Monday, September 01, 2014

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Removal of Queens Principal Over Wage Fraud Justified, Parents Say

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Students at P.S. 106 in Queens returned to their school Monday for the first time since their principal was removed for wage fraud and had parents talking. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.

For some parents and students arriving Monday at P.S. 106 in Far Rockaway, it was a surprise to learn that their principal had been reassigned by the Department of Education.

"When? They just did that now?" asked one parent.

"As far as what I am hearing I'm like, oh wow, that's a shocker," said another parent.

"I didn't know it was going to be this drastic that's why I am really, really shocked," noted a third parent.

A report from the Special Commissioner of Investigation for the city schools recommended firing principal Marcella Sills after a probe found she was constantly late or absent but still paid full salary without time off being deducted.

The report also found that assistant principal Tonya West did not keep her own time and attendance records. She recently resigned and also faces disciplinary action.

As for Sills, some parents had already heard the news.

"If you are not going to do your job for the kids then you shouldn't be a part of it," said one parent.

"She started off very strong but then we just saw less and less of her," said another parent.

The principals' union is reviewing the report and a spokesperson said they would represent Sills if she requests it. So far, the Department of Education has not appointed an acting principal, but said extra staff was at the school as students arrived.

One parent who spoke with NY1 said she was still okay with the education her child was receiving.

"It's still a very good school, my kids are still here because the teachers are excellent, it's not a bad school like everyone is making it out to be, it's a performing school, but there's a lot going on, there's a lot of needs," said the parent.

The findings of the report are also being referred to the office of the Queens District Attorney.

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