Gardner Academy Principal on Leave After Alleged Altercation With Student on School Bus - NECN
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Gardner Academy Principal on Leave After Alleged Altercation With Student on School Bus

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    Gardner Principal on Leave

    A principal in Gardner is on leave after cellphone footage of his apparent involvement in an altercation with a student on a bus.

    (Published Monday, May 13, 2019)

    Shocking cellphone video shows the principal of Gardner Academy in Massachusetts allegedly in an altercation with a student inside this school bus last Thursday.

    Principal Peter McMorrow is on paid administrative leave.

    "He has him bent over a seat with his arms restrained behind his back," said Gardner Academy sophomore Isaiah Clarke.

    Clarke said McMorrow had confronted his friend, a junior at the alternative high school, over a tipped vending machine.

    "My first reaction was getting him to stop hurting my friend, so I started banging on the window," Clarke said. "I was like, 'Stop doing that, he's a kid, he's a kid, you don't need to be doing that.'"

    When McMorrow allegedly wouldn't stop, Clarke said he got on the bus to try to intervene.

    "I ran up to the principal and I told him to stop, and he still wouldn't, and so I grabbed his hands and I pulled him off," said Clarke. "Then, at that point, I saw him raise his hand like he was going to punch the kid."

    The police eventually arrived as McMorrow exited the bus. Now, Clarke and his friend are facing expulsion from school and criminal charges.

    "They might lose their educations over this," said Isaiah’s mom, Tracy Clarke. "It's not fair."

    "While I'm sure no one will deny that photos and videos posted on public media accurately depict brief moments of the end of this incident, they also create a narrative that is incomplete, misleading, and one-sided," the superintendent of Gardner Public Schools said in a statement.

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    But Tracy Clarke says the video shows enough to convince her McMorrow should be removed from his job.

    "You see the man come off the bus, his fists are clenched, like he's in anger mode," she said.

    The school said video from inside the bus gives a fuller picture of what happened, but the parents have not been allowed to see that video.

    NBC10 Boston reached out to McMorrow, but has not heard back.

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