Nathan Turner, an avowed Communist and teacher at a renowned New York prep school, took a boatload of his kids to Cuba to see El Jefe Supremo "one more time before he died."
So says the New York City School District, which released a report today saying that Turner knowingly defied the U.S. ban on travel to Cuba to take dozens of students there in 2007 after telling his principal, "you know Ms. Lacey, I'm a Communist."
(Turner should have followed our Castro Death Meter more closely. Fidel's still 62 percent kickin, buddy!).
Turner, a teacher at Manhattan's Beacon High School, had already led student trips to Havana in 2003 and '04 when he approached his principal, Ruth Lacey, about planning a trip in 2007, investigators say.
Lacey told Turner that the trip was a no-go after checking with her higher-ups, who said the travel ban prevented educational trips for underage students. Then Lt. Gov. David A. Patterson -- now New York's governor -- even appealed on the school's behalf, to no avail.
Turner, apparently, wouldn't take no for an answer. From the report:
Turner responded by saying that he had to go to Cuba to see Castro one more time before he died. Turner continued that, "You know Ms. Lacey, I'm a Communist."
The teacher then turned to a group called Pastors for Peace to fund the trip and held meetings with students outside of school to organize their journey to Havana.
The students traveled through the Bahamas to Castro's hood, where they interviewed homeless guys and prostitutes, danced in jazz clubs, and generally had a grand old time.
The school board's report concludes by recommending that Turner "remain ineligible to work for the DOE and that this matter be considered should he ever apply for any type of position in the New York City public school system in the future."
Turner is welcome to apply at Miami schools, of course, but he might want to watch his back on Calle Ocho.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.