4 readers online now  |  69 million page views

Law Suit Accuses Ex-Principal [Deb] of Defamation

Reader comment on item: Debating the Khalil Gibran International Academy

Submitted by Krista (Canada), May 18, 2008 at 09:55


May 17, 2008

Suit Accuses Ex-Principal of Defamation

By ANDREA ELLIOTT

Clarification appended.

Three opponents of a Brooklyn public school that teaches Arabic filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against the school's founding principal, Debbie Almontaser, claiming that she had defamed them by saying they had stalked her.

The plaintiffs, Sara Springer, Irene Alter and Pamela Hall, are members of the Stop the Madrassa Coalition, a group that has protested the Khalil Gibran International Academy, which opened in Boerum Hill last fall. The women, who filed the lawsuit in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn, are seeking punitive damages.

Ms. Almontaser stepped down as the school's principal in a firestorm of controversy in August after an article in The New York Post stated that she had "downplayed the significance" of T-shirts bearing the slogan "Intifada NYC." Ms. Almontaser said that The Post had distorted her words and that she had been forced to resign by the mayor's office.

The lawsuit against Ms. Almontaser refers to, among other things, a statement she made on the steps of City Hall on Oct. 16 in which she said, "Members of the coalition stalked me wherever I went and verbally assaulted me with vicious anti-Arab and anti-Muslim comments." The suit cites a nearly identical statement in a complaint filed last fall in federal court by Ms. Almontaser against the mayor's office and the Department of Education.

Ms. Almontaser said she could not comment on the lawsuit, and her lawyer was unavailable.

Rabbi Michael Feinberg, a member of Communities in Support of KGIA, a group devoted to having Ms. Almontaser reinstated as the school principal, said: "They picked this whole fight from Day 1. I don't know if they stalked her or not. But they have been absolutely relentless in the campaign of lies, distortions and calumny to shut down the school and have Debbie step down as principal."

Ms. Alter denied this.

"It's a criminal offense to accuse someone of stalking," she said. "The reality is we've never done that. So we are quite upset."

Clarification: On Saturday morning, Ms. Alter said she had misspoken and that she should have said that the act of stalking, not the accusation, is a criminal offense.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Submitting....

Submit a comment on this item

<< Previous Comment      Next Comment >>

Reader comments (40) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
The use of terms "lawful" versus "legitimate" [193 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Stuart FaginMay 29, 2008 08:39130448
Dhabah ( "Debbie") Almontaser [799 words]Lame CherryMay 28, 2008 17:07130351
Excellent post! [61 words]DevasahayamMay 31, 2008 10:33130351
Middlebury College question [222 words]DianaMay 19, 2008 14:32129154
Your friend is misinformed [119 words]DevasahayamMay 20, 2008 12:51129154
what went unnoticed [181 words]mz ravin blackMay 19, 2008 00:10129069
Instructional Material [51 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Edward HalperMay 18, 2008 18:08129036
i did notice [70 words]mz ravin blackMay 23, 2008 22:43129036
Muslim school teacher apostate [116 words]SeanMay 18, 2008 15:38129028
T-shirt with "Intifada" are not sold here - "The Jewish school where half the pupils are Muslim" [1721 words]KristaMay 18, 2008 10:36129015
Why would KGIA welcome the Kafir ? [33 words]KristaMay 18, 2008 10:09129002
Short answer is they want Kafirs to become Muslims [98 words]DevasahayamMay 19, 2008 07:55129002
Devasahayam, Islam, fastest growing religion [39 words]InfidelJun 9, 2008 15:49129002
Law Suit Accuses Ex-Principal [Deb] of Defamation [367 words]KristaMay 18, 2008 09:55129001
New York Times - Video - Dr. Pipes and Deb [11 words]KristaMay 18, 2008 18:35129001
resolution [15 words]cvtMay 17, 2008 08:47128924
How about a Lebanese Maronite? [5 words]DevasahayamMay 20, 2008 14:24128924
CAIR [587 words]Straight_Talk_LuigiMay 17, 2008 00:11128895
They probably use the Nazis as their model [28 words]DevasahayamMay 17, 2008 22:56128895
Congrats to Dr. Pipes! Ms.A Non-Responsive. What are "Global Citizens?" [367 words]Sofa SogoodMay 16, 2008 23:12128890
Sofa Sogood, the meaning of Global Citizens [66 words]InfidelMay 19, 2008 17:29128890
Re: Global Citizens [197 words]DianaMay 19, 2008 19:23128890
Thanks, Infidel [11 words]Sofa SogoodMay 19, 2008 21:33128890
"Global Citizen" Rap Artists Seducing Young Muslims into a Life of Hell on Earth [325 words]Sofa SogoodMay 21, 2008 01:50128890
Infidel. Thanks again. [66 words]Sofa SogoodMay 21, 2008 02:17128890
An aside [187 words]DevasahayamMay 21, 2008 06:02128890
Infidel dinosaurs [56 words]NabiMay 26, 2008 15:09128890
Sofa Sogood, meaning of Global Citizens [43 words]InfidelJun 9, 2008 16:10128890
Just look at Europe [195 words]DonMay 16, 2008 23:00128889
UK and religious schools [34 words]DavodMay 19, 2008 05:02128889
And don't forget Canada [228 words]DevasahayamMay 19, 2008 10:28128889
It's political movement using cultural diversity as a cover up and this is only my opinion. [61 words]BAMay 16, 2008 15:36128866
The not so sweet agenda of wanting children to "learn about this culture" [146 words]Rochelle MichaelsMay 16, 2008 10:34128837
Dr. Pipes is magnificence in all senses! [121 words]YnnatchkahMay 16, 2008 02:22128799
The very name of the academy gave away plenty [163 words]DevasahayamMay 17, 2008 08:13128799
Regarding the Nakba [122 words]MeroweJun 1, 2008 11:43128799
Your assumption is extremely mistaken [337 words]DevasahayamJun 2, 2008 08:41128799
Ynnatchkah, Muslims are not cowards [51 words]InfidelJun 9, 2008 16:24128799
Your Facts Re Ben-Gurion's Statement Are Wrong. The True Story of 1948 and Refugee Issues of Past and Present [1452 words]Sofa SogoodJun 10, 2008 03:12128799
Cowardice Point- the Shahid concept. [243 words]YnnatchkahJun 10, 2008 17:19128799

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Law Suit Accuses Ex-Principal [Deb] of Defamation by Krista

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

ADVERTISEMENTS

eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2019 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)