Connetquot Principal Takes Sudden Leave of Absence, Students Protest

BOHEMIA, NY – Connetquot High School students took action on Friday, after learning their principal was removed from his position.

Principal Michael Moran emailed the district community on Friday morning, stating he would take a leave of absence.

“I will be taking a leave of absence for the remainder of the school year and will not be back as HS Principal for the 2023/2024 School Year,” he wrote. “This was, but no longer is my home. It’s been a fun ride.”

Find out what's happening in Sayville-Bayportwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

Superintendent Lynda Adams also emailed the community, notifying them of Moran’s absence.

“I am writing to you with an update regarding our administrative team at Connetquot High School,” said Adams in an email obtained by Patch. “For personal reasons, Principal Michael Moran has submitted a request for a leave of absence from his position, effective immediately. Since this matter is personal in nature, I ask for the community to respect Mr. Moran’s privacy regarding the news.”

Find out what's happening in Sayville-Bayportwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

Louise Burger will serve as interim principal at this time, she said.

Students then took to the hallways, sitting out by the lockers instead of attending class, in protest of the board’s actions.

A video obtained by Patch showed students shouting “Bring him back!” while holding a sign that reads “Bring back Moran.”

While Moran did not state why, several parents told Patch they reason to believe it is because he advocated to hang the Progress Pride flag, after the board banned it from being hung in classrooms.

Jeanette Dreydoppel, parent of several students, said that Moran’s message was suspicious.

“I think that clearly points to something very troubling having happened, and it’s not consistent with the superintendent’s story,” she said. “That sounds to me like he kind of wants his colleagues to reach out to him and ask what happened because he has a story to tell.”

Suffolk County police were also called to the school due to a report of a disturbance at 11:55 a.m. They left the school less than an hour later, police told Patch.

The protest comes days after one student claimed their and another student’s car was vandalized with anti-LGBTQ, sexist and racist comments. When the students went to administration, they were told the school could not help because the incident technically occurred off school grounds. The two also went to police, but were told they could not launch an investigation and only file a report.

The student created a Change.Org petition on Tuesday, to change the school’s zero tolerance policy. However, the petition was since taken down.

Sarah Smith, a guardian of a student, told Patch she believes administration told the student to take it down.

In October, the board banned the hanging of Progress Pride flags, as well as any flags that were not state or American.

During mid-winter recess, police received two reports of anti-LGBTQ writing inside Connetquot High School.

Smith said that since then, many students have been on edge.

“It feels really scary and disheartening, but I’m also really encouraged by the bravery of our students, she said. “I’m really inspired by them.”

At a meeting on Tuesday, the board invited the detectives to present on the prevention and proper procedures for dealing with hate crimes and hate incidents.

In a statement, Superintendent Lynda Adams spoke about February’s incidents.

“Connetquot Central School District is a place of No Hate and this act of hateful vandalism will not be tolerated, she said. “We ask that if anyone has any information on this matter to please contact us and/or the SCPD. We, as a community, are here for our staff and students and will continue to offer services through our mental health professionals.”

Patch has reached out to Connetquot Central School District for further comment.

Get more local news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for free Patch newsletters and alerts.

Click Here: Luke Shaw Jersey Sale

0 thoughts on “Connetquot Principal Takes Sudden Leave of Absence, Students Protest”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *