BUFFALO, N.Y. – A second McKinley teacher is speaking out after the violence earlier this month led to a no confidence vote in the superintendent.
“The decision to put that individual, Dr. Abraham, into that position that he wasn’t ready for or qualified for, set into motion a series of events that ultimately led to what you saw on February 9th,” said Joseph Marciniak, a teacher at McKinley High school.
Marciniak has been teaching at McKinley for 20 years, and he is a 1990 alumnus of the school.
Marciniak, along with several other teachers, have told Fox Buffalo that the leadership under former principal Dr. Marck Abraham is what led to the massive rise in violence at the school, beginning with Dr. Abraham assuming the role in 2016, at age 31, and without any prior teaching experience.
“It was a fateful decision and the events that occurred were inevitable,” said Marciniak.
In response, Dr. Abraham said he was qualified for the position because he has two Bachelors' degrees, two Masters' degrees, and a Doctorate degree, along with being previously employed as a school counselor, a dean of students, and four years as an assistant principal.
In January 2018, 58 of the 95 teachers at McKinley took a vote of no confidence in Dr. Abraham, citing:
Frequent absences from the building
Lack of consequences for disruptive or unsafe or threatening behavior
Lack of student supervision in hallways and staircases
Inadequate security presence and response
Inadequate number of teacher aids
Inflating attendance data
“Those accusations are false,” said Dr. Abraham.
Abraham resigned as principal in July 2020 and claims no responsibility over the violence that led to the shooting and stabbing injuries of two people on February 9th.
On Thursday, the Buffalo Teachers Federation voted no confidence in superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash for a slew of reasons including:
Appointing Dr. Abraham as principal
Not responding to repeated warnings from teachers about increased violence
Not responding to repeated requests for security
“What happened is inexcusable but, in our opinion, inevitable,” said Marciniak.
Dr. Cash issued a statement Friday, calling the vote a “performative tactic,” and said it would not deter him from carrying out the roles of the position, while Dr. Abraham said the union is looking to cast blame.
“Two years after my departure, blame me for everything, blame Dr. Cash for everything,” said Abraham.
“But at the end of the day, we have to come back to a place of healing and working together, and that should be the message.”
A new principal, Moustafa Khalil, became the fourth principal in two years at McKinley.
He started on February 10th, the day after the violent attack.