The now-former principal of a Prince George's County middle school is accused of punching a 13-year-old student in the stomach and face, authorities said.
Dwight Jefferson, ex-principal of Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School in Laurel, Maryland, was indicted last week, Prince George's County State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said Wednesday.
Jefferson is accused of hitting a student during an altercation Sept. 23. He was removed from his role as principal shortly after the incident, said a school district spokesman.
Authorities say the incident began when Jefferson stopped the victim on the way to class, but he tried to run away. Jefferson then called him again and told him to go to a conference room for a suspension.
The victim said he was then told to go to a back room, where Jefferson punched him twice in the stomach. The student also said that Jefferson punched him in the face when he put his guard up in preparation to strike back.
A teacher notified school administrators when the victim returned to class with a swollen eye.
Jefferson faces one count of child abuse and three counts of second-degree assault. He is currently being held on $75,000 bond.
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He has been "permanently removed" as principal of school, said a spokesman for Prince George's County Public Schools.
"The type of behavior that led to the allegations are not accepted or tolerated in our school district," spokesman Max A. Pugh Jr. told News4. "As soon as PGCPS learned of the incident in September he was placed on leave, had no contact with students and this latest step ensures we are doing all we can to be sure our schools remain a safe and productive environment."
Pugh said that Jefferson's future with PGCPS will be determined after legal proceedings conclude.
Retired principal John Brooks stepped in to the role in September and will remain until a permanent replacement is selected, Pugh said.