A New Haven high school principal has stepped down the same week surveillance video surfaced of him shoving a student in the hallway.
The New Haven Independent obtained and first published the video of Morgan Barth from inside the Achievement First Amistad High School on Dixwell Avenue.
“The conduct shown in the video is unacceptable,” Achievement First Chief External Officer Fatimah Barker said in a statement to NBC Connecticut.
A spokesperson for the State Department of Education said the Bureau of Investigation had not been notified of any previous misconduct by Barth before the video of this physical altercation became public.
The video shows Barth shoving a student in the hallway before he is seen getting in the student’s face, blocking him from picking up his backpack.
The New Haven Independent reports the principal and student had just discussed previous discipline.
“When this incident happened, we conducted an internal investigation, documented the incident in accordance with state laws, and worked with the student’s family – including sharing the video with them. In addition, Mr. Barth was disciplined and also required to attain additional restraint training,” Barker said in her statement.
A letter sent this week to students’ families said, “It is clear to Mr. Barth that he could not be the leader the school needs right now given his actions and the feelings of the school community.”
The school’s communications director Amanda Pinto said members of the executive leadership have already begun meeting individually with parents, teachers and staff as they look to make improvements.
“It’s clear that there are concerns that need to be addressed, and it is our job to listen,” Pinto said.
After the 2016-17 school year, the State Department of Education told Amistad it must reduce its suspension rate, which was three times higher than the average for schools in New Haven.
Off-camera, one mother told NBC Connecticut she is alarmed by the video, calling it a “sad situation.” She said she plans to meet with school leadership.
Barth had planned to step down at the end of the school year, so a search for a replacement was already underway, Pinto said.
Achievement First Amistad plans to name an interim principal soon.
This public charter high school for students from New Haven and Bridgeport is not part of the New Haven Public School system.