BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The firing of a high school principal who used a wooden dowel to break up a fight between students has been reversed by a Louisiana judge.

The Advocate reports the Monday ruling ordered the reinstatement of a principal at Scotlandville High School who was fired in 2015.

Judge William Morvant says Calvin Nicholas didn't violate East Baton Rouge Parish schools' prohibition against corporal punishment.

The school system said in a statement it's exploring appellate options. Schools attorney Carla Courtney argued Nicholas struck a student using a stick.

Nicholas' attorney Jill Craft says it's his decision whether to take his old job back and he'll be entitled to back pay. He's currently the principal at East Iberville High School.

Nicholas chose not to discuss his future but says he feels vindicated.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com