A New York teacher’s aide has been suspended without pay for yawning loudly, she claims.
Principal Marie Desforges allegedly suspended Edsheda Brown for five days for ‘professional misconduct’ at the PS 328 school in Brooklyn.
‘You yawned loud enough for me to hear you while I was walking down the hallway,’ Desforges said in a disciplinary letter to Brown cited by the New York Post.
In the letter Desforges also claimed Brown was insubordinate because when she told her the yawn was ‘inappropriate’, the aide replied: ‘What, that is how I yawn’.
According to teachers present, Brown asked the principal if she was being reprimanded over yawning.
‘It’s a bodily function,’ Brown allegedly told Desforges.
Brown has two children and a yearly salary of $24,688.
The Post reports that the yawn in question happened during a staff meeting that took place after the kids had gone home.
Principal Marie Desforges allegedly suspended Edsheda Brown for five days for ‘professional misconduct’ at the PS 328 school in Brooklyn
Desforges took the opportunity of Brown’s suspension to also berate her over another incident in which she was allegedly ‘hanging out in a teacher’s classroom, conversing and eating lunch’ and thus ‘interrupted the instructional time of students.’
But according to a teacher who was in the room, the kindergartners were in nap time when Brown joined other teachers who had huddled over their lunches.
The principal is no stranger to controversy and has been the subject of multiple complaints since taking over the school in September.
Desforges allegedly called 911 on veteran teacher Kindra Holloway to have her removed from the school. A spokesman for the Department of Education later said the teacher ‘was sent home for misconduct and did not have permission to be in the building.’
She’s also written more than 30 disciplinary letters since she became principal of the school that is under mayor Bill de Blasio’s Renewal Program, which gives extra funding and resources to struggling schools.
According to the Post, a teacher wrote an email to de Blasio complaining about ‘total chaos’ at the school, writing: ‘We have put in years of blood, sweat and tears to pull our students up to where they are at this point. Please help us!’
In another email sent to Superintendent Thomas McBryde Jr. said, someone wrote: ‘The new administration is/has not been prepared to lead a school such as ours. There is a lack of mental agility and fortitude.’
Desforge’s profile on the Don’t Tread on Education website, a forum for educators, is filled with negative comments.
One person wrote: ‘Marie Desforges needs more training. She is a rude person who believes it’s her way or no way.’
Another added: ‘I am not happy with the way this principal is running the school. She is very rude and not very informative with parents. She is not very warm to the kids and causing the school to revert back to horrible ways.’