Lost In The Sauce: Bronx Principal Drenched in Scandals

December 6, 2011  |  

Sharron Smalls might as well pack up her pencils and start brainstorming new career options because there’s no way she’s going to bounce back from the scandals she’s currently wrapped up in.

Smalls, 43, who is principal of Jane Addams High School in the South Bronx, was already under investigation for a credit-swap program that has allegedly allowed students to receive a diploma without taking the courses required for graduation. Half of the entire senior class is in danger of not graduating because they don’t have the necessary credits.

And then this happened.

A photo of a shirtless man grinding on the principal while pouring chocolate all over her body surfaced. According to the New York Daily News, the photo was Small’s profile image on Facebook—until ish hit the fan this week—and when students found it, they blasted it online and in e-mail in retaliation.

Students say the photo shows the principal, who enforced strict dress codes and often told them “the thug look is out,” is a hypocrite. Education Department spokeswoman Margie Feinberg, isn’t too sympathetic either. “When you are in a leadership position in a school, you have to consider the potential downside of exposing your personal life on social media.”

Chocolate city situation aside, Smalls, who has been principal of the school since 2007, earning $140,000 a year, has enough marks against her regarding students’ performance. In 2011, Jane Addams earned an F in every category of its city-issued progress report, and only 45% of the senior class graduated on time. It really shouldn’t have taken all of this for the city’s education officials to get a clue.

Stephen Tavano, 58, who has taught math at Jane Addams for 19 years, says it’s time to get things back in order. “These photos are just another example of our leader’s poor judgment,” he said.

“No matter how this turns out, principal Smalls needs to go.”

What do you think about this situation? Should principal Smalls’ personal photos be used as evidence of her poor judgment as an education leader? Is the photo even relevant with all of the other issues going on at the high school?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.


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