Madison
49° F
Overcast
Overcast
Advertisement

Report: Principal admits pushing student, denies name calling

Published On: Mar 06 2014 04:03:09 PM CST   Updated On: Mar 06 2014 04:29:08 PM CST

Harmony Elementary School in Milton

JANESVILLE, Wis. -

A Janesville police report about the principal at Harmony Elementary School includes testimony from witnesses who said she pushed a 7-year-old special needs student against a wall.

Jeanne Smith is on paid administrative leave from the Milton School District after the Feb. 18 incident.

Janesville police said two aides reported to district administration that there was some physical restraint on Smith’s part that they weren’t sure was appropriate. Officers investigated the report and determined there was not probable cause to charge Smith with a crime.

The report said on the date of the incident, the boy became disruptive in the classroom and two aides took him to a seclusion room near the principal’s office. They said they removed the boy’s shoes to prevent him from kicking the door.

The aides told police Smith said, “I’m going to antagonize him,” before going into the room and making him sit down against a wall with his legs crossed. They said she stepped on one of his ankles to keep from getting kicked.

One of the witnesses told police they heard Smith yell comments similar to, “You’re a rotten kid,” and “I don’t care.” She also heard the boy yell, “You’re hurting me.”

They told police Smith then left the room when a parent arrived in the office and the situation calmed down.

Smith admitted to grabbing the boy's ankles and pushing him into a corner but denied calling him “rotten.” She said she might have used the word “antagonize,” but didn’t specifically recall saying she was going to antagonize him.

A detective didn’t find any evidence of injuries to the boy.

The report states Smith was put on leave within a day of the incident and that she had submitted a resignation before the incident and is expected to resign at the end of the year.

The boy’s father, Josh Hooker, said he moved his family to the Milton School District after hearing how well they handled children with autism. He said his son is high functioning, but occasionally has meltdowns in class.

“It's been a wonderful experience up until this point,” Hooker said.

District administrator Tim Schigur said the school board accepted Smith's resignation letter Jan. 27 as she plans to retire at the end of this year. She is on administrative leave until the district’s investigation is complete.

Advertisement
  • Isreali President Shimon Peres

    Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images

    Notable deaths of 2016

    Here's a look at some of the celebrities we've lost so far in 2016.

  • PHOTOS: Madison store helps collect hundreds of Teddy bears for police

    MADISON, Wis.--A west Madison store is part of an effort to collect hundreds of stuffed animals to donate to six police departments in Southern Wisconsin.

    Todd Merryfield, owner of The Learning Shop at 714 S. Gammon Road, said the store is collecting the bears for officers who use them to help comfort children with whom police come in contact.

    "This is a great way to support what (police) do," Merryfield said. "Those are the kids that need something like this to reassure them, calm them down, and let them know that things are all right."

    Nearly 500 plush animals were donated Tuesday, a Learning Shop spokeswoman said. The Madison store's effort is part of a larger initiative through the Bears for Humanity organization. 

    Photos by Doug Wahl

  • Passport

    RandyHarris/iStock

    Mistakes people make when moving abroad

    Moving abroad? Realtor.com has put together a list of six mistakes people make when they're moving abroad. Click through, so you don't make the same mistakes during your move.

Advertisement