Principal on leave after alleged affair with student - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Principal on leave after alleged affair with student

(WMC-TV) - A Memphis high school principal is in hot water over claims being made by a former student.

Some say the school year at Sheffield High School will not be the same without the same man in the principal's office. But now, principal Russell Heaston is on administrative leave for the second time this year because of an alleged affair with a former student.

Recent graduates that spoke to Action News 5 Friday were outraged.

"He was an amazing principal - changed a lot of things at Sheffield High School this year," Briana Page said.

Superintendent Kriner Cash addressed Heaston's removal during an afternoon news conference.

"I'm concerned more about the individual right now, quite frankly," he said.

Cash said rumors may have tarnished Heaston's ability to effectively educate. The superintendent's decision to remove Heaston came a day after his accuser appeared on the Thaddeus Matthews radio show.

On the show, the accuser said he was underage when a sexual relationship with Heaston first began. But the principal was previously cleared by both an internal investigation AND one conducted by Memphis Police.

"His personal life has nothing to do with his public life, and he's done a really good job," said Tyshun Jennings, a former student.

A labor relations board will recommend next week whether Heaston should remain with Memphis City Schools.

Heaston was unavailable for comment Friday.  Prior to Sheffield High, he served as principal at American Way Middle School.

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