School principal placed on leave over Fetty Wap video
Published 02/06/2016 | 04:21
A principal at the New Jersey high school where rapper Fetty Wap recorded a music video which included drug references and a scantily-clad pole dancer has been placed on leave amid an investigation by education chiefs.
A board of education meeting on Wednesday night was told that Eastside High School principal of operations Zatiti Moody had been put on paid administrative leave, NorthJersey.com said.
The education authority is investigating how hip-hop artist Fetty Wap was allowed to record the video in his old school in Paterson.
The 23-year-old Paterson native, who dropped out of the school, released the video for Wake Up last week.
Paterson school district spokeswoman Terry Corallo told NJ.com the district was investigating whether procedures were followed in allowing parts of the video to be recorded at Eastside.
Ms Corallo said the district did not endorse the content of the video, which was shot during non-instructional hours and did not include students.
The video released on April 20 includes numerous drug references and features a scantily-clad woman dancing on a pole inside a classroom. Numerous banners and posters seen in the video read "Go Team Kush", which refers to a strain of marijuana.
Towards the end of the video, a woman presumed to be a teacher takes an apple from her desk and uses it as a bong.
Some community leaders questioned why a video they say glamorises negative behaviours was allowed to be filmed at the school.
"I'm from Paterson and I'm proud of his success, but as a parent and school board member I think it sends the wrong message," Kenneth Simmons told The Record. "To me, it glorifies dropping out of high school and getting high."
But in a statement issued on Wednesday afternoon, Fetty Wap, whose real name is Willie Maxwell, defended his actions.
"I went back to my old high school because I love my city," he said.
"I wanted to show the students of Paterson that someone who walked those same hallways they walk every day and sat in the same classrooms shown in the video has become successful. If I can do it they can do it too."
His recording label, 300 Entertainment, also voiced support for the rapper.
The label "encourages and champions artistic expression and creativity from our artists", the company said.
Fetty Wap performed a free show for city high school pupils in August.