July 17, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
An Astoria public school teacher is under investigation after video emerged of her calling a woman an “Asian b***ch” following a pro-police rally in Bayside last weekend.
The incident, which occurred outside the 111th precinct, located at 45-06 215th St. Sunday, has led to calls for her to be fired from her teaching job.
Katina Garanes, who teaches sixth grade at P.S. 122, could be heard on the video calling a counter-protester an “Asian b***h” after the pro-police rally.
Video of the confrontation was posted to social media and the incident was first reported by Patch.
Garanes, who was holding a “we support our police sign,” was walking toward her car when she got into a verbal altercation with activists from Warriors in the Garden – a group affiliated with Black Lives Matter.
She can then be heard saying, “Listen, you Asian bitch……” with the rest of the sentence being inaudible.
Garanes then walked across the street holding her sign in the air as police officers arrived on the scene. Garanes told the cops, “I’ve got little kids they need to step away, they need to step away.”
The protester, who is part of the Warriors in the Garden group, is then heard telling the cops “she called me an Asian b***h.”
The incident occurred after Black Lives Matter protesters and “Back the Blue” pro-NYPD demonstrators clashed at Crocheron Park in Bayside earlier in the day. One Black Lives Matter protester was arrested on charges of inciting a riot, attempted assault, disorderly conduct and harassment, according to QNS.
Warriors in the Garden, who were protesting with BLM, were waiting outside the precinct for the protester to be released when the verbal altercation occurred.
Katina Garanes, an educator @Ps122S with Asian students verbally attacked an Asian protestor while waiting outside a precinct. We call for her IMMEDIATE TERMINATION. Someone who is like this shouldn’t be teaching CHILDREN. Someone with so much hate in their heart. pic.twitter.com/w1nA7hUyQ8
— Warriors in The Garden (@WarriorsITG) July 13, 2020
The principal of P.S. 122 Anna Aprea confirmed on the school’s website Wednesday that the incident was under investigation but did not provide any further details on the matter.
“As a public school located in the heart of one of the most diverse communities in the world, we have an obligation to combat systemic racism,” Aprea said. “We will not tolerate a hostile environment for any of our students and we continue to support the social-emotional and wellness of everyone in our school community.”
Aprea added that she had received “many messages” from community members regarding the incident.
Some residents, parents and former students took to social media to condemn Garanes’ behavior. One former student said she made fun of Muslims in her classes.
An online petition that was launched Tuesday calling for her firing has gained more than 1,800 signatures on change.org.
Garanes could not be reached for comment.
The Department of Education said that Garanes remains on the job pending the outcome of the investigation. The DOE said that Ganares has no prior disciplinary history.
“The DOE stands against racism and our teachers and staff must foster safe and supportive learning environments,” a spokesperson for the DOE said.
“There is a process for investigations and the DOE must follow this process.”