Removal of John Fanning
Removal of John Fanning
Why this petition matters
In light of anecdotes shared on the @BlackatSOF Instagram page, we alumni and other concerned members of the School of the Future(SOF) community are demanding the immediate removal of John Fanning, High School Director and Assistant Principal at SOF for his blatant acts of discrimination and racial bias. Mr. Fanning violates DOE regulations under A-830, Section 1.B of the Anti Discrimination Policy. In the thirteen years Mr. Fanning has been in his position, he has disproportionately targeted Black/Latino students with threats of expulsion, suspension, and harsher punishments. Moreover he has supported policies that both segregate classes and limit educational opportunities for students of color, while using tokenism to elevate black students he deems worthy. Lastly, his racially coded language and inappropriate interactions with students cannot be tolerated in a school that holds itself up as a diverse and progressive learning community.
Mr. Fanning has been the Assistant Director at SOF since 2007. Since then, the number of Black students has nearly been cut in half, as seen in the chart below:
Year White African-American Asian Hispanic Other Total
2006 238 155 105 195 5 672
2007 227 160 106 198 5 697
2008 233 160 93 197 1 684
2009 231 155 105 195 1 687
2010 237 140 126 183 3 689
2011 291 89 105 185 6 676
2012 256 84 107 175 51 673
2013 243 77 118 201 66 705
2014 255 86 113 200 61 715
2015 257 73 104 216 64 714
2016 277 85 112 216 62 752
2017 282 87 117 212 60 758
2018 272 78 126 198 70 744
2019 261 84 148 181 74 748
(Other consists of American Indian, Pacific Islander, two or more races, and not specified)
When Mr Fanning targets Black/Latino students, he does two things: 1) removes minority students due to “behavioral” problems or 2) conducts Voluntary Transfers (A-450 Section 2.B) by manipulating children into transferring, convincing them that they would be a better fit in another school, and that SOF could simply not accommodate them. From there, these students were sent to majority Black/Latino populated schools surrounded by crime, violence and poverty.
Examples: Humanities Prep, Washington Irving, City-As School, Norman Thomas
“When I (PoC) was in 9th grade, I failed math and went to summer school. I passed summer school. I was a good student, I just didn’t do good in school that year. So on back to school night, Fanning told my mom that I should get my GED and that it may be better for me that way.” - Class of 2014
Exhibit B: Mr. Fanning has shown prejudice and racial bias. He would give students of color harsher penalties for misbehavior and used offensive language when talking with/about minority students.
“Me (Caucasian) and my African American friend both got suspended for the same exact thing we weren’t supposed to have. And Mr. Fanning gave my African American friend more days of suspension instead of me.” - class of 2018
“Fanning told my friends parents that she was dressing like a Chinese prostitute” - class of 2017
Exhibit C: Depriving students of color from their needed resources or educational opportunities
“As a freshman I received an opportunity to transfer to a prestigious private school in lower Manhattan on a full ride scholarship for Biology studies. The scholarship required a letter of recommendation from my current science teacher. When I told him about the opportunity, he was so excited for me and said he would love to sign off, but would have to talk to his boss - Mr. Fanning. The next day he notified me he was not given permission. I went down to his office to ask why he declined the signature and he said that it was “not in the schools best interest” to let me go, due to my competitive test scores and academic achievement. He essentially told me that I was a model minority for the school and that if he could do anything about it, I wouldn’t leave. Even if it meant a better opportunity for me.” - Class of 2016
We, the undersigned, petition to the Department of Education the immediate removal of Assistant Director, John Fanning, from School Of the Future High School.
- Department of Education
- Stacy Goldstein