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Elementary school principal on administrative leave during investigation


Posted Thursday, March 6th, 2014 --- 6:44 p.m.

The Harmony Elementary School principal is under investigation after teachers aides say she handled a student with unneeded force.

At the district offices, in Milton, they're trying to get to the bottom of this case and say until the investigation is over they can't really give out any details.

Josh Hookers 7-year-old son, is autistic. He says at times he has melt downs and needs to be secluded, but last month Josh got word of a melt down where the school principal, Jeanne Smith, intervened and allegedly held his son down in a corner and stood on his ankles.

"The first thing that went through my mind was how could someone do this to any child especially a special needs child...Personally, I hope that they decide that she is not fit to be around the children," says Josh Hooker.

Teacher's aides that were in the room reported the force to the District Administrator, who says he had to call police. We spoke with the officer who handled the case, and he says after interviewing the child, aides, and principal, there were no charges to file.

However, Smith was put on administrative leave with pay while the district began it's own investigation to make sure every child is safe.

"Everyone works together to ensure the safety and the educational needs of the students no matter what their abilities are."

District administrator, Tim Schigur, says staff at all Milton schools are trained every summer and throughout the year to make sure they know how to handle situations in ways that will keep the kids safe as well as keeping the teacher safe. Schigur says he wants parents to remember smith is innocent until proven guilty.

"I think that it's important that wile the investigation is still pending that people don't rush to judgment."

We spoke with Smith's son, he says she's sickened by the accusation. He says she still has students calling her from years ago thanking her for her selfless efforts. No word yet on when the districts investigation will wrap up but Schigur says Smith will remain on leave until that time.


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