Headmaster facing misconduct accusations placed on leave

March 15, 2012 12:39:55 PM PDT
A Wake County headmaster is on administrative leave following a school board investigation into allegations of sexual harassment.

Brandon Smith, the headmaster at East Wake Academy, a charter school in Zebulon, was put on leave Wednesday afternoon.

Smith said he hasn't hurt anyone.

"I can tell you this. I continue to follow policy," said Smith. "I always put children first. I have not done anything wrong to harm anyone. If you want to talk to people, talk to the parents here. Some of the parents that you've interviewed are actually former employees that are disgruntled former employees. You put them on camera saying they were parents of the school but they are also employees with an ax to grind. Talk to my community. Talk to my staff. Talk to people."

School board members wouldn't comment on sexual harassment allegations.

They said the decision was made because some things had come to light, but they added that Wednesday's developments are no indication of guilt.

It's not the first time Smith has faced a similar allegation.

According to court documents obtained by ABC11 Wednesday, a former chorus teacher at Githens Middle School in Durham filed a lawsuit against the Durham County Board of Education and Smith in 2001 alleging his repeatedly harassed her beginning in 1998 when he was principal at the school. The two sides reached a confidential agreement and the case was dismissed.

Smith became headmaster at East Wake Academy in 2002.

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