Schools’ Suspend J.G. Whittier Principal Gill After Boy Ruins New Bathroom

John Greenleaf Whittier School. (Jay Saulnier file photograph for WHAV News)

J.G. Whittier's new boys' bathrooms  pictured in April 2019. (Courtesy photograph)

The principal of J.G. Whittier Middle School was suspended Tuesday by Superintendent Margaret Marotta after a fight broke out in the brand-new bathrooms involving an eighth-grade boy, WHAV has confirmed.

Brian Gill was placed on leave in the wake of the 1:02 p.m. altercation—called a “disturbance” by Haverhill Police on an official incident log provided to WHAV—involving a student who allegedly “flipped out,” a parent with children at the school told WHAV.

Responding to WHAV’s inquiry, Marotta confirmed Gill was placed on “paid leave pending an investigation of a physical altercation that occurred May 7 involving an eighth-grade student and the principal.”

She explained placing staff on paid leave during an investigation is not a disciplinary action. Rather, it is the practice “to ensure the rights of all involved are protected during an investigation.”

The student is said to have vandalized a black divider that separates urinals in one of the two bathrooms in the school’s seventh and eighth grade wing. Those restrooms were among several areas in the Concord Street building to undergo renovations over April vacation. Marotta said repairs will be made the school department’s maintenance staff.

Assistant Principal Tim Betty is temporarily in charge of the school.

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