N.Y.C. Principal Commits Suicide Amid Common Core Test Scandal

| by Tony Tran

A public school principal in New York City committed suicide a day after she was accused of tampering with her students' state Common Core exams.

Jeanene Worrell-Breeden, 49, had been the principal at Teachers College Community School in West Harlem when she jumped in front of a train on April 17, The New York Post reported.

Emergency medical personnel were able to pull her out from under the train. Though she was taken to Harlem Hospital, she died eight days later.

Her death was ruled a suicide by the Medical Examiner's Office.

The day before, her 47 third-graders finished up three days of tests. That same day somebody reported cheating to the Department of Education.

The English exams were “red-flagged” and deemed invalid. According to sources, this was due to tampering done by Worrell-Breeden.

“Principal Worrell-Breeden was the subject of allegations of testing improprieties,” said spokeswoman Devora Kaye on Friday. “An investigation substantiated these allegations, and we closed the investigation following her tragic passing.”

“The children didn’t do anything wrong, and the teachers didn’t do anything wrong,” Superintendent Gale Reeves said, according to Diane Tinsley, a mother of one of the third-graders.

Reeves also wrote a letter to families on June 22, saying, “The integrity of the assessment was compromised due to actions outside of your child’s control.”

Worrell-Breeden, the first principal at the school, had reportedly been dealing with problems in her own life outside of school.

 “Her grandmother died last year,” a friend of the principal told The New York Post. “Her husband moved out last year. He had a child with another woman. She was under a lot of pressure at home.

“She was the first principal at that school so she was trying to make . . . a good impression. Maybe all that pressure, added to what was going on at home, got to her.”

On each morning of the exams, the principal reportedly held pep rallies as well as served the students breakfast.

“She had them run around the gym cheering to get rid of their nervousness,” Tinsley said.

Worrell-Breeden had previously been investigated for another incident in which she clocked in for overtime pay even though she was just working out with a personal trainer in the school gym.

Source: The Daily Mail, The NY Post

Photo Credit: The Daily Mail