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Cathie Black Jokes Birth Control Is Solution For Overcrowded Schools

When Cathie Black started the NYC Schools Chancellor job two weeks ago, she probably didn't realize her every word would be dissected and played back on YouTube.

At a meeting in lower Manhattan with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's school overcrowding task force, Black listened to a concerned parent share that come 2015, already overcrowded schools could need to accommodate an additional 1,000 students.

Her response: "Can we just have some birth control for a while? It could really help us all out." The crowd laughed, but criticism grew once the clip hit the Tribeca Trib's website and Youtube.

Brooklyn Councilman Charles Barron didn't take long too pounce on Mayor Bloomberg's controversial pick. He said that he wants her to resign.

"For her to say to some Soho parents, downtown Manhattan, and joke about birth control being the answer to overcrowded classrooms is outrageously ignorant and racist," Barron said.

But it seems Black has the support of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver: "Jokes aside, I think she really heard the message that Lower Manhattan schools are in the midst of an overcrowding crisis, and I am hopeful we can work together to find a solution."

Chancellor Black was not available for an interview. Her communications director sent Pix 11 News this statement: "Chancellor Black takes the issue of overcrowding very seriously, which is why she was engaged in a discussion with lower Manhattan parents on the subject. She regrets if she left a different impression by making an off-handed joke in the course of that conversation."

We asked Chancellor's camp for a response to Barron's charge of racism and request for her to resign. Her press person said that they have nothing to add.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun