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Old 03-19-2017, 07:55 AM
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Default NYC: Child abuse of 4-year-olds reported in Mayor DeBlasio's Pre-K indoctrination centers


Pre-K students are terrified of their teachers, probe finds
By Susan Edelman
March 19, 2017 | 4:16am

Pre-kindergarten is a place to learn and play — and in some city classrooms, it’s also a place where kids are terrified of their teachers.

When a tyke in her pre-K class at PS 90 Edna Cohen in Brighton Beach acted out, teacher Lisa Sarnoff allegedly told a colleague she would complain to the boy’s ont because the strict guardian would “smack him,” according to the Special Commissioner of Investigation for city schools.

When the ont came to pick up the child, the co-worker heard a “slapping sound” and the boy crying.

“I told you she was going to smack him in the face — and I am glad,” Sarnoff later commented, city documents show.

A few days later, Sarnoff warned the youngster: “If you don’t listen in class, I will tell your ont again and she is going to hit you,” a report says.

It’s one of a ballooning number of complaints of misconduct in the city’s universal pre-K program — Mayor de Blasio’s crowning educational achievement — beatings for 4-year-old brats.

SCI Commissioner Richard Condon recently announced the agency received 100 more pre-K complaints in 2016 than it did in 2015, a rise he attributed to the program’s wide expansion and “stringent reporting” of incidents.

Many cases involve leaving these littlest kids unattended or losing them. Some cases allege physical or emotional abuse.

Sarnoff was the subject of two complaints. In a second investigation, she allegedly mocked a wailing boy by mimicking his cries: “I want my mommy. I want my mommy.”

Sarnoff declined to speak with investigators. The city Department of Education said Sarnoff, who received a letter of reprimand for corporal punishment in 2011, retired after 24 years last May.

Another pre-K teacher, Sherry DeCrescenzo at PS 44 Thomas C. Brown on Staten Island, allegedly pushed a child to the ground. When a co-worker found him crying, DeCrescenzo brushed it off: “He’s fine. He just didn’t get his way,” an SCI report says.

After the boy’s mom lodged a complaint, DeCrescenzo phoned her to apologize, saying, “I didn’t realize I pushed him so hard,” the report says. The teacher then asked the mom to have her son “change his story.”

But her new hands-off policy backfired. A fellow staffer who later entered DeCrescenzo’s classroom saw another student hitting several kids who were running around crying.

Asked why she didn’t stop the mayhem, the report says, DeCrescenzo replied, “I can’t do anything, I’m under investigation.” She received a letter of reprimand.

Vasiliki Gorelkin, a pre-K paraprofessional at PS 32 in Flushing, “failed to supervise” a child who wandered out of her sight during dismissal for about 30 seconds, the SCI reports.

Gorelkin “got very angry,” yelled at the girl and made her cry, a witness told probers. When a co-worker told Gorelkin to stop yelling, she refused, saying, “It’s not the first time she’s done this.”

Gorelkin admitted to investigators she had “raised her voice” to give the girl a stern warning. She, too, received a letter of reprimand.
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