NYC principal under fire for email imploring staff to support Palestinians

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A Brooklyn middle school principal this week urged teachers and administrators to demand government sanctions against Israel — sparking outrage and a probe by the school system’s independent investigator, The Post has learned.

In an email sent amid the fighting between Israel and Hamas, Principal Amanda Bueno told staffers at MS 136, “If you have been watching the news in absolute horror, you are not alone.”

“You can take action today by protesting, attending a vigil, making a public commitment to Palestinian Liberation, signing a petition, or calling your government officials to place sanctions on Isreal (sic),” she wrote Wednesday morning.

“The time is now to take a stand for those impacted by state-sanctioned violence and crimes against the humanity of the most vulnerable in our world.”

Bueno — who titled the email, “Day of Action in Solidarity with The Palestinian Uprising & General Strike” — also included a list of links.

One led to the “Teach Palestine” website and another to a May 10 article about Palestinian-American Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) tweeting against the Israeli raid on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem that sparked Hamas rocket attacks. A cease fire is now in effect.

An MS 136 teacher, who is Jewish, told The Post, “I opened the email and I was in shock. I felt very targeted and very attacked by her words.”

“These resources she provided, it’s propaganda,” the teacher added. “There was nothing in the email about Hamas rockets targeting innocent Israeli civilians.”

Lawyer Inna Vernikov — a former staffer for then-Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn), an outspoken supporter of Israel — also sent a letter to the state DOE calling for Bueno to be reprimanded.

“New York law forbids requesting or encouraging any public servant, city employee, or subordinate public servant/employee to engage in political activities,” she wrote.

Vernikov, the Republican candidate running to succeed crooked ex-City Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D-Brooklyn) said she knew MS 136 teachers with “close family members who live in Israel.”

But she said the educators “are intimidated and afraid to speak out to counter such messages in fear of losing their jobs.”

(NYC Department of Education)


Outside the school in Sunset Park, several parents criticized Bueno’s email when told about it.

“Wrong, wrong, wrong,” said one man who was there to pick up his son.

“Stay in the middle. You are saying, ‘Support this group and not the other.’ That’s wrong.”

A man who gave his name as Edward and said his son was a sixth-grader, said, “I don’t take sides. As a principal, I don’t think she should.”

A man who was picking up his daughter also said, “She should remain neutral because in New York, you have so many different groups of people.”

A spokesman for the Department of Education said, “The matter is being addressed internally and was referred to [the special commissioner of investigation] for further investigation.”

Bueno didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment, and she couldn’t be reached at two phone numbers listed in her name.

Her union, the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, didn’t immediately return requests for comment.

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