elected parent leaders should not be allowed either.”
Breccan F. Thies is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @BreccanFThies.