Sections

KO Arab principal

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

The free speech rights of the former principal of the city’s first Arabic language and culture academy — who was asked to resign after defending an “Intifada NYC” T-shirt — were not violated, a Manhattan judge ruled on Wednesday.

Debbie Almontaser’s ability to talk about the T-shirt “is not protected” speech because she was speaking as a city employee, not a private citizen, when she spoke to the New York Post in August, federal judge Sidney Stein ruled.

In the interview, Almontaser had said that the word “Intifada” means “shaking off,” and that the T-shirt, produced by a youth group that shares office space with Almontaser’s group, was intended to promote female empowerment.

Days after the interview hit the stands, city officials demanded — and got — Almontaser’s resignation. But Almontaser, the founding principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy, fought back, suing city officials for violating her free speech rights and forcing her to resign. She also claimed that their “extreme and outrageous” actions “recklessly caused severe emotional distress.”

The hearing is just the latest chapter in a saga that began in February, when city officials abruptly announced that the Academy would be housed in an elementary school in Park Slope. Following weeks of parent protests, officials moved the school to a building in Boerum Hill. A Jewish woman who speaks no Arabic is the interim principal, and the school has stayed out of the headlines since opening day.

Updated 4:34 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:


Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: