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Manassas High School principal removed from role amid police investigation

Manassas High School

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The principal at Manassas High School in Memphis has been removed from his position as police investigate allegations of inappropriate behavior, Shelby County School officials said.

In a statement released Tuesday morning, district officials confirmed that Dr. Otis Clayton is currently under investigation by local authorities. While they wouldn’t elaborate on the allegations, they said they did not involve students.

According to sources, a sex crime investigation began last Friday. Memphis police won’t release any paperwork, but they say the investigation is ongoing.

“I had a couple run-ins with him,” former Wooddale High School student Tadarrius Fleming said. Fleming attended Wooddale High while Clayton served as principal.

Clayton saw the school through a controversial period involving a large-scale fight on the basketball court that almost got the school suspended from post-season play.

WREG obtained SCS’s Clayton’s personnel file. It showed he also worked as biology teacher at schools including Chickasaw Middle, White Station High and Raleigh Egypt High.

It also showed some concerning issues under his leadership. For example, a letter from the director of The Memphis Shelby County Educational Association says Clayton was supposed to address the class during Wooddale’s 2018 baccalaureate service. Instead, he skipped it and didn’t send anyone in his place.

Another concerning email indicated Clayton had a number of checks written for senior activities that he wasn’t turning over.

In this latest investigation, Shelby County School officials say he’s been removed as principal and placed on paid administrative leave.

Teachers outside Manassas High said Tuesday they were stunned by the development. In fact, one teacher said she’d followed Clayton from Wooddale to the new school.

The district said they would provide support to Manassas to make sure the start of the school year goes smoothly. They also said they’d have a meeting with teachers Tuesday morning but according to staff at the school, that didn’t happen.

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