One student was punched in the face. The other hit her head on a wall. Parents at Johnson Middle School in southeast D.C. have said that the principal was the one responsible.
Tom Sherwood confirmed The Washington Post's report that Johnson Middle School Principal Pamela Ransome has been the subject of an internal investigation after parents made the accusations. Both incidents were also investigated by police.
Charmaine Jackson told The Post one incident took place on March 31 when school officials tried to take a cell phone away from her daughter Jaimy, who is in the sixth grade.
"By her daughter’s account, Jackson said, Ransome was summoned after the girl refused requests by a teacher to relinquish the phone. When Jaimy continued to refuse and tried to leave the classroom, Jackson said, Ransome grabbed her by the arm and pushed her against a board at the front of the room. As Jaimy tried to pull away, Jackson said, Ransome grabbed the girl by her hair. Jaimy then grabed Ransome by the hair, Jackson said, and Ransome punched her under the left eye."
Ransome was placed on administrative leave for four days after the incident, while a police investigation took place. No criminal charges came out of the investigation.
The second incident involved a student in a lunchroom. The student's mother, Tameka Phillips, said her daughter, Tiyah, was chasing after another student that hit her. The mother said the incident may have been avoided if a school nurse had given her medication for attention deficit disorder. From The Post:
"School officials said the second incident took place in the Johnson cafeteria May 4, but they would not discuss details. Tameka Phillips said her daughter Tiyah, 11, told her the incident began when she was chasing a boy who had slapped her in the face. When Ransome caught up with her, Phillips said, the principal grabbed her by the wrist and the front of her shirt. Phillips said Tiyah then grabbed Ransome’s shirt. At some point, Tiyah fell against a wall and hit her head, Phillips said."
No criminial charges were filed after this incident, but the mother did complain to the school.
School Chancellor Kaya Henderson told The Post the school's investigation would be complete by the end of this week.
Outside the school Tuesday, parents praised Ransome, as did Aona Jefferson, the head of the principal's union, Sherwood reported.