Fort Ham students will walkout on Friday to free Ms. Milo

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Students are rallying behind an unhinged art teacher who threatened to turn Fort Hamilton HS into another Columbine — and are planning a school-wide walkout Friday to protest her arrest.

High-schoolers apparently don’t believe Sabrina Milo, who has taught at the Shore Road school for more than a decade, would threaten their lives, and are willing to risk disciplinary action to prove it.

“Ms. Milo jokes around all the time,” said senior Yasmin Salem. “I know she wasn’t serious when she said it.”

Other students wholeheartedly agreed.

“There are so many teachers in this school who say things like this and they don’t get arrested,” added senior Omar Elsayed, who took Milo’s Core Art class last year. “It’s understandable, teaching is stressful. But if it wasn’t for Ms. Milo, I wouldn’t be graduating high school, so I owe her a lot.”

The walkout is expected to take place on April 8 around noon, exactly one week after police arrested Milo for threatening to smuggle a machine gun under a trench coat — a direct reference to the 1999 Columbine High School massacre — and “settle some scores.”

“It will be Columbine all over again,” she told a handful of co-workers inside the school’s teacher’s lounge, according to court records. Witnesses said Milo was sobbing at the time, leading them to believe she was serious.

Police charged Milo with making terrorist threats. She faces five years in prison if convicted.

Defense attorney Andrew Stoll said the charges against Milo were ridiculous.

“No reasonable person who knows Ms. Milo would have believed she meant what she said,” Stoll said, calling the would-be threats “an exaggerated personal venting.”

Many said Milo appeared on edge in the hours leading up to her arrest. Some even believe that the art teacher was being “bullied” by Principal Jo Ann Chester and her administration before she made her outlandish comments.

One teacher, who wouldn’t give his name, said Milo was under a lot of pressure. Chester, he explained, “goes after a lot of people.”

“It’s hard being a teacher at this school,” he said.

Repeated phone calls to Chester for comment were not returned.

If the students follow through with their walkout, Milo won’t be there to see it: she’s been suspended and is banned from classrooms until the charges against her have been cleared, a Department of Education spokesman said.

Still, Milo was greeted with an outpouring of support from both former and current students when she made her $100,000 bail Sunday.

“I’m not sure I would have been accepted to the art colleges I applied to or received the scholarships and grants that I did without her help and guidance,” said Michelle Farkouh, who graduated Fort Hamilton in 2009. “I’m truly indebted to her and shocked by what is currently happening.”

It didn’t take long for a Facebook page honoring Milo to surface.

“This is insane,” wrote Milo fan Emel Kaya. “It probably was an April Fool’s joke gone too far. I doubt she meant any harm.”

Milo had never been arrested before Friday, but the Department of Education did reassign her last year after a student claimed the art teacher had swatted her hand with a ruler.

Discussing that exchange this week, Milo’s students claimed that it was also blown out of proportion.

— with Thomas Tracy

Updated 5:23 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Monkey says:
She needs to be punished joke or no joke it's wrong and uncalled for
April 7, 2011, 5:47 pm
Blue Line from Bay Ridge says:
Nice... You take a Photo of a Girl holding a sign about a student walk out... That Girl walks out of school everyday. She's a Chronic Truant. She was most likely cutting classes when that photo was taken...
April 7, 2011, 7:25 pm
yasmin from bklyn says:
ahahh stop feenin blue line yeaaa iwas kicked out for using the bathroom meanwhile ihad a pass how do u sound lemme know who u are talkin tht smack
April 7, 2011, 8:42 pm
brayan says:
i know mis milo she culdent have been sirious i know it looks bad but shes a great person
April 8, 2011, 6:06 am
Paul A. from Bay Ridge/Ft. Hamilton says:
What the HELL does the above garbarge comments have anything to do with the story reported in the media?? Freedom of speech fine! The above drivel insults the Brooklyn Paper & the readers of the paper. Usually this stuff is found on bathroom walls.
April 9, 2011, 12:47 pm
Meme from Bay Ridge says:
The comments have been deleted by the Brooklyn Paper - yet people continue to post under these fake names, posting horrible things.
April 9, 2011, 1:51 pm
sam says:
This is out of hand. Look she knew what she said and i yes she was upset. But there are many other things one can yell other than a gun columbine and settle some scores. Its obvious she was lieing on wabc tv. The shifty eyes ans body language, for one. She is educated and and not stupid. She could not deny it as there were witnesses who heard her say it so she figures the only waY out is to lie and claim she had no idea. Well she was shocked at the fact they her friends in the teacher room were scarred and had to report her. Thats what she was shocked at not the arrest. I know her and i knew her very very well. I knew she was lieing the minute i saw her face in that interview and it seems most who saw it that i have takked with feel the same. Including strangers. She cannot teach again. She is mentally unstable. She would not have hurt the kids. I give that that. But the adults who agravated her were in trouble with their safty for sure. Time to grow up sabrina. That game is up
April 9, 2011, 6:11 pm
Joe from Bay Ridge says:
If some of the people that posted above are students I would say that this high school should just pull their art class offerings and focus on writing and spelling for four hours a day. Multiplication tables and basic addition/subtraction would probably be beneficial for the rest of the day.
April 16, 2011, 8:55 am

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