Newark parent leader arrested, jailed, after criticizing state plan to close schools.

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Daryn Martin at the front door of Ivy Hill--now he has been arrested
Daryn Martin at the front door of Ivy Hill–now he has been arrested

A parent leader who criticized the “One Newark” plan pushed by state school superintendent Cami Anderson was arrested yesterday  on charges he assaulted a central office administrator. Daryn Martin, president of the Parent Teacher Organization at the Ivy Hill School, was charged with “aggravated assault” but released on his own recognizance. If convicted, he faces three to five years in jail.

Martin,  a deacon for he New Hope Baptist Church in Jersey City, said he was called by a Newark police detective and asked to come to headquarters to sign a formal complaint. He had earlier filed a criminal complaint against Tiffany Hardrick, an assistant school superintendent, but the detective said he did not have the right address on the form.  It apparently was a ruse to get Martin to come to police headquarters so he could be arrested. When he arrived shortly before 2:30 pm, he was confronted by a detective who told him:

“Here’s the deal, Mr. Martin. The simple assault charge against you has been elevated to aggravated assault because she is a public official.”

Martin said, “What charge? There’s no charge against me.” Despite his protests, he was handcuffed and fingerprinted. The police took a mug shot and swabbed his cheek for DNA samples. Then he was placed in a cell with two other inmates.

Robert Pickett of West Orange, Martin’s lawyer, said his client’s arrest amounted to “intimidation.” Martin was a vocal critic of plans by state-appointed superintendent Cami Anderson to close, transfer to charters or otherwise “repurpose” nearly half of the city’s public schools.

Martin had  appeared at a Trenton press conference called by state Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Essex) when Rice introduced legislation aimed at blocking the closing of neighborhood schools in Newark and other cities.

“We intend to fight these charges aggressively,” Pickett said. “Mr. Martin will not be intimidated.”

Simple assault charges are automatically elevated to a much more serious crime if the victim is a public official, including a school employee.

Martin’s troubles with Anderson began Jan. 15 when he posted notices of a PTO meeting at the Ivy Hill School. Later, he witnessed Hardrick and another central office administrator, Gary Beidleman, tearing down the notices, which had been approved by school principal Lisa Brown.

Martin said that, when he demanded they stop, Hardrick pushed him twice. He later filed a police complaint against Hardrick but, two days later,  he was banned from entering the school his two children attend. The letter notifying him of the ban accused him of pushing Hardrick and Beidleman although a  report filed by a school security officer about the incident mentioned no pushing.  At the time, neither Newark police nor the school administration would say whether any charges had been pressed against Martin.

Martin then joined a federal law suit filed by five school principals against Anderson, charging she violated their First Amendment rights. The principals were suspended after speaking about the “One Newark” plan at a community forum. After widespread community outrage, the five were taken off suspension. Brown did not speak at the forum but was apparently suspended for supporting Martin.

“This takes the fight against Anderson to a whole new level,” Martin said after his release from jail last night. “I am not going to stop speaking out against what she is doing to the children of Newark.”

Pickett said he  believed the school district was “trying to paint my client as a bad guy to help their defense against the federal suit.” The attorney said their action “just increased the potential damages against them.”

Martin insisted he had no idea he would be arrested when he was lured  to police headquarters.  He said  detectives spoke to him but did not read him his Miranda rights that direct him to remain silent if he faced arrest. He also said he was never brought before a judge to give his side of what happened.

“It was a set up,” he said. Martin accused the police of working with the school board to created a “massive cover-up” of the circumstances of his arrest.

Martin said he had never been arrested before.

Martin, a union organizer for 1199J, National Union of Hosital and Health Care Workers, said he was “sorry” he had cost the taxpayers money because he was fed a prison meal of franks and beans, a bottle of water, and oatmeal cookies. Just as a bus came to take inmates to the county jail, he said, he was told he could go home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

32 comments

  1. yvonne malone

    Parents has a right to speak out about INJUSTICE and INEQUALITY in their child schools. PARENTS MUST STAND THEIR GROUND. The superintendent ACTIONS is ILLEGAL

  2. sista

    This is an outright disgrace and definitely another form of bullying and intimidation. The people united will never be defeated.

  3. YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW 7

    It’s sad to say that intelligent human beings are violated because they exercise their God-given right to utilize their freedom of speech. Ms. Hardrick, I hope you have God in your life because you seem to have things twisted. Don’t you see that your actions hurt the lives of others especially the children of Mr.Martin’s family. Oops I completely forgot….what was I thinking Daryn Martin is not your brother. Good coverage Bob!! A writer with integrity and truth, something the Cami administration knows nothing about!! Keep your head up Mr. Martin! Look to the hills where your help comes from, it cometh from the Lord. It’s already done!!

  4. Alicia Malave

    Newark community we have to stand together otherwise we are submitting to their agenda. Every resource is being used against the community. The superintendent refers to our kids as a danger on the streets where they live, the teachers are ineffective according to the standardized tests that do not measure the real improvements in the schools. Principals are penalized for speaking up. The police is being used in numbers during Advisory Board meetings. Even when school members announce that they will drive around Cedar Street and honk their horns in protest of the principals’ suspension the police blocked the access to Cedar St. and officers were walking up and down the block. Now this arrest without a clear cause. They are stripping this community of what is rightfully ours. Taking our schools, selling our buildings, using our students as bargaining chips but we have the right to protest, the right to have an education that is provided by highly qualified teachers and the right to run our schools. People of Newark is time to stand up and demand what is ours.

  5. DA

    Bob please report Tiffany Hardrick mess since Lousiana she is another bully with a messy past! We all need to support and demand his charges are dropped this is just plain on another disgusting and unthical behavior!
    Bob Braun: I will.

  6. Suzanne Libourel

    This is not just a fight for Newark, it’s a fight for all public education. People say that things like this wouldn’t happen in the suburbs, but everyone who advocates for public schools is at risk, with Christie and Cerf in charge. I stand in solidarity with the children, parents, and educators in Newark.

  7. Dmc

    So when are the police going to arrest Hardrick,? Mr Martin was a very active parent at ivy Hill School. The volcano is getting ready to erupt in Newark,in the words of the late Gill Scott Heron “the revolution will not be televised”

    Bob Braun: No, and it won’t even be covered by your local newspaper.

  8. Molly May

    This is disgusting. What’s more, I’m going to play the race card and say that they’re more likely to get away with this because he is a black man.

    Put it on record that a white woman said it first.

  9. jean sanders

    the NJ officials need to know we are watching from outside the state; has anyone set up a fund for hiring lawyers to defend this man? thank you (Massachusetts taxpayer)

  10. Laura

    Do you know if the school has video surveillance? Have the police seen the school security camera video of the event during their investigation? Someone’s not telling the truth. The video would help to bring the facts to light. How can we find out if the video has been provided to the police by the school system yet?

    Bob Braun: Mr. Martin tells me he saw a video but it was only of the inside of the entrance and doesn’t show any physical altercation. Yes, certainly a video would be helpful in determining what happened. But I wonder why, if Mr. Martin thought there was a video incriminating him, he would be the first to call the police–that very day– and file a complaint against Hardrick and Beidleman. I’ve met him and spoken to him on numerous occasions and he is an intelligent man.

    • Laura

      Frankly, I expect that if there were a video of the event, the school did not provide it to the police. If there had been one, does it still exist? We have no reason not to believe Mr. Martin. We have no reason to think he did anything wrong at all.

  11. jean sanders

    I looked back through the Newark application for “race to the top funds ” (a minomer if there ever was one. This paragraph comes from the letter signed by C. Anderson: “quote: “Given our fiscal challenges, the need for additional family and student supports, and the overt digital divide that exists, we have been pursuing this opportunity with enthusiasm for a year and a half. Our children, our families, our staff, and our community need and deserve this funding ” Can anyone tell me what a “digital divide” is ? Does she mean that the professional educators don’t go along with the tactics and strategies she has imposed on students and teachers? Is that what it means?

    Bob Braun: While I’m not sure what Anderson meant, I know the term “digital divide” has been used in other contexts to describe how poor children often do not have access to computers while more affluent children do.

  12. rev66vette

    Wow!! Now the Police are involved in this?? What’s the justification of taking a DNA sample on a charge like this? Where is the leadership of the Department that allows them to get involved in a politically motivated incident. Moreover, why was this man arrested as he was and detained as a common criminal. He is a known member of the community and not a risk to flee….what kind of example does this set?? The community has a right to be outraged, and I’d expect a lot of repercussions because of this.

  13. Tom

    I very concerned in regards to the ruse to get him downtown. Think back to 2002 between Booker and Sharpe. Things that never should be happening are still happening. Watch “Street Fight” for similarities. We need to dig a lot deeper and see who is connected to who

  14. nancy J. Gianni

    Each day I tell myself things in Newark cannot get any worse and then I read this article about a caring, gentle, passionate, committed parent being arrested for posting notices of an approved PTO meeting and I scream aloud “YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! THIS CANNOT BE HAPPENING AGAIN!”

    What I am left with are these questions:

    Who will be next?

    Will it be me, because I am actively involved in this fight to protect our students and save our schools?

    Will it be the people that are standing along side of me and fighting?

    When will this stop?

    What I do know is that we need to continue to speak out and do what is right. We need to not submit to the bullies. We need you to please (if you have not done so already) join us in this fight for the children of Newark, their families, the communities and the people that spend their days teaching the students.

    NOW IS THE TIME TO JOIN TOGETHER. NOW IS THE TIME TO STAND SHOULDER TO SHOULDER ALONG SIDE OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS.

    We all know from history that fighting alone is much harder than when others join the fight, especially when we are fighting for our children and their futures.

    I know these times are scary. I know it is scary to speak out, especially if one is working for NPS. I admit I am scared, but I REFUSE to be intimidated and I REFUSE to sit back silently and wait and watch. I believe it is my responsibility to speak out when injustices are happening. Please join me in this fight for our children’s right to earn a public education in their neighborhood public school.

  15. Toni

    This situation in itself is disgusting. But the fact that Newark Police is being accused of aiding Cami’s cause is worse!! They need to be reminded that they are public employees as well and are being screwed just like us by the Governor when it comes to our benefits and pensions!! How dare they side with Cami against us or any parent in helping to lure this man to headquarters under false pretences. Hang tough Mr. Martin…we all support you and commend your efforts to help our children. Unfortunately, Ms. Anderson must think she is one hell of a business woman but obviously has no common sense! And thank you Bob Braun for being the only one to help us bring these issues to light!

  16. JK Duncan

    The REAL cause of the problem here is that the orders are coming straight from the governor’s administration!! They are going to force charter schools down our throats in an effort to privatize public education. These are strong arm tactics by the Superintendent, who is controlled by the NJ Dept. of Education. If he wants to keep his job he has to go along with them. As a former School Board Member in a NJ state controlled district, I have seen this first hand. I have been saying this for over 20 years: the number one goal of many Republicans is to get the state out of the business of education. Districts are already doing it piece by piece. First it’s the custodians, then the food service, the substitutes, the teachers, etc. Anyone who doesn’t go along is suspended, or worse, like the principals that disagreed. Can you imagine what would happen if Christie were to become president? Stand up and stand tall for your public schools Newark!! Don’t let them bully you. Stand strong as one.

  17. Kelly

    The Newark Police Department should be ashamed of themselves. They will be in the same position as teachers before long. They need to stand unified with teachers…and teachers stand firm with parents. Especially parents who take interest and advocate for their children! We should be commending Mr. Martin not arresting him! In Newark, we welcome parent involvement because unfortunately in some neighborhoods it is difficult to get the parents actively involved. Central office requires reports from every school reflecting parent programs and attendance at these events and that goes into each school’s ranking/report card. Perhaps they’re just pissed because he went up against one of the “NY crew” from their inner circle…or perhaps Ivy is being set up for re-new or closure next year. Hmmm.

  18. Joe castan

    He should get the news media involved and report this as another of Chris Christie’s team using bullying tactics and false arrest to intimidate people to being quiet also file false arrest charges against the city of Newark police department and bring a lawsuit against them since when does the city police work for the Newark board of education.

  19. cmoore

    Doesn’t the school have cameras? There should be some video evidence of these two interacting in the hall way over the PTO posters, right? Check the video!

  20. Louis McCollum

    My name is Louis I grew up In newark nj an I be damn if we all stand back an let them close newark schools an then take the name away an turn them into charter schools that takes money away fron the students an line adultsan other teachers in different areas to come in an get paid. This superintendent needs to go resign an go back where she came from.

  21. Puerto rock

    It’s time to break away from the oppressive shackles that has kept us Down for far too long ..history is repeating itself and ignorance has let loose in the form of Christi and Anderson their agenda has been in the works long before ..don’t think this is something new ..it’s just started to manifest itself now ..education has always been a way to maintain power and control and to keep others in line and defenseless ..but Times have changed and we now have stolen the knowledge that has been kept from us ..it is up to us now to use it and fight for our god given rights to the freedoms that this country so much preaches about and promotes our time to stand together is now, when the cries of our parents ..children ..educators ..community are being ignored …when OUR CHILDREN are being used as pawns for political campaigns ..and are seen as just mere $$$$ signs for the powers that be …I think it’s safe to say enough is enough ..when a concerned parent/community activist is placed in handcuffs for sharing his views ..I think it’s safe to say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH !!! CAMI HAS GOT TO GO ….

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  23. educationwillsetufree

    Bob I want to thank you for spending your time to help the people of Newark. It’s unreal that our newspapers and local tv stations are not even mentioning this. The injustices going on are archaic. Mr Martin spoke out against Cami at an advisory board meeting. I believe Hardwick was sent to Ivy School to antagonize him.
    Yes Cami set him up. These are the tactics being used to control. What’s incredulous is that the N.P.D. participated In this low life stunt. The entire 2 Cedar street’s one and only mission is to get their ONE NEWARK plan through as quickly as is humanly possible. Nothing else about Newarks students matters. You can feel the frenzy and its appalling.

  24. DA

    Attend the next board meeting Feb. 25, 2014 Rafael Hernandez school Newark; get there at 5! To get in! Or sign up to speak at the meeting!

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  26. curious

    Can we see a list of ALL that sat on this committee that want this One Newark, names and titles. Enough secrets. If they are so confident that this is what Newark children needs.

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