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Principal Orders Teachers To Dump Desks Because They Are Not Allowed To Sit Down

As the daughter of a teacher, this story is absolutely awful. My mother’s desk in her classroom was beautiful; it commanded respect, it let her entire class know she was the boss because she had the “big” desk. She kept broken jewelry in the drawers for safe keeping until the end of the day for one of her kindergarteners, or a pair of glasses for another student during reading time. She had countless highlighters, pens, sharpies, stickers, paper clips, tacks, glue sticks, post-its, band-aids, Kleenex, hand sanitizer all things needed to maintain a functional classroom. Without her desk, my mother would have had been disorganized and dysfunctional.

But that’s exactly what one Bronx principal has wrought on the teachers of her school after she ordered all of her staff to remove their desks and filing cabinets because she doesn’t “want them sitting” during class, an insider told the NY Post. A spokesperson for the Department of Education says the desk dump is “to facilitate better instruction.”

Donna Connelly, principal of PS 24, the Spuyten Duyvil School in Riverdale, ordered the teachers to clear out their desks and push them into the hallway, along with their filing cabinets, during class time, as students watched, and custodians hauled them off and threw them into a pile outside the school. And while she did it because she doesn’t want her teachers sitting during class, she did not order the teacher’s chairs to be thrown out.

“It’s the 21st century — you don’t need desks.”

Sources told the NY Post Connelly reportedly said, “It’s the 21st century — you don’t need desks.” When teachers asked Connelly where to store their papers and desk items, Connelly reportedly told them to “figure it out.”

Sources also said Connelly told teachers to grade their papers in the cafeteria, where traditionally teachers sat at their desks in order to grade student work.

The teachers penalized at the K-5 school perform well above the city’s average, meaning this harsh punishment was imposed on them not because they’re performing poorly, but because they’re performing well. A strange reward for jobs well done.

Now all the teachers’ desk contents reportedly sit in boxes and piles on top of radiators.

As word spread the school Superintendent ordered the desks be taken back into the school out of public view, but not returned to the teachers. They are now stacked in the basement, according to sources.

People outraged over the news lashed out on social media.

One teacher in the Bronx said:

“Thirty years in the system and I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Another person posted:

“How the f–k does someone with so little good sense become a principal? What kind of policy allows this to happen?”

Like I said, I’m the daughter of a teacher and this is  outrageous. Teachers sit at their desks after school and grade papers. They keep students’ items locked away in them for safe keeping, as well as their own personal items and school supplies. Since most student homework is in paper form, storing their papers away for filing in filing cabinets in order to chart progress and keep a record of student work is imperative. My mother also used to keep ideas for projects and teaching materials stored away in her filing cabinets to be used for years to come.  What the hell was this power-hungry principal thinking?

Wrecking your staff’s morale and making their job more difficult and disorganized cannot possibly lead to great performance and that in turn affects the students negatively.

Featured image via NY Post via Facebook collaboration

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Jenna lives in the bowels of the disgustingly hot state of Arizona among Tea Partiers, gun nuts, and racists. She is an activist, writer and politics junkie who is optimistic that stupid, can indeed, be fixed.

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