NEW YORK, NY November 19, 2007 —The principal originally picked to run the city's first Arabic-language public school will sue the city today. WNYC's Cindy Rodriguez reports.
Debbie Almontaser has said she was forced to resign as principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy after defending the use of the word "intifidah" on a Brooklyn youth group's t-shirt. Later today, she intends to file a lawsuit against the mayor, School's Chancellor Joel Klein and the Department of Education - accusing them of violating her freedom of speech. School officials declined to comment on the lawsuit.
In the past, they've said that Almontaser resigned to protect the viability of the school and the chancellor agreed with her decision. An interim principal is running Khalil Gibran. Almontaser is currently working as an administrator for the Department of Education and drawing a principal's salary. Fifty-eight students are enrolled at the Arabic-language school in Brooklyn. For WNYC, I'm Cindy Rodriguez.