Good thing we’re living in an age of racial harmony, otherwise people like this might think they can get away with their ugly racism. Amazingly, few people want to work with this obnoxious woman.
Staff at a Coney Island school where the principal barred kids from belting out “God Bless the USA” are singing a new tune: “Take This Job and Shove It.”
In a mass exodus, 25 employees — or 40 percent of the staff, including 11 of 28 classroom teachers, aides, secretaries and custodians — have fled PS 90, the Edna Cohen School, over the year, insiders tallied.
Most found jobs in other schools; some retired. Others are trying to escape a “toxic building,” they said.
Principal Greta Hawkins caused an uproar in June when she axed the rousing Lee Greenwood anthem from the kindergarten moving-up ceremony. First she insisted it “would offend other cultures,” then she claimed it was “too mature.” After a Post report, she also yanked a flirty ditty by Justin Bieber.
That flap was just a glimpse into the turmoil, mistrust and racial tensions under Hawkins’ three-year reign, say those leaving.
“I couldn’t take it anymore,” said a veteran teacher who found a new job in Queens. “Some people were being picked on, and some were waiting to be picked on.”
DOE officials said nine teachers and three other staffers transferred over the summer.
“Most who left were disgruntled staff who were either disciplined or lost grievances for incomplete lesson plans,” a spokeswoman said. Hawkins did not return messages.
But teachers said Hawkins fabricated cases to torment her perceived enemies. On the last day of school, she threatened to slap any teacher with a “U,” or unsatisfactory rating, who didn’t turn in records, keys and other items she demanded at the last minute, staffers said.
“Fear got to me more than anything,” said another veteran who landed a job in Queens. “I taught there for more than 20 years and always thought I would retire from there. It was like family.”
Parents devastated by the stampede want Chancellor Dennis Walcott to investigate.
“I loved those teachers,” said Luz Lozada, whose three daughters graduated from PS 90 and whose two sons still attend.
One departing staffer taught all Lozada’s daughters, helping one get out of special-ed and into a regular class, she said. “These teachers really worked hard. The kids are losing more than anybody,” she said.
Hawkins nudged her unhappy crew to go. In a staff memo last April, Hawkins noted the kickoff of the DOE’s “open market,” where principals list job openings. She urged staffers to consider other options “if you are seeking a better professional match.”
The hostility goes back to a June 2010 staff meeting, where Hawkins reportedly announced: “I’m black. Your previous principal was white and Jewish. More of us are coming.”