Preschool of America Sadly Emblematic of America

August 31st, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  7 Comments

When I went to pick Sasha up from daycare yesterday, a woman outside the building shoved a flyer in my hand. Tune into WBAI, it instructed, “to hear the real story of what is happening at Preschools of America from the teachers who have been fired for merely expressing their rights.”

The second page went on to explain that teachers at POA, which has dozens of locations throughout the city, had voted on August 2 to form a union. In response (allegedly), five of them were fired. Which (if this is accurate) is illegal. (This story has more details.)

Which is frustrating. As a good little New York City liberal, I’m pro-union (despite the unions’ partial culpability for our current financial mess, a result of their inability/refusal to adapt to changing economic circumstances), not to mention pro-following-the-law, so I feel like I should do something. Fire off an angry e-mail! Text them into submission!

But because I live here, I also have no faith in my power to change anything. It’s like fighting a landlord, and on someone else’s behalf, too: Even if you win, years will have gone by, people moved on, and the next guy in power’s going to do exactly the same thing anyway. Add to that the fact that the fired teachers weren’t at our branch, and so seem almost fictional, like the people you read about in the New York Post.

Plus, there’s paranoia. If I come out publicly on behalf of the fired teachers, will the school’s management deny Sasha a place there? Or, conversely, if I threaten to pull Sasha out if POA doesn’t reinstate the teachers, and POA doesn’t, what do I do? How many bilingual Chinese-English preschools do you know of that operate out of brand-new buildings near the F train?

All of which is just a way of rationalizing my laziness. If someone hands me a petition, I may sign it. I might even work up to an e-mail. But most likely I’ll simply blog about it and save my energy for wrangling the toddler onto and off of the subway.


  1. Reina says:

    September 3rd, 2010at 8:34 pm(#)

    I wanted to thank you for Writing this blog. My name is Reina peralta I was one of the teachers fired from the Lexington preschool of America. I have to be honest when I say, it’s illegal what they are doing…they are trying to say they are not firing teachers cause of there legal rights of wanting a union, instead they are saying is because absences and lateness. Three teachers were fired Friday, August 27. The only truth is that these teachers including myself love the kids. We us teachers give the kids nuture, comfort we teach them fine and gross motors skills. We help them Learn how to crawl and walk, we teach them the ABC’s. We treat the kids like If they were ours. Teachers that were fired and even the teachers that still remain need the parents support. Administration does not support the teachers, they try to intimadate teachers and harrass to a point that teachers are not aloud to talk to the parents about the truth about what’s going on. We only want a union to better our lifes. POA’s pay does not pay our rent, must of the teachers have to babysit on the side. Teachers work for POA is beacuse they love what they do and they love your kids. So now I must say the real fact to parents the truth is 17 teachers were fired in total, more than half of teachers from west end location and 4 teachers from Lexington location. Thank you for listening and reading my comment.

  2. Stephen says:

    September 4th, 2010at 9:08 am(#)

    This is only marginally on-topic, but I am in need of some advise from my fellow dad fraternity brothers. I’m considering a move to Brooklyn and need to research daycare option and costs but haven’t really found any good resoures. Cam I bribe one of you to discuss off-line (either on the phone or on email)?

    Don’t make me move to Long Island

  3. dadwagon says:

    September 4th, 2010at 10:15 am(#)

    @Reina – Thanks for writing in. Good to hear from the people who are going through it. Sounds like maybe you all should think about a lawsuit… it can’t really be legal to fire workers for wanting to organize, right?

    @Stephen – Send us a note through and I’ll see if we can roust one of our brooklyners for something actually helpful.


  4. Stephen says:

    September 4th, 2010at 3:04 pm(#)

    Will do. Obliged.


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