Fox Lane High School principal leaving over handling of students who took lewd photos of special needs classmates in bathroom
BEDFORD, N.Y. -- A principal is leaving his job after a troubling incident at a high school in Westchester County.
Students took and shared lewd photos of special needs classmates using the bathroom, according to the results of an investigation released Wednesday.
"The release of this report has opened a wound that had not fully healed following an egregious event," said Superintendent Robert Glass.
Glass, the newly-appointed Bedford superintendent, called it a "painful moment" for the Fox Lane High School community.
The investigative report found significant breakdowns in the handling of an incident last March when students took and shared inappropriate pictures of special needs schoolmates using the boy's bathroom.
"The administrative team was more focused on covering themselves through lies, misdirection and avoidance than they were on the well-being of the students they claim to always put first," said Karen Close, the mother of one of the victimized kids.
The report said Principal Brett Miller quickly obtained confessions from two students, but didn't tell police or the former superintendent.
When board members asked about it weeks later, Miller denied having any confessions and said "nobody cracked."
"I want to personally acknowledge that what occurred here is unacceptable in my view and people have a right to be outraged. I am," said Gilian Goldman-Klein, a board member.
The board promised new training and protocols.
Jennifer Close, the sister of one of the victimized students, urged work on student culture, since some young people thought it was funny to take and share pictures of vulnerable classmates.
"There is an obvious problem with the students in this school district and as the leaders of this school district you need to find a way to break through to these students in a beneficial way," said Close.
Four students were suspended for five days.
Glass said Miller will work on special projects at the district office for now and leave at the end of the school year.
Parents said the district waited a week before telling them about the incident. A new protocol requires notification within a day.
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