Principal Jazmine Santiago is under funding over school spending this week but it is not the usual tension between added teachers versus greater school supplies. Santiago is accused to effectively using school funds in the struggling PS 260 in Flatbush to build her own private gym with a bench press, pull-up bar, treadmill, elliptical machine and thigh exerciser. While Santiago says that she shares the equipment with older students, the oldest students at the school is only 11 years old since they top out at 5th grade.
Parents and teachers noted that at an average 4-foot-10, the students are not tall enough to reach some of the heavy-duty equipment.
Santiago converted a storage room into the workout space in June 2014. Teachers say that she comes in the morning and continues to work out while classes are in session.
Santiago earns $124,319 a year and has been principal for four years.
Parents think that there are other things that might be a priority in a school where only 16 percent of students passed state English tests and only 12 percent passed math exams last year.
The allegations are interesting from a legal perspective since the use of the equipment at the school would seem to nullify any criminal fraud allegation. If Santiago were to use school funds for private purposes, there might be criminal allegations. However, if she technically made the equipment open to students, it would make this a question of judgment. Incredibly, incredibly bad judgment.