When a principal in the Bronx made remarks to female staffers about getting oral sex from a copy machine and other office goods, he got a letter of reprimand and sensitivity training. Then a 15-year-old female student claimed that he made comments that made her uncomfortable too, reports the New York Post. Now the New York City Department of Education and the principal reportedly came to a "mutual decision" that he'll move to another school, where he'll be an assistant principal.
It was John Chase Jr.'s first year as principal at the new Bronxdale High School, when the department of education investigated him, and confirmed in November that he had made lewd comments to female subordinates.
According to the report, in one instance he said a new copy machine was so fancy, "it even has a hole in it where you can stick your d*** and get a b*** j**."
The department found, however, that allegations of sexual harassment were unsubstantiated. Chase was punished with a reprimand and training. Staffers and women's activists were outraged. "You have to have a basic standard," said Sonia Ossorio, the director of the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women, "and there's no reason why this guy should be keeping his job."
In January around 200 concerned community members, teachers, students and local politicians took part in a rally against the principal, who was "allowed to stay on as principal in lieu of the outrage of female staffers and the danger to the inanimate objects of Bronxdale High."
"Never in my 23 years in the school have I encountered something so horrible," said Cathy DeLuca, the secretary of Columbus High School, which shares a campus with Bronxdale. She said every woman in the building feels uncomfortable around Chase, reports the Bronx Times.
"We're going to make sure he goes for the appropriate training but at the same time we have an investment to make as far as leadership is concerned," New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said in January.
Now a freshman at the school has leveled a new complaint against the principal, the Post found. Chase allegedly told the girl that she was "special" and that he was "watching" her, and told her to report to him instead of her guidance counselor. The student was uncomfortable, and reported the issue to another school employee. The department of education is now investigating Chase again.
Walcott claims that Chase's reassignment to another school has nothing to do with the allegations of misconduct. "Just because an accusation is made doesn't mean a person is guilty," he told the Post. Administrators were simply concerned about upcoming state tests, he said, and they thought a new principal would be a stronger choice at that time.
It hasn't been announced what school Chase will transfer to, or how much a dent the demotion will have on his $132,633 a year salary.
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