Long Island high school principal reinstated after investigation into fight

Kristin Thorne Image
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
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Wyandanch High School Principal Paul Sibblies has been reinstated after an investigation into his actions while breaking up a fight.

WYANDANCH, Long Island (WABC) -- A Long Island high school principal ordered to work from home while the district investigated his actions while breaking up a fight has been reinstated.

Paul Sibblies, who has been principal of Wyandanch High School since 2009, was reassigned after breaking up the fight between two female students on October 4 during school dismissal.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gina Talbert made the announcement Monday.

"The internal investigation concerning Wyandanch Memorial High School Principal Mr. Paul Sibblies has concluded, and it has been determined that no further action is required," she said. "Mr. Sibblies' administrative leave of absence has ended, and he has returned to the high school effective Monday, Nov. 22. Mr. Noel Rios is currently fulfilling his role as assistant principal."

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A law firm representing a former teacher at the high school who is suing Sibblies for sexual harassment provided Eyewitness News several videos of the incident.

One video shows two girls charging at each other, and Sibblies flies into the middle, breaking them up and tackling one of the girls to the ground.

Another video shows Sibblies on top of one of the girls on the ground, and he then picks her up by the back of her shirt and escorts her away.

Students and alums have been speaking out in support of Sibblies.

"He didn't intentionally attack anyone, that's not in his character," former student Sherena Jay said.

Pierre Patrick, who had several children graduate under Sibblies, also spoke out in support.

"He made a split decision and he did what he did," Patrick said. "Some people just sit back and don't do nothing."

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Eyewitness News reporter Kristin Thorne spoke with the mother of the other girl, not the one Sibblies tackled.

She did not want to appear on camera, but said she supported what Sibblies did because she said the other girl has been bullying her daughter for years.

Sibblies declined to comment on the incident.

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