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North Central High School principal fired after verbal misconduct allegations come to light

Evans Branigan
Posted at 10:19 PM, Apr 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-13 12:37:53-04

INDIANAPOLIS — North Central High School (NCHS) has released a statement to staff and families informing them the school’s principal has been fired.

Mr. Evans Branigan was placed on paid administrative leave in March after allegations involving verbal misconduct came to light.

The school also received complaints that he failed to implement District protocols regarding a student discipline matter.

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According to NCHS, the investigation regarding the matter has concluded and Branigan was fired with School Board approval on April 12. According to the school, Branigan was able to challenge the decision, but declined to do so.

I would like to provide an update regarding Mr. Branigan. As previously communicated, Mr. Branigan was placed on paid administrative leave in early March after the district received allegations from multiple staff members involving verbal misconduct and failure to implement district protocols regarding a student discipline matter. District administration immediately launched an internal investigation with the assistance of outside counsel.

The investigative process has now concluded and, as a result, Mr. Branigan’s employment with Washington Township Schools was terminated with School Board approval on April 12 at a public School Board meeting. Under Indiana law, Mr. Branigan was provided the opportunity to challenge this decision but declined to do so.

Washington Township Schools is firmly committed to maintaining a learning and work environment with no tolerance for harassment and discrimination on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, and other protected classifications. We continue to encourage staff and students to report any misconduct they witness. Reports of misconduct will always be thoroughly investigated and acted upon.
Dr. Nikki Woodson, Superintendent

The Washington Township school board appointed Dr. Eugene White as interim principal for NCHS as the investigation was ongoing.

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Also at the April 12 School Board meeting, Dr. Daniel Mendez was approved to become the next Principal of North Central High School beginning this summer.

Interim Principal, Dr. White, will continue through mid-June.

“Dr. Mendez brings not only exceptional Principal leadership experiences but proven success with raising achievement for diverse populations of students in urban public schools,” said Superintendent Dr. Nikki Woodson. “His ability to set a vision for achievement impacting the success of ALL students, collaborate with stakeholders to execute the vision and yield results exceeding set goals have been recognized at both the state and national levels. We are excited for his leadership as he joins the North Central High School community to support Washington Township Schools’ high expectations of excellence for all students.”

NCHS previously faced a federal lawsuit in May 2022 alleging the district ignored a pattern of complaints about former drama teacher and theater director Nathan Shewell.

The district agreed to pay a total of $245,000 to four plaintiffs in exchange of them dropping all claims.

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