Dad arrested after his child was barred from using school bathroom heads to court
A Brooklyn dad charged with menacing staff members at his kid’s school will be facing the judge at Criminal Court on Thursday, and many parents at P.S. 193 the Gil Hodges School in Midwood don’t think it’s fair.
Vincent Nemorin, 47, was arrested and handcuffed by cops on Feb. 24 for confronting school staffer Stephen Avena and Principal Tami Flynn after his second-grade son was repeatedly barred from using the restroom.
Nemorin, treasurer of the Parent’s Association at the school, says his son was forced to defecate and urinate in his pants, and then had no choice but to sit in them all day.
“When I ask to go to the bathroom, they tell me I can’t go,” Nemorin says his son told him.
This was the third such incident since September, Nemorin said.
“You’re going to do me a favor,” Nemorin can be heard saying to Avena on a video supplied to the Brooklyn Eagle by Nemorin. “Next time he gets up during lunch to go to the bathroom, you don’t impede him. Make sure you get out of his way.”
School Principal Tami Flynn, also in the video, told Nemorin, “We’re on the street.”
“No, we’re not in the street, I’m in my neighborhood,” he replied.
The school says Nemorin came within a foot of Avena and pointed his finger at his face while warning him to not impede his son, causing Avena “to fear imminent physical injury and to become alarmed and annoyed.”
The school also says he pointed his finger at Flynn, causing her to also “fear imminent physical injury and to become alarmed and annoyed.”
Nemorin was called back to the school later, where he was arrested by police. In another video posted to YouTube by Yumi Nemorin, Vincent’s wife, a parent cried out, “This is wrong!” as Nemorin is handcuffed and walked out of the classroom.
“He’s the parent who does the most for the kids,” a woman can be heard to say as cops walk him to a police van.
Nemorin can be seen slipping while being loaded into the van and falling onto the ground, groaning. Parents called out, “Are you OK Vinney?”
“My head,” he groaned.
“Get him help!” a woman cried.
Stephen Flamhaft, Nemorin’s attorney, said that as a former district attorney, he had his doubts whether “coming within a foot and pointing a finger” added up to a crime. The language “to fear imminent physical injury and to become alarmed and annoyed” was structured to be consistent with the statute, he said.
A DOE staffer familiar with the complaint told the Eagle, “We take these allegations seriously, and are investigating the matter. Ensuring safe and supportive environments in all our schools is critical, and there is additional support being provided to the school to address parent concerns. We will continue to work with the school community to ensure the school is meeting their needs.”
This is not the first complaint about Principal Flynn. Other parents at the school say their children have gone in their pants after being denied the right to use the bathroom. One mom wrote on the P.S. 193 Parent Association Facebook page that she always packs extra clothing in her daughter’s bag so she can change after she wets her pants.
“Other parents have voiced their concerns to me,” Nemorin told the Eagle on Monday. He said he sent emails to DOE’s FACE (Family and Community Engagement) division about the complaints, but did not hear back.
Programs that made the school highly sought-after have been removed without explanation, parents say.
For example, Flynn dismantled the popular French program, Nemorin said. Parent outcry forced her to return French to the school, but the program was truncated to one day a week, and the annual French performance was eliminated, he said.
“The school is the ideal setting for the French program – it’s what Mayor de Blasio is striving for. All six continents are represented at P.S. 193,” Nemorin said. “African-American, white, Asian, Kazakhstani, Pakistani, Sri Lankan . . . everything New York City wants.”
Nemorin believes his advocacy for the school’s children and programs, and his refusal to use Parent Association funds to purchase office items for Flynn, are behind her attitude toward his son.
More than 600 parents and supporters have signed a petition asking Chancellor Carmen Farina to get rid of Flynn. Since she became principal three years ago, they claim, things have gone downhill.
‘The school changed from an open welcoming community to a fear-filled, stressed out environment where children are afraid to ask questions or to go to the bathroom,’ parent Pamela Amri said on Facebook.
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