Principal Oneatha Swinton

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

FORMER: Secondary School of Law (John Jay Campus)

237 7 AVENUE

District 15

CURRENT: Port Richmond High School


Oneathea Swinton became the principal of the Secondary School for Law in 2010. She is was made Principal of Port Richmond HS in Staten Island in june 2017.



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.

    • They already putting her there and by
      Reading all this comments am scared.
      I love Port Richmond HS and so far is
      Running its school great. I just hope things
      Don’t get bad.

    • My child is a student there, I am so worried about what is going to transpire. Yikes, she has an awful reputation.

  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

    • Sorry I must disagree. Swinton is a wonderful activist and has had teacher’s back! Effectively teach the students and you will be fine.

      • I know firsthand that this Swinton was the same administrator who denied students lunch and metrocards while she supervised Journalism. She stated she could not stand the Journalism students and she even allowed students to be left unsupervised. These are just a few of the numerous violations she was allowed to get away with it. The only way a person could argue in Oneatha’s defense is if he or she is a friend or family member. Usually the people who defend her can provide no concrete examples of how she “helps” students and staff. The bottom line is that she is corrupt and only cares about herself and her friends/ family.

      • Hmmmmm…. most teachers say otherwise. How many left the school this year because of her? How many have left since she started? Why did her ally lose horribly in the chapter leader election? Why did she have to being in her “mentor” to promise she was turning over a new leaf?

        I have to guess this is the same person who supported her on inside schools…. the one that accidentally posted her real name.

        You’re not fooling anyone.

        • Thank you Nope! Most people with a brain know that Oneatha is a fraud who does not genuinely care about the students.

  16. Why doesn’t the DOE do something about her if she is so bad? PRHS has a very supportive community around it. I am sure they will go to the proper authorities including the Mayor if she acts inappropriately.

  17. If this woman tries to bring down all that Principal Gannon has done, there will be such outrage and protest , she will want to leave. The Port Richmond Community is strong and will not allow anyone to bring them down. She deserves a chance, but if these posts are true, she will be forced out.

  18. Mr, Lodico needs to think twice about this. Why ruin a great school? He was an administrator at Port Richmonf, why is he putting someone like this in that position?

  19. Can anything be done to stop her from coming to prhs???

  20. Pingback: [UPDATE] Troubled John Jay Campus Secondary School of Journalism to Rally Wed. Sept 16th - UFT Solidarity

  21. Francesco Portelos

    If the comments here are true, then the staff and school community need to stick together. At we have guides to support.

    I don’t understand how she’s already bringing teachers. To what vacancies? Were they posted?

    I saw an Earth Science posting. That’s my license. Maybe I’ll come back to Port too. Graduated class of ’96.

    Francesco Portelos

  22. As a alumni of PRHS Mr.Gannon was such an amazing principal who put so much effort into the school. Mr.Gannon cared for all the students and over all was very involved in everything you can think possible. The past four years he has changed the school for the better and bringing it to higher standards. PRHS as a whole is such an amazing school with so much school spirit and I myself was very school spirited and very involved. From the things I’m reading about Miss Swinton I’m only worried about how much change she can put into the school and how much of this is true. If she really does change the school it will break my heart but I’d only hope that my PRHS family can get together and make her realize just how strong they are. I may not be a student there anymore but no one can change what this school has become. I am very nervous for the staff and students this up coming school year.

  23. She announced her departure from her former school to the students and not the staff as a final slap in the face. Most of the staff was too happy to care about that final insult and the rest are the people going to PRHS with her or already made plans to leave because of her. The buzz around the students at her former school was that she said that PRHS is filled with racist teachers who are hurting the kids there, so she’s going there to clean it up, so she is ready for a battle. I heard she graduated from there too. She’s definitely taking teachers and an AP with her. She will create the postings and it really doesn’t matter who applies or their qualifications, those people will be the ones placed in the position. That’s how the DOE works anyway. People at her former school left or retired early because they couldn’t stand the abuse. 90 percent of the staff is now first or second year teachers. Port Richmond is a much larger community than the one she is coming from, maybe it will be different. Maybe she’ll be different. (Doubt it, but maybe) Good Luck Port Richmond, teachers especially.

    • Don’t forget to mention the fact that many students cried and were very upset that she was leaving. Swinton is only concerned about what is best for the students and sometimes some adults are actually in the way of that. She didn’t say that the teachers were racist, only that the school was very racially diverse but not so much in the staff. You are reaching.

      • Let's be honsest...

        Did Swinton diversify the teaching staff at Law? Yes. But what good is diversifying the staff when those teachers flee the school because of administration’s poor people skills?

        I’m just saying Port Richmond better be prepared. They deserve to know what type of administrator she is.

  24. When you begin to dislike a person you stop seeing their attributes and focus only on the negative. That is what is happening here. She did successfully improve the graduation rate and overall school grade for her previous school. Enrollment and attendance increased, teaching improved. That is all.

    • Let's be honsest...

      She is almost universally disliked by the staff. Wacky, and possibly illegal credit-recovery schemes aside, I’m sure the graduation rate did improve. There were some improvements after she took over. But disbthat have to come at the expense of food teachers? Look at how many excellent teachers left because of her. She even admitted she had poor people skills when she had her mentor come in and apologize for her. All crocodile tears apparently as she didn’t change.

  25. Happy Swinton is Leaving

    She destroyed the staff at Law. Teachers stopped trusting each other to the point that there were no unions meetings because her spies (the ones going to Port Richmond with her) reported everything back to her so she could target teachers who said anything in the meeting. She would even tell the teachers “well I heard you said ……” Any teacher who spoke up about illegal actions taken towards the students or staff would be targeted. What are some of the ways to tell a teacher is being targeted? Well, they get observed more frequently than others, (one teacher 2x in a day 4x in a week) they get developing in areas of demonstrated effectiveness with the goal of forcing them out of the school or receiving a poor rating, they are denied per session opportunities regardless of qualifications, they don’t get responses to emails sent, they are publicly ridiculed at staff meetings, students are told unflattering information about the teacher, letters are placed in their files for any minute incident. (These letters are also delivered during a teaching period, just to affect your mental health)

    Teachers who work under her are more competitive rather than collaborative and this hurts development. She puts pressure teachers to manipulate data to make it appear as if students are learning and progressing. The alleged improvements to the school are smoke and mirrors. The only improvements of consequence were made by the teachers themselves, typically without her guidance/input/directions. The teachers, students, and especially the parents allowed her to get away with murder by the inaction of some and the ignorance of others.
    Advice to Port Richmond,
    1. know and defend your pedagogy
    2. know and affirm your rights
    3. keep a paper trail.
    4. Get Parents Involved
    5. Get the contact info for a local news organization reporter
    6. Don’t be Afraid, she’s like Goliath, she looks big and bad and talks a lot but it only takes one stone and some bravery to take down if it comes to that.

    • Very interesting and accurate comment “Happy Swinton is Leaving.” When Oneatha was running a muck in September 2015 while being allowed to mismanage both the Secondary School of Journalism and the Secondary School of Law, there was a strong voice in opposition to Oneatha’s misdeeds made by the Secondary School of Journalism PTA President Annette Renaud. This PTA President was sincere and only wanted the best for the Journalism students unlike Oneatha who said she hated the Journalism students. Unfortunately Oneatha harassed this parent and I have not heard anything else about this PTA President again.

  26. My friends at Port, do not worry. She is Acting and must be approved by the school community. Even if the start goes well, do not trust her. Hopefully she will not be approved.

    • Concerned and Discouraged

      I am very worried. Has an interim acting ever been denied the position? What then would happen to all of the people she brings with her? Is this your real name? I would like to ask you more.

  27. It is August, Swinton’s reign is about to begin. Port Richmond be ready to fight against her.

    • Concerned and Discouraged

      Would you be willing to share specific concerns and experiences? Staff and parents are upset. Any information you could provide might help unify us. Thanks in advance.

  28. Maybe the PTA leadership should take control of this situation. We can not let Port become a school like the one Swinton is coming from. We are a strong community and we will not let her destroy all the positive aspects of our school.

    • Happy Swinton Left Law

      I think you hit on something- the PTA, as well as the SLT, need to be vigilant. If you don’t like what you see while she is an interm acting principal, fight her appointment at the C30 hearings, in front of the PEP and CEC….. make noise. She has gotten away with a lot because there was little organized opposition to her. The chapter leaders put up a good fight, but there was little staff, parent and community engagement.

      And make her actions public. Post here and more importantly, the InsideSchools page.

  29. Suxk my dick

    • Si vous êtes ami/e de Mlle. Swinton vous êtes vraiment bête. Vous évidemment n’a pas aucun intelligence. Ne meritez pas le droit d’être membre de cette discussion. Alors taisez-vous escroc.

    • Very intelligent comment

      • Well said Percy! It sounds like some of Oneatha’s friends are really frustrated.

      • When I returned to Journalism in September 2015 for teachers’ orientation, I was shocked to see Oneatha and her assistant Felicia leading the orientation for both Journalism and Law. In reality Oneatha and Felicia were pretending to be the school leaders for Journalism while they were only the leaders for Law and never the leaders for Journalism. Oneatha told us the schools had been merged but to basically tell the parents and otherwise. However the State of New York after receiving many complaints determined that Oneatha and Felicia had no right to supervise the two schools and that they had to be separated.

        I worked for a short while teaching Spanish but was told by Oneatha that I could not work at Journalism although she was still the Law Principal. She said I could not work there because she did not know me. This statement proves she favors family and friends. Oneatha essentially had no right to tell me I could not work at Journalism when that was not her school. I recorded the conversation on my phone since she refused to put anything in writing. She eventually had the security escort me out of the building and when I asked them for something in writing they claimed I would get a letter from her but I never did.

        In an attempt to cover up the unfair labor practice she subjected me to, Oneatha changed the language offering at Journalism from Spanish to French without permission since the parents did not request French, the school never offered French in the past nor did she have permission from the DOE to make this change.

        However for the short time I was there I witnessed pure chaos during the beginning of this infamous 2015-16 school year. Also I eventually returned to Journalism for a period starting in the spring of 2016 after the schools had been separated and a new Principal was appointed for Journalism. Therefore I became aware that Oneatha somehow was given control of the budgets of both schools and sometime during the summer of 2015 she allowed a friend to misuse the Journalism budget under the guise of creating the students’ schedules. But when the students started school in September 2015 many of them had no schedules which I witnessed firsthand. Large groups of students had to wait unsupervised all day in a big room such as the library while the schedules were supposedly being fixed or created. Students were put in the wrong classes such as classes they already passed the year before or native English speakers were placed in English as a Second Language. Students who had IEPs were placed in regular education classes and they suffered because they did not have the Special Ed teachers to help them. Students were denied lunch because lunch was set at the end of the day (8th period) when the cafeteria was closed. Students who actually went to eat lunch were literally sent packing. Students were denied metrocards unless they filled out the lunch forms which would enable the school to get certain government funding. Some students were so frustrated that they simply walked out the building. When students walk out of the building this is dangerous!

        Oneatha is known for hiring family and friends and for having cliques yet she unfairly targets others. For example, it was well known that she did not like the students at Journalism and I heard she assaulted the Journalism PTA President Annette Renaud. Finally many people were concerned about one of her so-called Administrators Mr. Cort as he apparently did not even have an educator’s license from the State of New York. So Oneatha is willing to break the rules in order to do favors for family and friends all at the expense of the students.

        These were a few of the problems experienced under Oneatha but I think we can all agree that it was cruel to deny the students lunch, and metrocards and then have them wait all day unsupervised for schedules that they should have already had. Even when some of the students received their schedules they were still wrong.

        So this is probably what Port Richmond can expect which proves Oneatha cares ONLY about herself and those in her close circle. So if any of her friends want to come on this site and make obscene/ vulgar statements or false comments that Oneatha is a “caring educator” I want to ask them would they like it if their children were forced to sit in a room all day unsupervised while they were denied food and metrocards.

  30. Fuvk outta here y’all not gonna gang up on my principal yah fart smellin redneck cousin kissing crickets

  31. Interesting trolling by folks I have to assume are upset people are speaking the truth. Pity they are so pedestrian that they stoop to name-calling. Maybe all the bad press she is getting here will force OS to change her ways and not be so abrasive at her new school.

  32. John jay please help

    The only thing that can help is a law suit against the doe. John jay Staff and all port staff should unite for a class action suit. Where is the union. Why allow more abusive to go on. Fire her now. Why give her a good school to destroy. Sue, now.

  33. She already has banned graduates who help out teachers from entering the school. Alumni were always welcomed at Port, a real family atmosphere. This woman must not be allowed to stay at Port

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