Principal placed on leave for video of him threatening student
PITTSBURGH — A Pittsburgh-area high school principal has been placed on administrative leave after a recording surfaced of him allegedly berating a student, CBS Pittsburgh reports.
On Wednesday, Woodland Hills Superintendent Alan Johnson confirmed that Kevin Murray was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
The 14-year-old student said the principal often harasses him and allegedly speaks to him in a threatening manner and uses expletives. On one occasion, the teen recorded it.
That recording was made back in April, while the boy was being reprimanded for a previous incident.
During the incident, the principal is allegedly caught on the recording saying among other things, “I’m going to [expletive] punch you in the face. Man-to-man, bro. I don’t care if you are [expletive] 14 years old or not. I will punch you in your face, and when we go down to court, it’s your word against mine, and mine wins every time.”
“Obviously, what I heard there is not something that we would condone as a school district,” Johnson said.
According to the family’s attorney, Todd Hollis, there were several other incidents involving the boy and Murray.
Hollis says the threats and harassment have gone on throughout the school year against the “special education” student.
“The cultural problem at Woodland Hills has to be changed, and I don’t think that simply placing the principal on administrative leave is going to change that,” said Hollis.
But Johnson says it’s standard to place an employee on paid leave during an investigation. Hollis isn’t happy.
“I am getting calls from parents, educators, even some police officers who are saying to me this behavior is not unusual and it seems apparent to me that the superintendent is aware of it,” said Hollis. “Being on paid administrative leave isn’t termination, it’s a vacation. That’s not enough.”
Hollis says his client remains in school.
“The child is in school, but the child was apparently being harassed by some teachers in the school and ran to his counselors office today,” Hollis said.
He is urging others to come forward.
“I am reaching out to every parent that is aware of this. Call my office, get in touch with me, email, Facebook, I will be happy to address the problem,” Hollis said.
He says he has not had a sit-down meeting with the superintendent yet.