Arab academy opens in BK under intense scrutiny

An Arabic academy opened Tuesday in Boerum Hill amid high security and intense scrutiny over whether it will promote anti-American sentiment.

The Khalil Gibran International Academy opened at 345 Dean Street in a building that already houses two schools. Sixth-graders at the academy were welcomed by a media crowd and curious onlookers.

Debbie Almontaser resigned as principal after she defended the use of the word "intifada," which means uprising or rebellion, on a T-shirt. Almontaser said the word means "shaking off." She later apologized for the incident.

The Department of Education replaced Almontaser with Danielle Salzberg, a Jewish woman who does not speak Arabic, leading some to question whether she is qualified for the job.

The DOE maintains Arab culture and core subjects will be the backbone of the academy, not extreme radicalism.

The academy plans to add additional grades each year until it reaches 12th grade. The school is open to all students, regardless of race or religion.

Related information:

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 5 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login, create an account or subscribe to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."