JG Whittier’s Gill ‘Cleared of Any Wrongdoing,’ Returning as Principal After May Student Altercation

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

Just like Haverhill’s students, John Greenleaf Whittier Middle School Principal Brian Gill is gearing up to head back to class when the city marks the first day of school on Tuesday, Aug. 27. WHAV can confirm exclusively that the educator was “cleared of all wrongdoing” shortly after the May incident with a student that put him on suspension.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini toured J.G. Whittier’s new boys’ bathrooms on April 19, 2019. (Courtesy photograph.)

School department spokesman Shawn Regan tells WHAV Gill expects to return to work on Friday, Aug. 30, with Superintendent Margaret Marotta actively recruiting for an interim principal to start off the school year.

Tim Betty is returning as Whittier’s assistant principal, Regan said.

As WHAV previously reported, Gill was placed on leave after a fight broke out in the brand-new bathrooms involving an eighth-grade boy. Regan declined to comment on possible disciplinary action related to the student.

The altercation—called a “disturbance” by Haverhill Police on an official incident log provided to WHAV—involved a student who allegedly “flipped out,” a parent with children at the school told WHAV at the time.

In May, Marotta confirmed Gill was placed on paid leave pending the outcome of the investigation into the incident. She said placing staff on paid leave during an investigation was 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.

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