Statement From Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson on Mayor Bloomberg

Chairwoman of the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus

“Mayor Bloomberg claims activist parents were disrespecting him simply because they questioned his continued unilateral control of the public schools. The mayor’s irresponsible commentary fails to truly address the concerns articulated by parents and students.

“It is particularly ironic to hear the mayor’s complaints of disrespect after Cathie Black proposed population control as a means to reduce overcrowding, and reportedly sat through important meetings focused on her blackberry, not the content of the conversations.

“Parents have every right to be outraged with school after school closing, and the lack of a substantive discourse on how best we can serve the displaced students. School closure should only be used as a last result. In every school, even the most challenging of facilities, there are examples of excellence; for our kid’s sake, the Mayor should focus his efforts on build upon these successes and addressing the underlying causes of any problems in the school which often include an ineffective administration, inadequate curriculum, overcrowding, and poor teacher performance.”