VIA THE WASHINGTON POST:

Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee watched from the front row of the D.C. Council chamber Monday as educators fired by her administration last year demanded an apology and questioned her budget practices.

About a half dozen former public school educators wore T-shirts that read: “I am not a child molester.” The message was a protest to Rhee’s comments in a national magazine that some of the more than 200 educators fired last fall had sex with students.

Former school counselor Barbara Eichelberger said Rhee should apologize for the characterization and provide job references to those who were fired.

Rhee, who left the hearing after about an hour, said in an interview that she would not apologize because “that statement was in fact true.” But Rhee said it was “important to clarify that not everyone fell into that position.”

While Rhee spoke fairly broadly, she later made clear that it was only one teacher who had sex with a student.

Outside the Wilson building, about 100 students from Hardy Middle School’s marching band played rally songs to demonstrate support for their principal, Patrick Pope. Rhee has reassigned the popular principal, who has attracted a large number of African American students to the art and music program at the Georgetown school.

Rhee is scheduled to testify on the school system’s perfomance at a separate hearing next Monday.

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