Middle school principal ousted
after altercation with girl

By Bill Turque
SOURCE: Washingtonpost.com, June 10, 2011

A D.C. middle school principal accused of punching a 12-year-old girl in the face during an altercation has been removed from her post, a top school system official said Friday.

An internal investigation substantiated charges that Johnson Middle School Principal Pamela Ransome violated District regulations barring corporal punishment, according to Lisa Ruda, chief of staff to Acting Chancellor Kaya Henderson.

Ruda would not discuss the specific findings of the investigation, but said Ransome will remain on administrative leave until the end of the school year and will not work again as a DCPS principal. District principals work on one-year agreements and receive letters of renewal or “non-renewal” in late May. Citing confidentiality laws, Ruda said she could not confirm which letter Ransome received.

Reached at home this morning, Ransome declined to comment.

No criminal charges were filed in the incident, which took place March 31. Charmaine Jackson said it began when her daughter Jaimy, a sixth-grader at Johnson, refused to relinquish her cellphone to a teacher. By her daughter’s account, Jackson said that after repeated refusals to surrender the phone, Ransome grabbed her by the arm and pushed her against the board in the front of the classroom. As Jaimy tried to pull away, Jackson said, Ransome grabbed the girl by her hair. Jaimy then grabbed Ransome by the hair, Jackson said, and Ransome punched her under the left eye.

A second incident involving another student in the school cafeteria remains under investigation, Ruda said.

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