Teachers and parents from 123 mounted their first protest on July 7th after hearing reports that their classrooms were being packed up by HSA movers (non-union, we heard) without warning. Apparently even the school's principal, Beverly Lewis, was not kept in that loop. Angel Gonzalez made a video of the event.
A press release by City Council member Tony Avella for a subsequent demonstration at the school three days later fleshed this out:
On July 2, movers hired by Harlem Success Academy entered PS 123 and began carrying all furniture and computers out of the classrooms and stacking them in the gym, even though a lawsuit by the teachers union and parents had put a stop to the expansion of the charter school. The Department of Education has called the problem “a mistake in communication.”Ednotes reported that:
“It should never be a situation where a charter school comes into a public and literally starts pushing them out, literally starts pushing the kids out from their own local schools. That should never be done. And it's happening here. You don't want it to happen here and I'm here to support the parents.”
Gem began receiving calls on Thursday evening from PS 123 parents and teachers that the DOE had ruled in favor of Eva Moskowitz and the movers and painters were coming Friday morning. They asked us to be there and we were. That all press reports ignored our strong presence is not surprising.At that demonstration, protesters demanded: "Paint the whole school!" and Manhattan Borough Prez Scott Stringer was heard assuring people as only politicians can: "We're on the case."
Of course, no one believed him, and of course P.S. 123 never got a coat of new paint. A perfect example of Haves and Have Nots — and how insensitive, no: ruthless the DoE can be when it forces little kids to face disparities in the same building.
In another post describing a third demonstration at the school (on July 20th), we reported on the clarity of the speakers' message.
Quality education should be for all children, not just some of them.
Parent activist Bill Hargraves (left) said: "If the charters go under the umbrella of the DoE, everything should be equal. We have to thank the mayor, because the mayor has woken up the sleeping giant in this city. We will not be rebuffed. We will do this continuously."
Teachers and parents are making good on his word. They're mounting a fourth protest at the school next week and inviting anyone who can make it to come and support the P.S. 123 community.
Stop the Charter School INVASION of our Public Schools!
Eva "Evil" Moskowitz and her charter school must go!
Support the children, parents, staff, administrators
and community of P.S. 123!
Join our Protest!
6:30 am, In the Morning!
Wednesday, September 9th, 2009
Corner of West 141st Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard
For more information, please call Mr. William Hargraves
at (718) 812-1102.