New York Principal Steps Down Amid Controversy Over Pro-Life Video
The principal of a Manhattan public school in New York will step down amid a controversy over a pro-life video showed by a teacher earlier this year.
Ju Ling Wei showed her fifth-grade dance class at Shuang Wen School, also known as PS 184, a YouTube video in March of a 2018 “National Fine Arts Merit Winner — Readers Theater” performance, two parents and one student told the New York Daily News.
“We thank Principal [Iris] Chiu for her service,” city Education Department spokeswoman Danielle Filson told the outlet. “We will name an interim acting principal before the start of the school year, and continue to engage the school community as we search for a new permanent leader.”
The almost five-minute clip includes seven adolescents presenting the viewpoint of developing unborn babies whose lives are terminated in abortions.
“Hi Mommy,” the teenagers said in the clip. “I have all my organs. Guess what, mom? My heart started beating today. I’m alive.”
The school experienced backlash from parents after Wei screened the video.
“I was really, really upset and angry and appalled,” Liset Reyes, mother to a 10-year-old girl who saw the clip during class, told the New York Daily News. “I was crying. We don’t even discuss the birds and the bees.”
Ishmael Alvarado, father to an 11-year-old girl, said his daughter asked him what “abortion” meant after viewing the clip. She told him that Wei explained the procedure as “a shot to kill the baby,” according to the report.
Chiu reportedly promised two days after the screening that the school would investigate the issue.
Chiu announced to a parent-teacher forum that she will step down in August, according to two parents.
“I have to go home and take care of my ill and aging parents in Taiwan. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for having this opportunity to work, grow and learn with all of you over the years,” Chiu reportedly wrote to the parents of PS 184 in June.
Both Reyes and Alvarado approved of Chiu’s decision.
“She was just not doing her job. … I’m very, very happy with the outcome,” Reyes told the New York Daily News on Monday.
Wei is still employed at the school, although the New York Daily News reported that she had been “reprimanded.”
PS 184 declined to comment when reached by phone.
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