Walkout at Bryant High School
by Chase Collum
Nov 14, 2013 | 2181 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Students of Bryant High School protesting against their principal.
Students of Bryant High School protesting against their principal.
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Several dozen students from William C. Bryant High School in Long Island City walked out of school on Friday, Nov. 8, demanding the removal of Principal Namita Dwarka.

Gus Prentzis, head of the school's Parent Association, was in attendance acting as an observer. He chose not to give a statement, saying he preferred for people to hear about the issues in the school from the students themselves.

While many students were unaware of the reason behind the walkout, which occurred just before 11:30 a.m., several students were shouting and echoing excitedly, “They can't do anything, it's against the law for them to stop us.”

Across the street from the high school, a group of about 25 students was loosely gathered in front of a laundromat.

A DOE representative and two of the school's counselors attempted to speak with the students, but only a few were able to give specific reasons behind the walkout.

“We want a new principal because she's in another country right now,” said junior Felipe Aguilar, referring to Dwarka's trip to China. “She doesn't care about the students, she just cares about the money.”

Another student lamented the treatment of problem students.

“All the bad kids that cut and everything, they stay in one room all day, and they act like they're in prison,” said junior James Calle.

About a dozen students were brought back to the school after being picked up by the NYPD in a transport van, after which the students dispersed, some joining the crowd of protesters, others joining a crowd gathered around the fence surrounding the school's handball court.

A school administrator was ushering protesters out of the school's front lobby and sending them across the street. He said that the school was not going to be able to issue a statement until after they were able to get things organized.

“She doesn't care about our education,” said sophomore Andrew Morrero, who was among the students who walked out.

“She fired a lot of the good teachers, she got teachers that really don't know what they're doing,” he added. “Being that a quarter of the school walked out, that's good to stand up to get her out of the school. She shouldn't be the principal.”

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