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NYC high school principal investigated after teacher claims sexual harassment

After a Lower East Side superior college principal was accused of sexually pressing his groin against a teacher’s leg at a staff getaway celebration, a Section of Instruction attorney told witnesses not to examine the situation, records exhibit.

John Colin, a particular-ed instructor at the Lessen Manhattan Arts Academy, filed a sexual intercourse-discrimination grievance with the state Division of Human Rights towards his manager, Principal Derek Premo.

Premo approached Colin and two woman lecturers at Pianos, a Decreased East Facet tavern wherever the Dec. 19., 2019, accumulating took position. 

Premo pressed his groin against Colin’s leg, beneath the bar-height desk — and kept it there throughout the overall 20-minute dialogue, the complaint states.

“It was extremely awkward simply because I could really feel his penis on my leg, and he was leaning his confront very near to mine. . . Pretty uncomfortable, ” Colin stated.

“Then he began telling me about how he and his husband preferred to have events,” Colin wrote, including that Premo emphasised the word “parties” and was “looking directly into my eyes when he claimed it.”

Principal Derek Premo is accused of pressing his groin towards John Colin’s leg.

Colin named the two fellow instructors as witnesses, saying he reviewed the incident with them the subsequent working day.

He place off filing a grievance in the course of the pandemic, when he labored remotely, but did so this calendar year after uneasy inner thoughts resurfaced in the course of a sexual intercourse-harassment seminar.

Weeks afterwards, DOE attorney Sari Goldmeer Rella wrote to both equally witnesses, stating she desired guidance “to put together a defense” to Colin’s grievance, and questioned them to contact her.

She advised them not to go over the issue with Colin, including: “If you are contacted by anyone from the (State Division of  Human Rights) do not explore the circumstance and refer that individual to me.”

That raised the eyebrows of Brooklyn University and CUNY Grad Faculty training professor David Bloomfield.

“It seems they’re inappropriately making use of their supervisory authority over the witnesses to suppress evidence in the condition investigation,” he mentioned. “They just can’t hold an worker from talking to an investigating authority. They are apparently working with their leverage about the instructors to guard themselves.”

DOE spokeswoman Katie O’Hanlon would not say regardless of whether Rella is defending the DOE, Premo, or equally.

Real estate of the Lower Manhattan Arts Academy at 350 Grand St. in Manhattan.
A Division of Instruction law firm advised witnesses not to explore the circumstance.
Helayne Seidman for NY Publish

“Harassment of any sort is not tolerated at the DOE, and we are completely investigating this disturbing allegation, even though thoroughly cooperating with the state’s investigation,” she explained.

Colin, 56, retired this summertime, expressing in his criticism that he feared retaliation by Premo and Superintendent Vivian Orlen.

Premo could not be reached for remark.

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