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Townsend Harris HS journalists call out NYC DOE for ‘broken’ policies on sexual predators

Ryan Eng, Julia Maciejak, and Jasmine Palma are seniors at Townsend Harris HS in Queens and editors-in-chief of The Classic, a student-run newspaper that publishes Monday to Friday with out censorship. The Classic has lined many controversial points, and has run a sequence of articles on trainer sexual misconduct.

Last spring, we received a cellphone call that rattled us: A Townsend Harris graduate described the ache she nonetheless felt years after commencement as a result of she was “groomed by a predator” — considered one of her academics who showered her with presents, alcohol and intimate textual content messages.

“I had to undergo around six years of therapy to come to terms with it and move on in life. I haven’t yet felt like I’ve fully recovered from that nightmare,” she advised us.

We felt compelled to behave by serving to tell her story.

Over the previous two years, our college newspaper has interviewed six college students who alleged sexual wrongdoing by three Townsend Harris academics. We proposed training for college students on educator sexual misconduct.

But faculty directors, the PTA, and our alumni affiliation provided no plan to handle this horrible sample. The Department of Education gave a generic response that it takes such allegations critically, conducts investigations, and follows up with disciplinary measures and “social-emotional support.” 

Front cover of The Classic newspaper that reads "SING" in hand drawn letters.
The student-ran newspaper The Classic publishes Monday to Friday with out censorship.
Brigitte Stelzer for NY Post

No one mentioned, “There is a problem here, and we will fix it.” The coaching we hoped for by no means occurred. 

That’s as a result of the DOE’s policies for coping with sexual predators are deeply damaged, leaving college students susceptible.

Teachers may be returned to colleges after complaints are investigated and substantiated. And directors are forbidden to speak in regards to the offenders due to authorized restrictions.

The three accused academics are not within the faculty, however nobody advised us why.  This solely led to rumors, and have become an open secret unfold amongst college students.

Now we’ve discovered of a fourth trainer who investigators described as somebody who “threatens the wellbeing” of our college students, however was returned to the college in September. We need to know why, and have began working on our subsequent article.

Workspace for the school newspaper.
The Classic workplace at Townsend Harris HS in Queens.
Courtesy of The Classic

Our newspaper won’t ever let this story go — not till we obtain a solution to the query we’ll ask these in energy: What will you do to make sure our college students are secure?

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