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Washington Irving Middle School in Spotlight for Threat, Bullying & Arrest
Written by Nicole Porter
Last updated on March 01, 2013 @ 8:18PM
Created on March 01, 2013 @ 6:27PM
Washington Irving Middle School made its way into the headlines in February with an internet threat and the arrest of Assistant Principal Brian Hage. Even before this, the school has been rumored to have problems.
"I do know that the perception out there is that it's a tough school," said Wendy Imperial, Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum & Instruction and Technology.
One mom recently reached out to 5 News about bullying problems her daughter had at WI.
"[it] led to me withdrawing her from that school because of the violence and the bullying and how out of control the kids are," said Lori Harris.
She did say that school and county personnel were quick to react.
"Mr. Tucker was very understanding. Mr. Hage handled it promptly and immediately. Officer Skiviat, very caring, he was on page with everything," she said. 
Some of the school teachers also acted quickly supporting their recently charged administrator. The faculty and staff of the school, with support of community members, sent us a letter.
In it is says, "The faculty of Washington Irving Middle School unquestionably supports Mr. Brian Scott Hage in his actions to safely remove and restrain defiant students. We are certain that he lawfully exercises his duties as administrator."
It continues to say, "Some students target both their peers and teachers with physical confrontations, threats, verbal assaults, harassment, insubordination, bullying, battery, cursing and hazing."
Harris said that's the growing problem.
"Bullying has always been in the schools and society but it's very harsh now. I couldn't imagine being a teenager growing up in this generation," she said.
Imperial said all bullying complaints are investigated as they are reported.
"There's so many good academic things that are happening at WI and we just need to have the perception there that it's not as bad as people describe it to be," she said.

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Comments (2)
Mar 04, 2013 at 7:04 AM
No doubt Mr. Hage has experience, however video doesn't lie nor do the physical injuries that were observed. The reason why he did it doesn't matter when someone is hurt. I have heard from several former WI students that Mr. Hage allegedly has a short fuse and anger issues. My guess is that the parents are seeking legal counsel and the BOE/Mr Hage will be paying. I will be suprised if he keeps his job. WI is a dangerous school and needs to be closed.

Did you know that WI has failed AYP for at least the last 6 years if not more? Students move one each year, but the administration and teachers don't. If changes are not effectively made at the top, then they are bound to repeat history. Perhaps this incident will be a wake-up call.
Mar 02, 2013 at 6:24 AM
I also am writing in support of Mr. Brian Scott Hage. I have known him for the past 20 years and he has always possessed the type of moral character and leadership qualities that others might strive to achieve but few possess. His military service taught him how to act and react in very stressful situations and his educational background proved his desire to help others achieve their potential through his example. If all parents were as mindful of their responsibilities to teach their children the morals and ethics that form a child’s character instead of relegating that responsibility to the educational community this episode may never have occurred. Coral Totten
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