Kevin Murray, the principal of Woodland Hills Junior/Senior High School in Pittsburgh, allegedly threatened a special education student who made a recording of the incident in April (video below).
Todd Hollis, a lawyer for the 14-year-old student's family, told KDKA: “The child felt that he had to tape it in order to get credibility. No one believed that the principal would or could do such a thing."
According to Hollis, the principal had been harassing the student for some time, but even police departments didn't believe the child.
On the recording, a male adult voice says: "I’ll punch you right in your face, dude ... I don't need the police man, I'll knock your [expletive] teeth down your throat ... When we go down to court, it's your word versus mine. And mine wins every time."
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Woodland Hills Superintendent Alan Johnson told KDKA: "Obviously, what I heard there is not something that we would condone as a school district."
"Maybe the principal should be terminated," Hollis added. "Monetary isn’t the primary goal, but certainly the family wants to be commenced for the threats this principal made to this child."
"Our initial steps are going to be to speak to the alleged victims, speak to the school staff that were involved, go over this recording with them, ask for their explanation, if you will, of what happened," Johnson stated. "Then, we’ll render some kind of a judgement and take some action from there."
The Tribune-Review reports that Murray was placed on administrative leave on Nov. 30.
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Johnson said this type of leave is standard procedure during an investigation, and added that the police had been alerted.
"It's obviously harsh language that I do not condone," Johnson added. "The allegation is of a serious nature, and we have to investigate."
Hollis told the Tribune-Review:
My client indicated to me that he was being bullied, threatened and harassed by the principal, Kevin Murray, on more than one occasion. That can't be tolerated. Any parent sending their child to school expects their kid would be sent to a safe environment. The child felt like he had to tape it because his credibility was at issue.
This is a child with limited ability, and regardless of whether he has specific limitations, he is still a child. No child should be talked to in that manner.