The principal of the school in Kalamazo will not be charged after the breakup of the fight in the lunch room

KALAMAZOO, MI – A school principal accused by the family of a Kalamazo high school student of “throwing her to the ground” will not face criminal charges.

The Kalamazo County Prosecutor’s Office has denied a potential assault charge against the Kalamazoo Public Schools principal after reviewing the investigation information detailed by Kalamazoo City Police.

An assistant prosecutor told the MLive / Kalamazoo Gazette that the principal’s actions were aimed at “preventing harm to other students, the staff and the student herself”.

According to the Jan. 11 police report of the incident at the Kalamazo Central High School luncheon, the school principal told police he was trying to pick up and carry the student from a fight when he fell. “.

MLive received the police report this week through an application for the Freedom of Information Act. The school district also conducted its own investigation, but it denied MLive’s FOIA for this report.

Assistant Attorney General Scott Brewer said the charges were dismissed because there is not enough evidence. According to the police report, the charge in question is aggravated assault.

“After a thorough review of the witness accounts and the security video, it was clear that the student involved was in a very agitated situation and appeared to be a danger to herself and others,” Brewer said in a statement to MLive. “The actions of the staff member were done with the aim of preventing harm to other students, the staff and the student herself. Under the circumstances, his conduct does not meet the elements of a criminal assault.”

According to the principal’s message to the police contained in the police report, the principal said he tried to alleviate the situation after being called to the lunch room to report a brawl.

The staff member told police he tried to pick up the student to drag her out of the situation but “slipped” and ended up on the ground. He then said he hovered over her to protect her from being harmed by other students, according to the police report.

He told police he was hit in the head and back, but eventually managed to get to his feet and escort the girl from the cafeteria.

The student told police during her interrogation that she was trying to fight another student when the principal grabbed her from her waist, lifted her and “threw her to the ground,” the police report said.

She said the hospital where she was treated believed she had a concussion and an elbow injury.

The student told police she did not think “he should have picked her up and slapped her on the ground,” according to the police report.

Jennifer Cocker, the girl’s mother, said her daughter told her she was not involved in the brawl.

The girl is currently in physical therapy due to back injuries, Cocker said. The girl is also traumatized and is afraid to go back to school, she said.

The mother said that an adult should never use such physical force against a teenager, regardless of whether they are fighting or not. Cocker said video footage from the incident clearly shows that her daughter was deliberately hurled to the ground.

“Even if she fought, what gives you the right to slap someone on the head?” Cocker said. “It’s like a move (wrestling), it’s not something you do to a child.”

According to a statement from a school resources officer, the girl was “very aggressive and did not stop the aggression towards the other students,” the police report said.

The officer said the girl was “out of control” and that he believed the principal was trying to protect other students and did not intend to harm the girl.

Another witness to the incident told police that the manager “has no choice” but to deal with the girl to stop the fighting, according to the police report.

In the security camera footage checked by the police, the girl was seen shouting and waving her arms in the cafeteria. The principal is seen trying to stop her, but she turned around to reach other students. The crew member grabbed the girl by the waist and tried to drag her out of the cafeteria.

According to the police report, the girl continued to wave her arms and legs and then the principal threw her on the ground. After getting to his feet, the principal accompanied the girl from the cafeteria, the report said.

The school district conducted its own investigation into the incident. FOIA’s request for investigation documents was denied by the district, citing the family’s education and privacy rights law. The district attorney argued that the investigation file included disciplinary proceedings concerning students and therefore are defined as education records protected under FERPA.

MLive has appealed the denial and is awaiting a response.

The county did provide the principal’s manpower file, which included a letter detailing the county’s investigation results.

In the letter, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources at Kalamzo Public Schools, Sheila Dorsey-Smith, said the principal tried to dismantle the struggle and did not intend to harm the student.

The crew member tried to weaken the situation, but the girl “pushed back and kicked her legs, trying to free herself to fight the girls from the opposite side of the crowd,” the letter said.

“When you tried to turn around with the student kicking out and pushing against you, you lost your leg and fell while holding the student,” the letter read. “When you came down, you rolled over to protect her from being attacked.

“By law, you have the right to use force to protect students from harm to themselves or others,” the letter said. “You tried to break a brawl and restore order in the cafeteria. There was no intention to harm the student, just to weaken the situation in the cafeteria.”

The manager returned to work on Monday, January 24, the letter said.

The response of the school district leadership could not be obtained.

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