NYC high school principal accused of sexual molestation resigns

A controversial Manhattan high school principal has resigned after a complaint that he pressed his groin against a teacher at a staff Christmas party, officials confirmed.

The resignation of Derek Premo, principal of the Lower Manhattan Arts Academy, comes six months later The Post reports allegations of sexual harassment against him.

It was the second time Premo, 47, has been charged with misconduct. He used to be charged with touching a student inappropriately at Life Sciences Secondary School on the Upper East Side, where he used to work. Officials said the complaint was unfounded.

At LOMA, special education teacher John Colin filed a complaint against Premo with the state Department of Human Rights last year.

Premo approached Colin and two teachers at a Lower East Side tavern during the December 2019 staff party and pressed Colin’s leg for 20 minutes, his complaint said.

“It was very uncomfortable because I could feel his penis against my leg and he had his face very close to mine,” Colin said. “He then started telling me how much he and his husband liked to party,” while “looking me straight in the eye.”

The state case is pending, the DOE said Friday.

Premo’s leadership brought more uproar when he let teacher Gabriel Mitey continue teaching after he posted a near-naked selfie online and a male student accused Mitey of sexually molesting him in his senior year.

Derek Premo
Premo had been on leave since Thanksgiving.
Art Academy Lower Manhattan

LOMA students held a sit-in in November to request Mitey’s removal. The DOE “reassigned” him on Dec. 14, but he remains on the city’s payroll.

Manhattan HS Superintendent Vivien Orlen emailed families Wednesday saying Premo, who made $183,854 last year, had resigned. He’s been on vacation since Thanksgiving.

Orlen praised Premo, saying he’s increased graduation rates and “done anything” during the pandemic. “I know many of you will miss him,” Orlen said.

An assistant DOE director, Daisy Fontanez, will continue to serve as interim director, Orlen said. NYC high school principal accused of sexual molestation resigns


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