HR Strange But True!
January 06, 2003

Strikes can create hard feelings, but the director of a high school band in suburban Cleveland is accused of taking things a little too far.

Police say the director, Donald Sullivan, has been indicted on charges of intimidation and retaliation after admitting he mailed a raccoon head to a high school principal.

Principal Deborah Houchins received the unwelcome present in the final days of the bitter two-month strike that ended Nov. 5, according to the Associated Press. Sullivan doesn't work in Houchins' school, but he admitted being angry with her for letting her school's band perform without its director during the strike, the AP reports. He told police he found the dead raccoon while jogging.

A grand jury did not find the crime to be racially motivated, as some community leaders had charged. Sullivan is white and Houchins is black, and several pastors said using a raccoon made it a racial hate crime.

Sullivan was suspended without pay, pending a vote on whether to dismiss him. Both criminal charges are felonies.

Source: The Associated Press, via the San Francisco Chronicle

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