Free speech and a community’s right to be informed are the foundations of our society. On Dec. 8, students from Townsend Harris High School in Flushing staged a sit-in after receiving news from teachers that the interim principal had been speaking rudely to the faculty and was unwilling to communicate with the teaching staff and parents. Students and teachers still don’t understand how or why the interim principal came to be hired.
Transparency within the schools is paramount.
According to the City Department of Education, the process of choosing the school’s new principal has not yet begun. A meeting had already been scheduled, but its purpose was unclear and the Department of Education had to cancel.
Townsend Harris High School has a background in the humanities and an excellent student newspaper, and is among the high schools selected by U.S. News and World Report as the best in the country. Students who go to this school value the environment in which they receive their education, and their voices should not be dismissed when a new administrator is chosen to lead their school.
During the few months that the interim principal has been on the job, she has not bonded with the students or faculty of this great school.
The borough president has called for the principal-selection process to be restarted in a more transparent manner. We at the Tribune commend the faculty and the students of Townsend Harris High School for expressing their right to free speech and effectively making their voices heard.
As the process moves forward, the voices of the student body, parents and faculty must be counted.