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The Nation

Drug counselors were dispatched to a South Bronx elementary school whose principal was arrested for allegedly buying crack, but a school official said he doubted the children would be unduly upset because life in their area has made them “street-wise.” Principal Matthew Barnwell, 55, of Manhattan, was arrested on a street near his Harlem apartment by undercover police officers who had been staking out the area because of heavy drug traffic. The arrest occurred minutes after children were dismissed for the day at Public School 53 in the South Bronx, where Barnwell had been principal for 14 years. Barnwell immediately was suspended as principal and assigned to the district office at his full salary of $61,229 a year pending the outcome of the charges against him.


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