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Sotomayor Laments Closing of Catholic School

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor returned to her alma mater Blessed Sacrament School in the Bronx to lament its closing, with apparent concern for the secular benefits of Catholic schooling, according to The New York Times.

Sotomayor has described herself as a “lapsed Catholic” and is believed to be “pro-choice” on abortion, but she reportedly told fourth-grade boys and girls, “I’m really upset. It’s hard to say goodbye.”

The justice reportedly expressed concern that Catholic school closings mean a loss of security and opportunity for professional success for pupils in inner cities. She also regrets the potential loss of “faith” among children — referring to trust in their elders:

“The worst thing is, these kids could lose their faith in the adults around them,” she said in an interview inside her old fifth-grade classroom. “Children need to feel secure. This makes it worse. These kids are going to carry this trauma with them for the rest of their lives.”

…“The Catholic schools have been a pipeline to opportunity for generations,” said Justice Sotomayor, who was raised by her mother after her father, an alcoholic, died. “It gave people like me the chance to be successful. It provided me and my brother with an incredible environment of security. Not every school provides that.”

The Times reports that 56 Catholic schools have closed in the Archdiocese of New York since 2011, with 219 remaining.

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Raped 10-year-old Bronx, NY

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A teacher is accused in the hideous rape of a 10-year-old girl. Now her grandmother has made a plea to ensure the agony that ripped apart her family never happens again. Finally, lawmakers are hearing the call to act. 	State Senator Ruben Diaz and the New York Hispanic Clergy Organization hold press conference with family members and friends of 10-year-old allegedly raped by a teacher outside Bronx Criminal Court at 265 East 161st Street in the Bronx, New York on Monday June 24, 2013. ENID ALVAREZ/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

The grandmother of a 10-year-old girl who was allegedly raped three times by Bronx, N.Y., teacher Anthony Criscuolo is among family members demanding justice. ‘I don’t sleep. I can’t eat,’  Maria Reyes said Monday through a Spanish translator. ‘That beast took my life. He broke my heart.’ She spoke at a press conference held outside Bronx Criminal Court, where the accused educator waived his appearance to testify before a grand jury.

The tearful family of a 10-year-old girl allegedly raped by a Bronx, N.Y., teacher called on education officials Monday to pull predatory teachers from classrooms so that it never happens to another child.

And they demanded justice for the monster who ruined the girl’s life.

“I don’t sleep. I can’t eat,” the girl’s grandmother, Maria Reyes, said through a Spanish translator. “That beast took my life. He broke my heart.”

The distraught grandma spoke out amid a renewed push to make it easier for the New York City schools system to fire perverted staffers.

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Bronx LGBTQ Community Services Center organizers vow to carry banner

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Fledgling group, which has recently launched to take place of defunt Bronx Pride Center, needs to raise $2,000 with only weeks remaining until event, slated for July 20 in Crotona Park. 	Appolonia Cruz (center) hosts Bronx Pride 2011. COURTESY OF APPOLONIA CRUZ

Appolonia Cruz (center) hosts Bronx Pride 2011.

The organizers of the newly established Bronx LGBTQ Community Services Center are determined to hold a gay and lesbian “pride” event, but they have less than three weeks to raise more than $2,000 to pay for the permit.

“We’re reaching out to everyone,” said Peter Frank, the Bronx LGBTQ Center secretary, who said the group is dependant on sponsors and registration fees to foot the bill for the Bronx LGBTQ Pride and Health Fair, which is planned for July 20 in Crotona Park.

The realization that funds were short came weeks after Frank applied to the city Parks Department for an events permit.

When he paid the $25 application fee, he said, he saw a list of related fees on the Parks Department website but didn’t understand until weeks later that the whole shebang could cost up to $2,500.

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Anthony Criscuolo, Bronx teacher, arrested on rape charge

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File photo of NYPD vehicle.Photo credit: Newsday | File photo of NYPD vehicle.

A teacher at a Bronx elementary school teacher has been arrested on a charge of second-degree rape.

Anthony Criscuolo, 40, was arrested at 10 a.m. Wednesday, police said.

Department of Education spokeswoman Connie Pankratz says Criscuolo is a fifth-grade special education teacher at Public School 386 in the Bronx.

He has been reassigned to a non-teaching position, and the department is seeking his termination.

Police did not release details of the rape charge.

Information on an attorney for Criscuolo was not immediately available.

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Students log on to higher learning at Bronx Compass

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When Art meets Technology, STEM turns to STEAM! NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiENID ALVAREZ/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Renalddy Then, 14, plays electric guitar for a project in his digital music class at Bronx Compass High School.

The teens sat hunched over MacBook Pro laptops, silently maneuvering their fingers over the keyboards while hypnotic beats thumped through black headphones covering their ears.

Behind them, a boy sat in a chair on a small stage and played the electric guitar, the sharp notes filling the darkly lit basement room.NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi

“They’re off exploring things they didn’t have access to before,” said teacher Anthony Dimasso, watching his students’ intense focus on digital recording.

The scenario may not evoke memories of high school music class, but it’s the norm at Bronx Compass High School, where principal Stacy McCoy and her staff make every effort to incorporate art into a heavily STEM-focused curriculum.

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