Photo of school sign goes viral, angers parents

Some misspellings on a school sign in the US state of New Jersey may have cost a principal her job.

The sign was prominently positioned over the entryway at Paterson's Public School Number 20 with the words "December" and "reports" misspelled as "Dicember" and "reepor".

The number "1" was also placed backwards, reported CBS New York.

It took more than a week for someone to notice and fix the obvious mistake.

Mr Corey Teague, a parent and a Paterson Board of Education member, took a picture of the sign and posted it on Facebook. He thought at first the picture was fake. 

"At first I didn't believe it was, I thought it was Photoshopped or something," he said.

He became angry when he realised it was not fake.

"We can't assume because it's an urban district - inner-city - that things like this can be swept over. If it were a suburban neighbourhood, parents would be outraged, disgusted," Mr Teague said.

Another parent, Ms Betty Mack, said: "How horrible... How are you going to teach the kids when you can't spell the simple month of December?"

Officials said a school custodian had made the mistakes when updating the sign, which is made of magnetised letters and numbers.

Officials told the Paterson Press that the sign was outside a side entrance that was generally not used by the principal or other staff. The principal, Ms Antoinette Young, was reassigned and her salary will be cut as a result of the demotion.

The district would not confirm that the misspellings were the reason for her move.


But some parents said the principal should not have to take the fall for someone else's misspellings. "They don't talk about all the good things she's done with the kids. We're sad to see her go," parent Linda Martinez said.

Mr Teague said he had not been trying to get the principal disciplined when he sent out the photo of the sign.

"I was just trying to say we shouldn't accept things like this," he said.

This article was first published on Dec 22, 2014.
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