The new face of communism? Outspoken principal under city investigation for red activity

Under investigation: Park Slope Collegiate Principal Jill Bloomberg says the Department of Education is investigating her “communist activity” in an attempt to silence her allegations of racist city policies promoting segregation in Brooklyn schools.
Brooklyn Paper
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The Department of Education is investigating a Park Slope principal’s “communist activity” in a brazen attempt to silence her complaints alleging racist city policies that promote segregation in Brooklyn schools, according to a lawsuit brought against the city by Park Slope Collegiate Principal Jill Bloomberg.

Accusations of leftist-leanings may sound out of place in the new millennium, but the city’s McCarthy-era slurs are effective, time-honored tools for destroying reputations and silencing activists, Bloomberg said.

“Anti-racist activists have historically been characterized as communists in an attempt to discredit them, and that’s what we consider to be chilling,” said Bloomberg, who has served as principal at Park Slope Collegiate since 2004. “Without investigating anything specific, just these vague unconstitutional claims, is what leads people to fear about their politics and what they believe in.”

Bloomberg says she’s no pink-o commie, but proudly admits to a long history of antagonizing school officials over perceived discriminatory policies that give students attending predominately white schools advantages over the overwhelmingly black and Latino students at Park Slope Collegiate.

“We’re not denying that we’ve been outspoken,” Bloomberg said. “We’re very much in favor of equity.”

The school leader became an active critic of the city’s education department in 2010, when it announced Millennium High School would join Park Slope Collegiate and other schools at the John Jay Education Campus on Seventh Avenue, which in her mind, was an attempt by the city to reject integrating the children of wealthy Park Slope families with existing schools.

“It felt like here was a fantastic opportunity to create an integrated school and, rather than try to do that, rather than address whatever barriers they think there might be, DOE said we need a separate school for students living in the zip,” Bloomberg said.

Since then, Bloomberg has led parents in chants haranguing department officials, protested security cameras and metal detectors at schools, organized anti-segregation panels, and gathered parents and students for demonstrations following police violence against blacks and Latinos, and, while she has been admonished by school officials, she hasn’t faced disciplinary action as a result of her activism.

But that changed after Bloomberg discovered that the 1,261 students at Millennium had nearly twice as many sports teams as the 1,859 other students attending schools at the John Jay campus, and the fire-brand principal fired off complaints to officials accusing the city of violating the Civil Rights Act.

Within two weeks, she says, investigators were interrogating Bloomberg’s colleagues about her political activities, and, if the timing weren’t enough to make her suspicious that the investigation was linked to her accusations of racism, then the absurdity of the city’s allegations was.

“It’s so vague and ridiculous, what else could it possibly be about?” Bloomberg asked.

A legal memorandum compiled by city lawyers states the Department of Education investigation was launched in response to complaints from an anonymous source, who said Bloomberg’s husband filmed a documentary on behalf of the Len Ragozin Foundation — which is affiliated with the Marxist Progressive Labor Party — that was screened at the school for $20 a seat.

But Bloomberg’s advocacy has nothing to do with the city’s ongoing investigation into her communist dealings, according to Department of Education spokeswoman Toya Holness.

Bloomberg admitted her husband did help fund a documentary regarding racial profiling through the Ragozin Foundation, and that the film was screened at the school, but said her husband’s foundation has no connection to communism and that the film, which was offered for free, was permitted by the Department of Education.

“They’re investigating me for things that are demonstrably false,” Bloomberg said.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 5:59 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Parent says:
She's just making excuses. As a principal she runs a school with weak academics and tons of discipline problems. It's in the middle of a wealthy neighborhood, and yet parents will send their kids much further to avoid going to this school. It's because she cannot run it correctly. If the school functioned and actually provided a safe educational experience, people would send their kids there. It's racism, it's a principal who instead of doing the hard work required to make a school work, would rather make random accusations about some kind of sophisticated, invisible conspiracy against her. She is the leader of the school, it's failure is a result of her inability to meet the demands of her role.
May 11, 2017, 4:13 am
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
So, she's arguing for students to be more like the "communist" antifa in Seattle which attacked homeless people while wearing masks and hoods... Because nothing says proletariat like pepper spraying homeless people in the face when they ask you to clean up all the trash you left in their community.
May 11, 2017, 8:02 am
stan chaz from Greenpoint says:
Hey Brooklyn Paper:
you have some weirdly off-the-wall, irrational commentators floating around!
It's racist to complain about racism?
It's conspiracy thinking when people accuse you of being part of a conspiracy?
Homeless pepper spraying?
Up is down.
Down is up.
Words have no meaning....
Maybe they could write some Alice-in-Wonderland press copy for Trump, Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway?

Don't try to make up excuses.
Just admit the fact that you refuse to accept the fact that New York City schools are segregated.

It's nice to see a school principal with the guts and backbone to fight for her students, ALL her students, no matter what her constitutionally protected political beliefs may or may not be.
Which is none of your damn business anyway.
May 11, 2017, 12:30 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
What's shocking is that there are anti-communists in Park Slope.
May 11, 2017, 2:35 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Up is down, long is short, and short is long... just watch out for that hibachi dealer with the prosthetic lips.
May 11, 2017, 4:03 pm
Jill Bloomberg from Park Slope says:
Me so horny!
May 11, 2017, 8:46 pm
Morris from Mill Basin says:
Everyone of you trash who doesn't like this principal is going to be killed in the most painful way possible. I am going to torture you over days and weeks, taking out your body parts (tongue, eyes, toenails, ears, liver, gentitals) one by one. I will put out my cigars on your face and make you eat the ashes. Nothing you could suffer is too painful because you are worthless bowel movements. And I will force your own urine and feces down your disgusting mouths unless you take back what you said about the principal, you subhuman bags of the lowest form of dirt known to man.
May 11, 2017, 9:24 pm
Morris from Mill Basin says:
Stan Chaz, you are good person with loving kindness toward all, like me.
May 11, 2017, 9:26 pm
HONEY Pooter from Williamsburg says:
Morris - you are really angry, and kind of creepy
May 11, 2017, 10:56 pm
Vlad Putin from The White House says:
Communists? How quaint.
May 12, 2017, 1:21 am
samir kabir from downtown says:
Sounds like "Parent" and maybe "Carlotta Josephs" are in the high-income bracket and send their kids to snotty white schools. More power to Jill Bloomberg! Tell it like it is! Thank you! I don't care if she is a "commie pinko" as Colin Mixson describes her. Shades of Archie Bunker.
May 12, 2017, 4:52 am
Carlotta Joesephs says:
Sounds like "samir kabir" is in the lowest income (and Intelligence?) bracket and sends his kids to religious arab school!
Just making an assumption is meaningless - why does your random guess give any merit to an argument?
For the record, I am black and my children are grown now.
May 12, 2017, 8:49 am
Big Al from Red Hook says:
Just answer this Ms Bloomberg.

Are you now or have you ever been a member of the communist party?
May 12, 2017, 9:39 am
Beanie from Flatbush says:
This school has a racism problem. We all can see why! How can this white pricipal think she is qualified to help minority youth?? She sits at the top, in charge, like the white slave master. All the minorities are below her and she runs a bad school for them. Get rid of this white racist principal.
May 12, 2017, 9:55 am
Simona B. says:
If she wants to attract white people, she needs to sell unicorn frappocinos. Or pumpkin spiced latte.
May 12, 2017, 10:50 am
Gary from Fort Greene says:
The obvious answer is to deport all people named Bloomberg from Brooklyn. Bloombergs have been bad news for NY. Where to send them? They say that Rikers is lovely this time of year. And Governors would be a nice setting for a commune.
May 12, 2017, 1:01 pm
Truth Teller from Canarsie says:
The Daily Worker published until 1986. It’s possible the horse racing column was an inspiration to another famous communist handicapper, Len Ragozin. The inventor of the famous Ragozin Sheets handicapping system was a card-carrying member of the Communist Party well past its pre-Cold War heyday and the days of the blacklist. His aunt Rachel Ragozin was a charter member of the U.S. Communist Party. His father was a horseplayer. Len Ragozin chose to dive deeper into handicapping after realizing his chosen politics wouldn’t help his career prospects as a journalist after he left Harvard. 

May 12, 2017, 7:51 pm
Truth Seeker says:
Friedman and his partner, Len Ragozin – who describes himself as a lifelong Communist while spending his life in that most capitalist of pursuits, making money off the ignorance of other bettors

May 12, 2017, 8:51 pm
KC from Stables says:
That face isn't looking new
May 13, 2017, 2:16 am
Darell from Bk says:
She's just doing this to rebel against her father, Michael Bloomberg. It's sad really. She' playing with real people's lives, just to suit her petty family squables.
May 13, 2017, 5:06 am
Jay76 says:
Me thinks Bloomberg does not know the definition of demonstrably.
May 13, 2017, 11:17 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Wouldn't communism be against segregation rather than for it especially since their claim is being for everybody?
May 13, 2017, 4 pm
Barry says:
This communist just wants to push the Trump cover-up down our throats. She and he love Russia and want them to take us over!
May 14, 2017, 3:10 pm
Jill from Prospect Heights says:
She is a hateful woman, clearly reassigning the anger she feels from some kind Of personal shame. Please lady, don't subject the rest Of us to your unresolved personal issues!
May 15, 2017, 8 am
FromQueens from Long Island City says:
Wanna see segregated schools, go no furather than Manhattan's affluent areas, such as District 2, in which the best public high schools are literally Zoned. Yep, we thought desegregation did away with that, right? It did, but only for the little people, not the financially better off. Last year, 100% of students accepted by Eleonor Roosevelt High School came from Manhattan's affluent District 2. The same happened at the other top District 2 high schools. So, desegregation is only on paper, these schools are supposed to only "give preference" to the affluent local students. 100% qualifies as ZONING to me. I know families that moved to that district just to get their kids into those top high schools.
July 9, 2017, 8:29 am

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