A Paterson principal known for his educating excellence and strict discipline enforcement has been suspended from office by the New Jersey State appointed superintendent known for his attempts to keep Paterson students from experiencing quality education. The ostensible reason for the suspension: Principal Zatiti Moody allowed music phenomenon Fetty Wap to film a music video at East Side High School which contains twerking and portrays drug use. Behaviour that – like it or not – happens to be part of the school experience for many urban students.
Never mind that the video is a social statement, that Fetty Wap is an homegrown Patersonian who overcame a physical challenge to achieve national stardom or that school kids are pleased that a music icon like Fetty maintains ties with his roots and honors his hometown youth by bringing performances to their backyard – or in this case, school.
The community members who turned out at the June 15 Board of Ed meeting to show support for Principal Moody included Fetty himself, who put in a surprise appearance.
Fetty Wap — real name Willie Maxwell — showed up an hour after the meeting started and apologized for causing any controversy by filming the video at Eastside. He then departed the room, but stopped to patiently sign autographs in the school hallway.
When asked what prompted him to show up at the meeting, he said “I had to. For Paterson.”
Students, parents and community members wore T-shirts and buttons demanding that the district “Return Principal Moody back to Eastside High School.
If you have any thoughts about Moody’s suspension, I’d love to know them. Please share.