December 7, 2007 -- The ousted founder of a controversial Arab-themed city school who publicly defended the use of the slogan "Intifada NYC" on T-shirts is challenging a judge's ruling that derailed her bid to get her old job back.
Debbie Almontaser, former acting principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy, filed an appeal yesterday seeking to overturn a decision by Manhattan federal Judge Sidney Stein that paved the way for the city to hire her successor.
The Department of Education had planned to wrap up the process of selecting a new principal for the Brooklyn school by yesterday, but agreed to delay its decision until today to give Almontaser's lawyers time to file the appeal.
In a ruling announced Wednesday, Stein found that Almontaser was not protected by her right to free speech when she defined the term "intifada" as "shaking off oppression" in response to a Post reporter's questions about the T-shirts.
Almontaser's statements sparked a firestorm of public criticism, prompting Mayor Bloomberg's office to seek her resignation in August.