New York City elementary school principal Anissa Chalmers is facing serious criticism from the New York Department of Education Chancellor Denis Wolcott and concerned parents for appearing in the independent movie Gang Girl.
The film was released back in 2009 and contains violent acts like rape, beatings, and shootings.
“The chancellor is aghast at the images in and content of the film, which are totally inappropriate,’’ said a Department of Education spokeswoman in a statement. “The chancellor is always concerned about both real and perceived violence…and its impact on students.”
The New York Post reports that Chalmers was given a waiver to star in the movie, but the DOE claims they did not know the content of Gang Girl which was originally titled “Surrender.”
The film, directed by Damian Bailey of Glory To God Productions, is a modernized version of the story of Paul the Apostle from the Bible, and it is loosely based on Chalmers’ life growing up in the Bronx.
Chalmers spoke about her past in a podcast:
I didn’t kill nobody. I’m not a murderer…There a lot of women that have gotten raped. Unfortunately, I was one of them. There are a lot of women who’ve had abusive parents. Unfortunately, I was one of them… A best friend and I did things that I don’t want the Feds to hear about when I was younger… But glory to God. I’m here. I’m alive. I’m well. I just praise God for the change that has occurred in my life.
The film focuses on the story of a reformed gang member who is trying to help her friend (Chalmers) escape the gang lifestyle.
Chalmers’ appearance in Gang Girl has drawn concern because her school received a grade of “F” for “school environment” which includes safety. PS 132 reportedly has had several violent incidents, and some people feel Chalmers may be reinforcing that behavior in her students by starring in a movie that depicts excessive violence.
Chalmers has starred in other independent movies. She played a minister in 2009′s We Fall Down, and she had a role in the coming of age film Speedsuit in 2012.