Suzane Joseph runs the Satellite Middle School in Brooklyn's DUMBO with an iron fist.
Within the last week, she kicked seven students out of class and stuck them in remedial classes, because the 7th graders decided to circulate a petition to protest an increase in testing. The students and teachers were notified that beginning in a few days, they'd be required to take four additional English and math tests, weekly. This is in addition to already scheduled tests.
Fine. But, what sent this previously disciplined (according to sources) principal over the edge was that teacher told her students were circulating a petition calling for an end to the additional testing. The organizer of this petition was an honors student, a young teenager who has excelled at the school on York Street. After seeing the petition, she essentially demoted the children to inferior classes. That'll teach'm.
At least one parent confronted the principal saying she was standing behind her child and that the petition was an experience in leadership. Didn't matter, off she went to the Gulag because the honors student expressed her disappointment in the testing, which she considered over the top.
But, Ms. Joseph's antics didn't end there. She decided on her own that her students were going to eat healthy and that they'd have to go through a "security check" of sorts to prove they weren't bring what she considered contraband junk food into the school.
According to my sources, scores of students were ordered to open up their backpacks and purses for a food inspection. Dozens of goodies were confiscated, from potato chips to candy bars to soda. The students later said they felt like criminals. Some say their parents packed some of those items.
Even if the kids bought the items on their own, this sort of shake-down is unacceptable. The teachers complain that the additional testing and the student searches for junk food violate labor contracts. I really don't care about that.
There's nothing wrong with tough love, but this is just plain silliness. It's a control freak with an ego that's out of control.