Protest after Bronx teacher told she can't teach black history

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ByJoe Torres via WABC logo
Monday, February 12, 2018
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Joe Torres has more on students and parents rallying against a Bronx principal who told an English teacher she couldn't teach a lesson for Black History Month.

MOTT HAVEN, The Bronx (WABC) -- Parents and students rallied outside MS 224 in the Bronx Monday to support an English teacher who was told by her principal she cannot teach a lesson for Black History Month.

"She says that I am an ELA, and therefore I shouldn't be teaching that," Mercedes Liriano-Clark said. "But it is part of the New York State curriculum. So you are telling New York State that they are wrong for instituting that type of curriculum in our schools?"

The principal, Patricia Catania, allowed other teachers to teach black history in the school this month, but quashed Liriano-Clark's lesson on the Harlem Renaissance.

Students at MS 224, where a majority of students are black and Latino, were equally appalled by the decision. They had read, wrote and developed storyboards about black history.

"I felt very angry by this situation because all of our boards were out there," student Savannah Marie Villagomez said. "We put our hard work into it. She didn't take one minute of her time to look at it."

Liriano-Clark and her supporters said they believe action needs to be taken against the principal.

"That type of mindset should not be in a school," Liriano-Clark said. "She needs to be removed and ultimately fired."

According the Department of Education, an investigation is underway.


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