New Jersey News
Principal accused of spanking students speaks out
HILLSIDE, N.J. -- With his job on the line, Hillside High School principal Lee McCaskill arrived at the school board meeting ready to defend himself.
"Did you put this student over your knee to spank her?" Eyewitness News reporter Jeff Pegues asked.
"No, I've got to go inside to address them," McCaskill said.
He's accused of spanking a 17-year-old female student on the backside.
"Why do you think they are making these allegations if it didn't happen? Did you speak to the mother? Did you talk to her before this meeting?" Pegues asked.
"No, because she seems to have changed her view of things. I have not contacted nor spoken with the mother," McCaskill said.
And just as the meeting started, there was a real shocker.
"As for the person in question, I feel in my heart he did nothing wrong," the victim's mother said.
The woman who identified herself as the victim's mother stood up and defended the principal.
"If the parent, which is me, is not making a big deal out of it, why is everybody else?" she said.
The principal has been on administrative leave since the incident came to light.
He was told to stay home and away from the school after multiple witnesses reported seeing him spank the student.
Amid mounting evidence, it looked like Principal McCaskill would lose his job.
"Someone else told me there was a history of this with you is that accurate?" Pegues asked.
"Oh please, no, absolutely not. I've never touched a child. Have a good day," McCaskill said.
McCaskill slipped into the building through a side door and immediately went into a closed meeting with board members.
He avoided the public meeting altogether.
After hearing from the principal, school board members took a quick and barely audible vote.
They decided to extend Principal McCaskill's administrative leave.
"We have to follow the process and that's what we have to do investigate and make sure everything's done the right way," a board member said.
Shutting down the meeting with very little explanation about what had happened.
"We are paying their salaries, I'm supposed to send my child to a school with these incidents hanging over their heads," said Andre Daniels, a former school board member.
new jersey, hillside, new jersey news, jeff pegues
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