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EXCLUSIVE: Providence Principal On Leave While City Investigates Alleged ‘Improper Conduct’

Monday, November 19, 2012


The principal at a Providence middle school has been placed on a leave of absence while the city investigates allegations of “improper conduct,” GoLocalProv has learned.

Brearn Wright, the Harvard-educated principal at Roger Williams Middle School, has been out of work for at least two weeks, and a school department spokesperson confirmed that an interim principal has been appointed. While the school department did not confirm the name of the administrator, Ward 10 Councilman Luis Aponte confirmed it was Wright.

“We learned recently of allegations of improper conduct by one of our school administrators; it is important to make clear that these allegations did not involve or impact students in any way. A thorough investigation is currently being conducted, and the individual has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome,” said Providence School Department spokesperson Christina O’Reilly. “Leadership at the school has been taken over in an acting capacity by a member of the existing administrative team to ensure continuity of the high quality and energy of work at the school. Due to the nature of this personnel matter, we are unable to comment in any further detail.”

Wright received a Bachelor’s degree from Lake Forest College in Illinois and a Master’s degree from both the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Trinity University in Washington D.C. He previously served as a principal at Eugene A. Clark Elementary School in Washington D.C where his school achieved 11 percent gains in math and six percent gains in reading, according to his resume.

This is not the first time an administrator at Roger Williams has been placed on administrative leave. In 2009, an assistant principal was suspended after throwing a Dominican flag on the ground and stepping on it.

Roger Williams is one of the poorest performing schools in the city, with just 12 percent of 7th graders being labeled proficient in math. The school’s 26.7 percent chronic absenteeism rate during the 2011/12 school year was the worst among all city middle schools and third-worst overall.

Dan McGowan can be reached at dmcgowan@golocalprov.com. Follow him on Twitter: @danmcgowan.


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