HEAT ALERT

Excessive heat watch issued for New Jersey with sizzling temps in the 90s this week

Vice principal seen throwing beer in viral video has position reinstated

A Neptune vice principal who was suspended from his job last year has been reinstated.

News 12 Staff

Sep 2, 2022, 2:11 AM

Updated 655 days ago

Share:

A Neptune vice principal who was suspended from his job last year has been reinstated.
Michael Smurro was suspended after a video of him tossing a beer at a fellow diner went viral. The video from April 2021 showed Smurro’s wife making transphobic comments. After an argument ensued over the issue, Smurro tossed his beer at a person off camera.
Smurro was suspended without pay for six months. According to the 35-page document regarding Smurro’s tenure ruling, the district took legal action to terminate him through tenure charges. However, a neutral arbitrator assigned to the case disagreed and ruled in favor of the six months unpaid suspension. Smurro was approved to return to work last month as the vice principal of safety in the central office.
The arbitrator wrote, “I do not find that his conduct warrants removal.” The arbitrator also stated that the incident was isolated, was not premeditated and did not directly involve staff or students.
“There is no evidence of any prior violent or even unprofessional behavior or inability to appropriately deal with tense or difficult situations. There is no evidence of any prior or currently held discriminatory or intolerant beliefs or behavior. There is no evidence that he is transphobic,” the decision stated in part.
Some students and activists attended Monday night’s Board of Education meeting to express their opposition to the decision.
Smurro was approved to return to work on Aug. 18. His tenure will remain in place.


More from News 12