Thursday, February 21, 2019
Principal at Forest Hills High School is terrible at his job
Teachers at Forest Hills High School have become increasingly disturbed by incidents in the building, including fights, drug usage and even one instance in which a student threw urine into a classroom.
One teacher described the fourth floor of the building as “The Wild West Show.”
In a poll last Thursday, UFT members voted no confidence in Principal Ben Sherman, who has held the spot since early 2017, by a 195-21 vote.
Adam Bergstein, United Federation of Teachers chapter president of Forest Hills High School, said he heard from many different people in the school.
“The concerns were brought to me from every different constituency in the building and I mean, administration ... teachers were fed up and overwhelmed and disgusted, the aides in the building, students,” he said.
Bergstein added, “Ninety percent of the staff feel as though the principal is incapable of managing Forest Hills High School and, or maintaining the building at the level it’s been at for decades.”
A main issue has been theft, which teachers say has increased since Sherman removed aides from the locker rooms.
Sherman could not comment because he was not cleared to do so by the Department of Education
According to UFT Consultative Council minutes from a Dec. 6 meeting acquired by the Chronicle, a physical education teacher said a locker room attendant is needed, to which Sherman said safety and hallway issues predate him and that the hallways significantly improved. A teacher responded by saying groups of students still congregate all over the building.
“Mr. Sherman answered that some of these problems are not fixable; there are 24 staircases and there will always be students roaming, vaping and smoking,” according to the minutes.
“There’s pot almost every day,” a history teacher said. “And usually it’s the students smoking in the bathrooms or the stairwells. He doesn’t have a policy anymore for getting kids to class and not being late like the previous principal did.”
One teacher said Sherman indicated marijuana is legal in many states and would soon be in New York.