After being accused of cheating on the state English exams, Daily Mail reports that a 49-year-old Manhattan elementary school Principal took her own life by jumping in front of a moving train.
At approximately 9:20 a.m. on April 17, Jeanene Worrell-Breeden, who was the principal at Teachers College Community School, committed suicide by jumping in front of the B train on St. Nicholas Avenue.
Onlookers watched as her mangled body was pulled from underneath the train, barely alive. She was rushed to Harlem Hospital, where she died eight days later from her injuries.
— Nicole Williams (@NcoleWilliams) July 27, 2015
Initially, it was rumored that the principal died from a car accident, but the coroner clarified the incident and stated that it was a suicide by train.
The Manhattan principal’s train suicide came about just hours after being reported to the Department of Education for cheating on the state English exams in which her students took three days to complete.
Sources say that details on how the dead principal cheated on the state exams have been withheld.
“Principal Worrell-Breeden was the subject of allegations of testing improprieties,” spokeswoman Devora Kaye said.
“An investigation substantiated these allegations, and we closed the investigation following her tragic passing.”
Parents were disheartened and stunned after learning of the principal’s suicide, but the real shock came in June when they were informed that she was involved in the state test scandal.
An aggregate of 47 third-graders took a math and English exam on April 14 – 16, but only the results of the math exam will be released as the English exam was invalidated. Worried parents have been assured by the Department of Education that, despite the principal’s involvement in the test scandal, all students will be promoted to the fourth grade.
A veteran educator said: “A lot of people are getting sick and leaving the system because of the pressure the high-stakes tests are putting on them.”
However, parent Diane Tinsley said that Worrell-Breeden didn’t seem at all worried about the common core test. “She was reassuring us parents,” she said.
“Her whole attitude was that they’re going to breeze through this test, and that she had prepared them to ace any test.”
She even helped the students get rid of their nervousness by having them run in the gym and cheer.
But although it may have seemed as though Worrell-Breeden was “relaxed” and had it all together, she was struggling with personal issues, according to a family friend.
“Her [Worrell-Breeden] grandmother died last year. Her husband moved out last year. He had a child with another woman. She was under a lot of pressure at home,” the friend said.
“She was the first principal at that school so she was trying to make a good impression. Maybe with all that pressure, it added to what was going on at home, got to her.”
Before the test scandal, she was involved in another incident with her previous school where she altered her time card. It appeared she collected more than $9,500 in overtime pay though she never completed the overtime hours.
Worrell-Breeden wasn’t charged or dismissed from her position, but was docked two weeks’ pay.
[Image courtesy of Efti Hia / Flickr/ Creative Commons]