Oneatha Swinton, Principal at the John Jay Secondary School of Law

Swinton-- All that glitters is not gold, according to students and teachers.

Swinton– All that glitters is not gold, according to students and teachers.

 Oneatha Swinton

Secondary School of Law (John Jay Campus)

237 7 AVENUE

District 15


Oneathea Swinton became the principal of the Secondary School for Law in 2010.



Inside Schools (go to comments section)



  1. Ms. Swinton in not helpful with feedback. She observes you without giving you feedback and then rates you “developing” without telling you how to improve. Ms. Swinton’s observations are all “gotchas”. She makes negative comments about you in front of others. If you ask her for help or clarification, or heaven forbid, question her judgment, she will come after you. Look at this school’s “inside schools” page for details.

  2. Oneatha Swinton retaliates against kids and teachers. She has scared off the best teachers. She puts on a smile, but the second a teacher even questions her “wisdom,” she goes on the attack. Abusive principals have to go!

  3. There have been some anonymous reports to the doe. Investigators came to the school to ask about two things this year – a grading policy that never actually was put in place and allegations of name-calling by the principal. On the first case – principal actually tried to create a grading system in which students could only fail if they completed less than 10 percent of the work! Teachers were furious and she had to scrap that plan. Someone sent the draft plan to the DOE and they sent an investigator (OSI, I think) to speak w/ teachers.

  4. Concerned in Brooklyn

    Things have not gotten better. In fact, they have gotten worse. Principal is not communicating with the staff and the only feedback is negative. Principal rewards a few of her “pets” while the rest suffer.

  5. Principal Swinton is a horrible manager of people and is extremely vindictive and targets those who aren’t in her clique. It is like the movie Mean Girls only worse. She is the reason I am an ATR. She coerced a special education student to make up allegations that I used corporal punishment on him in order to give me a U and excess me. She uses her ‘pets’ as spies and will smile in your face as she is sharpening her knives for your back. She does indeed do ‘gotcha’ observations. I’m sad to hear she is still in that school. I had a fantastic two previous years at that school before she took it over. I had six years of S observations until she came to SSL, then all of a sudden, I’m the worst teacher in the world. Just writing this is bringing back horrible memories.

  6. Francesco Portelos

    I hear there is a rally being planned on Wednesday because the students are being left alone in classrooms with no schedules and no teachers.

  7. I was told I could not teach Spanish at Secondary School for Journalism because she did not know me. She had no right to say that as she is the Principal of Secondary School for Law. She put an unqualified technology ATR in the position & without permission changed Journalism’s course offering to French. She is dangerous as she has also endangered, threatened and harassed staff, students & parents! Who died and left her in charge? No one!

  8. Former Staff Member

    Administrators for the Secondary School for Law Oneatha Swinton and her flunky Felicia Holtzman told me on 9/9/15, that I could not work at the Secondary School for Journalism because they did not know me. On 9/8/15 Felicia Holtzman asked me if I would accept a full-time job and I said I would.

  9. Very honest posts above…

  10. Ms Swinton is one amazing individual who stands strong and is an advocate for higher learning and education for students.

    • This is completely false. Check out what happens to these students after being processed out of school. Most do not continue education and drop out of college within the first year.
      This principal will do anything to make it appear that the school is improving by forcing teachers to give students passing grades, listing classes with one name but not teaching the actual content of the course, creating a schedule with the least amount of seat time while eliminating student passing time. (How is it possible for one class to end at the same time another begins when students have to move from one place to the other), not providing the required classroom supplies, discussing teachers she doesn’t like with students, publicly attacking teachers, demoralizing students by public embarrassment (using colored folders to catergorize student progress and distributing them in front of the entire school)…. there is just so much more … she is a terrible manager and ineffective instructional leader.

  11. Starting in September 2015 when Oneatha was in charge of both Secondary Schools for Journalism and Law she committed educational neglect by allowing students to sit all day in rooms unattended. She denied them lunch and metro cards. She put native English speakers in English as a Second Language. She denied special education students their right to both a resource and general education teacher. Oneatha even pushed a parent and had her staff harass Journalism students. These problems Oneatha created continued for at least the entire academic year.

  12. The only positive comment about Oneatha seems very suspicious!

    • Tyler Carmichael

      She was my teacher in Boys and Girls HS always motivated me as well as her students. I will visit the school and show love these comments don’t sound right , due to the fact I was a student and she was a teacher before being a Principle. I’m all about solutions. Instead of bashing let’s find ways to help her help you. My sincere apologies for frustrations. But people can’t do it all alone. Lets work together in a positive light.

  13. Oneatha maintained a relationship with an employee and she had other staff during school hours babysit her child that was a product of her relationship with that employee.

  14. Please do not send her to Port Richmond High School

    • Happy Swinton is Leaving

      Sorry, Ken. It’s true. And if you are there, beware of the 4 mini-me’s she is bringing. she treated her staff like garbage. All but 2 teachers left under her reign of error.

  15. Happy Swinton is Leaving

    Swinton will become principal of Port Richmond HS in Staten Island. According to my sources, she will be bringing her AP and 3 teachers with her (these same 3 teachers followed her to Law from Boys and Girls). That is very telling. These four staff members have no dedication to the students at law. And they’re so afraid of being held accountable, that they follow their boss. They know that the new principal won’t give them the free ride they got it law, and Swinton knows she needs insiders to support her. For the sake of the teachers, staff, and students at her new school, I hope she learned her lesson. But I know her well and I won’t be holding my breath

    • We are from
      PRHS where the worlds best principal has taken this school
      And made it the best place for the community they serve. I’m so upset to read these comments. What a devasting thing for DOE to do to a struggling school that had just begun to thrive

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