Two former Seth Low I.S. 96 educators are embroiled in a conflict at P.S. 193 — and one of them has been stripped of his position.
Teacher Steven Avena was removed his post in a second grade classroom on March 10 amid calls that Principal Tammy Flynn resign, after a parent trying to advocate for his child was arrested outside the Midwood elementary school.
Parent Vinny Nemorin — P.S. 193’s Parents’ Association treasurer — confronted Avena in February, because he says his 7-year-old son had been denied access to the bathroom and was forced to sit in soiled clothing for an entire day. In response, the teacher filed menacing and harassment charges against the irate father, sparking an outcry from the school community. (Parts of the confrontation and the subsequent arrest were both captured on video.)
Some parents say this latest incident is the final straw in ongoing power struggle between the principal and the Parents’ Association over after-school activities, disciplinary measures, bus routes, and budget issues.
For Parents’ Association co-President Jennifer Brown, Avena’s dismissal is not enough. Brown argues Flynn should be held accountable, since she worked with Avena at the Gravesend middle school and hired him despite previous claims of “corporal punishment.”
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This isn’t the first time Avena has been investigated for misconduct. While working at Seth Low Intermediate School in Bensonhurst, he was written up three times for “corporal punishment,” according to the DOE. The last investigation, in 2014, resulted in an $8,000 fine.
Brown called Avena’s history of misconduct “alarming,” but said Principal Flynn is ultimately responsible and should also be removed. She pointed out Flynn worked alongside Avena when she was an assistant principal at Seth Low and would have been aware of his previous misconduct.