Hundreds of Junior High School students, parents and teachers gathered for an angry protest outside JHS 8 in South Jamaica, Queens yesterday morning to call for the removal of controversial principal Dr. John Murphy (not pictured). Since taking over in 2005, Murphy has improved the school's rating from a D to a B, and the school just came off the state's list of failing schools. But yesterday protesters declared Murphy's management style abusive and intolerable. Music teacher David Butler tells Channel 7 News, "His office is used as a place of intimidation, where teachers come out crying and bang on walls. I've experienced that myself."

On Wednesday, paramedics were called to the school after Murphy yelled at a special education so harshly she required medical attention. Teacher Nyasia Johnson was so disturbed by the upbraiding that she was taken to a Long Island hospital, where she spent the night being evaluated for headaches, shock symptoms and elevated blood pressure. The NYPD also responded to the school, but no charges were filed.

Protesters say the incident was simply business as usual for Murphy. Teacher David Spraragen tells Channel 2, "He tells teachers to carry a resignation letter with them at all times so they'll know how disposable and dispensable they are." In 2004, Murphy resigned under pressure after a tempestuous six months as Danbury High School principal culminated with 158 teachers signing a letter of concern about his leadership. Yesterday UFT president Randi Weingarten called on Mayor Bloomberg to fire Murphy: "Will he do something to stop somebody who harasses people enough to send them to the hospital?"

But the principals union stood by Murphy, releasing a statement saying, "There is no evidence that he has acted inappropriately." The Department of Education also issued a supportive statement, but is now investigating two incidents involving Murphy, and the NAACP is meeting tonight to hear from parents and teachers about possible civil rights violations. Anastasia Daniel tells Channel 7, "He's segregating the kids. He's making it seem the Indian kids are the smartest in the school, and the black ones dumb."