From The Associated Press
PARK HILLS, Mo. —
Two eastern Missouri middle school principals are expected to face misdemeanor charges, alleging they violated the Missouri Safe Schools Act by failing to report violence.
The Park Hills Daily Journal reports that St. Francois County prosecutor Jerrod Mahurin plans to charge Central Middle School’s principal and vice principal. As of Wednesday morning, formal charges have not been filed.
A probable cause statement said school resource officer Craig Newberry learned that a 14-year-old boy struck a 12-year-old girl in the buttocks with his knee, causing a fractured tail bone. The incident happened at the school on March 29 and was not reported to police by either principal.
The Safe Schools Act requires administrators to report an act of violence as soon as reasonably practical to police. Last week, a detective spoke with both the principal and vice principal. Both said they were aware that the girl had been injured by the boy, but did not report it.
The probable cause statement said the vice principal told police her own daughter had been playing with the same boy, causing bruises to her arm. The vice principal said she spoke to the boy earlier in the day on March 29 — before the 12-year-old girl was hurt — and told him to keep his hands to himself.
Central superintendent Desi Mayberry said a district review found the injury happened during horseplay and wasn’t an assault that needed to be reported under the Missouri Safe Schools Act.
Mayberry said if prosecutors choose to press charges then all teachers and principals in the county are at risk of criminal charges every time a student gets hurt while under their care.
But Mahurin said he will prosecute any case necessary to protect victims, especially children.