Bond Kickoff At School Where Principal Is Under Investigation






The kick off rally for the Broward school bonds campaign takes place today at Northeast High — a school whose principal has been under investigation for more than a year.

Principal Jonathan E. Williams is accused in numerous long-standing complaints of mismanagement and misconduct. He is the subject of a lengthy, extensive investigation by the Special Investigative Unit – the Broward Schools police force.



Principal Jonathan E. Williams


At least one those who complained against him is also under investigation.

“It’s a mess…there are multiple investigations going on,” said one School Board insider intimately familiar with the situation.

The turmoil has shredded staff morale. A number of teachers and at least one administrator have been transferred, demoted by Williams or retired.

The insider blamed the chaos on the demographic transformations in the school. Williams is black and represents a changing student body.

Northeast has a student body that is 41 percent black, up from 27 percent black in 2011. The white population declined to 22 percent from 46 percent during the same period, according to school district statistics.

From 2011 to today, Northeast’s enrollment dropped to 1,858 from 2,764.

“He was brought in because the student body was changing and he was a good fit,” said the insider. “He not the choice of some of the community. He instituted changes and some of the staff didn’t like it.”

Some of those irate teachers and administrators  complained about Williams since 2008. They were joined by upset parents.

SIU largely failed to act on the numerous complaints for years. Prodded by School Board members, SIU finally launched a formal investigation last year.

The school police have collected roughly 10,000 pages of testimony. More than three dozen witnesses have been interviewed.

Some of the allegations against Williams, who took over Northeast in 2007, occurred six years ago, according to an insider.

Williams continues to run the school and that has annoyed many of those in the Northeast High community.

“I’ve had people tell me they will vote ‘no’ on the bonds because they won’t support an organization that protects a principle like this,” said another School Board source who asked their name not be used.

The source fielded some of the complaints against Williams.

“I talked to SIU about him every other week,” the source told also received roughly a dozen signed e-mails with details of complaints against Williams. The individuals — some still work at Northeast, while others transferred to other schools or retired — all asked their names be withheld.

The allegations against Williams range from violations of school policies to criminal violations. None of them have been proved, Williams has not been charged with any wrongdoing and the investigation is still active. filed multiple public records request with the school system for information about Williams and Northeast. The website was told fulfilling the request may take some time.

Melanie Brenner, the campaign manager for the pro-bond political committee Citizens for Safe and Moderns Schools, would not comment on the Northeast High investigation. She ducked questions on why out of 340 Broward schools, Northeast High was chosen for the bond campaign kickoff.

She replied with the following two line answser:

“We believe the students of Northeast High School deserve better than a leaky gym, flooding sidewalks, and 10 year old computers. Our focus remains on the children of Broward County.”

At this week’s School Board meeting it was disclosed that the school staff failed to spend more than $1 million in last year’s budget earmarked for repairs to Northeast. Instead, the money went unspent and the work was delayed.

Northeast repairs is now slated to be paid through the $800 million bonds, if voters approve them.

The rally takes place at 3 p.m. in the school auditorium. Students, who are supposed to dress in school colors of red, black and white for color day, will provide a backdrop for the political event.

Williams is expected to be in attendance.



29 Responses to “Bond Kickoff At School Where Principal Is Under Investigation”

  1. Oaklandparkie says:

    To some extent,Northeast High school is falling apart because Mr. Williams ignored problems. He was too busy building up his sports program,actively recruiting students through the magnet program even though they did not qualify as magnet students. He also was too busy plotting against his teachers and administrators. 5 administrators have left the school,two just a few months after he became principal.

    Yes for years many have been complaining and the school board/administration has ignored complaints. There is no way I will vote for the bond,and my family/friends will not either.

  2. Transfered from NE says:


    During the SIU Investigation last year, Mr. Williams refused to leave the school, so he could have his “followers” see who was testifying. Shortly after those that testified, several of them began to receive low marks on their observations by administrators. Coincidence, I think not!

    Also, Mr. Williams and the administrators at NE High have consistently been ranked among the least effective among principals and administrators in the county. This information comes from the School Board’s Customer Survey given each year to students, parents, community members and teachers. If this is incorrect please have the School Board release the past surveys!

  3. Who you know is everything says:

    I hear one of the problems with removing Mr. Williams is his connection to Art Kennedy, Alcee Hastings chief of staff. Who cares about the students, it is all who you know! School Board politics are usual!

  4. Rico Petrocelli says:

    Buddy, FSS.119, public records also states that the entity provide the reason for delay, and reason if it cannot meet the request. Seems like the SBBC will delay this request of yours until after the November vote.

    I have dealt with this same issue in Plantation, stonewalling public records requests, if you can remember, former councilman Lee Hillier had to sue the city to get info that was readily available.

    These issues with individual schools only lend to the belief that they are all corrupt, and that it stinks from the head down.

    10,000 pages of testimony?…If it walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, you know the rest, can all of those who left (Professionals in the SBBC’s eyes) ALL be wrong?

    Covering up what seems to be obvious flaws with this Principal, and school, makes me confident in my NO VOTE for this “Tax”…

    Rico Petrocelli
    Former Councilman
    City of Plantation


    I have an attorney.

  5. Buddy says:


    I am not posting comments with the most egregious allegations at this point. I have saved them and they may be posted in the future.

    I also left out the details of the allegations against Mr. Williams from the story. I have copies of some complaints and legally could print them. At this point, I have decided to give Mr. Williams and/or his attorney a chance to answer the charges.

    So here is an open invitation to Mr. Wiliams and/or his attorney to respond to the allegations. Contact me at

  6. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:


    I am not posting comments with the most egregious allegations at this point. I have saved them and they may be posted in the future.


    Boner crusher.

  7. Juliet Hibbs says:

    Again, I MUST thank you Buddy! This appears to be policy now! Keep the abusers, cover it up and destroy those that have an interest in protecting students!

    Thank you so much!

  8. count l f chodkiewicz chudzikiewicz says:

    It seems to be implied the white students left over a three year period. If this is correct, why?
    I also want to point out black, white, Asian, Hispanic are too broad in that class, I.e. Wealth, education of parents plays into academic performance including family culture separate from wealth or education. Using general terms like white or black without more information makes it impossible to draw an accurate idea of the student bodies needs.

  9. Jimcrow says:

    What a joke . KKK alive and well. The bond issues has nothing to do with Mr. Williams the school board is mre concern about the schools out west. Character attack on intelligent black men who is no afraid to KKK and incompetent educators just won’t work. This 2104 and tnot 1904

  10. Fed-Up Hurricane says:

    Mr. Williams, Runcie’s best friend, may be responsible for some of the ill repair of Northeast, however the School Board is responsible of the bulk. The School Board ignored the problems there when it had plenty of money. Promises were made and promises were broken. The money was promised, but it was kept from Northeast and handed to buy frills in Parkland and Weston. NO NORTHEAST PARENT SHOULD TRUST THE PROMISES OF THE SCHOOL BOARD CONCERNING THE BOND ISSUE. FOOL ME ONCE, SHAME ON YOU. FOOL ME TWICE, SHAME ON ME.

  11. I testified says:

    Interesting Mr. Jimcrow,

    Several of the complaints came from “black” teachers at the school. An intelligent black man is able to accept criticism and not retaliate against those that bring up legitimate concerns about the school. We have been silenced due to fear and retribution from a man who does not care about the students or the school. Support Mr. Williams or he will NOT support you. regardless of how good a teacher you are!

    Since you seem to be a supporter of Mr. Williams, I hope you are not a teacher based on the grammar and what year it is? Otherwise, you yourself may be one of the incompetent educators you are talking about.

  12. Oaklandparkie says:

    White students left because Mr. WIlliams mission was to turn it into a black school. His exact words.. “This school is too white.” That is why he ran the white coaches and teachers out. He has made everything about race. He is a paranoid violent man! He made an announcement to his staff he will get those that have testified…Yet he is STILL the principal!

  13. Competent Educator says:

    It is a quite curious and interesting situation when people with such negative things to say are so quick to give statements in anonymity. If these “insiders” were truly concerned about the welfare of students, then why not put a name to their malicious allegations? And how responsible is it for a “reporter” or “journalist” to spew such vitriol without justifiable evidence.

    Anyone can complain about anything; that doesn’t make it valid.

    It’s equally curious that race was brought up as an argument in this article. It’s obvious that the purpose was to inflame the hateful sentiments of close-minded and racist individuals. What does the ethnicity of the principal or that of the student population have to do with the needs of the school? NOTHING, unless you view a certain segment of society more important than others.

    Our educational system is designed to take children and help make better adults. It’s about the children. It’s obvious that you and some of your readers don’t care about ALL of the children.

    Additionally, making sweeping generalizations like “turmoil has shredded staff morale” is highly irresponsible. How many staff members were interviewed for this article? How were they solicited? No one interviewed me.

    And just so you know, EVERY SCHOOL has turnover. There is no school in the county or country that returns the exact same staff on a yearly basis. How many companies have turnover. I’m sure you, Mr. Nevins, haven’t had the same job all of your life.

    I’ve worked closely with Mr. Jonathan Williams for a decade. He is a dedicated and trustworthy leader. It’s unfortunate that you use your platform as a libelous attempt to divide as opposed to uplift a community.

  14. Current Teacher says:

    The idea that this principal is racist is ridiculous. He is married to a white woman. The implication, by some in these comments, that the morale is bad is also untrue. There are some unhappy teachers and staff. There are also plenty of people happy to be here, even in the difficult facilities situation.
    I’m sad to see a person vilified like this. There is really little more than personality conflicts at play here. I was here before he became our principal, and I have to say that he is much more involved in the day-to-day happenings and decisions. He knows the students and they know him. He goes out of his way to be available to them. Is there such a thing as a perfect administrator? He has made some unpopular decisions, but that in fact is his job. There has been a dwindling group of people here hell-bent on making trouble. Most of us know that if we do our jobs well, there will be no problems with administration at this school.

  15. Waitaminute says:

    Mr. Williams will only support you if you stand by him no matter what. There are teachers at NE that have seen his temper and agenda, yet as long as they are not affected, they look the other way. Some are afraid to speak, but others get on his good side and are rewarded. He will cry racist if you disagree on anything. He is full of anger and is paranoid, By the way, he has a history of violence too! The teachers that stand by him are rewarded with cushy jobs and supplements and dept. head positions. The ones that questioned anything are crucified. He is not the only black principal in the county!

  16. In the fire says:

    Several of us have brought these issues that confront NE to Mr. Williams, only to be ignored, transferred or harassed. I find it interesting that someone who is very supportive of Mr. Williams does not sign their name? Are you embarrassed by your support?

    And yes, I am fearful of retaliation by him, administrators or others at the school if my identity was known. We know what this man is capable of, ask those who were let go due to the budget cuts, but there are still four assistant principals for a declining student population! Or how the “preferred” teachers who get the better students and classes. He knows what power he has at the school, and uses it to his advantage. Rewarding the “followers” and punishing those that want to move NE to the next level by labeling them as “trouble makers”, “racists” and/or having a personality conflict.

    Mr.Williams has allowed NE High to decline because of his incompetence and nothing else.

  17. Karma Finally!! says:

    Mr. Williams has always been an unprofessional bully. He was put on a one year probation as a teacher by the FLDOE- July 8th 1997..but he had people protecting him which helped him in his undeserved rise to Principal. Research it is public record. I hope he will finally get his due as he has spent 15 years stepping on good people who had the backbone to speak up about his bad behavior.

  18. Confused says:

    And what does this article have to do with the bond? If you have issue with Broward County Schools and their possible usage of these dollars, then say that.

    Attacking the character of ONE principal at ONE school has NOTHING to do with the bond.

  19. Business as usual says:

    Is “Competent Educator” ………? Of course this gets turned into a race war. If we’re going to take that stance, let’s point out that there are or were three pictures hanging in Mr. Williams office. Jackie Robinson, Barack Obama and Jonathan Williams. He likes to describe his wall of fame as the first black Major League Baseball player, the first black president and the first black principal of Northeast High School. This all goes back to the corrupt senior administrators and their cover ups! Blackburn, his Directors and the Lisa Maxwell protect bad principals, black and white. School Board police are just there to assist in the cover up. I know firsthand why people choose to remain anonymous or not come forward at all. The senior staff will destroy anyone that brings information forward that might shed some light on the corruption that is oozing through this district. There is nowhere for employees to turn. The entire investigative process is corrupt and employees have NO protection.

  20. Bob S. says:

    I am appalled. Someone needs their butt kicked for this… I mean some real sharp foot-to-ass action.
    I really hope that everything that Mr. Williams has been through since becoming the principal at Northeast is fully exposed. The racism that this man has faced from adults at the school has been just horrendous. I am at a loss as to why he continues to work there while being emasculated over and over again by both specific members of the school district and a handful of racist educators who currently work and have worked there.
    This response is typical when a school that was predominately white begins to get a little more color. The people who once worked there cannot get over the past and are desperate to get the old students and old culture back. They refuse to teach differently and they mistreat and discriminate against the new black and brown children. Then, when a principal comes in and attempts to get them to change and do the right thing by these children, he is placed under relentless attack.
    Upon his arrival, someone infiltrated his office and a bag of feces was placed on his desk. No lie. Where was SIU to determine who did this? Jonathon Williams did not turn and run. He stayed. On another occasion, a noose was hung in the tree outside his office. SIU failed to find out who did this we well. Mr. Williams, though shaken, stayed the course.
    Jonathon Williams is a wonderful principal leader who continues to be emasculated by the School Board of Broward County and the racist adults who work in the building. An investigation with allegations from seven years ago is FISHY to say the least.
    Buddy, I have to tell you, I am very surprised that you printed this editorial with so many anonymous sources and then have the audacity to ask Mr. Williams and his attorney to respond. The damage is done. This editorial buries Mr. Williams six-feet under the ground and anything he tries to say to defend himself will only be received as lies. It is an attack on his character without first giving him an opportunity to counter. It is irresponsible journalism as a whole and specifically emasculating to Mr. Williams.
    Mr. Williams, I am sorry. But, when the results of the investigation are made public, I hope Buddy Nevins joins me with a very public and passionate apology to you. I am sorry.

  21. Anonymous says:

    We all know he is married to a white woman, he makes that clear in all his speeches, however racism is alive and well @ Northeast. Again, he has stated he knows who testified against him and told everyone at the faculty meeting that he will pray for us because we need the help and that he will be just fine and not going anywhere. Most of us that do our job and go above and beyond don’t even get a thank you.

  22. Rico Petrocelli says:

    Buddy, sorry to hear that you need to have an attorney to get what is required by Law….

    Rico Petrocelli

  23. Buddy says:


    Thank you, readers, for all your leads and tips, which were not printed as comments.

    Keep them coming.

  24. Oaklandparkie says:

    No bag of feces was left on his desk. His face was cut and put in a clean colostomy bag in the teacher’s lounge on the wall as were many other faces on campus,most were white teachers. It was a harmless joke someone had their picture in the bag if they ticked off a group of teachers. big difference!

    The school was running fine. Williams made speeches it was too white. The faculty was very mixed when he came in. The student body was diverse and the teachers loved that.

    Williams told everyone he wanted a sports school. When faculty and administrators spoke up in a civil and professional, manner, Wiiliams started going after them this included the BrowardTeacher of the year,and another Broward teacher of the year finalist as well as many other top notch faculty. If you said even the smallest comment disagreeing with him on schedules, discipline,etc,he screamed at you,put his fist upand called you a racist.

    This has nothing to do with race. This man has a long history of violence. He was arrested in Tallahassee for biting a woman and attacking both her and her room mate . He was first denied a teacher’s certificate because of this. He had other domestic violence complaints and acts of violence toward staff members. Plus he had problems in1998 with DOE.

    He has turned this into a race issue for years. However,some of the biggest complaints come from black women.

  25. Testified says:

    Bob S,

    Yes, and when the results of the investigation are made public are YOU willing to say you have been wrong about Mr. Williams and make a public apology. Again, I find it strange that those that support him submit anonymous comments? Are you afraid of being called one of the “followers” by the faculty?

    You are correct, I do submit anonymous, because he is a vindictive petty man who is known for his temper and maliciousness in and out of school.

    As for the “feces bag”, it was a plastic newspaper wrapper with his picture inside, and it was found in the teacher’s lounge, NOT HIS OFFICE! Get your facts correct, I was there when it was found. The person who did this “stupid” act CONFESSED to Mr. Williams, and he chose not to call SIU.

    I find it interesting that several faculty members who supported Mr. Williams when he became principal, no longer support him due to his actions and ineptitude. We had great optimism for him and the school when he arrived. However, as time has shown, what could have been a new spring for Northeast, has turned into a bitter cold winter.

  26. Bridgette says:

    Everything in the USA is not about race. Jonathan Williams is not qualified not dignified enough to be a school principal. As a black female, I am highly insulted that he continues to hide his ignorance behind the color of his skin…If this is the best Broward schools can find to represent black males, then I am totally disgusted and I will vote no for the November bond issue.

  27. Northeast teacher says:

    It was not a bag of feces..such lies! Someone had put an empty colostomy bag on the wall of the teacher’s lounge. Several teachers pictures(faces) were put I it,some as a joke. Some because they ticked someone off. Williams screamed at the faculty for something , his picture appeared In the CLEAN never used bag..Quite a difference! And as for the noose , it was a confederate flag,flown for years across the street from the school way before Williams was principal. It was on a private home. LIEs lies lies!

  28. NE Zoner says:

    Living in the NE High area means you will send your kids to Magnet or Private school. And it means you pay high school taxes but the fact that NE High is your boundary school lowers your home value. This is fact!

  29. WorksatNE says:

    I work at NE and I can tell you, many of us who are still there will not speak up because we have seen this man harass employees until they leave. The people who support him, as has been stated, are rewarded with whatever they want. But, I guarantee you, that it is only a matter of time until they speak up in some sort of disagreement with him and then he’ll force them out like he has done so many others.

    Now as far as the student body goes, he’s covering up there as well. He covers up incidents that make his precious football players look bad. We have seen multiple complaints, especially from female students, about football players and yet there is no punishment.

    The facility is horrible, it’s old and crumbling, teachers are quite sick (physically ill from breathing the toxic air) and while that may not be his fault, so many other things can be attributed to him.