Jason Wagner, Principal
Pelham Lab High School
3000 E. Tremont Avenue
Bronx, NY 10460
I’m a teacher at PLHS and I can tell you a very sad truth: our school is just 2 years old, and we are already on our 3rd chapter leader in just 2 years!
It is no secret that most of us here are untenured. we discover after the fact that we are made to work outside of the contract. many of us realized too late he plays favorites. the competitiveness here is cutthroat.
I don’t understand why the school has had so many CL when the principal was a CL for many years in Millennium Art HS located in the Stevenson Campus. Did Jason forget his roots of why schools need CLs? Or did go on the dark side now that he’s a principal.
Students abuse teachers and threaten them. Wagner encourages kids to flip on teachers. Does not discipline students.
Mr. Wagner interviewed me while he was still at Millennium Art Academy. I was a Union Chapter Leader at the school I worked at in Manhattan, so I knew that to get the finger on the pulse of what was really going on in the school, that I should have a chapter leader to chapter leader talk at whatever school I was considering a position at. He showed me his Union Chapter Leader business card when I mentioned I would like to speak with them before I made any decisions, even though he was no longer the Chapter Leader. He then proceeded to lie to every question I asked about the students behavior and the teacher/administration dynamic. I had a NIGHTMARE year at MAA, and of ALL THE SAME TRICKS DESCRIBED ABOVE were used on me while I was there. I am now tenured in a nice suburban school district, and could not be happier. I actually just google searched Principal Jason Wagner to see how his new school is doing… and looky here… he has decided to continue the crooked shams he learned at MAA. YOU CANT BELIEVE A WORD THIS SLIPPERY WORM EVER SAYS. I am not surprised at all to see this is his current state of miserable existence!! #legacy #karma #getyourheadoutofyour…
Ask questions, like why so many teachers left in the 2nd year, were excessed or not invited back. Then ask why everyone is a 1st year teacher.
i was smacked with a ruler by mr wagner
I was a teacher at PLHS, and because Jason and I didn’t agree that there should be consequences for the badly behaved kids, Jason targeted me. He also allowed the students to constantly verbally and physically assault teachers, including myself, with no consequences.
Though I started out with fairly high ratings during my observations, he started giving me low ratings to show ‘evidence’ that I was bad at my job though the AP gave me good ratings. He is passive aggressive and skirts around any issue, never actually saying anything concrete and then denies denies denies when he threatens teachers -as long as someone he deems important is around because he is a liar. He has told teachers that they are hanging out with the ‘wrong’ people (by wrong, I mean the teachers he doesn’t like), and on multiple occasions to multiple teachers has said, “I wouldn’t want to have to take severe disciplinary action against you” when they hang out with or talk to these teachers he doesn’t like. He creates an atmosphere that promotes conflict among the teachers there, and he has his little clique who defend him likely because they all want to be APs. The other teachers just don’t want to be targeted, so they don’t say anything though they agreed with me and my actions in secret. When he doesn’t like a staff member, he promotes students turning against that staff member, he investigates teachers on bs allegations, he puts letters in teachers’ files based on nothing that can be proven, and he is friends with the current union rep who refuses to acknowledge some teachers at all which is clearly professional.
As far as the abuse from students, even when the police were called, though he said (in front of the police) that the student in question would be suspended, he reneged on that Monday morning and said he would have yet another private talk with the student. This incident is representative of EVERY time a student assaults a teacher. He ALWAYS sides with the student no matter what they do, and he blames the teachers for making the students act out by saying things like, “Well, how did you provoke them into -let’s not call it assault, but behaving that way?” The students know this, and they behave as students would who know nothing will happen to them no matter what they do. When asked how he is going to keep his staff safe from students (who hit teachers, push teachers, put staples in a teacher’s drink, curse at teachers on a daily basis, and threaten to punch teachers or worse), he says, “Well, we can’t even guarantee our next heartbeat.”
Oh, right, one more thing, he’s losing 1/3 his staff –again which is coincidentally how much of a cookie he thinks each teacher deserves from him for teacher appreciation week.
In my experience Jason is very supportive of both teachers and students at the school. Trying to create a new school and a new school culture (Pelham lab is in our fourth year) is going to be difficult. I think the fact that he has a good relationship with our Union rep and the many teachers that chose to stay only credits his character. There is going to be staff turnover in any brand new school. Not everyone wants to do the difficult work required to create an excellent and supportive school environment for underserved students in our community. Jason believes in framing each student positively and working towards solutions with the cooperation of both staff and family. This is often more challenging than simple punishing, suspending and expelling students. But the ultimate goal is an inclusive school where all students can succeed. Obviously if a teacher prefers “a nice suburban school district” than teaching at Pelham Lab, located squarely in the Bronx would not be a good fit. It seems that “Bits of Truth” also had a negative experience teaching in general which is unfortunate but teaching high needs students is not for everyone, that is why you’ve chosen to quit the profession. While I wish you the best, it seems wrong to blame Jason completely for your negative experience. Please don’t mistake staff trying to be sensitive to the hard time you were obviously having for them agreeing with your position that punitive discipline is the answer to conflict as opposed to the restorative approach that is the school’s mission. You often seemed to feel targeted when in fact you were experiencing normal behavior for high school students. I myself felt that restorative practices take patience,time and training but that I had stronger more trusting relationships with my students because of it. I wish you the best, and hope that you find what you are looking for in your next career move.
Being a current teacher at PLHS, who has no plans on leaving, I also believe that “BITS OF TRUTH” has a lot more going on than simply his teaching situation. Many of the issues which were presented have much more backstory and critical information which is missing. Mr. Wagner is very supportive of teachers and many times will provide support over a very long period of time. Some people simply cannot be helped or will not accept help which is provided to them. I also wish the best and hopefully this person will find their future career more rewarding and fruitful.
I’m worried that you think some people cannot be helped. I hope you don’t take that same attitude into the classroom. I am worried that you might be missing what is right in front of you.
Just to clarify, I did not mean to imply that an individual cannot be helped. This part of the comment was connected with the second half of the statement. As a teacher I believe everyone can be supported, develop,and grow over time. But as an adult, when a a large amount of varied support, help, and time is provided we need to be reflective and accept it to be helped.
Wrong. And, no, I didn’t have a negative experience teaching in general because when I taught at other schools, there were no problems, but nice assumption. I never said anything about punitive discipline either -another wrong assumption on your part. Restorative justice practices also have consequences, something that Jason apparently doesn’t believe. I, along with everyone else received the training, and he just decides to ignore that part. I also don’t think I was targeted by the students; I was most definitely targeted by Jason.
Looks like the clique found this website, as the above comments make clear. It is interesting how specific facts in the “Bits of Truth” are not refuted, but ad hominem attacks are used to deflect the criticism of this principal. It would have been better to develop the response with a critical step by step rebuttal. Alas this kind of thing is not what the clique is capable of. Sadly it is probably not what they are teaching the students to do either. It is alarming for the pattern stated in the first comments to continue regarding the union representation at this school. One can tell from the entirety of the comments left in this forum that there is indeed a problem with this principal. Teacher turnover does not regularly happen at the levels it is occurring presently at this school. There is obviously a problem are parents not concerned? But if the clique is not currently being targeted, perhaps it is hard to see. If the clique is as inexperienced and young as the other comments suggest, it appears they must not know how it is done in other schools. Unfortunately, if what this principal is doing is ignoring real harm and intimidation, and violence against teachers then he is not understanding what restorative justice is and is doing a disservice to the movement toward improving discipline in NYCDOE. Perhaps readers and commenters of this website, should refer all serious complaints to the chancellor directly, the mayors office specifically, and any other entities that need to be kept abreast of the events that occur under the administration of this principal. Documented harm will eventually undermine the movement toward Restorative Justice. It will give credence to those who wish to preserve or increase punitive responses for every incident. In short if this principal is failing, it will be other restorative justice advocates who will be the most mad at him. Workplace bully laws are being pushed in many states including NYS. Documentation of ignoring, or blatantly not following up serious allegations of misbehavior, violence etc is necessary. Keep all documents. Print all emails. I hope no teacher or student is harmed at this school due to lax discipline and complete and utter misunderstanding of restorative justice, and a scary “norm” of how “teens behave” that leads to student psychosocial needs being left unmet, by what I hypothesize is a fear of being called racist for suspending students of color. Or perhaps if one waits, this school will end up in the media when a teacher receives a settlement from the NYCDOE, as has already happened at other schools.
But wait………………………………………………………………………………………………………. weren’t you part of a clique as well sir?
I’m curious about where all the receipts are for the allegations against Jason Wagner. In regards to restorative justice and the alleged lack of discipline, regardless of whether one is in favor of RJ or not, Chancellor Fariña and Mayor De Blasio are pushing this agenda, not principals or superintendents. They want to see lower suspension numbers and therefore across the five boroughs all administrators will feel the pressure to lower these numbers. Why are they pushing RJ? Because of the systemic racism and discrimination inherent in the Department of Education, as well as other institutions, where students of color and those receiving special education services have been suspended at a much higher rate than their white, non-disabled peers.
Cliques exist in every school or work place, but it’s interesting that the clique that was allegedly speaking with a reporter, recording conversations with administration and other staff without their knowledge, and making homophobic and racist comments towards administration and students is conveniently absent from the diatribe above.
This is difficult work and not everyone is cut out for it. I’m not sure where the “1/3 of staff leaving” statistics are coming from as this is not true. As a current teacher at PLHS, I have never felt unsupported by Mr. Wagner. The chapter leader turnover most recently comes from that person leaving the DOE to become an AP closer to their home. I look forward to continuing our work at PLHS as we move into our 4th year.
I am also a current teacher at PLHS and have no plans on leaving. The individuals that are unhappy with Mr. Wagner have left out a lot of information and facts to make their accusations seem substantiated. Mr. Wagner is supportive to both staff and students. Restorative justice is a process and will succeed but time must be devoted to it. It takes time and patience. The only way we will thrive as a school is for the staff, admin, students, and families must work together to achieve our goals. That is what Mr. Wagner is trying to build and I am glad to be part of this community.
Lol well if this wasn’t informative about the kind of collegial atmosphere a candidate for PLHS would look forward to…. I can’t stop laughing.
As one of the teachers at the school, I can say this entire thread is symbolic of how the school is run. The favoritism, the inequality of supplies and attention between grades, and the lack of discipline all make this school intolerable. I have gone to and believe in Restorative Justice, but it is not being implemented as the Chancellor or Mayor proscribed it.
Furthermore, the school has a very large level of young, untenured, inexperienced teachers. Coupled with an inexperienced administration, it leaves much confusion and lack of support for the teachers that are trying to develop. In my opinion, this is why some people love it (they are left alone completely) and some people hate it (they are lost and have no guidance from admin).
Needless to say, the environment between teachers in the hallways is such that you frequently get ignored by the senior teachers that are enjoying their time at PLHS.
A rebuttal to Conflicted Environment:
Some people don’t do much research when trying to put statistics into their arguments. I’m not sure about the staff that is coming in as we are growing but by my count we have teachers in each department with varying amounts of experience. Each department (with exception of 1) has teachers with at least 5 and in most cases 10 or more years of experience. There are always young teachers in schools as there is a high turnover rate in this profession (not just under Mr. Wagner’s supervision). In my view, experienced teachers do not turn a blind eye towards younger teachers. In all cases we are welcoming and willing to help. In any case, there are students futures at stake in this so let’s all move on and find something better to do, like planning an engaging lesson. Put your energy into something positive.
Seven teachers left this school this year- none of them left the profession. Why are they leaving this school?
When a school consistently loses new teachers who are eager and ready to enter this profession, the person to look at for answers should be the principal. New teachers should be mentored and given as much guidance and assistance as needed, individually and collectively. In absence of support, administrators are abandoning these teachers and signaling both staff and students that they are vulnerable. As a result, good teachers leave, and students witness and experience dysfunction that they helped to create. It amuses them, but hurts them in the end. I think the NYCDOE should create a strong team to investigate administrators like Principal Wagner. This abuse, favoritism, and dysfunction must stop.
It seems like this forum is perfect for unhappy, failed teachers to place blame on anyone but themselves. Busy gearing up for another year myself! I’m glad that you had the sense to quit after one year, you did other teachers and the students a favor. There are two “cliques” if you want to call them that. There are teachers that like their job and try to work with students and administrators and then there are people that can’t handle what they’ve gotten themselves into and don’t want to hear that they have a lot to learn. Good luck in your future career moves! Let us know if you have any more newsworthy moments.
Dear JS and MB,
Your claims raise many questions:
1) If you had “dreams” of being a teacher, why not go to another school? Contrary to what you have said, teacher turnover is quite common in NYC schools and teachers change schools all the time. If you really wanted to be a teacher, why not apply to other schools instead of engaging in a pathetic crusade of character assassination with fabrications that very few people are going to read?
2) If the horrible behaviors you allege took place happened in your classroom, why did the other teachers on your grade teams, who taught the same students as you, largely have no issues with most of the students you are describing? Which brings us to the next question…
3) You have described the alleged words/actions of the principal, and of the students. Whose actions and words have you not described? Yours. When you are screaming at and insulting children, they are bound to respond. But both of you were, from day one, completely clueless as to how to address misbehavior. In fact, you didn’t even care to.
Let’s just put it all out on the table. J, you were unprofessional towards students and staff from day one. You were completely negative about students from day one. You didn’t even seem to like children. You were alleged to have made racist comments toward students. Your frustration stemmed from the administration’s unwillingness to blame the students, as you would do, and you failed because of your inability to reflect or grow in any way whatsoever.
M, you were crazy as hell from day one. You made several staff members actually feel uncomfortable and unsafe. You shared inappropriate details about your supposed sex life. You socially isolated yourself from the staff and did this to yourself. You clearly hated teaching from very early on in the year. You even had to undergo a psychological examination, which shockingly deemed you still fit to teach. You were clearly emotionally unstable and would scream at the students to the point where parents were actually calling in to request them removed from your class for reasons of safety.
Guys, does this really need to go on? I don’t want to say that some people aren’t cut out for something or can’t do something, but it doesn’t seem like this environment and this population of students was the right one for you. You want: behave, or get punished. When the kids misbehaved, your negative attitude towards them only made things worse. This may shock you, but the responsibility for classroom management is actually on the teacher, and I say that as a teacher. It can be done.
You’re fighting a losing battle here, and contrary to what you may have convinced yourself of, almost nobody (and quite possibly nobody) is on your side. In the end, the only people it’s making look worse is you. Move on with your life.
One must first be true to the school. Yet, I can see when the school is being ran by an incompetent. Following the role model of one Ms. Nodel. As for any problems arising, well look at her track record enough said.
MAA no way
I think it is very low to out people who have not put their names on this site. I think it is also low to call out their private lives on here or make suggestions about how other staff felt, something this website is not intended to do. This site is about making the school better.
Yes, 7 teachers left this year. 6 of them have been employed in other schools. And one is still searching for a job, IN EDUCATION. I have kept in touch with all of my former colleagues because they are people, imperfect as we all are, but people. They do not deserve the way you are treating them, especially if you didn’t try to help, coach, or guide them in any way.
As a result of the turnover, many of the juniors and seniors have wholes in their schedules or are CURRENTLY not scheduled for the classes that they need to graduate. Many are missing a language or an arts elective due to scheduling issues. Furthermore, there are many ELL students and sped students who are not getting their services. Those two issues alone are big enough issues for Mr. Wagner to lose his position.
They outed themselves when they made a video where you can see them and hear their voices and know exactly who they are. Why do they get to stay anonymous when the principal has to be subjected to lies and insults? They have brought this on themselves with their pathetic and mendacious (if that word’s too advanced you can ask Bojack) attempt at character assassination.
In fact, there were attempts made to help, coach, and guide these teachers, even by other teachers who were under no obligation to do so, but again, their attitude was very negative towards the students from the beginning of the school year and they scoffed at the very idea of restorative justice. They harassed students and made them feel unsafe. That is the irony of this, that if there was a scandal to be reported in the news it would’ve been about those two teachers because they are ones that parents were calling in to complain about.
To be getting the number of 7 teachers leaving, you would have to be counting 2 who were not asked to return for the issues mentioned above, 1 who was an ATR and not returning regardless, 1 who was a dean and part-time taught 2 classes, and 1 who got a job teaching overseas. Leaving only 2 who left due to dissatisfaction. Actually quite low.
My first post on this website:
Why so much hate? I’m over everything. Wish you all the best.
LOL popcorn and a glass of wine for this. If anyone had doubts about a toxic climate at this school, this here thread convinced them. Iceberg theory, more under water. Just another small school with growing pains? Or naahhh?
Your lifestyle sounds toxic.
I am a concerned parent of the Pelham Lab High School Community. Why are you all discussing this? The real issue is that this person below is still working with students at Pelham Lab High School. One of them being my child. Let us unite and fight for justice. I will be paying the district office a visit to request a transfer for my child.
Since we hired a GOOD batch of teachers this year, I wish they could chime in and talk about their experience so far, but urge them also, to not get involved in this BS. I will continue to defend this school against the misinformation that is being presented here. Our seniors are well on the way to graduation. Our special education students and our ELL’s are getting the services they need to be successful. I am not a principal or in administration at all. I believe in this school and the hard working teachers that work with our students every day to get them to graduate on time. I love our students and the staff at PLHS. I want the best for our students. While the DOE is a difficult place to navigate as a parent, student, teacher, or admin, I believe this school is one that can help students accomplish their dreams. If I had children, I would send them to this school as I see EVERY DAY, the dedication of the staff to ensuring that kids are getting the education they deserve. There are so many opportunities here. I’m sorry some educators did not feel supported. All I know is, I do my best every day, as an experienced teacher, to provide support to teachers in need of it.
Also, if you are a parent with a concern, I urge you to come in to the school and speak with some of the dedicated teachers and administration who work there. We are always willing to listen and discuss your concerns.
I am a new teacher this year at PLHS with 10 years experience. I am going to simply give my opinion of what I have seen at the school and in the principal, Jason Wagner. First of all, I came from a school with a TRUE bully principal who currently has 6 discrimination lawsuits against him. From what I have seen, Mr. Wagner has been nothing but helpful, approachable, accomodating & professional. The day after I accepted the position at PLHS I was offered a position much closer to home at a school I have been trying to get into for years. I approached Mr. Wagner with my dilemma & he has gone out of his way to help me transfer to that school. I cannot comment on things that happened in the past at PLHS, since I was not here then. But from my perspective, Mr Wagner is no bully. The teachers work hard to help their students and most of the students behave well & want to learn. If the school was closer to home, I would gladly stay. And I would enjoy my time here. Unfortunately my commute has been difficult since I have to also care for my child. Throughout it all, Mr Wagner has gone out of his way to help me & I don’t think a few teachers that had “negative” experiences can speak for the entire staff or school. To be honest, I can only speak highly of what I have seen from Mr. Wagner.
Hello to all of you folks who love to gossip about others but can never to their face. LOL im going to write in such poor grammar so that people can try and figure out who i am. The staff this year is full of weirdos and idots who like to kiss the ring of Wagner. When is the truth finally going to come out on how this school is going nowhere fast, and how the LGBT community is being pushed down our thorats and the choas of the halls and classrooms arent addressed. The staff has a whole is full of people who love to gossip on a dialy about things that are messed up but dont have the heart or valor to say or do anything. Please correct my grammar im a little slow lol. The hispanic men who work at Lab are all full of themselves starting from the top and down and dont get me started on the LATINAS wow they are a piece of work dont know if there gay or straight but thats another story. The cacusians are all over the place just a bucnh of cry babies who think the world owes them something. The whole admin is a joke they are lost looking for help. The deans are a joke who get no respect from anyone. The kids are running this school and they know it and the staff cant do anything about it. But thats all for now until i get a response from one you clowns jajajaja..
People its time to put your life jackets on the ship is sinking fast. Everyday is a new issue at the LAB jaja , and the staff can see how the “MAN” in charge can not control the ZOO. What I do not get is why are people scared to unite and stand up for what is right??? Must be that they like to be told one thing and have another done. But oh well to each is own I’m going to enjoy the show while it last.
P.S. Merry Christmas
WOW the end is near for “LAB” after today’s PD breaking news. Hernandez leaving to help another school get better while ours goes to hell. The closer is watching over the whole dog and pony show. Now let’s see what happens next hahahahaha. This is a soap opera at its best.
You’re joking right? Hernandez was asked to leave (not for the first time) after numerous complaints by staff members over his inappropriate and unprofessional conduct towards staff and students over the past 2 years. Not sure how he’ll make another school better when he never did any work to begin with.
Frank and Jason please stand up and give face bunch of little men
Bien is the SOLE reason I stayed at the school as long as I did. Try working at a school where administrators are respected and teachers are professional, and if you have a problem, you talk to them like a person, not shielded through someone else.
The problem with today’s society. Is that people have no morals or heart to say what they want
To the face of the person they have a problem with.
But that’s life to bad that MEN aren’t MEN no more. But let’s see what happens next at the all great lab.
Secrets always come out. One shouldn’t throw stones if one lives in a glass house.
All these men crying about small things in life like a bunch of girls. But oh well the women at Pelham are tougher then the so called men. Metro sexual men who have their period all month long hahahaha. The time is coming we’re lab will be will be no more.
Metrosexual > Homophobic
Frank,Mallory,Reyes,Jason, are all about to have
A rude awakening when the dust settles. Life is full of surprises and karma is a bitch. So please let them know about this post because we all know the truth.
P.S the kids do have a voice and it’s being heard in all the right places and the right people are going to take action.
OMG I can’t believe that I came to work at such a toxic place we’re the staff is worst then the kids and ADMINISTRATORS gossip about each other. Can’t wait for open market to leave. These people all need help one way or another from the top to the bottom. You have predators working here and staff who hangs out with the students and do all type of things and to top it all of they also sell drugs and the Principal does nothing about it. The senior trip was a disaster from start to end. The counselor really did take her job to heart with a male student and did go extra and nothing happens. Oh well.
This is so sad a bunch of so called adults complaining about the work place. When in real life the problem is has a simple solution. Just come in and do your job and all will be well. We picked this profession not because of the riches but because we love to give back and help the kids. Why isnt anyone worried about the kids in this blog? With so much energy be wasted here that can be put towards the kids. People lets face the facts how they are Wagner is who he is and no one will change that. He has his own agenda that he wants to push and thats it. If you do not like it here then just leave. The truth is that sooner or later a whole new power structure will be in place and then what will be the issue??? Lets be clear we all know That Fran and Villia along with Davis are his so called prized assets that are untochables. People life goes on just be happy your alive.
So now that Hernandez is gone who is next to leave, and what is going to be the next problem?
Lab is a school that has no light at the end of the tunnel. This whole place is a false no such thing has restorative is taking place here and I’m tired of being forced to think that it is.
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