Long before Donald J. Trump came one election away from becoming the most powerful man on Earth, he played at being the most powerful man at P.S. 70 in the Bronx.
Memories of Trump’s tone-deaf “Principal for a Day” performance at the poor New York City elementary school — where he offered to buy a select group of kids Nike sneakers and was promptly challenged by one little boy who wanted a scholarship instead — have bubbled back up with new meaning for several key players who were there that spring day in 1997.
Trump, who may soon be affecting education policy for every child in America, had been recruited by the nonprofit Public Education Needs Civic Involvement in Learning (PENCIL), which brings influential New Yorkers into the public schools to create personal connections. While the Republican nominee for president likely doesn’t remember the educators he met that day in an outer-borough school, P.S. 70 staff members and others involved tell The 74 it was a cringeworthy episode they’ll never forget.
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