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Teachers upset

By Ray O'Hanlon

Many supporters of the New York St. Patrick's Day Parade felt inclined to boo the city's decision to reduce the length of the March 17 parade of parades, this despite the fact that this year's is the landmark 250th such gathering in honor of St. Patrick.

But the biggest boo this year could well end up being directed at the New York City Department of Education, which has mandated citywide high school level parent teacher meetings beginning at 6 p.m. on the evening of the 17th.

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This means that the many city teachers of Irish heritage, and there are indeed many, will have scant opportunity to celebrate the big day given that it's not an official holiday to begin with.

"We will be working then working," said one teacher who preferred not to be identified.

Unlike many public school kids who take a "sick" day to attend the Manhattan parade, teachers turn up for work on a day that is arguably the biggest unofficial holiday in the city, and indeed nation.

Now it will be classes followed by the meetings which are listed by the DOE to continue until 8.30 p.m. and could well last longer

"This was unnecessary," said the unhappy teacher. "It would not have happened to any other ethnic or racial group," he said before confirming that he would play by the rules and show up at his school.

The teacher said he was still hopeful that schools chancellor Cathie Black, who is Chicago-born of Irish heritage, might move the meetings to another night.