Thomas Jefferson High School (Brooklyn)
|Thomas Jefferson High School|
400 Pennsylvania Avenue
Thomas Jefferson High School was a high school in the East New York section of Brooklyn, New York. It was the alma mater of many people who grew up in the Great Depression and World War II and rose to prominence in the arts, literature, and other fields. In 2007, the New York City Department of Education closed the school and broke it into several small schools because of low graduation rates.
Elias Lieberman (1883-1969), American poet, writer and educator, known for the 1916 poem "I Am an American,” served as principal from 1924 to 1940. Alumni of his time include movie star and comedian Danny Kaye. Thomas Jefferson was one of seven public high schools in New York to receive a M. P. Moller pipe organ in 1926 Under Lieberman. (In the 1990s, this organ was removed and discarded.)
In 1991, Darryl Sharpe, a ninth-grade student who was an innocent bystander, was shot to death in the school. Another youth was trying to help his brother in a fistfight, drew a gun, and opened fire in the crowded hallway. The three shots killed the 16-year-old student and critically wounded a teacher, Robert Anderson, who was approaching to intervene. At the time, education officials in New York called it "one of the school system's worst crimes" and noted that besides an accidental shooting in 1989, it was the first killing of a student in a school in more than a decade. The 14-year old shooter, Jason Bentley, was sentenced to three to nine years in prison.[circular reference] Bentley was on parole for this homicide on June 22, 1997, when Luis Cabral Corcino was murdered in a robbery. Bentley was convicted of murder and was sentenced to 35 years to life.
In 1992, a 15-year-old student at the school shot two other students, who died thereafter, in the hallway an hour before then-mayor David Dinkins was supposed to tour the school. The shooter, 15-year-old Kahlil Sumpter, was sentenced to between 6⅔ and twenty years in prison. He was released on parole in 1998.[circular reference]
In the photograph above, the main entrance of TJHS is clearly engraved with a quote from Abraham Lincoln, "May reverence for the laws become the political religion of the nation." For 90 years students, and perhaps faculty, have wondered why the authorities were unable to find an appropriate quotation from Thomas Jefferson himself to grace the entrance to his namesake school.
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In 2015, two of the new schools were graduating about 70 percent of their students and the other two have graduation rates in the 50s. In New York City overall in 2015, just over 78 percent of New York State students who entered high school in 2011 graduated on time according to state officials. However, the percentage is 88 percent for white students and only 65 percent for black and Hispanic students during the same time period.
- Harvey Averne, Grammy winner twice
- Emanuel Axelrod, Supt. of Schools in Orange County, New York
- Howard E. Babbush, lawyer and politician
- Ralph Bakshi, animator
- Sandy Baron, comedian and stage, film, and television actor
- Roy C. Bennett, popular music composer
- Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs
- Riddick Bowe, boxer
- Harry Boykoff, NBA basketball player
- Stanley Brezenof, Deputy mayor of NYC; CEO Continuum Health Partners
- John Brockington, Ohio State Buckeyes' 1968 undefeated national championship football team; running back for the NFL Green Bay Packers
- Henry Cohen, director of Föhrenwald, Displaced Persons camp in post-World War II Germany
- Dorian Daughtry, American baseball player and criminal
- Shawon Dunston, major league baseball player
- Leroy Ellis, former NBA center, 1971–72 Los Angeles Lakers championship team
- Sylvia Fine, lyricist
- Mel Finkelstein, Pulitzer Prize nominated photographer
- Jack Garfinkel, former Boston Celtics player
- Hy Gotkin, basketball player
- Sidney Green, NBA player
- Sharon Jones, soul singer
- Alexander Fefer, Named one of 400 best oncologists in US by Good Housekeeping magazine
- Danny Kaye (born David Daniel Kaminsky), actor
- Ezra Jack Keats (born Jacob Ezra Katz), illustrator and author of children's books
- Daniel Keyes, author: Flowers For Algernon
- Harry Landers, actor
- Jack Lawrence, songwriter
- Steve Lawrence (born Sidney Leibowitz), popular music singer
- Al Lewis, actor, political activist
- Lil' Fame, rapper and member of M.O.P.
- Irving Malin, literary critic
- Paul Mazursky, Hollywood director
- Jim McMillian, former NBA forward, 1971–72 Los Angeles Lakers championship team
- Alan B. Miller, founder, Chairman and CEO of Universal Health Services
- Boris Nachamkin (born 1933), NBA basketball player
- Linda November, singer
- Robert Paleovitz, auther
- Martin Pope, physical chemist
- Jack Rollins, film and television producer and talent manager of comedians and television personalities
- Willa Schneberg, poet
- Phil Sellers, former NBA player
- Jimmy Smits, actor
- Sid Tannenbaum (1925–1986), professional basketball player
- Martin Tytell, expert in manual typewriters
- Moses M. Weinstein, lawyer and politician
- Allen Weisselberg, businessman
- Saul Weprin, attorney and politician
- Otis Wilson, linebacker for NFL Chicago Bears
- Shelley Winters, actress
- Jerry Wolkoff, real estate developer
- Max Zaslofsky, NBA guard/forward, one-time FT% leader, one-time points leader, All-Star, ABA coach
- Howard Zinn, historian, political activist
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- List of school shootings in the United States#CITEREFCrews2016
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- List of school shootings in the United States#CITEREFCrews2016
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