Newark principal resigns amid accusations that district failed to protect students from predator

Newark High School Principal Thomas Roote has submitted his resignation, and it was accepted by the Board of Education on Wednesday.

They attributed his exit to ‘personal reasons’. However, some in the district believe his exit is connected to the charges brought against Matthew Holland, a former employee of the district facing child pornography charges.

He was charged just a few months ago, as an investigation began in Virginia, and made its way back to Newark, New York, where Holland had a studio and worked in the district.

Some said the district failed to do enough to protect students.

Mackenzie Westcott, a 2018 graduate of Newark, is one of them.

“There’s multiple people, multiple girls in the case of Matthew Holland, who have been victims not only of him but the school, and if it weren’t for the school, we wouldn’t have had to be introduced to him,” she said.

Heather Boughten, who said her daughter was one of Holland’s victims, said leaders did not do enough.

“I hope everyone can heal from this. I hope Newark schools will take a little more caution when they’re hiring people,” she said. “I’d like to see it safer for my kids.”

The Board of Education says ‘actions are being taken’ and that the steps taken moving forward will demonstrate how the district is committed to doing its part to keep students safe.