Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza issued an apology to District 26 parents at a Panel for Education Policy (PEP) meeting Wednesday night.
His mea culpa came nearly two weeks after the notorious Jan. 16 meeting and pushback from elected officials and parents. At the Jan. 29 PEP meeting in Manhattan, Carranza promised to personally meet with the M.S. 158 parents in Bayside who had come forward with allegations of sexual assault and physical violence against their children.
“I, in no way, shape or form want to show any disrespect to any parent that wants to be heard and I apologize because as a parent myself, I can only imagine the pain parents are feeling when their children have been hurt,” Carranza said.
He reiterated points he made during a press conference on Tuesday, saying that high ranking school leaders are actively working with M.S. 158 to ensure the environment is “safe and secure.”
“I would be happy to meet with those parents that wanted to express a concern. I will personally meet with them. What we will not do is have a public spectacle. But I will meet with you and I want to assure you that I’m getting almost daily updates about what is happening in that school and if there are any concerns that are yet to be resolved, from the chancellor’s office, we will make sure that they are resolved,” the chancellor said at Wednesday’s meeting.
The apology comes on the heels of comments he made at the mayor’s NYC Community Schools event, where the chancellor called the CEC meeting a “setup” and blamed “outside agitators,” in part, for the meeting’s early end.
Northeast Queens elected officials requested that the chancellor and Department of Education work to reschedule a school safety meeting for District 26 parents but it is unclear whether that will happen in light of Carranza’s recent comments.
A DOE spokesperson said that they were “exploring options” for potential meetings.
The next PEP meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 26, at M.S. 131 in Manhattan. All meetings are live streamed and recorded.