Friday, February 18, 2022
You may have recently become aware that there are issues at McKinley High School as a result of the recent shooting. This document will give you the story behind the story, the real inside scoop regarding McKinley H.S. What happened on Wednesday 2/9/2022 is the culmination of approximately five years of turmoil and chaos at McKinley High School. Crystal Boling-Barton was appointed Principal of McKinley High School in 1987 and ran an orderly and disciplined school until she was placed on leave in 2017 after controversy over a couple issues (link). This document will not cover in depth the issues surrounding Mrs. Barton's departure, as the focus of this document is to dissect and expose the cause(s) of the chaos and violence at McKinley that have taken place over the past five years, which Barton has nothing to do with, as McKinley was well run under her. Quite simply, the problems that we see today at McKinley, did not exist under Mrs. Barton.
Shortly after Crystal Boling-Barton was placed on leave, Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash made the controversial decision to appoint Marck Abraham as Acting Principal at Mckinley High School. The move was controversial for many reasons. Firstly, Abraham, born October 13, 1984, was approximately 32 years of age when appointed and possessed minimal experience as a guidance counselor and a couple years of experience as an assistant principal. Notably, Abraham was never a teacher and thus had no teaching experience and was given the position of supervising and evaluating the teachers of McKinley High School. For obvious reasons, it is an odd occurrence for someone to evaluate others performing a task (teaching), that they (Abraham) have no training to perform and have also never done. When appointed acting Principal, Abraham possessed an undergraduate degree in Sociology and a masters degree in Counseling, but had no training, coursework or experience as a teacher. Secondly, the past practice within the BPS system, for a situation like this (Principal placed on administrative leave), is for the assistant principal in the building, with the most seniority to be appointed as the acting principal, until either the principal placed on leave returned or the position was vacated, at which time the acting principal would be promoted to the position or someone else would be appointed.
The disciplined, organized and safe school climate that existed under Mrs. Barton disintegrated immediately under Marck Abraham. Less than five months into Abraham's Principalship, the McKinley teachers were so fearful for the safety of their students and their own, that they sought the assistance of The Buffalo Teachers Federation (BTF) President Phil Rumore. On January 10, 2018 Rumore sent Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash a letter detailing an unprecedented, first ever, "Vote of No Confidence", taken by the McKinley teachers for Principal Marck Abraham (No Confidence Vote). The document chronicled that "Abraham is frequently out of the building and unable to be contacted for extended periods of time (arriving late, leaving early, days off) often without replacement coverage. Marck Abraham fosters a negative and unsafe school culture resulting in faculty, staff and administration being disrespected, intimidated and threatened by students." The document highlighted a multitude of improprieties committed by Abraham, including, but not limited to, purposefully inflating attendance records, misuse of staff, intimidating and threatening staff. (No Confidence Vote).
Superintendent Cash backed Abraham and left him at the helm at McKinley, even though the school was wildly out of control, for all to see. Abraham had "snuggled up" to Dr. Cash and finessed himself into a Mentor-mentee relationship. This relationship was transparent to all, except Dr. Cash, as an obvious "career promoting" maneuver by Abraham. The rest of the 2017-2018 school year was tumultuous under Abraham as the student body became more emboldened as each month passed under the lax, defiant and preoccupied Abraham.
Note* The no confidence vote document is dated 1/10/17 but that is believed to be a typo. Upon information and belief, the actual date was 1/10/18.
The 2018-2019 school year saw McKinley High School continue to unravel with Abraham at the helm. On January 4, 2019 a McKinley teacher was body slammed by a student resulting in the teacher receiving multiple stitches for a deep laceration to his back. (Story click here) True to form Abraham took the students side against the teacher, even though witnesses, including the teacher who was assaulted and a security guard all agreed that the student attacked the teacher. BTF President Rumore again called for Abraham's removal for Abraham's handling of the incident and the unsafe conditions at McKinley. Abraham retaliated against the teacher and involuntarily transferred him to another BPS school. (Story 1, Story 2, Story 3, Story 4,)
The remainder of the 2018-2019 school year was marred with the following incidents, stories and acts of violence:
-1/7/19 Community members and neighbors of McKinley complained to WGRZ2 of public urination, smoking of pot, drug deals and fights. The article quote BTF President Rumore, "Rumore hopes no one "gets killed" before something is done." One resident predicts on the video, while being interviewed "something is going to happen outside the school." That quote directly contradicts Superintendent Cash's recent claims that "he wasn't warned of the violence at McKinley." (click here). (Click here #2)
-1/10/19 WGRZ-2 Reported that there are a lack of consequences at McKinley. (click here).
-1/14/19 BTF released a press release detailing unacceptable learning conditions at McKinley. The release included an account of an incident where three male students barged into a female teachers room and made inappropriate comments to her and asked to hug her and were verbally abusive. When the teacher brought the issue to Abraham, he indirectly accused the female teacher of being racist and refused to formally suspend the students. (click here).
-1/16/19 WGRZ-2 questioned Superintendent Cash about escalating complaints about Principal Abraham. WGRZ2 characterized Cash's response about Abraham as "he's got full support from the superintendent." (click here).
1/17/19 WKBW-7 Issues continue at McKinley. Rumore asks for action to be taken. (click).
1/23/19 WGRZ-2 Rumore states "The District statement apparently approved by the Superintendent and Board of Education is insulting, derogatory and false" and accuses the district of a "cover-up" at McKinley.
2/8/19 BTF releases statement alleging a cover-up/scam by McKinley and BPS to inflate graduation rates in order to boost Abraham's status. (click here).
2/28/19 BTF releases results of climate survey of McKinley teachers. 90% described learning environment as poor. 92% described administrative leadership as poor/non-existent. 86% described staff moral as low/very low. This again contradicts Cash's claims that "he didn't know about problems at McKinley." (click here), (click here #2).
4/18/19 WGRZ-2 story on fights at McKinley. Video shows Principal Abraham attempting to break up fights in front of school. The fact that students fight in front of Abraham is a clear indication that they disregarded him as an authority figure, as did all of the adults, except for Dr. Cash. (click here).
4/19/19 WKBW-7 story addressing the fact that BPS has been paying three salaries for McKinley Principals, totaling over $400,000 per year. Simply because Dr. Cash refused to follow past practice and appoint the assistant principal with the most seniority (Mrs. Cerre) to the "acting principal" position, while Mrs. Barton was on leave. Cash lost hearing after hearing regarding this issue and wasted hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars in the process. (click here).
5/19/19 A female student pushed a McKinley teacher into a door from behind. The student went to Principal Abraham and alleged that she was pushed by the teacher. Video proved the teacher was pushed and the student was lying. True to form, Abraham refused to suspend the student. This is an open Grievance that Dr. Cash refuses to hear in person as he avoids all issues involving "Marck Abraham".
7/24/19 WIVB-4 video of more McKinley fights makes the news. (click here).
During the 2019-2020 school year "shelters in place" took place regularly. When the announcement that a "shelter is in place", teachers are alerted to close and lock their doors. This was done at McKinley regularly because of the fact that there were multiple fights going on throughout the building. Often times there were 10 or more fights in a single school day. BTF President Phil Rumore continued to go to all major news outlets seeking assistance, as Dr. Cash continued to back Abraham. (click here).
WKBW-7 interviewed Principal Abraham and showed him video of fights that took place in the past few months and the ever sneaky and scamming Abraham referenced the videos as having occurred "over the course of two years." These fights were an every day occurrence both during the school day and at dismissal time on the front lawn, in the parking lot and on neighbors lawns. Both Cash and Abraham seemed to think that this behavior was fine as nothing changed at McKinley, no matter how dire the atmosphere became. (click here).
In early 2020 a switch blade was recovered on a student as he was checked by security, while entering school. Abraham directed security to "let it go" and he refused to take action. Abraham dismissed the students possession of the weapon and claimed the boy was an "aspiring barber." Abraham's real motivation to sweep this issue and many others under the rug was his plan to parlay his role as a principal into a money making scam as a "motivational speaker." Abraham's focus was to keep suspensions down and graduation rates up, in order to use those stats to self promote.
Abraham continued his intimidation tactics of his staff until the very end. The BTF requested that teachers attend a grievance hearing to testify regarding one of Abraham's many indiscretions. The only teacher who agreed to testify was targeted by Abraham less than 10 days later. Abraham placed a teacher aide in the teachers classroom, with the aides only task being to "watch the teacher." This matter is also an open grievance that Cash refuses to hear. Cash thinks that refusing to hear grievances gives him plausible deniability.
In early 2020 Abraham also abruptly informed a beloved staff member who was a long-time McKinley Mack football coach and teacher aide that he was no longer needed at the school. The reasoning behind Abraham's move to terminate the well respected and revered coach/teacher aide was Abraham heard a rumor that the the coach/teacher aide made a disparaging remark about him.
In the spring of 2020 with violence at an all time high at McKinley, pressure from the McKinley teachers and Buffalo Teachers Federation for Superintendent Cash to replace Abraham, school was abruptly shut down in March due to Covid-19. Most of the McKinley teachers were of the mindset that someone would have gotten badly hurt or killed in the spring of 2020 if school did not shut down.
Ever the opportunist and self promoter, Abraham used the pandemic to pressure the McKinley teaching staff to pass nearly every student, regardless of attendance, work completed and test scores. Most of the teachers worked with the students to help them, as the pandemic shutdown was unprecedented but Abraham's intimidation tactics resulted in teachers passing many students who never attended school prior to the pandemic and/or did little or no work after the pandemic break. Abraham even substituted passing grades, where they didn't exist, causing one McKinley teacher and the BTF to file an official grade fraud appeal with Superintendent Cash, the Board of Education and the NYS Department of Education. Abraham's grade fraud was such common knowledge that students even flaunted "I ain't never go to class but that don't mean that ima fail" (click here).
In the summer of 2020 Superintendent Cash had no choice but to replace Abraham with Naomi Cerre. As previously written, Cash went against past practice and common sense by appointing the young, inexperienced and intellectually challenged Abraham to the "acting Principal" position when Mrs. Barton was put on leave in 2017. Past practice was that the senior most administrator in the building would be appointed as the "acting Principal." The result of Cash appointing Abraham and passing over veteran administrator Mrs. Cerre was that the BPS was forced to pay all three (Mrs. Barton, Mrs. Cerre and Abraham), principal pay from 2017 through the summer of 2020. At the July 15, 2020 BOE meeting, the board officially accepted the resignation of Marck Abraham, effective August 1, 2020 and appointed Naomi Cerre to her rightful place as "temporary Principal", of McKinley high school, effective July 5, 2020 (click here). Mrs. Cerre could not be appointed to the actual position of "principal of McKinley High School" as Mrs. Barton was still on leave and her situation needed to be remedied before someone could be appointed to the position. (click here) (click here) (click here)
Before moving on to the 2020-2021 school year, a few details must be buttoned up regarding Marck Abraham. You need to understand what a scammer Mark Abraham is. For example, on March 6, 2019 while all of the aforementioned chaos was going on at his school (McKinley High School), Abraham was able to convince WKBW-7 to run a story on McKinley being designated a "model school" by the State Education Department. (click here). Of course Abraham was only able to "finesse" this distinction by pressuring teachers to "pass students or get transferred." On August 20, 2019 Abraham again convinced local news coverage to fraudulently promote him when the Buffalo News ran an article painting him as a superior educator. (click here).
Predictably, when Abraham was removed as Principal of Mckinley High School, he painted a picture that he was "resigning" to focus on helping "young men of color" all across the country. Spectrum ran an article on July 6, 2020, in which reporter Fadia Patterson characterized his departure as "he's leaving a successful chapter at McKinley to share that system nationwide. Dr. Abraham is branching out as the CEO of his own consulting firm, which provides solutions for underperforming schools." Superintendent Cash was quoted within the article as calling Abraham a "rare talent." This all despite the fact that Abraham ran one of the most violent, unorganized and unsafe High Schools in Western New York, if not the country. (click here).
This story has referenced Abraham's "consulting firm", but this needs to be further clarified. Any good school administrator will tell you that being the principal of any school, even a small elementary school is a full time (into the evening daily and including weekends) job. Most good administrators do not leave their buildings until after 6:00 P.M. daily. Abraham frequently came to school very late, left early or didn't show up at all. When he was there he was definitely wasn't running the building, he was in his office. While Abraham was principal at McKinley, he ran his consulting firm Mea Consultants (click here). Unbelievably, while Abraham was running one of the most unorganized and violent schools in WNY, he was also traveling around the country mentoring school leaders with his "Turnaround Strategist" scam, along with working on his doctorate. Superintendent Cash knew that Abraham was running his scam educational consultant business, which is outrageous for a temporary principal whose building was completely out of control. Not only did Cash know, but he appears on Abrahams website as a testimonial. Abraham's scamming ability is on full display on his social media accounts (click here). Upon viewing Abraham's social media accounts, if one didn't know better you would think he was a transformational type school administrator who brought staff, students and community members together and changed a school climate and helped young people, but that's exactly the opposite of what he did. Careful examination of Abraham's social media accounts reveals that not one of his former staff members offer testimonials in support of him. To the contrary all of the staff at McKinley blame him for ruining the school. (Click here) (click here). Unbelievably, Abraham even wrote a book, titled "This is what success looks like." Abraham has peddled his book as part of his educational consultant scam.
The next two pages contain some PURE GOLD from Marck Abraham's social media accounts. Please enjoy these links, while keeping in mind that many days at McKinley there were 10+ fights a day, while this fraudster was principal.
My scam has a purpose!!
Watch here as Abraham accuses "the system" for him being illiterate. He alleges that his high school and UB made money from his football ability, which is laughable. His career stats at UB were pedestrian at best and the football program is in the red.
Watch here as Abraham talks to an empty auditorium but wants you to believe he is in front of thousands!
Watch Marck here as he scammed his way to waste a bunch of Niagara Falls City School District employees time.
Abraham continued his ruse by holding a "leadership academy" in 2021 (click here)
Yes Abraham actually took his scam all the way with a book commemorating his B.S. (click here)
The epitome of "if I say it enough times, it will come true!"
Here Abraham teaches you how to be a consultant. No skill needed!
Get schooled on ELA and Math, facilitated by someone who is borderline illiterate. (click here)
Learn about real estate and financial freedom from Marck lol, lol
When you hire someone, to take a photo of someone you hired to take a photo of you!! A whole new level of baller! This is not an error. Think about it. Abraham hired the guy you see taking the photo, but then he also hired a 2nd person to take a picture of the guy taking the photo!
Let Abraham teach you how he "turned around" Mckinley!!
Mrs. Cerre began the 2020-2021 school year as the "temporary Principal of McKinley H.S." From September 2020 through January 2021, McKinley was pretty quiet and safe, as the the students were on remote instruction. After eclipsing the "30 years of service mark" in January of 2021, Mrs. Cerre officially retired.
Having learned his lesson from appointing the inexperienced and incompetent Abraham, Dr. Cash followed "past practice" and appointed the McKinley assistant principal who possessed the most seniority, Carmelita Burgin, to replace Mrs. Cerre in January of 2021. As previously mentioned, the 2020-2021 school year was quiet, as the majority of the student body were schooled from home, remotely. Mrs. Burgin and her administrative team worked very hard and are all honest people who genuinely wanted McKinley to succeed. They wanted what was best for the students and staff collectively.
In September of 2021 all of the students returned to McKinley and it was evident from the beginning that although the new administrative staff meant well and worked hard, they were not trained properly in the art of running a high school. This was a trickle down effect of Dr. Cash's fraudulent appointment of Mark Abraham as Temporary Principal four years prior in 2017. Mrs. Burgin and all of her assistant principals were trained under Abraham, which meant they received no legitimate training whatsoever.
From September 2021 through February 2022 McKinley became more violent by the day. On December 7, 2021 a young girl and relative of a BPS Board member was beaten in the bathroom so badly that the bathroom sink and floor were covered with blood. The badly beaten girl suffered a facial fracture. The entire fight was caught on video by another student and shared throughout the school. Because the girl who was badly beaten and injured was the relative of a BPS school board member, Superintendent Cash was taken to task at the following board meeting. The board demanded that Cash get McKinley under control. This contradicts Cash's recent claims that there were no warning signs leading up to recent events.
Throughout January and February 2022 there were fights daily at McKinley, at times resulting in a "shelter in place." In late January one of these fights resulted in a female staff member being thrown to the ground and injured. WGRZ-2 ran a story on the fights, mentioning the injured teacher and the frequency and seriousness of the fights. (click here). In early 2022 an Instagram account surfaced which contained several recent fights. (click here). Again, these serious reports contradict Superintendent Cash's claims that there were no warning signs.
On Wednesday February 9, 2022 a McKinley High School student was stabbed multiple times and a school security guard was shot outside the school at dismissal time (click here). The incident gained national attention. At this current time both the student and security guard are believed to be recovering. The McKinley students were placed on remote instruction for the rest of the week.
Dr. Cash held a press conference on Friday February 11, 2022, during which he laid out the plan for reopening McKinley. During the conference one reporter had the courage to perform some actual reporting and press Cash regarding the fact that he was warned for several years about the violence at McKinley. The reporter asked Cash the obvious question, "this has been ready to boil over for a very long time." Cash made the bizarre and unbelievable reply to the reporter of "how long?" Cash played dumb to having knowledge that something was going to happen and cited that there were only 16 incidents at McKinley recently. Click the following link to watch the press conference. At the 37:30 mark turn your volume up to hear the reporters question and Cash's "how long", reply. (click here).
As previously written, Cash laid out his timeline to bring back McKinley students to in person instruction, during his February 11, 2022 press conference. The timeline was a tiered approach throughout the week. Cash stated that he wasn't going to have police placed inside McKinley but that he was ordering new metal detectors. To further insult the McKinley teachers Cash publicized that he would be meeting with the teachers the following day, on Saturday February 12, 2022, for their input. This was insulting as you don't get input after you lay out your plan. Obviously input should come BEFORE you complete your plan and inform the public of what it is. When the meeting with the teachers took place on Saturday 2/12/22, Cash didn't show up until the very end and it was evident that the main reason for the meeting was to "check a box" that he got input and met with the teachers and also for him to have a "photo op."
On 2/16/22 Mrs. Burgin was reassigned from "temporary Principal"
of McKinley H.S. to an assistant principal position in another BPS High School. On that same day, Mr. Khalil, Moustafa was appointed as "temporary Principal" of McKinley High School.
On 2/17/22 the Buffalo Teachers Federation issued a "vote of no confidence" against Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash (click here). The teachers union also called for a safety and security committee in each Buffalo school. The union also asked for an investigation of the district by the state and federal officials.
Superintendent Cash was warned for approximately five years that something was going to happen at McKinley, but the fact of the matter is that he just didn't and still doesn't care. Many students and adults have been physically and emotionally injured over the past five years and Dr. Cash is solely responsible.
Not only has cash mismanaged McKinley High School and nearly caused the death of a security guard and student, but he has also come under fire for his conduct for his interactions with his bosses (The BPS Board of Education). In recent months Cash has become defensive and even engaged in shouting matches with BOE members during meetings. (click here)(click here). Additionally Cash has come under fire for abandoning the district and it's students during the pandemic and retreating to his home in Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. This reportedly left the district with no one in charge during one of the neediest times in the district's history (click here).
While it is true that the McKinley staff blames former Principal Marck Abraham for McKinley's downward spiral over the past few years, it was Superintendent Cash who placed the unqualified, self-promoting and grammatically challenged Abraham in place. Even more alarming than appointing Abraham, was the fact that Cash ignored the vote of no confidence in 2018, climate survey in 2019 and the constant pleas from McKinley teachers and community members to replace Abraham. While some may argue that the administrators who followed Abraham may bare some of the responsibility for the school's downfall, it is clear to see that they all possess an important distinction from Abraham, in that they actually were present on a daily basis and tried to bring order to the school. The unfortunate thing for each of the administrators who came after Abraham (except for Mrs. Cerre), was that they were trained by the unfit Abraham. The fact of the matter is that Abraham did not appoint himself to the position of Temporary Principal of McKinley High School, Superintendent Kriner Cash did. For that reason alone, Dr. Cash must be shown the door.
Superintendents will often try to trick novice board of education members into thinking that they (Superintendents) are at the top of the chain of command in a school district, but that is not so. The fact of the matter is that NYS Education Law is very clear that "the superintendent serves at the pleasure of the board." Any time you "serve at someone's pleasure", they are your boss and thus can get rid of you. (click here) The Lockport City School District is so aware of the Board of Education's power that they list on the Board of Education page of the Lockport City School District website that "The Superintendent of Schools serves at the pleasure of the Board of Education" (click here).
You may wonder "how" can the board get rid of Superintendent Cash. On page #16(c) of Cash's employment contract (click here) it is written that he can be "discharged for cause", with $0 paid to him. Quite certainly the facts laid out herein provide "just cause" for Cash's termination. If the board wants to be "kind" to Cash, they could reference page #15(d) of his contract, which sends him on his way, with one years pay. Cash SHOULD be terminated under 16(c) though, as he would never win any type of arbitration/law suit claiming that there was no "just cause" to terminate him, as evidenced by the simple course of events laid out herein.
The specific action that the Buffalo Public Schools BOE should take is this:
1. The BOE needs to call a special executive session.
2. Prior to the beginning of the executive session BOE President Louis Petrucci should notify Dr. Cash that he is not being invited into executive session. Mr. Petruicci should however invite Nathaniel J. Kuzma, General Counsel for Buffalo Public Schools into executive session. Once in executive session the BOE should notify Mr. Kuzma that they wish to terminate Superintendent Cash and direct Mr. Kuzma to begin the process. The BOE and Mr. Kuzma could discuss which route to take in terminating Dr. Cash, but make no mistake about it, The Board of Education is in charge and calls the shots and makes all decisions. The Board should not ask for Mr. Kuzma's "permission" to terminate cash, as they are Mr. Kuzma's bosses also. They should "direct" Mr. Kuzma. This will result in cash's termination.
As covered in depth herein, Dr. Cash promoted guidance counselor Marck Abraham to the position of acting principal of McKinley High school, which went against past practice, even though Abraham was young, inexperienced, had zero teaching experience and was/is limited grammatically. Even worse, when it was brought to Cash's attention multiple times over three plus years that Abraham was failing miserably as principal and McKinley was unsafe as a result, Cash backed Abraham and left him in power, which resulted in McKinley being in the state it is in today.
Prominently featured on Abraham's educational consultant business website is an endorsement/testimonial of Abraham by Dr. Cash (see the picture above), promoting Abraham (click here), even though Abraham failed miserably as a "temporary principal" and caused McKinley to spiral to the unsafe condition it is in today. Undoubtedly it was cash that gave Abraham the blueprint on how to hustle districts as he has promoted/given testimonials for other friends to work as high paid "consultants" in the past. Like Abraham, these consultants were exposed as community members questioned the legitimacy of their employment. (click here) (click here). As recently as February 2, 2022 Abraham posted a picture on his Instagram account, showing him and Dr. Cash shaking hands, as he hands Dr. Cash a copy of his "book." (click here).
It is believed by many that Dr. Cash and Abraham have been "conditioning the atmosphere" for Abraham to slide into an assistant superintendent position and eventually the superintendent position in the Buffalo Public School District. Make no mistake about it, promoting Marck Abraham to any position in the administration of the Buffalo Public School District would result in more chaos and failure for the Buffalo Public School District. Many people believe that Cash and Abraham have a plan that once Abraham is appointed to replace Cash as Superintendent that Abraham will employ Cash as a "consultant" at a rate of approximately $1,500 per day.
The common thread between Dr. Cash and Marck Abraham is that they do not want what is best for the students and staff. They do not "serve the board." They serve only themselves. Do not fall for the hustle and appoint Marck Abraham to any position within the BPS system. The Buffalo Schools Board of Education, no longer has plausible deniability of knowledge that the violence at McKinley and other Buffalo Schools is out of control. You have hereby been warned of the violence and injury filled environment ignored and fostered by Dr. Cash. If any further bloodshed occurs while he is Superintendent, you share the blame with him for not acting when YOU were warned.
You may be wondering who the authors of this website are. We are a group of six people consisting of teachers, community members and parent(s) who worked collaboratively on this website. Six of us worked first hand on constructing this website while several other people provided us with the information, data and stories. We all genuinely want what is best for BPS. We will reveal our identity on this website exactly one month after Dr. Cash is terminated by BPS. We do want to sign our name to this website and the facts laid out herein, but we do not feel safe doing so while Cash is in power. Stay tuned.
Note* If you notice any mistakes/errors on this site or if you wish to contact us please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org