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Chancellor Farina Pledges to Fight UWS School's 'Dangerous' Designation

By Emily Frost | August 24, 2015 3:40pm
 Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina has pledged to fight the state's
Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina has pledged to fight the state's "persistently dangerous" designation of P.S. 191.
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DNAinfo/ Sybile Penhirin

UPPER WEST SIDE — Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña has promised to fight the state's designation of a local school as "persistently dangerous."

P.S. 191 earned the label from the New York State Education Department on July 31, based on two years' worth of incident reports provided by the school. The school's PTA, along with elected officials and Community Education Council 3, vowed to fight the ruling and get P.S. 191 off the list

Fariña recently told P.S. 191's PTA that she will also help appeal the designation.  

"This is an [state Education Department] decision that we are fighting," Fariña wrote in an email to a PTA representative this month after the designation became public.

"Having parents write letters [to the state] will help us with our argument," she continued.  

Fariña is making the state representative on her staff available to the PTA to help it navigate the appeals process, said P.S. 191 PTA Vice President Kim Watkins. 

The chancellor also pledged to visit the school so that she can report directly to the state on the climate there.

"My visit will allow me to say first hand that I don’t agree with the designation," Fariña wrote.

Fariña did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding when she would visit the school, nor when parents would be officially informed of the "persistently dangerous" violation.

The city Department of Education is mandated to inform parents of the designation within 10 days, but nearly a month later, there has not been any official communication with them, Watkins said. 

Local residents, including former teachers and parents whose children are attending the school or did in the past, also weighed in with a range of reactions to the ruling. 

"My daughter went to 191 for 3 yrs & we never felt unsafe there. We love that school. incredibly warm&caring. Shocked by that ranking," tweeted resident Jill Tatara. 

See all 27 NYC schools on the state's 2015-2016 "persistently dangerous" list.

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