BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Beck O’Connor, the former Canisius High School Dean of Students fired Monday, told News 4 he was simply following policy given to him by the school principal. Exactly what that policy was remains a mystery, a day after the shake-up at Canisius.
O’Connor’s firing came on the same day standout student/athlete Brad Zaffram was ruled ineligible for the rest of the football season amid the number-one ranked Crusaders’ playoff run.
News 4 has confirmed through sources that O’Connor’s firing and Zaffram’s discipline are related, although Canisius officials will not acknowledge or comment on those details.
O’Connor worked at the school for eight years. As Dean, he was in charge of discipline and student conduct. He was popular among many students.
“It’s a shock (to students,)” said Canisius High School media relations manager Tom Lucia. “He was a very familiar face to them, in Mr. O’Connor who was here and now he’s no longer. So there is an understandable emotional outpour due to that.”
News 4 reporter Lou Raguse spoke with O’Connor and Zaffram’s mother Carol.
O’Connor declined an interview but indicated he is hiring a lawyer and said, “I was only following policy given to me by the principal.”
Carol Zaffram also declined an interview, saying she won’t know all the details about what happened until a scheduled meeting at Canisius. However she added she’s “heartbroken” over O’Connor’s firing.