An embattled Nashville principal has been removed from his job following sexual harassment allegations first exposed by NewsChannel 5 Investigates.
Metro Schools spokesperson Dawn Rutledge confirmed Wednesday that Dr. Sam Braden was placed on administrative leave immediately while the district continues to investigate the allegations.
It came just two days after a NewsChannel 5 investigation revealed that the John F. Kennedy Middle School principal had been allowed to continue in his job despite numerous allegations of sexual harassment, sexually suggestive comments and other misconduct.
Braden has denied the allegations and threatened to sue his main accuser for defamation.
The apparent about-face by Metro Schools came as the district was facing pressure from parents and teachers, said Erick Huth, president of the Metro Nashville Education Association.
"Teachers don't want to report," Huth said in an interview before the announcement. "Parents don't want to send their children there. Dr. Braden is a liability and they really need to take action."
Huth said what our investigation revealed came as no surprise to him.
"There really isn't much that surprises me about Sam Braden or his behavior at that school."
Tuesday night, the Metro School Board went into closed session with their lawyer to discuss the allegations against Braden.
Afterwards, members refused to comment.
The MNEA president said Braden needs to go.
"My suggestion to Mr. Braden would be that he follow the lead of some of his predecessors and exercise his option to retire," Huth said.
NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked, "And if he refuses to retire, then you think he should be removed?"
"I think he should," he answered.
"I also think that all of the impacted employees should go beyond just making reports to the Metro Human Resources Department. They should files claims of sexual harassment with the EEOC, because that should get the district's attention."
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