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Caterina Lafergola, principal

Mar 9, 2017 by

This story is around a week old, so its newsworthiness has eroded, even though its focus is a high school principal whose damage to her students’ psyches may remain indefinitely fresh.

Her name is Caterina Lafergola, who as the former the leader in charge, grossly mismanaged and degraded Automotive High School in Brooklyn. Now she reportedly serves in the same capacity at Baldwin High School on Long Island, despite her legacy of mistakes for which a teacher would have been fired.

She violated the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The breach was perhaps not accidental and certainly not minor.

Ms. Lafergola posted the names of suspended students and their offenses on a hard-copy newsletter that was not secured against haphazard distribution. Inevitably it fell into unauthorized hands. As irate parents pointed out to the defensive principal, the private information could have been seen by anyone.  That’s an understatement. Inevitably it had to have been. Potentially to be sued for Internet bullying, for instance.

The teflon principal brushed off her critics by claiming that the sensitive information was meant for faculty eyes only. That does not exculpate her.  Oh well, what’s a little collateral damage anyway, she apparently feels. She couldn’t be bothered to confront her accusers. She just referred them to district bureaucrats whose stock-in-trade is legalistic brush-offs.

If there were a Hall of Shame for school principals, Lafergola would be admitted to it without dissent. Inquire on the Internet and you will find details of massive evidence of her disastrous regime.

It makes sense that she moved out, but not that she moved up to be principal in Baldwin.

Talk about accountability!

It’s appropriate to keep the staff apprised of student suspensions, though hardcore proponents of students’ rights might object. But it is easy and imperative to provide the faculty with a “heads up” without compromising students’ privacy rights and exposing them to exploitation and blackmail.All it requires is that every school employee with a “need to know” be furnished with an official Department of Education e-mail address. That’s already the case in NYC.

Her poor judgement has been rich with absolution.

Not counting pension, a panoply of benefits and an array of perks official and perhaps clandestine, this principal’s pay is around $180,000 and counting.

Talk about comeuppance!

Ron Isaac

 

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