Ex-Principal Sues After Losing Job Over Wooden Penis Gift

March 23, 2019 - 3:02 pm

CASCO TOWNSHIP (WWJ/AP) - A former school principal in St. Clair County says his rights were violated when he was forced out of his job for giving a gift that he said was based on an inside joke to a woman who was leaving for another job.

But the superintendent alleges the security guard who was given the wooden penis by John Stanton felt sexually harassed.

Stanton filed a federal lawsuit in January against Superintendent Leonard Woodside, 18 months after he says he was forced to resign at Anchor Bay High School.

Stanton says the security guard who got the gift was not upset as officials had claimed. The woman has since filed an affidavit and said she "was not offended."

The woman initially confiscated the item from a student and gave it to Stanton, The Detroit News reported. Stanton says he returned it to the woman as a funny parting gift, along with the message, "Hope your job isn't too hard! John/ABHS," according to the report. 

Stanton's wife, who was principal of Anchor Bay Middle School at the time, is also part of the lawsuit. Robin Stanton, who resigned from her job, said she was unable to return to work due to the "false allegations" against her husband, which put a stigma on her.

The couple is seeking punitive damages for loss of employment, loss of reputation, pain and suffering, emotional distress and humiliation. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.