NEW YORK – Nikos Papageorgiou spoke to The National Herald about running for New York City Educational Council in District 2 (CECD2) and for the Citywide Educational Council representing the Bronx (CCHS Bronx). He told TNH, “I am advocating for our rights, as parents, to raise our kids based on our family and religious values as well as our kids’ maturity level. Please vote on May 1-11, using your ‘mystudent.nyc’ account. Every parent has a vote for each child.”
TNH: Where in Greece are you from originally?
Nikos Papageorgiou: I grew up in Athens, but my father was from a small village outside Tripoli (Alepohori) and my mother was from Volo. I currently reside on the Upper East Side of Manhattan with my wife Sia and our two boys, ages 15 and 12.
TNH: Were you always interested in the education system?
NP: Yes, I always had a great interest and involvement in our kids’ education. My wife and I have served as class parents on numerous occasions.
TNH: How has your family reacted to your decision to run for the Educational Council?
NP: My family is very supportive and proud that I have decided to do something about it.
TNH: How has the pandemic affected your decision?
NP: Due to the pandemic and because our kids were remote learning, we realized what has been going on without our knowledge and decided to act.
TNH: What is the most serious issue facing the school system that you would tackle first once elected to the Council?
NP: I am running for something that is above any and all issues of the school system. I am running for the well-being of all the kids. I received a rude awakening on how, without our knowledge, our schools are undermining us as parents by exposing our kids to things that might be against our family and/or religious values or not appropriate for our kids’ maturity level.
I am all for social justice, equality, acceptance, diversity, identity, anti-racism, anti-bullying, etc., but I disagree with the timing, the way, the duration, the speed, the scope, and the scale that these issues are being covered at school, without our knowledge.
I am not arguing the validity or importance of all these very important underlying social issues. All I am advocating for is our right to know.
Most schools send notices regarding an upcoming sex education session or what will be covered in ELA and Math, but they fail to do the same when in the name of white privilege, our kids have to apologize for being who they are, when in the name of Transgender Remembrance Day, they have to be challenged about their sexuality or gender, and when in the name of racism, they are told that some words can only be used by certain people.
I urge you to not discount what I am talking about, because these things are either happening or are coming to your school shortly.
I believe that the first thing that the Department of Education (DOE) should do is to re-evaluate its indoctrination strategy towards kids as young as six to become the next social justice warriors. Just let kids be kids. There is plenty of time to catch up. In the meantime, we have to step in and demand to exercise our rights as parents. We have the right to at least know what is going on.
TNH: Did you consider Greek parochial schools for your children as an alternative to the public school system?
NP: Yes I did, but that’s the easy way out. Hiding my kids is not a solution in my book. I have to fight back for our rights. Public Schools have been good to us. I have to leave them at a better position than I found them, not abandon them. Please help by voting for me.
TNH: What are some other issues of concern?
NP: I believe that the way you close any gaps is not by slowing down the leaders but by helping the laggers to catch up. In addition, I don’t believe that you can legislate excellence. So, I am for expanding the Gifted & Talented (G&T) and other accelerated educational programs, primarily into neighborhoods that are falling behind, and I am also for Specialized High Schools testing.
I believe that politicians are providing a disservice to the minority communities, because they should be focusing on the very large number of failing schools that graduate thousands of kids every year, handing them a one-way ticket to minimum wage and possible welfare. Instead, they turn peoples’ attention to G&T and Specialized High Schools, inciting racial and ethnic tensions.
More information about Nikos Papageorgiou is available on Facebook: Nikos for NYC Educational Council.