Everett High principal faces discipline, but will keep his job after controversial video, superintendent says
EVERETT -- The principal of Everett High School is expected to keep his job but face disciplinary action after starring in a parody video clip of “The Terminator” movie that was shown to students, Everett’s school superintendent said Monday night.
The School Committee met for over an hour with Principal Erick Naumann and lawyers for Naumann and the School Department behind closed doors in a special meeting Monday, then openly heard from about a dozen students, teachers, and staff speak in his support.
No formal decision was announced, but in a brief interview after the meeting, Superintendent Frederick Foresteire said Naumann would not be fired.
“I have known Mr. Naumann all of his life, including the 15 years he’s been employed here,” Foresteire said. “He’s a strong leader, he made the wrong decision on the video ... but I certainly don’t think he should be terminated.”
Naumann, who did not address the public at the meeting, could not be reached for comment later Monday night.
The video showed Naumann, who is in his first year as principal, walking through the empty halls of the high school wearing sunglasses and a leather jacket. When asked by a teacher about the absence of students, he says they had been “Naumannated.” The video was shown to students during morning announcements on Jan. 7.
In the 1984 film “The Terminator” and two sequels, Arnold Schwarzenegger played a series of heavily armed cyborgs sent back in time from a dystopian future where intelligent machines have taken over the Earth and seek to wipe out the human race.
Many who spoke Monday night said the video was misinterpreted, including Everett High School junior Sarah Noelsaint.
“I don’t think he was trying to do anything bad,” she said. “He was just trying to find a way to connect with the students.”
Russell Wright, a father of two, said he believed it would be a mistake to fire Naumann over the video.
“He’s an excellent educator,” he said. “To not have him here would definitely be a miscarriage of justice.”
Naumann grew up in Everett and has worked in the public school system for 15 years, Foresteire said, first as a science teacher and then an administrator before being appointed principal of the high school in August.
Athletic Director John DiBiaso said he has known Naumann since the early 1990s and supports him as principal.
“I know that no one feels worse than Mr. Naumann,” he said.
While most spoke in support of Naumann, parent Carol Ciampi Dugan said that the video had her shaken about her child’s safety.
“I was scared to send my daughter to school, because I don’t know him,” she said.
Foresteire said he would meet with School Department attorneys Tuesday morning and decide later in the day if Naumann would be disciplined.Globe Correspondent Jeremy C. Fox contributed to this report. Jarret Bencks can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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