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Noted Brooklyn Principal Dies

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The former principal credited with turning around Boys and Girls High School in Bedford-Stuyvesant has died.

Frank Mickens, 63, who passed away in his sleep from natural causes, was known for his strict discipline.

When he took over as principal in 1984, the school was known for chronic truancy and rampant violence.

Mickens instituted dress codes and long suspensions that some critics called illegal.

Before becoming principal, he was the school's basketball coach and led them to their last Public Schools Athletic League title in 1979.

A vigil took place at the high school late Friday, and former students who attended said he was like a father to everyone.

"I honestly haven't met anyone who can hold a candle to him. When I went to that school there were 4,000 students in there, and he knew each and every one of us," said former student Jeniece Nimmons.

"These children, some of them who didn't have fathers, even the ones who did have fathers but couldn't go to their fathers or parents, this was a man who they could go to," said former school safety officer Demetrious Burden. "His door was open to any problem, anytime, anyplace."

Mickens's viewing will take place next Friday and his funeral will take place on Saturday, July 18 at the Lawrence H. Woodward Funeral Home in Brooklyn.

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