Achievement First Amistad in New Haven is known for two things: high test scores and high suspension rates.
But when a video captured the principal exercising the usual harsh discipline, the principal stepped down and a former “behavior specialist” spilled the beans.
“The State Department of Education has reprimanded the leadership of AF Amistad in the past for what the state says amounts to three times more suspensions as any other New Haven public school. Now, a video obtained by the New Haven Independent, shows AF Amistad principal Morgan Barth grabbing a male student, who tried to leave his office, while discussing previous discipline.
“The school’s Chief External Officer, Fatimah Barker, calls the principal’s conduct “unacceptable,” in a statement. It continued:
“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.”
“From the time I met that man, very intimidating to the kids,” said Steve Cotton, a now former AF Amistad employee. “Multiple staff always referred to his style as intimidation, basically.”