SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: SBSB Calls For the Arrest, Prosecution, and Conviction of KIPP Principal Anokhi Saraiya

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

SBSB Calls For the Arrest, Prosecution, and Conviction of KIPP Principal Anokhi Saraiya

Imagine if you are a mommy and one day you drop off your son at school. As you leave him and head to work, thoughts of his learning, exploring, and creating are going through your head. You smile as you arrive at work with those wonderful thoughts still in your head.

As you walk into your job you dream of how much school means to the future of your son. You want him to have a love for learning and for school, something that can, and should last a lifetime. But then one day things change. For the worse.

Today, the Daily News reported that the KIPP Star Washington Heights Elementary School on W. 177th St two young boys were detained into "tot cells" to cure their behavior. According to the Daily News, these rooms (The size of a small closet) had a single mat, a single light and a window 2x3 feet in the door (seems like something out of a Viet Nam War prison camp). The students were left in there for 15-20 minutes.

Oh, these two boys were FIVE AND SEVEN YEARS OLD!

Teneka Hall, mother of one of the boys said;
“He was crying hysterically...It’s no way to treat a child.”
On December 3rd her son Xavier had to be rushed to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital because he wet himself and his panic attack was so severe, that that EMS was called.

Another boy was detained a dozen times since September for acting out in class.

What did these boys do to deserve such barbaric treatment? They didn't clap in proper cadence?

Now we all know the militaristic tone of KIPP. I have seen it first hand in which students must sit with their backs at a 90 degree angle. That they must respond in a cadence, and where there is any show of individuality it's hit down with a hammer. But this is just too much. Who would suggest such a thing?

Psychologists suggested such a thing. Who are these psychologists and did they actually evaluate the students? If so, were the parents informed of the evaluation, and then, did they give permission? According to KIPP spokespeople, "...they only sent children to the room when their safety became an issue and they discussed using the tactic with the kids’ parents, who approved it.

So if the parents approved it, why then are they annoyed?

Again, as KIPP claims, they only did this because the students when their safety (Whose safety? Students or staff?) was a concern. But again, who are these psychologists? 

But something like this would never need to happen if you had qualified, veteran teachers in the front of these boy's classrooms who had classroom management skills. I guarantee the teachers involved were first year teachers and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

But as KIPP wants mindless students that follow, so too do they want mindless teachers that will acquiesce and never question administration. That is where the principal of this school comes into play.

Anokhi Saraiya is the principal and the enabler of the horror these boys went through. Who might you ask is Anokhi Saraiya? Guess? TFA, Teacher's College Summer Principals Academy (Just like someone else I have written about), exclusive Liberal liberal arts college as well as an overrated education college.  

But it is in this video, in which Anokhi explains she went into teaching, she shows just how condescending she is about education,  educators, and boys and girls of color. It's as if she is regurgitating  the bleeding heart liberal's handbook on urban education. Here, watch and try not to hurl.

Anokhi Saraiya from KIPP Foundation on Vimeo.

"Just to have the chance to interact with them."

"To watch them learn and see their faces light up."

Or the ever favorite, "I get to learn from my students."

"I got fed up by the system and my kids being labeled by their test scores."

The last one baffles me because KIPP and all the charters care about, brag about, and rationalize their existence over are test scores. So color me perplexed and confused.

 Anokhi Saraiya is the leader of this school so she is responsible. She terrorized these students. She injured them. This is child abuse.

According to NYS Penal Law § 260.10;
A person is guilty of endangering the welfare of a child when: 1.  He or she knowingly acts in a manner likely to be injurious to the  physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less than seventeen  years  old  or directs  or  authorizes  such  child to engage in an occupation   involving a substantial risk of danger to his or her life or health; This is a Class A Misdemeanor
The perp walk should await Anokhi Saraiy. Let's hope the 33rd Precinct and the Manhattan District Attorney do what is right.

 One thing does bug me. Why hasn't the Daily News named the teachers involved and the name of the psychologists? If this happened in a real NYC school the teacher would be plastered all over the front page. 


Anonymous said...

This padded room looks like the Padded cells in the asylum back in the Willowbrook Days!! Horrible! If there is a need for children to have a safe place to calm down then there should be a sensory room (room NOT Closet) where a child in distress can be brought with the constant presence of a trained adult. Sensory rooms are designed and constructed by psychologists and can have a very calming effect on a child that is in need of it!

Anonymous said...

I have been an educator for many years and I have never seen anything like this before. This is corporal punishment at its best! When we change how we view ourselves we change how they world interacts with us. Padded rooms are used in day treatment programs for students who are on medication and who are violent.
The school is an elementary school keeping in mind any forms of discipline students experience now can traumatize the educational process. One word liability. The IEP Plan nor the Behavior Plan spells out anything on students being placed in isolation. If principal Anokhi Saraiya thinks this ok I would love to know where she received her school leadership credentials. The educational setting should be nurturing and create an environment for students to be comfortable and successful. What is the difference between this room and solitary confinement for inmates? Keeping in mind 15 minute intervals in many cases can be the entire school day.The students are left unsupervised and are alone. An investigation should be done. The school and the principal need to furnish the time limits and what other strategies have been used to curb unwanted behavior. Are students being hit by faculty? Are students being pushed or shoved by faculty? During the time students are placed in this room are they in escalation mode? What steps did the school take to calm the student down? What steps are taken when the student experiences discomfort?Students are DDP out the building only when they are a threat to faculty, themselves, or other students. They called this in to cover them in case of parents contacting lawyers. Parents have the voice stand up and do what needs to be done. They only have 305 students and the student population is Black and Hispanic. If enough parents complain and parents begin to pull their children out they will loose state funding. If parents sit back and close their eyes eventually a child will either get hurt or worse. What about the student with asthma? Asthma patients have an anxiety attack and in some cases stop breathing.