Powerful Video: Lauren Cohen Speech on Damage Done by Abusive Principal and Her Rescue After Meeting MORE


By Norm Scott

MORE’s Lauren Cohen told this incredible tale at MORE’s State of the Union event on October 24, 2015 of her years spent under the rule of one of the worst and abusive and bullying principals in this city and how she emerged from the depths after meeting up with people from MORE at the first MORE State of the Union in March 2012.

This is a lesson for every union leader and people who work at the DOE – how a top-level teacher can almost be destroyed when a lunatic principal is allowed to run rampant. (That same Leadership Academy Principal rubber-roomed one of our older ICE leaders who was the chapter leader).

We’ve witnessed Lauren’s remarkable growth as a leader (don’t be surprised to see her run for UFT president one day). She is now chapter leader at her school.

MORE current presidential candidate Jia Lee came out of the same cauldron of horror at that school and took on the dangerous job of chapter leader when the ICE Chapter Leaders was forced out  – and a lesson — many younger teachers facing these bully principals and remain in the system can find their way – and one of the first lessons is to get away from these awful principals as soon as you can to live so you can live to fight another day.

Lauren is  one of many next-gen union leaders who have found strength and support in a group of like-minded people like those in MORE.

In April 2014 Lauren Cohen got up in front of thousands of delegates at the NYSUT representative assembly and stood up to the bullying of Unity Caucus who booed her vociferously for mentioning the loyalty oath.

See this video of Lauren Cohen’s speech at NYSUT RA, April 2014 and think of that young woman practically broken not too long before — and also think that Unity Caucus/UFT leaders have done nothing to protect the teachers at this school:https://youtu.be/AbkqXmDz62Y

2 thoughts on “Powerful Video: Lauren Cohen Speech on Damage Done by Abusive Principal and Her Rescue After Meeting MORE

  1. I was present when Lauren gave her account of the abusive bullying at the hands of the school principal. I was not shocked by the account as this is a pervasive practice from graduates of the NYC DOE Leadership academy as well as principals co opted by Tweed. Nonetheless I was moved and became misty eyed as I heard her words of courage and resilience. For me her story was cathartic because I know what it’s like to be the object of abusive leadership practices conveyed as sound instructional leadership. I still feel the pain of these experiences.

    It is crucial that when we are aware that in a school that targets teachers because they express themselves added with ageism and racism we run the risk of being isolated or shunned by our colleagues. It is so important that we reach out and seek actionable support. If we can’t afford a lawyer we have in MORE people who can help. Maybe MORE can establish an online hotline because ANYONE can fall prey to abusive leadership leading to 3020a charges or excessing into the ATR pool. The isolationism a form of being in solitary confinement. Lauren courageously dealt with devastating emotional consequences and saved her career her soul. Some can’t or don’t know how.

    I still have flashbacks of the abuse somewhat like vets who get PTSS. I still get nightmares but I know this, I am not alone and I have my friends, colleagues and MORE.

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