Teachers Say Hands-Off Attitude at Queens HS Lets Teens Run Wild

Susan Edelman, New York Post, July 17, 2016

For months, teachers at John Adams HS in Queens saw senior Tasz Ingram showing a video on his cellphone, generating whispers and laughter. When a teacher asked him about it, Ingram said it was just a “ringtone” of a girl moaning.

Finally, a 14-year-old freshman and her father called the NYPD. She told cops she had sex with Ingram last November, and that he had posted a video on porn Web sites.

Despite his arrest June 7 on felony charges, including promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child, Ingram, 18, wasn’t disciplined by John Adams. A court order barred him from the school, but he joined the June 29 graduation.

Tasz Ingram

Tasz Ingram

John Adams has become a school where rowdy teens rule: They curse and threaten teachers, refuse to put away their cellphones, roam the halls, and openly deal drugs, whistleblowers told The Post.

Kids get away with it because Principal Daniel Scanlon avoids suspending students to “keep the numbers down,” teachers charged. Scanlon did not return calls.

Daniel Scanon

Daniel Scanon

“The principal has helped to create this environment of ‘no discipline’ by sweeping everything under the rug,” a teacher said. “It’s a completely unsafe environment.”

The leniency stems partly from Mayor de Blasio’s policy to discourage harsh discipline. Suspensions have nose-dived at John Adams from 382 in 2011 to 93 last year.

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“Kids get away with anything,” a recent graduate agreed. “One time a girl was giving a guy oral sex in the stairways. They got caught, but I don’t think any thing happened.”

The school goes easy on teens under a program called Positive Behavior Intervention Services. Instead of suspensions, the school uses other measures such as counseling, calling parents, or asking the kid to write a letter of apology.

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The DOE defended the disciplinary approach, saying, “We are continuing to focus on restorative practices that require students to take ownership of their behavior, understand the harm that it has caused, and repair that harm.”

[Editor’s Note: John Adams High School is 38 percent Hispanic, 31 percent Asian, 24 percent black, 4 percent AmerIndian, and 3 percent white.]

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