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‘Salvation’ for a principal

The Brooklyn Paper
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Parents hope Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio will come to their rescue but, apparently, help isn’t on its way.

Following a candlelight vigil earlier this month, about 20 parents have continued to hold daily demonstrations outside St. Saviour Elementary School on Eighth Avenue in Park Slope to protest the dismissal of the school’s longtime principal. As this paper was going to press, parents were gathering for another rally in front of St. Saviour.

They hope DiMarzio will convince St. Saviour’s pastor, Rev. Daniel Murphy, to keep Principal James Flanagan for another year.

“This principal has been there for 25−plus years and has run the school successful­ly,” said Cathy Lau Hunt, who has two daughters at St. Saviour. “This is not the way you successfully transition leadership from one person to another.”

Rev. Kieran Harrington, spokesperson for the Diocese of Brooklyn, told this paper that DiMarzio has no plans to intervene.

“We’ve heard the protestors but ultimately, the decision rests with the pastor,” Harrington said. “He’s the one who hires and fires.”

Murphy is on vacation and unavailable for comment, according to a St. Saviour’s staffer.

Cindy Brolsma, who has three children at St. Saviour, said, “Mr. Flanagan appealed the decision and technically won his appeal but the way it’s set up is the pastor can veto anything. He really does have final word.”

“What we’ve been hearing is that Father Murphy has been asked to reconsider but he won’t budge,” Brolsma said.

Parents want Murphy to hear their pleas and consider extending Flanagan’s contract.

“What we’re asking for is due process,” Brolsma said.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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