Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Charter school hearing in Manhattan gets ugly over videotape flap

If anything, the forces of the status quo are MORE powerful in areas like the Upper West Side, so they are fighting the new Success Charter School:


Charter school hearing in Manhattan gets ugly over videotape flap


BY Kerry Wills and Joe Kemp



Thursday, October 21st 2010, 4:00 AM


A public hearing to bring a charter school to an upper West Side public school erupted in chaos on Wednesday when the head of a community board tried to boot a woman for videotaping the meeting, officials said.


Larisa Beachy, 24 - an operations coordinator for the Harlem Success Academy - was arrested after she refused to leave Public School 145 on W. 105th St. on the ground that she had the right to openly record the public meeting, officials said.


Beachy was hired by the Success Charter Network, run by former City Councilwoman Eva Moskowitz (D-Manhattan), to document the meeting of about 300 people.


"This was an important public meeting," said Jenny Sedlis, a spokeswoman for the group. "It's a shame the CEC [Community Education Council] obstructed the public's ability to participate."


Beachy was ordered to turn the cameras off when Noah Gotbaum, president of the District 3 Community Education Council, said she had to show her permit to film inside the building. "They refused to stop filming," Gotbaum said.


The demand caused the crowd to grow wild. The police were called, and after Beachy refused to leave the school, she was arrested and given a summons for refusing a lawful order.


Beachy's group said calling the police was nothing short of ridiculous."Apparently, this meeting was for all the public - except for us," said Stefan Friedman, also a charter spokesman.

 Subscribe in a reader