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Who We Are »
Betsy Combier

Help Us to Continue to Help Others »
Email: betsy.combier@gmail.com

 
The E-Accountability Foundation announces the

'A for Accountability' Award

to those who are willing to whistleblow unjust, misleading, or false actions and claims of the politico-educational complex in order to bring about educational reform in favor of children of all races, intellectual ability and economic status. They ask questions that need to be asked, such as "where is the money?" and "Why does it have to be this way?" and they never give up. These people have withstood adversity and have held those who seem not to believe in honesty, integrity and compassion accountable for their actions. The winners of our "A" work to expose wrong-doing not for themselves, but for others - total strangers - for the "Greater Good"of the community and, by their actions, exemplify courage and self-less passion. They are parent advocates. We salute you.

Winners of the "A":

Johnnie Mae Allen
David Possner
Dee Alpert
Joan Klingsberg
Harris Lirtzman
Hipolito Colon
Jim Calantjis
Larry Fisher
The Giraffe Project and Giraffe Heroes' Program
Jimmy Kilpatrick and George Scott
Zach Kopplin
Matthew LaClair
Wangari Maathai
Erich Martel
Steve Orel, in memoriam, Interversity, and The World of Opportunity
Marla Ruzicka, in Memoriam
Nancy Swan
Bob Witanek
Peyton Wolcott
[ More Details » ]
 
Stuyvesant High School Parents' Association is Cited For Financial Fraud and Discrimination
Lauren Coleman-Lochner and Sumitake Nakazato, Co-Presidents of the Stuyvesant Parents Association, have refused all requests to hand out financial information of the PA, which, as a 501 C 3 non-profit, should be open to scrutiny. Ms. Coleman-Lochner and Ms. Nakazato also dont like the chinese parents who ask questions, so on January 26, 2006, they had two security guards throw parent Mary Lok out of the school building while she was sitting at a chinese outreach meeting. Ms. Coleman-Lochner works for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and was involved in the financial improprieties of Booker T. Washington MS 54. Is the secrecy surrounding the $400,000+ raised by the Stuy PA connected to the silence of Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel Klein, and their refusal to do anything?
          
Financial Fraud at Stuyvesant High School:
The Parent Association Refuses to Reveal the
Whereabouts of $300,000+

BROOKLYN FREE PRESS EXCLUSIVE
by Betsy Combier

Brooklyn, May 30, 2006 – Every day as the sun rises, more than 3000 teenagers put their heavy backpacks on and start their trek to one of the premier high schools of New York City, Stuyvesant High School on Chambers Street.

The very clean and spacious 10-story building was seen by the world on September 11, 2001, when the school, just two blocks away from the World Trade Centers, became the headquarters for firemen and police who were trying to find survivors and take care of relatives of the known dead.

In October of each school year, approximately 25,000 8th and 9th graders line up outside to take the Specialized Science High School Test. Those who score highest and place Stuyvesant as the first choice, get in. The number accepted for the Fall 2006-2007 school year is approximately 900.

Needless to say, with those 3300 children come 6000+parents. Almost half of the students who get into Stuyvesant are Chinese, and then Caucasian, Russian, Japanese, Korean, and other. Every May the Phonathon raises more than $300,000 for the Parents’ Association, which is used for the students’ activities at Stuyvesant.

At least, that is what parents thought.

On January 26, 2006, at a Chinese Outreach Subcommittee meeting at the school, the Chinese parents were shocked to see a woman grab the microphone and scream that Mary Lok, a parent in the audience, must be thrown out of the room and building by two security guards. This woman was none other than Joann Makris, Director of Parent Engagement for the New york City Department of Education, who was asked by Lauren Coleman-Lochner and Sumiko Nakazato to remove Mary Lok from the meeting for asking too many questions about school policies. Mary was subsequently thrown out of the building, and a few days later her position on the PA Executive Board was eliminated, and her vote taken away. Parents who witnessed this improper action started talking about the parents who have gained total control over the Stuyvesant PA Executive Board, newsletter, and finances.

Some parents asked to see the financial records of the Parents’ Association, a 501(C)3 not-for-profit corporation, and the receipts for the fund-raising that gives the PA the immense amount of money up to $600,000. The Stuyvesant PA Co-Presidents and the Treasurer have refused to give any records, and have ordered all members of the Executive Board to be silent on the matter of receipts as well as filing of the 990s for the tax exempt entity.

Betsy Combier, a parent at the school who is helping the Chinese parents obtain an apology for the ejection from the school and who has asked for fiscal accountability, was threatened by the NYC Department of Education Official Gwen Hopkins while at Stuyvesant on May 23, 2006. She was told that “if [she] does not keep quiet, (her) child at Stuyvesant will not be safe”.

A Grievance was sent on May 1, 2006 and again on May 30 to Chancellor Joel Klein and Mayor Michael Bloomberg who, since 2002, have been in charge of the New York City public school system. The Regional Superintendent Peter Heaney and all other NYC DOE officials have remained silent about the hidden financial documents.

Ms. Combier adds: “Is Stuyvesant High School a cash cow for the city behind parents’ backs?”

The Grievance:

ELECTION and FINANCIAL FRAUD,
DISCRIMINATION,
And
VIOLATIONS OF THE A-660 REGULATIONS
At
STUYVESANT HIGH SCHOOL
May 23, 2006


Concerned Parents’ Coalition
Grievance
c/o betsy@parentadvocates.org
May 29, 2006
Mayor Michael Bloomberg
City Hall

Chancellor Joel Klein
NYC Board of Education

Special Investigations

We are parents at Stuyvesant High School and are filing this grievance against the people listed below (“Respondents”) for fiscal fraud at Stuyvesant High School, election fraud of the Executive Board of the Stuyvesant Parents’ Association in partnership with the NYC Board/Department of Education and the Office of Parent Engagement, retaliation and harassment of parents:

Stuyvesant Parents Association Executive Board Members
Lauren Coleman-Lochner
Sumiko Nakazato
Simeon Baum
Susan Huizinga
Yong Dong
Alka Desai
Martin Davis
Ellen Bilofsky
Sam Siddique
Ed Griffith
Paola De Kock

NYC Board of Education
Peter Heaney
Joann Makris (2nd grievance)
Alexis Penzel (2nd grievance)
Gwen Hopkins (2nd grievance)
Brigitte Aponte
Jemina Bernard

This grievance is to be added to the previous grievance against the above-named individuals, filed May 1, 2006, and never responded to by Region 9 Superintendent Peter Heaney. Please see the attached documents.

Violations of the Chancellor’s Regulations by the Respondents:

p. 1, Summary of Changes: “A parent association…allows and encourages meaningful participation of its members”
p. 16, h. Grievance – Any parent may bring a grievance as provided in Section IV.B (p. 44), and i. Enforcement – PAs and PA members must be allowed to exercise their rights freely and without fear of penalty or reprisal. They have the right to be treated fairly by association and school officials and to file a grievance for enforcement of their rights.

We, a coalition of concerned parents at Stuyvesant High School and members of the Stuyvesant Parents’ Association, grieve the following actions by Respondents as improper and illegal:

The above-named members of the Executive Board of Stuyvesant High School Parents Association have violated their mandate to represent all the parents whose children are currently attending Stuyvesant High School. On January 26, 2006, Lauren Coleman-Lochner and Sumiko Nakazato (“PA Co-Presidents”) threw Mary Lok out of the school building without cause, and gave her no opportunity to speak on her own behalf. A few days later Mary’s email address was removed from the Stuyvesant listserv, her position as Chinese Outreach Subcommittee Co-Chair was taken away, as well as her vote on the Executive Board. Mary is not listed in the Family Directory, despite having two of her children currently attending Stuyvesant. A copy of a letter written to Mr. Heaney and Ms. Joann Makris, the DOE official who ordered the security guards to remove Mary at the request of the Co-Presidents describes the confusion that all the Chinese parents now feel:

Region 9 of Department of Education

Re: Clarification on alleged formation of a separate Stuyvesant Parents Association

Dear Sir\Madam,

I was very disheartened to see all the turmoil that was caused by the unverified article concerning the proposed creation of a local Stuyvesant Parents’ Association Branch in a published journal.

I was one of the parents that attended the Stuyvesant parents gathering on January 7th, 2006 in Brooklyn and wish to provide some clarification.

All of the attending parents have children that are currently attending Stuyvesant High School. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss how we, as parents, could assist our children in succeeding in such a challenging environment. During the course of the meeting, some of the parents of children that are currently of senior status were asked to share their experience with the parents of children of freshman status. This was an informal gathering of parents concerned with helping their children succeed. At no point throughout the meeting was there any mention to formalize or create a separate Stuyvesant Parents’ Association.

We were subsequently notified that this meeting was categorized as illegal by Parents’ Association due to the belief that there was an attempt to create a local branch of the Parents Association.

On February 9th, 2006, I received an email with a PA bulletin link from Parents’ Association web site. On the bulletin, it was stated that a Chinese Parents’ Association held a meeting on January 26, 2006 and in that meeting, it was announced that a separate Stuyvesant Parents Association would be created. Again, I was in attendance at this meeting and at no time did I hear any mention of a creation of a local branch of the parents association. Please let us know if it is possible to determine how or where this information came from.

As one of the concerned parents attending this meeting I can say with all honesty that the purpose of the meeting was not to create this alleged local branch and that the idea was never even mentioned. Stuyvesant is a treasure, which I, including all the attending concerned parents appreciate. As such, I, along with the other parents would like to receive a response from the Parents’ Association concerning this. Many of the parents were deeply offended by the notion that an illegal action was performed when all that was done was to meet to try to give our children the best chance to succeed in Stuyvesant and in life. I respectfully request that the Region 9 of Department of Education take action and provide clarification as soon as possible. I do not see how it would be illegal for parents to meet on an informal\unstructured basis to discuss their children’s future.

Sincerely yours

Hogan Chen


Mary Lok and other concerned parents attended a meeting with Joann Makris at the Region 9 office soon after January 26, 2006, to obtain a formal apology. No apology was ever given to Mary or to any parent upset by Lauren and Sumiko’s ouster of Mary Lok from Stuyvesant. On April 6, 2006, Sumi and Lauren ordered a Chinese friend of Mary Lok out of the building, and had a security guard ready to throw her out, but the individual refused to leave. Sumi Nakazato refused to allow a Chinese Stuyvesant parent the right to speak at the Chinese Outreach meeting on April 6 (and she sent her email to Lori Pandolfo, the former PA Co-President who is no longer a parent at Stuy, and who tried to throw Mary’s friend out, as an alert, in case this parent tried to speak):

From: Sumiko Takeda
To: @hotmail.com
CC: Lori Pandolfo, Scott Kuoming Lin, Theresa Law ,
Subject: Chinese outreach
Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2006
Dear Nancy,

Regarding you request to speak at the Chinese outreach meeting tonight about the Brooklyn meeting, please understand that Chinese Outreach is not "procedural" or "decision-making" as it operates as a sub-committee of the PA to present programs of interest to the Chinese sub-group of members. All governance issues should be brought up at general membership meetings.
Thank you.
Sumi and Lauren

On February 27, 2006, at a meeting to discuss Mary Lok held at Stuyvesant, two members of the Executive Board, Simeon Baum and Ed Griffith, told parent Betsy Combier five times that she must leave. Ms. Combier refused, as she is a parent with a child at the school. Mary left at the start. At this meeting, Simeon Baum, Sumiko Nakazato, Ellen Bilofsky, and other respondents demanded that Mary be removed from any position on the Executive Board for “illegal” actions and for not following directions of the Stuyvesant Co-Presidents, which was, according to parents, that Mary was not to speak with Principal Stanley Teitel about the changes in the Guidance Office. The members of the Board attacked Mary Lok’s character, and Ms. Combier protested, asking that they stop. The respondents refused. It was decided that new Bylaws would close the school to the public and press, so that the newspapers that had written articles about Mary would no longer get any access. Ms Combier protested the closing of the school to the public, saying that this was a violation of Education Law (#414), but she was ridiculed for this suggestion. The next evening, Corporation Counsel lawyer Jane Gordon, who closed PS 6’s SLT to any and all visitors, joined with DOE Parent Engagement official Gwen Hopkins to say that there is no such law as “open meetings law”, and meetings inside a public school can be closed. Therefore the Bylaws violate the Chancellor’s Regulations and Education law, and the current Co-Presidents should be removed. Soon after, the Executive Board re-wrote the Bylaws in order to have the Co-Presidents appoint ALL Committee Chairs, and members, and close the PA meetings to the public and the press. Stuyvesant parent and Corporation Counsel lawyer Jane Gordan is a proponent of secrecy. We had the opportunity to work with her when our children were at PS 6, and she wrote the Bylaws for the SLT. Corporation Counsel Jane Gordan, in her own words:

-----Original Message-----
From: Betsy
Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2006 3:12 PM
To: jgordon@law.nyc.gov; pheaney@nycboe.net; ghopkin@nycboe.net; apenzel@nycboe.net
Cc: 'Betsy'; pheaney@nycboe.net; ghopkin@nycboe.net; apenzel@nycboe.net
Subject: Stuyvesant HS and "open Meetings"
The E-Accountability Foundation
Parentadvocates.org

Betsy Combier, Editor
betsy@parentadvocates.org
April 26, 2006
Jane Gordon, Corporation Counsel
(212) 788-1043

Dear Jane,

It was nice to you again at Stuyvesant High School last night at the general PA meeting and vote on the new Bylaws for Stuyvesant's PA. We had Alexis Penzel and Gwen Hopkins at the meeting as well, which is always interesting, especially since you all believe that Stuyvesant may close the PA to the general public.

You did not tell everyone last night when you announced that there was no "Open meetings Law" that applied to Stuyvesant PA meetings that you are an Attorney with the Corporation Counsel, and your client is the NYC DOE. Some people, including me, believe that this is a conflict of interest, and believe you should have announced this fact when you spoke. You announced to everyone that you know of no "Open Meetings" Law that applies to Stuyvesant PA meetings. Perhaps you should read Education Law §414, available online:

§ 414. Use of schoolhouse and grounds. 1. Schoolhouses and the grounds connected therewith and all property belonging to the district shall be in the custody and under the control and supervision of the trustees or board of education of the district. The trustees or board of education may adopt reasonable regulations for the use of such schoolhouses, grounds or other property, all portions thereof, when not in use for school purposes or when the school is in use for school purposes if in the opinion of the trustees or board of education use will not be disruptive of normal school operations, for such other public purposes as are herein provided; except, however, in the city of New York each community school board shall be authorized to prohibit any use of schoolhouses and school grounds within its district which would otherwise be permitted under the provisions of this section. Such regulations shall provide for the safety and security of the pupils and shall not conflict with the provisions of this chapter and shall conform to the purposes and intent of this section and shall be subject to review on appeal to the commissioner of education as provided by law.
The trustees or board of education of each district may, subject to regulations adopted as above provided, permit the use of the sohoolhouse and rooms therein, and the grounds and other property of the district, when not in use for school purposes or when the school is in use for school purposes if in the opinion of the trustees or board of education use will not be disruptive of normal school operations, for any of the following purposes:

(a) For the purpose of instruction in any branch of education, learning or the arts.
(b) For public library purposes, subject to the provisions of this chapter, or as stations of public libraries.
(c) For holding social, civic and recreational meetings and entertainments, and other uses pertaining to the welfare of the community; but such meetings, entertainment and uses shall be non-exclusive and shall be open to the general public.

and the decision of Robert Freeman, on his website for the Committee on Open Government":PTA meetings in a public school "must be open to the public".

Your presence at the meeting last night reminds me of the SLT Bylaws you wrote for PS 6, where, in clause 6.2, you wrote that SLTs are not under "open meetings laws" and are not open to the public. Please click into the PS 6 SLT Bylaws in the article below:

Carmen Farina: Politics Wins With Her Appointment as Deputy Chancellor in New York City

I am still asking questions about the "missing" Annenberg Grant money of $225,000 that Carmen Farina never would account for while you and I were at PS 6. I would like to have a response to my question, "where did this money go?"

You told me today that you would appreciate any correspondence to be by email, therefore please respond to me at my email address, betsy@parentadvocates.org. I have asked Mr. Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President, to look into this matter, as well as Mr. Richard Condon. People from both offices may give you a call.

Thank you for your consideration of my request for information about the money that is donated to the PA, and that Carmen had been given by the Annenberg Foundation. We really need to know what happened there at PS 6, and I think that this is very relevant to my requests to find the records of the Stuyvesant PA as well. and to helping all of us give transparency, sunshine, and accountability to our schools.
Sincerely,
Betsy Combier

From: Gordon, Jane (jgordon@law.nyc.gov)
Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2006 3:50 PM
To: 'Betsy'; pheaney@nycboe.net; ghopkin@nycboe.net; apenzel@nycboe.net
Subject: RE: Stuyvesant HS and "open Meetings"

Betsy:

I attended last night's meeting as a parent who has a child at the school, not in my official capacity as a lawyer for the Law Department. I am sure you can appreciate the difference. I can (and do) wear both hats, you know, and not always at the same time.

Your recollection is wrong, because I did not express my views on whether PA meetings should or should not be open to the public. I simply asked you to support your proposed bylaws amendment about the open meetings law with a legal citation. You were unable to do that. Fortunately, Gwen Hopkins was present and able to share the official DOE position which, as you may recall, rejects your view of the law's applicability.

As for your claims about Mrs.. Farina and supposed "missing money," I have no idea what you are talking about. As I recall, any discussion the PTA Executive Board had about Annenberg Grants while I was a member were memorialized in the Board's minutes, and I suggest you consult them or other Board members of that era who may be better able to help you.

I asked you to contact me in writing so there can be no misunderstandings between us. I have tried to answer your questions to the best of my ability. Please respect my wishes that I do not wish to be bothered by you any further.
Thank you.
Jane Gordon

Dear Jane,

Strange, but my recollection of our conversations at the school are not similar, and I do recall you ridiculing the idea that I presented of “open meetings” for Parent Associations.

I am pursuing gathering information about the $225,000 grant that Carmen Farina received from the Annenberg Foundation, and I am also pursuing the Stuyvesant PA financial records, and as you now are involved with both issues, perhaps you may be contacted as a source by the authorities I am asking to look into this.

I will end by saying that I find your continued insistence that I am “bothering you” by simply asking questions, interesting. Perhaps you do know the answers.
Betsy

See the flyer handed out to all Stuyvesant parents by Dave Newman, husband of Executive Board member Ellen Bilofsky. Furthermore, Respondents deliberately removed Betsy Combier’s family from the Family Directory as well as Mary's name and other chinese parents not in favor of the current PA. Ms. Lok and Ms. Combier were removed from the Stuyvesant PA listserv as well.

In the May PA Bulletin, the only candidate whose name was not translated into Chinese was: Mary Lok:

From: Candyhopper@aol.com
Date: May 16, 2006 7:19 AM
Subject: Response to Mary's Query
To: RYRC@aol.com
Cc: mlokny@gmail.com, ebb11@optonline.net, sumikot@earthlink.net, llochner@bloomberg.net, llochner@rcn.com

Dear Robert,

The DOE has determined that the nominations remain open until May 22nd.
Mary's name came in after the deadline date for the PA Bulletin. Due to the rush to get the Bulletin out on time, we might have inadvertently omitted to translate her name. We apologize for the mistake,
Chandra

On May 23, 2006, the respondents attacked Mary Lok and Betsy Combier for their grievance presented May 1 asking for the financial records of the PA, and for asking questions about the Guidance office changes, a clear violation of the Chancellor’s Regulations on p.1 and p.16.
Lauren Coleman-Lochner: “I’m going to get you for this”
Marty Davis: “SHUT UP you B—ch, just SHUT UP, you and your gang just get out of here”

Lauren Coleman-Lochner and Sumiko Nakazato:
From: Sumiko Takeda
Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2006 3:42 PM
To: Solarmedia@aol.com
we, as Co-Presidents of the Stuyvesant PA, feel there is no need for further responses to Betsy's e-mails; to engage in any debate seems fruitless and even counterproductive.

On May 24, the day after the election, SLT member and Executive Board member and a lawyer employed by the City of New York Michelle Parker sent an email to Ms. Combier in retaliation for her grievance:

From: Michele Parker
Sent: Wednesday, May 24, 2006 7:05 AM
To: 'Betsy'
Subject: Take me off your email list
Take me off your email list. Do NOT write to me.

Michele Parker


A few days before the May 23 meeting, Robert Chung, Stuy PA nominating committee chair, sent out the plan for the elections, and no mention was made of the planned attack of Betsy Combier by Gary Shaffer, Corporation Counsel Attorney who prosecuted the lawsuit filed by Ms. Combier in 2001 against the Review Committee set up by the District 3 Superintendent Patricia Romandetto and her assistant, DJ Sheppard.
Before Mary Lok and Betsy Combier were allowed to speak at the May 23 PA meeting for 60 seconds about what they would do as Co-Presidents, Mr. Shaffer was allowed to take the stage for more than 5 minutes in order to scream that Betsy Combier was a liar and attacked parents.

Mr. Shaffer’s appearance as a member of the City Law Department to corrupt an election has re-opened the Booker T. Washington MS 54 segregation and theft of special needs money. Lauren Coleman-Lochner and Simeon Baum are part of the Delta group at MS 54 that would not help the non-Delta children. New parent Larry Wood is also now on the Stuyvesant Executive Board. He was PTA President while the discrimination of minority children was going on at Booker T. (and still continues).

Respondents from the Executive Board and the DOE planned this attack, according to our sources, to make sure that the Combier-Lok Co-Presidency would lose. We were also informed that Ms. Combier would not be allowed to speak. For this reason, Ms. Combier made a visit to the office of Jemina Bernard on the morning of May 23, to ask her to discuss with her the grievance against Gwen Hopkins, and discuss Ms. Combier’s request to not send Ms. Hopkins to the election that evening due to unfairness at the April 25 PA meeting as well as due to Ms. Hopkins’ involvement in MS 54’s Review Committee. Ms. Bernard’s Assistant Natasha spoke with Ms. Combier for more than 30 minutes. Ms Jemina Bernard refused to speak with Ms. Combier, and sent Ms. Hopkins to Stuyvesant for the election, corrupting the process.

Respondents have maliciously attacked parents Mary Lok – on January 26, 2006 – and Betsy Combier – on May 23, 2006, and in so doing have violated the rights of both parents to be free from retaliation or harassment at their child’s school. The individuals responsible for this harassment, named above, have created an atmosphere of distrust and animosity among parents at the school, and should not have been re-elected or be allowed to run for office by the NYC DOE. The Grievance filed on May 1, 2006, with Peter Heaney, Gwen Hopkins, Jemina Bernard, the Panel for Educational Policy (Vivian Farmery), and Tim Johnson (CPAC and Region 9 President’s Council) was never answered, and all the issues presented are still open and unresolved, including the missing financial records.

Respondents practice censorship by never placing any news outside of what “they” want in the newsletters and on the listserv. The PA Executive Board do not give parents the opportunity to publish the newsletter, but pay thousands of dollars every year to a publishing house who publishes the PA Bulletin just as Respondents want.

On Monday, May 22, 2006, Lauren and Sumi, the PA Co-Presidents, sent out an email on the Stuy listserv to all the parents in the school, announcing that all the financial records were in order and could be viewed on the website:

Dear Parents:

In a continuing effort to expand the information available on the PA website, a new "Finances" tab has been added. By clicking on this tab, you will be able to view the budget for the current academic year and the most recent treasurer's report. You will also be able to verify the Stuyvesant PA's non-profit status and view the returns filed with the IRS for the past 3 years (as allowed by IRS regulations).

Thank you, Sumi & Lauren

For further information about this email or the Stuyvesant Parents' Association, please go to our website.


This information is false, as clicking on the tab only gets a visitor to a 990 form that has not been filed, and there are no actual receipts nor checks, all of which have been requested for three months, without success. I spoke with the CPA who prepared the 990 documents and evidently no receipts were ever given to Mr. Bove to provide proof of any of the numbers on last year’s taxes that were signed by our treasurer Mr. Dong on May 11, 2006. We do not have, therefore, any of the financial records that we have requested, a clear violation of the Chancellor’s Regulations with Lauren and Sumi’s support and assistance.

But Betsy Combier and Mary Lok have no access whatsoever to the Stuyvesant PA listserv that Lauren and Sumi use for their “campaign emails”. Therefore, they can be accused of election fraud, and we are accusing the Co-Presidents of this, as they did not give their opponents an equal chance to respond to their information.

Summary of Changes (latest Chancellor's Regulations, A-660)

p.1 PAs with Bylaws that do not conform to CR A-660 may not conduct fundraising activities;
The new amendments to the Stuyvesant Bylaws were not voted in fairly, as there were ballots on the floor from parents who were prevented from voting, and Gwen Hopkins, DOE official, assisted the Executive Board in violating Education Law #414. No receipts or records are presently held in the school, but are stored in the home of Treasurer Yong Dong; the Principal has never seen any financial records, he told me, despite the complaint made in February, March, April and May; sources on the Executive Board cite countless withdrawals of money from the PA account that the general PA never hears about. Other violations of the CR A-660: permitting the President to take $1000 in petty cash, and no receipts are at the school; allowing the President to appoint special committees, subcommittees, and members of subcommittees (sections 2.2 , 2.3) so that only “favorite” parents can be involved at Stuyvesant.
p. 2 The PA’s tax exempt status may only be used for the PA’s benefit;
p. 3 Pas are prohibited from writing checks payable to cash and petty cash;
p. 3 the use of withdrawal slips by the PA is prohibited;
p.3 Principals shall have access to the PA’s financial records upon receipt of a complaint from any source;

Betsy Combier made a formal request for the Stuyvesant Parents Association financial records in February, and made five subsequent requests, all unsuccessful. PA Treasurer Yong Dong told her that he was ordered by the PA Co-Presidents not to give her any records. The IRS has no record of the 990s for the Stuyvesant PA.

Paola DeKock, a parent who has become the messenger for Lauren and Sumi, the Co-Presidents, sent an email to Ms. Combier that announced:

After a diligent search, I have determined the following: the ruling establishing the "Parents (sic) Association of Stuyvesant High School" was issued in 1963 and the documents you are requesting no longer exist and in all likelihood did not exist as of July 15, 1987 (if you actually read IRS Publication 557, you will understand the significance of that date)

Thus, I will not see any IRS records because there are none or, there are, but not the ones I want!

The following is an email response to Joann Makris, who wanted to know the names of the people I was working with:

From: Betsy
Sent: Saturday, May 20, 2006 1:34 AM
To: 'Makris Joann'; jklein@nycboe.net; mbest2@nycboe.net; apenzel@nycboe.net

Subject: RE: Response to your request
Dear Ms. Makris, May 20, 2006

If you read the grievance that I have filed and if you look at the list of documents I have asked for, you will see that I have asked for financial records filed with the IRS as well as all the receipts from the Stuyvesant PA budget. I have made very specific requests, all of which I have the right to ask for and receive. A summary of the income and expenditures is not what I have requested, and please do not further insult me with your attempts to divert me from my request and complaint.

I am not at liberty to provide to you any information regarding a person’s name who is a source of information for me and my organization. The NYC DOE is well-known for retaliation, and the disappearance of my oldest daughter as well as the harm of my third daughter at Booker T. Washington are two crosses that I must bear. Once again, I feel that we should go over the incident that was created at PS 2 by your insistence that Mr. Lee, the PTA President, must be removed from office. You threw Mr. Lee out at PS 2 in March 2005, sent ACS to his home because, you claimed, he was hitting his children (a few days before Mr. Lee was given an award from ACS as “Father of the Year”), and then you set up a new election in March for the entire Executive Board at PS 2, all because Mr. Lee did not show you the financial records.

Now, you are supporting an Executive Board and two Co-Presidents who have no accounting for the $300,000+ raised by parents, you have personally discriminated against the Chinese community by throwing Mary Lok out of Stuyvesant where she has two children, and you have called me at home on several occasions to tell me I am completely wrong about everything, and that no one has ever been upset with your actions.

I have one important question for you and this is the only question for which I may consider your input valid: when are you removing Lauren Coleman-Lochner and Sumiko Nakazato from the position of Stuyvesant High School Co-Presidents for financial improprieties and harassment of Chinese parents at Stuy?

Thank you for your response as soon as possible.

Betsy Combier
Betsy@parentadvocates.org

The continued stonewalling of the Respondents in giving to me, Betsy Combier, or anyone else the financial records is a violation of the Chancellor’s Regulations a-660 pp. 20-26, that mandates transparency for Parent Associations. There is none at Stuyvesant, and respondents as well as the NYC DOE officials in the Parent Engagement Office seem to want the records to remain hidden. Gwen Hopkins, Joann Makris, Peter Heaney, Stuyvesant Parent Coordinator Harvey Blumm, and Principal Stanley Teitel have been personally threatening to Betsy Combier for asking for the financial records, have made reference to the safety of Ms. Combier’s child at Stuyvesant, and have made no effort at all to acquire or investigate the maintenance of, placement, or data, being withheld by the Stuyvesant HS PA Executive Board Respondents.

Whereas the Respondents listed in this Grievance have maliciously attacked parents who ask questions about the finances of the PA and the IRS records as well as receipts;

Whereas the respondents have shown disdain for the Chancellor’s Regulations as they relate to equality and fairness as well as involvement of all parents at Stuyvesant;

Whereas the Respondents have violated parents’ constitutional rights to due process and free speech;

Whereas the Respondents on the Stuyvesant Executive board listed above have violated the mandate given to them as officers of Stuyvesant representing all parents;

We request that the Respondents be removed from office and forbidden from running again, and that the election that took place on May 23, 2006, at Stuyvesant High School for the PA Executive Board be declared a fraud, and a new election scheduled with only candidates who are not Respondents in this grievance.

Thank you,

Concerned Parents’ Coalition
betsy@parentadvocates.org

 
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