Catholic school parents see only turmoil in Flanagan’s wake • Brooklyn Paper

Catholic school parents see only turmoil in Flanagan’s wake

Parents protested in front of the Brooklyn diocese office on Greene Avenue in Fort Greene in support of St. Saviour’s principal James Flanagan, whose contract at the Park Slope school has not been renewed, despite his 25 years of service.
The Brooklyn Paper / Ben Muessig

Parents at a Park Slope Catholic school are praying that they can save a beloved principal whose career is on the line.

Families from St. Saviour Elementary School are protesting Rev. Daniel Murphy’s decision to not renew the contract of Principal James Flanagan — a popular administrator who has been in charge of the well-regarded school for 25 years.

“We’re the ones who support Catholic education, but we’re the ones being rolled over,” said Cathy Hunt, a mother of two, who has helped organize marches in front of the Eighth Avenue school and at the Brooklyn diocese headquarters in Fort Greene. “You don’t just pull out the leadership when a school is so successful.”

Hunt claims that Murphy has left families with little time to find alternative schools if they disagree with his decision.

“We’ve already put our money down and enrolled our kids — now there’s nothing we can do,” added Hunt.

Supporters of the principal claim the administrator and Murphy weren’t singing from the same hymn book on a number of issues, including a proposed tuition hike at the 104-year-old school that Flanagan opposed.

But Murphy claims parents shouldn’t fret about his decision to let Flanagan go.

“It’s a decision that I’ve made that, as we go into the future, we will move forward with different leadership,” said Murphy.

“Some parents have great fears, but I think they are unfounded. I would really want them to be at peace,” said Murphy, who said parents will likely receive more information about Flanagan’s successor by early July. “The school is going to remain strong. There is a change in the principal, but that’s the only change.”

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