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Queens Chronicle

Petition calls for principal’s removal

Rushell White allegedly failed to follow protocol during health crisis

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Posted: Thursday, October 27, 2016 10:30 am

Rushell White, principal of JHS 226 in South Ozone Park, is no stranger to controversy but her latest troubles have sparked calls for her removal.

An online petition with a little more than 100 signatures calls for White to be fired after she allegedly failed to follow proper protocol as one of her teachers suffered a massive heart attack.

“Ms. White’s negligence nearly killed this man and for that, she needs to be removed as Principal of 226,” the petition reads.

A secretary at the school, located at 121-10 Rockaway Blvd., said White did not wish to provide a comment for this story.

According to a source close to the school, teacher James Randall suffered a heart attack while on the job.

The source alleges the principal, despite knowing of the Randall’s condition, did not call for a Code Blue or alert an employee trained in CPR for 10 minutes, during which time the teacher went without oxygen.

The source said Randall is at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in critical condition.

The petition alleges that the teacher and White were “at odds about the direction the school was taking,” but did not specify what the two were clashing over.

Those who have signed onto the petition blasted White for not helping Randall.

“Forget about merely being fired ... this person should be brought up on criminal charges,” a signee named Brian Roberts wrote.

“As a former staff member at MS 226 I am horrified that this has happened to someone I respected and worked with for 17 years,” Susan Sgambati wrote. “There is No Excuse for not calling a Code Blue. To say that the atmosphere in that building is frightening is an understatement. Prayers for James Randall.”

The Department of Education and the United Federation of Teachers did not respond to requests for comment on the petition at press time.

White has been under fire many times before, including earlier this year for having students paint her as a Hindu goddess.

The mural was removed after Hindu activists ordered Mayor de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña to apologize for the insensitive painting.

The mural was also the subject of controversy as it seemed to depict Assistant Principal David Possner as the “bad boy in the corner.”

Possner has been at odds with the school’s administration, having revealed many of the alleged problems within the building including cheating on state tests, led by White, and cover-ups.

White gave Possner an unsatisfactory rating for the 2014-15 school year, shortly after he began to reveal the alleged problems at the school.

Possner sued the DOE to have the rating vacated and a court sided with him on Sept. 1, saying it lacked “rational basis” and that proper procedure was not followed in giving it to the assistant principal.

White is also accused of covering up verbal and physical abuse committed by her administrators.

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