Background on PTA of MS 447 in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn
Several parents felt that getting into the larger issues, terrorist connections and ideology, destroyed the possibility of keeping KGIA out of MS 447. The NYCDOE tried to place KGIA into another school in Park Slope earlier in the year. Parents of the Park Slope school had the same problem. Some of these parents may agree with the anti-KGIA group but are too uncomfortable to say so publicly. It is a very PC school. They only want to focus on keeping KGIA out of MS 447. Any attempt within the school to condemn the school on ideological grounds will be dismissed quickly as being a distraction to the primary effort of keeping KGIA out of MS 447.
Given the private remarks of some parents it was evident that several parents were very nervous about KGIA being in the building but were afraid to say so openly. One parent I contacted, who is very afraid of the school, did not want to be involved in the effort to fight KGIA at all.
I have the original letter by the PTA to the DOE which lists their demands and concerns.
Garth Harries is the Chief Portfolio Officer for the NYC Department of Education. He is in charge of all new schools scheduled to open. Harries works with a private organization, New Visions, that helps facilitate new schools. Chancellor Joel Klein and UFT President Randi Weingarten are on the Advisory Board.
Funds to support KGIA are coming from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and according to Mayor Bloomberg, as stated by him on the John Gambling WOR radio show Friday, June 29th, George Soros is also providing funds for new schools.
Background on Harries:
Last PTA meeting of the 2006-2007 school year which was held to update parents on KGIA
(This is the letter I wrote to inform our KGIA coalition of what transpired at the June 21st PTA meeting)
About 25 parents showed up. No media.
Garth Harries and Jerry Taylor-Brown, a woman from his office, attended.
The P.T.A. President summarized the agreement between the school and the DOE.
The parent’s concerns were:
1. Would all students have lockers as promised?
2. The promised Dance Studio
3. Overcrowding in cafeteria and, because there are so many students, some are eating late and are hungry.
4.Last year there was a fire in the building. High School students exited first leaving Middle School students waiting in the building. How would they manage in the future with more students?
5. Would the D.O.E. keep promises since they haven’t in the past.
Would they put everything in writing?
6. Concern about sharing Science Labs with KGIA.
7. What will be KGIA start and end time?
A parent that is against the school asked if the D.O.E. would allow her a variance at this late date so she can place her son in another school. The problem is they will probably offer schools she doesn’t want in order to discourage students from leaving.
I waited for a parent to bring up serious concerns.
When this didn’t happen I raised my hand.
What I said was: ( I appeared as a concerned parent and a bit disingenuous)
“I think everyone remembers when Dhabah Almontasser read an e-mail from an Iraqi GI praising her and how wonderful this Arabic School is.” (everyone nodded yes and smiled).
“Well, I read an article that explained how this GI was found to be a fraud. He wasn’t on his base in Colorado as he said. He was in the Bronx . He immediately disconnected his phone. This really surprised me. It scared me actually. After all, why would Dhabah Almontasser do this? What else could they be doing?”
“I decided to do some research and I Googled her. Did you know she recently received an award from the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)and they are an un-indicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Hamas terrorism case?”
Garth Harries became apoplectic. His eyes narrowed and he stared so hard at me I could feel his anger.
I continued, “I also just read about a school in San Diego that tried this same experiment with an Arabic Cultural School and now they have Sharia law. Boys and girls are separated, there is Muslim prayer during classes, and Halal food in the cafeteria.
My concern is also you keep saying that there will be accountability and the school will be monitored, but who in the D.O.E. speaks Arabic and how will you have someone sitting in the classrooms to hear what they are teaching? I don’t see how that’s possible. And also, where are the textbooks? Don’t you all think we should see them? I’d like to get copies of all the textbooks used.
And I would like to thank the P.T.A. for all of their hard work. After all you have had to beg for new equipment and improvements. Did anyone know that after two years KGIA is moving into brand new state-of the-art building while we’re left in here?”
Harries glossed over every point I brought up and never answered a question or concern.
Someone raised their hand (Harries knew she was on his side) and said,
“We definitely need police security because there are people who don’t like Arabs”.
Another question was asked about lockers and Harries ended the meeting.
A gentleman (I don’t know who he was) then asked to make a comment. He said that the whole affair was handled poorly and that he was distressed at Mayor Bloomberg‘s comment in the New York Times early on in the discussions. He didn’t appreciate Bloomberg saying that he did not care what the parents wanted and the school would open. He hoped that in the future the parents would be consulted.
After the meeting I spoke to Harries. I asked him for copies of the textbooks. He said he would give them to the PTA President for me. He accused me of being confrontational. He asked me for my e-mail address which I gave with a fake first name.
Another parent was concerned that the school would lose funding because of an enrollment drop. Harries promised they would not do this.
However, schools are given a certain amount of dollars per student.
It is highly irregular to fund students who don’t exist.
Harries said enrollment for KGIA is at 100 students and they had to stop taking applications. I don’t believe this.
There are so many dangers involved. One crucial issue is the indoctrination.
The other issue is that Dhabah Almontasser and associates will be privy to everything that occurs in the Department of Education, especially concerning School Safety. If they know the procedures they have inside knowledge that can be used to infiltrate the system. This is a huge issue. Thousands of students could be placed at risk.
The third issue is they will be given enormous amounts of dollars to fund their agenda, which is indoctrination not education.
There are illegal immigrant students in the educational system already. I know of an incident in Edward R. Murrow where I.C.E was called in. KGIA will not report an illegal immigrant. They will harbor them. If the paperwork and documents didn’t match KGIA will get these kids proper documentation.
This is a very scary situation. Every local politician I’ve spoken to refuses to go near this. Some of them fawn over Almontasser.