A Hartford principal is under fire for tweeting "there will be head injuries" after the city's board of education voted down his charter school's effort expand its model to another elementary school.
"The only way to lose a fight is to stop fighting. All this did was piss me off. It's so on. Strap up, there will be head injuries," Steve Perry, the top administrator at Capital Preparatory Magnet School, tweeted Wednesday.
The message prompted the Hartford teachers union and a group of city leaders to call for an investigation into Perry's conduct, saying he threatened them with violence.
Perry said he sent the message because he was upset they shot down a plan to turn over management of an elementary school down the road to Capital Prep. He downplayed the language as a figure of speech, saying he'd much rather fight for his kids at Capital Prep than defend his tweet.
"The term fighting is a metaphor," Perry said. "If I said killing them softly…this is not about that."
Perry is nationally recognized for his educational achievements at the helm of Capital Preparatory Magnet School. He supported the proposal of his board to take over nearby SAND Elementary.
Perry blamed the local teachers union for the Hartford Board of Education's rejection of that plan, saying its actions undermine public education.
"Their focus remains on insuring that their members stay employed even in schools where the children are clearly not learning," said Perry.
His tweet though has driven some to ask the mayor and board to discipline him, including Hartford City Council Minority Leader Larry Deustch
"It's a bad thing for any professional or any person to say," Deutsch said.
Council Member Joel Cruz, who has two kids in the school system, says Perry should be held to a higher standard.
"So I think there's some expectations that should be met and have not been met," Cruz said. "It's not whether it's a metaphor or that he's taken out of context."
Delicia Arnold, who has three kids at Capital Prep, didn't think anything of the tweet.
"I think it's fantastic that he wants a better opportunity for kids just half a mile down the street," Arnold added. "I don't think he meant violence or anything."
Perry says he has the graduation rates and numbers as a whole to show that his method at Capital Prep is worth expanding. It's unclear at this point if the mayor or the board are going to take any disciplinary action against him
"A football coach did say this and I don't think anyone was calling for his resignation," Perry said.