The former colleagues of murdered teacher Jeanine Cammarata held events at their schools in her memory while grappling with how to raise awareness about domestic violence.
Members at PS 251 in Flatlands, Brooklyn, where Cammarata taught for eight years starting in 2006, held a memorial breakfast and wore purple, the color symbolizing domestic violence awareness. The staff took a collection and planned to donate it to a Go Fund Me page for Cammarata’s children, according to Chapter Leader Dennis Micklin.
Staff at PS 29 in Castleton Corners, Staten Island, where Cammarata taught 1st grade this year, dedicated a garden memorial in her honor. A ceremony was also planned for May 3 in which students were to place rocks they painted on the school’s “kindness path” in Cammarata’s memory, according to Chapter Leader Brian Stephens.
UFT staff, including representatives of the union’s Member Assistance Program, visited PS 18 on Staten Island in the days immediately after her body was discovered, and UFT President Michael Mulgrew met with staff on April 12. Cammarata taught pre-K at the school for four years, and one of her children was a student there.
PS 18 members met to consider fundraisers such as charity walks and T-shirt sales for Cammarata’s three children or for domestic abuse shelters. In the longer term, they discussed how to inform school communities about the signs of domestic abuse and lobbying for effective domestic violence legislation.
Chapter Leader Dana Mahoney and Delegate Nancy Rogina introduced a resolution at the UFT Delegate Assembly on April 17 to promote domestic violence awareness in Cammarata’s memory. The resolution was unanimously approved.