BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - More than 2,000 people have signed a petition to bring back Calvin Nicholas as the Scotlandville Magnet High principal.
"It's an incredible outpouring of public support for someone who should have never been suspended and certainly shouldn't have been terminated," said Nicholas' attorney Jill Craft.
Craft said fellow educators, administrators, parents and people in the community started the petition in support of Nicholas.
After school on August 31, a fight broke out at Scotlandville Magnet High. Nicholas said five students were involved in the fight and in order to break it up and keep it from growing, he hit one student on the rear once.
Kiran: What was your intent with that stick?
Nicholas: Simply to get get the child's attention because I had to get him off the next child and I had to make sure that no one else got involved in the incident.
Nicholas said it worked. He was able to break up the fight and keep it from getting even bigger with more students joining in. But, two days after that incident, he said East Baton Rouge School Superintendent Warren Drake called and told him to "resign or be terminated."
Craft said the school system has already hired another principal at Scotlandville High and Nicholas was fired without due process, but the school system continues to tell us he's on paid leave.
9News requested Nicholas' personnel and disciplinary files. The East Baton Rouge School System attorney said they were not public record. 9News also requested an interview with Drake, but we were told he was in meetings the rest of the day.
Craft said the petitions and comments prove her client had the children's best interest at heart. It's something Nicholas agrees with and is confused by the school system's lack of support.
"It's horrible, especially when you did something with no malice intent. You did something to keep a child from getting harmed or injured where he can come home to his parents safe," said Nicholas.