December 20, 2013 at 2:28 PM
WESTFIELD, NJ — Parents of Westfield High School students began coming forward about what some say was bizarre behavior on the part of Principal Peter Renwick at two school events after a letter to the editor was published in The Westfield Leader this week.
According to the letter, a video of Renwick “rambling incoherently” and acting inappropriately at a student coffeehouse performance was taken down from YouTube. It says that Renwick went on in the video for about 45 minutes, bullying students, threatening to fire a teacher and chasing another teacher.
A leader within the Westfield High School parent community and another parent have told The Alternative Press they watched the video, which was taken at the literary magazine’s talent show Nov. 22, and confirmed what the letter had said about it. According to these sources, Renwick was absent from work for several days following the incident.
One parent told TAP that Renwick spoke at a gymnastics banquet that same evening and had seemed rambling and incoherent, straying off-topic.
In a letter emailed to TAP as well as parents and faculty Friday afternoon, Renwick wrote, “… you should know that a recent public comment about me at an evening Folio Coffeehouse was puzzling. While I did perform at Folio, I had no intention but to entertain our students. Trust me when I tell you that I realize my future is not in comedy and my performances at Folio will be more reserved in the future.
“Please be assured that I am here at Westfield High School and have been for the entire school year, with the exception of professional conferences/meetings, school vacations or family illness. Unfortunately, for several days in November leading into December, two of my family members were afflicted with consecutive medical situations and I was out of school for that time period to ensure that proper care was provided for both of them. I thank you for your concern during that time and I am pleased to report that they are both recovering.”
Superintendent Margaret Dolan relayed a message to TAP through a district spokesperson that Renwick was at work at Westfield High School and that questions or concerns about any member of her staff should be directed to her at email@example.com.