The Investigators: Lawyer for fired Scotlandville principal file - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

The Investigators: Lawyer for fired Scotlandville principal files appeal

Dr. Calvin Nicholas (Source: WAFB) Dr. Calvin Nicholas (Source: WAFB)

The lawyer for a fired Scotlandville principal filed an appeal with the 19th Judicial District Court Wednesday afternoon.

On November 11, a retired judge who served as a hearing officer ruled in favor of the school board agreeing with East Baton Rouge Superintendent Warren Drake's decision to fire Nicholas.

Nicholas, the former principal of Scotlandville Magnet High School, was fired for using a stick to break up a fight. Nicholas said he did use a stick to break up a fight that broke out on August 31 at Scotlandville Magnet High. Video of the incident shows Nicholas using the stick on a student.

A hearing to determine whether or not Nicholas would get his job back was held on November 2. 

The school board has always said Nicholas violated policy that strictly states no corporal punishment.

Jill Craft, the lawyer for Nicholas, released the following response on Wednesday:

Dr. Nicholas appeals the decision of the School Board’s Hearing Officer not only to vindicate his rights but to protect the rights of all School Board employees. He, like all other employees of the School System, were and are being sent into our public schools every day without any tools, training, or mechanisms to handle the ever-increasing levels of violence. Instead of offering solutions, training, or even the most basic information for our educators on how to stop violence in our schools, the School Board has chosen to make an example of Dr. Nicholas, a true hero.

The example from the School Board leaves our educators and our students at grave risk of harm without offering any solutions or means to stop it. At SHS (Scotlandville High School), this same School System has documented numerous instances of physical violence among students, yet, it does nothing except punish Dr. Nicholas for saving lives. It is our understanding that as recently as within the past few weeks, a gun was retrieved from the band room at SHS. This incident, like countless others, represents the grave risks to the students and educators working in that school and others throughout the Parish.  

Dr. Nicholas did not administer "corporal punishment" – he did not "paddle" a student nor did he "punish" a student. Rather, he simply intervened in a highly volatile situation where there existed a substantial and imminent likelihood of serious injuries to students. Had Dr. Nicholas not intervened and acted as swiftly as he did, several students would have been harmed. In my personal opinion, the actions of the School Board send the wrong message to our educators and our children.

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