PATERSON, N.J., JAN. 20 -- Principal Joe Clark agreed today to stop his verbal assaults on the school board as he accepted a $1 million gift to his school that will be withdrawn if board members suspend or fire him.
"I'm going to take the advice of the chief administrator of this city. I'm going to cease and desist fighting with the board," Clark said at a student assembly at Eastside High, the school he runs with the assistance of a bullhorn and baseball bat.
The comments appeared to fall short of the apology that Mayor Frank X. Graves had said Tuesday that Clark would make for saying two black school board members were "worthy of the guillotine" for failing to support him.
However, Graves said after the assembly that he was "satisfied" with Clark's statement. "I think that's as far as he's going to go," the mayor said.
Clark, known for his temper and his get-tough approach to maintaining order at Eastside, is facing disciplinary action by the school board for an unauthorized suspension of 66 students he felt were malingerers. He was also recently charged with contempt of court for chaining fire exits closed during school hours to keep troublemakers out, but the case was settled without trial.
Fort Lee businessman Jack M. Berdy of On-Line Software International Inc. offered to donate $100,000 a year for 10 years to a scholarship fund for Eastside graduates studying computer science.