Assistant principal demoted after making 911 call for student: suit
A Brooklyn assistant principal claims in a new lawsuit that superiors demoted her after she insisted on calling 911 for a mentally disturbed student because they wanted to maintain low emergency response statistics.
Queens resident Donna Pisarczyk was working at Brooklyn West School in Sunset Park in February when a safety agent told her that a student arrived to class in a "mentally distressed state," dirty and disheveled, wearing only one shoe and no coat, according to her Manhattan civil suit.
She alerted her principal, Joseph Rand, that he should call 911. But Rand had a policy that he had to approve all emergency calls, even though DOE regulations say all school employees should alert authorities of emergencies first and then inform their bosses, the suit says.
"Our firm has heard, from multiple sources, that some Department of Education staff are under heavy pressure to avoid calling 911 so as to improve the emergency response statistics of their locations," said her attorney Vincent White.
After the unnamed student was found later in the day in the basement hiding in the fetal position someone finally called 911 and he was admitted to Kings County Hospital where he stayed for several weeks, according to court papers.
In June, Pisarczyk was transferred to another school and demoted to a teacher position. Her $104,000 salary was reduced to $74,000.
The stated reason for her demotion was six absences for the year plus a pattern of tardiness.
She’s suing claiming she was retaliated against for calling out her principal.
A spokesman for the city’s Law Department said, "We will review the allegations in the complaint upon receipt" of the suit.