3 Principals Face Disciplinary Action for Online Posts - NECN
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3 Principals Face Disciplinary Action for Online Posts

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    3 Principals Face Disciplinary Action for Online Posts
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    Three Waterbury elementary school principals could face disciplinary action because of what they posted online.

    District officials first received a complaint from the local teacher's union regarding Kingsbury Elementary Principal Eric Brown.

    During the investigation, officials say they found inappropriate public posts on Brown's Facebook page.

    One was a video showing elderly women smoking marijuana which had offensive language. Another was a picture saying "Tomorrow is National Slap Your Irritating CoWorker [sic] Day." The one that was considered the most offensive by officials was described as "sexual in nature where children are involved."

    "It depicts an animated character in front of what appears to be a school with a soundtrack of children playing in a playground behind it, and at best, it's disgusting," said Waterbury Public Schools Director of Personnel for Education Robert Brenker.

    Following the investigation into Brown, district officials began investigating the Facebook pages of other school administrators and found two others with what they deemed to be inappropriate content.

    One picture of "Toy Story" characters had the captioning "Drunk teachers. Drunk teachers everywhere." Officials say that was posted by Wendell Cross Elementary Principal Joseph Amato.

    Officials say one of the inappropriate posts Generali Elementary Principal Kathy Stamp shared was a picture of Morgan Freeman with the caption "Respect is taught at home. If your kid is a disrespectful [expletive] , it's your fault. Not society's or a video games [sic] fault. Yours."

    Brown was placed on paid administrative leave. The other two principals are still working. Officials say they're working to determine what "corrective action" needs to be taken.

    During the investigation, Brown told officials he thought the posts were private. He added that they're "jokes" and said "I don't see anything wrong with them" when asked if the posts were compliant with the Connecticut Code of Professional Responsibility for School Administrators.

    This isn’t the first time Brown has been investigated by the district. Officials say while Brown was principal at Walsh Elementary School, the local teachers union raised concerns about the way Brown treated teachers. He was demoted to Assistant Principal at Kingsbury. Brown successfully appealed through arbitration and became principal of Kingsbury, just a short time before he was placed on paid leave for the social media postings.

    For the social media investigation, it was determined Brown violated that code as well as the Waterbury Board of Education's policy regarding drug, tobacco, and alcohol, its policy for a drug-free workplace, as well as its guidelines for social media.

    The investigation determined Amato violated the Connecticut Code of Professional Responsibility for School Administrators as well as the Waterbury BOE's social media and drug and alcohol policies.

    The investigation determined Stamp violated the Connecticut Code of Professional Responsibility for School Administrators as well as the Waterbury BOE's social media guidelines.

    "These people represent the school system in Waterbury. Their posts were public information. That's not how Waterbury intends its schools to be portrayed. We have an excellent school system. We have many good things in the school system. We don't need this as the face of our school system," said Brenker.

    Brenker says at the beginning of the year, there is social media training. In response to the violations the school district says it's found, there are plans for another social media training class for principals and teachers soon.