Principal suspends teacher’s aide for ‘inappropriate’ yawn

By New York Post

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Marie Desforges

(NEW YORK POST) – This principal will make you lose sleep.

Marie Desforges, the head of PS 328 in Brooklyn, suspended a teacher’s aide for five days without pay last week for “professional misconduct” — yawning.

In a disciplinary letter, Desforges told Edsheda Brown, “You yawned loud enough for me to hear you while I was walking down the hallway” outside a staff meeting.

What’s more, Desforges accused the aide of insubordination over the yawn.

When the principal told the aide the yawn was “inappropriate,” “you stated to me, ‘What, that is how I yawn,’” the letter says.

Teachers said Brown, aghast, asked the principal, “Are you trying to reprimand me for yawning? It’s a bodily function.”

Faculty at the East New York elementary school have felt under siege by Desforges since she took charge last September in her first days as a city principal.

One teacher sent an e-mail to Mayor de Blasio complaining about “total chaos” at the school in his signature Renewal Program, which allocates millions of dollars in extra funds and resources to struggling schools.

“We have put in years of blood, sweat and tears to pull our students up to where they are at this point,” the e-mail read. “Please help us!”

Another e-mail sent to District 19 Superintendent Thomas McBryde Jr. said: “The new administration is/has not been prepared to lead a school such as ours. There is a lack of mental agility and fortitude.”

Brown, who has two kids and earns $24,688 a year, had started work at 8 a.m. and the staff meeting came after kids had gone home.

In suspending Brown, Desforges also berated the aide for another incident: “hanging out in a teacher’s classroom, conversing and eating lunch.” The principal’s letter charged that Brown “interrupted the instructional time of students.”

But it was nap time and the kindergartners were sleeping when Brown joined several teachers huddled over their sack lunches, said a teacher who was in the room.

“There was as no instruction going on,” that teacher said.

In another odd incident, Desforges called 911 on Feb. 13 to have veteran teacher Kindra Holloway removed. Four cops came to ask the petite teacher to leave, which she did.

A city Department of Education spokesman said Holloway “was sent home for misconduct and did not have permission to be in the building.”

The NYPD was called after she refused to leave. The spokesman did not explain what warranted a 911 call.

Another teacher told The Post that Holloway “posed no threat . . . There was no reason to call the police. It’s nonsense.”

Desforges has slapped teachers with more than 30 disciplinary letters since she started. She did not respond to messages.

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