Mothers say principal banned them from sons' school

Kaliris Salas-Ramirez and Jen Rush are accusing the principal of Central Park East 1 Elementary School in East Harlem of banning them from the school. The mothers say it is retaliation because they have been vocal critics of the principal since last year.

Rush's 8-year-old son and Ramirez's 5-year-old son are both special needs students with high levels of anxiety. Now, because of the ban, which was implemented last week, they say they are no longer allowed assist their children, attend meetings, or participate at school. The women were sent a letter usually reserved for parents who are considered a security threat to the students or staff.

Ramirez says she was banned for bringing a graduate student into the school without proper authorization. Rush says she was banned for taking pictures of bulletin boards in the hallways showing that mandated material about anti-bullying was not displayed. So, the women, along with other parents, have started an online petition demanding admission to the school and asking Mayor Bill de Blasio to step in.

Rush says the mayor claims to want parents to have a voice and be heard but when parents say something school officials don't want to hear they silence parents.

The Department of Education issued a statement to Fox 5 News saying, in part, that for the rest of the school year the parents are allowed into the school but must "register at the front security desk and be escorted into the building by a staff member when visiting."

But Rush said that she was just kept out of a meeting, so that proves the DOE doesn't know what some principals are doing in schools.

Since they were banned from the school last week, both moms say they have called the Department of Education about 10 times but have not gotten any response.