Principal Bradley Layfield has been fired by the Indian River School District.

Layfield fired by Indian River board over student breast case

Jarek RutzHeadlines, Education

Principal Bradley Layfield has been fired by the Indian River School District.

Principal Bradley Layfield has been fired by the Indian River School District.

Bradley Layfield, the principal of Sussex Central High School in the middle of a lawsuit over a meme using a student’s exposed breast, has been fired.

He had been suspended after a fight in which the breast was exposed and then he, other staff, the school and Indian River School District were sued for allegedly circulating a meme photo of the exposed breast.

Word of his firing was released Monday morning by Layfield’s lawyer in a statement saying the former principal received a written notice Saturday that he is being fired.

Thomas Neuberger stated that Layfield is not charged with creating or circulating the meme in question. 

“He is only charged with showing the surveillance video to staff who he felt had a need to know after a two alarm dangerous school fight with racial overtones,” his statement read. “And, we now know that the adult student exposure involved cannot even be seen without a frame by frame forensic analysis of the tape, not by merely running the tape.”

The incident dates back to May, when multiple administrators were suspended after a fight broke out between students.

The student involved, Aniya Harmon, 18, who has since graduated, claims district officials circulated a photo of her exposed breast to other staff with a picture of Janet Jackson superimposed on her face.

Neuberger made the following assertions in his statement:

  • The reasons given are false and defamatory.
  • Bradley will fight this at a public termination hearing where he will call student, faculty and staff witnesses.
  • The firing violates his contract right to progressive discipline since he has never even been suspended or docked pay in the past.
  • The firing violates his federal constitutional rights to due process and the alleged reasons are vague, overbroad and undefined.
  • The seven board “Yes” votes to fire him last Wednesday were irregular on a 10- member School Board which needed six votes, because two specific female board members should have recused themselves for reasons they fully know, and the five remaining votes are not enough to terminate with a 10- person board.
  • This vendetta against a highly regarded and widely respected school principal is politically driven for reasons Neuberger says he will eventually reveal, and they violate his constitutional right to freedom of family association because they are directed at his brother, who stepped down as board president under unjustified political attacks.

Last Wednesday, Indian River’s school board discussed how to proceed with Layfield in executive session. 

They voted publicly to accept the recommendation made in private, but it isn’t until now that the board’s decision to fire Layfield has been revealed. 

The lawsuit against Layfield and others is ongoing in the Superior Court of New Castle County. 

Immediate attempts to reach the district for comment were unsuccessful Monday, although the district has repeatedly declined to comment, citing privacy rights of Layfield. 

It was also unclear Monday if anyone else involved in the incident has been fired.

Here’s a timeline of events:

May 25: Indian River employees placed on admin leave, reason unclear

Aug. 21: Indian River admin breaks silence after secretive suspension 

Sept. 12: Sussex Central student whose breast was exposed during fight files lawsuit

Oct. 11: Dismiss suit, says principal accused of sharing breast photo

Nov. 16: More mystery in Sussex case involving student breast photo

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