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Connetquot community protest in support of principal on leave

Sarah Smith

Members of the Connetquot school community rallied Tuesday night in support of Michael Moran, the high school principal who suddenly left his post this month. His supporters said he was forced out by the Board of Education for supporting LGBTQ students.

About 100 parents and students of Connetquot schools waved signs and chanted "Bring back Mike" ahead of Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting. They said Moran is a beloved fixture at the school, an advocate for LGBTQ students, and should be reinstated.

Sarah Smith, the caretaker of a Connetquot high school student, said the community deserves a full explanation for the sudden shakeup.

“I think it really boils down to [the Board of Education] pushing a very conservative extremist agenda and it's now culminated in the removal of a prominent beloved figure in the community,” Smith said.

School officials said at the board meeting that they can’t comment on personnel matters but that Moran’s departure is not connected to his support for LGBTQ students. His disappearance prompted students to sit-in when they learned of his departure earlier this month.

Connetquot student sit-in to show support former principal Mike Moran.
Sarah Smith
Connetquot student sit-in to show support former principal Mike Moran.

Moran could not be reached for comment.

The New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR) opened an investigationlast year after the district removed the pride flag from classrooms. A DHR spokesperson declined to comment on the status of the investigation.

Dozens of students and parents stood up at Tuesday's Board of Education meetingto express their support for Moran.

High school senior Charlotte DeSimone told the board that Moran has been an "amazing" principal.

"This has probably been the most chaotic school year of my entire life...because of you," DeSimone told them. "You are the reason that I've had to come to protests for my school."

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.