Removal of John Fanning

Removal of John Fanning

August 3, 2020
Signatures: 688Next Goal: 1,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Anonymous at SOF

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. 

Exhibit A: 

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. 



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