Niagara Wheatfield HS principal resigns after rape controversy

Oct 3, 2019

The principal at Niagara Wheatfield High School has resigned, after a heated controversy involving the rape of one student by another.

District Superintendent Daniel Ljiljanich announced on the school's website that Principal Michael Mann had submitted his resignation.

Credit Niagara Wheatfield High School

The School Board accepted Mann's resignation Wednesday evening.

The male suspect eventually pleaded guilty to the rape, but the female victim's mother publicly complained - even prompting a school walkout - that Mann did nothing to keep the two students apart during the school year.

The boy had attended nearly his entire senior year and played on the school's lacrosse team while his criminal case was pending. In June, the school board heard a statement from the victim, read by her mother, which said she had to see the perpetrator daily while people bullied her and accused her of lying.

In his message to the community, Ljiljanich said Assistant Principal Jeffrey White, who had been acting principal since Mann was put on administrative leave in June, will continue as interim.

He praised White for doing "an outstanding job working with the high school team to create a smooth start to the school year." He said the job now is to find "a strong and experienced candidate" to fill the principal position.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.