Long-simmering tensions at Midwood’s P.S. 193 boiled over Wednesday when the principal had a parent arrested for speaking up about his child not being allowed to use the bathroom.
In a video posted to YouTube, parents can be heard saying “this is wrong” and “he’s the parent who does the most for kids” while officers handcuff Vinny Nemorin, the treasurer of the P.S. 193 Parents’ Association who has a 7-year-old at the school. During the arrest, Nemorin slips and hits his head and can be heard moaning on the ground while buses wait for the children to be let out of school.
Parents responded to the arrest by calling for the removal of Principal Tami Flynn at a rally outside the school on Thursday, News 12 Brooklyn reports.
“I don’t agree that a parent who’s advocating for his child should be arrested,” Cheryl Rameau told News 12.
According to the NYPD, Nemorin was charged with two counts of menacing and two counts of harassing for a confrontation that occurred in the morning. He was called back to the school and placed under arrest in the afternoon, police say.
Jennifer Brown, the Parents’ Association co-president, said Nemorin was upset his son defecated himself after not being allowed to use the bathroom. The 7-year-old had not been changed and sat in his urine and feces for the rest of the school day, she said.
Brown added this isn’t the first time the child has soiled himself at the school. Nemorin was forced to have the school’s superintendent provide special bathroom privileges for his son after the same thing happened five other times, she said.
In a YouTube video of the confrontation that led to his arrest, an irate Nemorin can be heard yelling: “You’re constantly getting him soiled everyday. You’re soiling him.”
We were not able to contact Nemorin. However, his attorney, Stephen Flamhaft, said the arrest was unnecessary.
“Mr. Nemorin wanted to protect his son,” he said. “It sounds to me like the principal should have been more professional when having a dialogue. I put the onus of responsibility on her.”
The Department of Education is investigating the incident. In a statement, they said:
Ensuring safe and supportive environments in all our schools is critical, and there is additional support being provided to the school to address parent concerns. We will continue to work with the school community to ensure the school is meeting their needs.
Brown, the Parents’ Association co-president, joined in calling for Flynn’s removal. She said friction between Flynn and parents has been building since the principal arrived at the school three years ago.
“Principal Flynn has created a culture that doesn’t respond to parents. And if you speak up, she will retaliate against you,” said Jennifer Brown. “The goal of arresting Vinny was to make an example of him for other parents.”
She said a dispute earlier this month about the Parents’ Association funds — the parents wanted to create weekend activities for the kids and Flynn wanted money spent on curtains and ink toner — caused the parents to lose their office. (Flynn told them she wanted to use the space for a new school program, which has not appeared for two weeks, according to Brown).
“It’s her way or the highway. She does this to make you squirm and break you,” said Brown. “That’s not the culture of P.S. 193. Change is desperately needed and the only way to solve this is the removal of Principal Flynn.”