Video: Rhode Island high school Principal Pins Down a 15-year-old Student to the Floor For Cutting in Line

Education, News, Schools

A disturbing video circulating social media recently has emerged out of Rhode Island; it depicts an assistant principal pinning down a 15-year-old student for allegedly cutting in line at the school’s cafeteria.

The wildly shared video shows Thomas E. Bacon the assistant principal at Central High School , pinning down a male student, with other students in the background yelling: “Tell him to get off!”

Since the videos release, Bacon was placed on administrative leave, but instead of having assault charges laid against him, the child who he forcibly pinned down is the one facing charges for allegedly pulling punches- which students and the boy’s mother claim only out of self defence after Bacon placed his hands on the boy first.

As reported by the Daily Mail:

The 15-year-old student Amare Pemberton, was charged with two counts of simple assault after the incident on Monday. No charges have been filed against Bacon.

Bacon told police, according to the Providence Journal, that he was attempting to escort Amare from the cafeteria after he had cut in line and that he then started pushing his way past other students.

Bacon told police: ‘I tried to gently guide him, he then dropped his bag and raised his clenched fists.’ He also told police a teacher, Michael Scott, was also involved, and was trying to guide Amare out of the cafeteria as well.

The Journal reports that according to the police report, Bacon said the student ‘began throwing punches and elbows toward Mr. Scott and myself and yelling, ‘Touch me again boy… you’ll be face down… I’ll clock you.’

Bacon told the police that he tried to restrain the student but that the student continued to resist and they both fell to the floor.

However Amare’s mother, Jennifer Pemberton disputed this version of events and claims Bacon kept grabbing Amare’s arm:

‘The next thing you know, he tackled him,’ Jennifer said, referring to Bacon. ‘He was choking my son. He put a knee on my son’s chest. In the video, everyone can see my son wasn’t being combative.’

Jennifer acknowledges, however, that her son struck Bacon in an attempt to get the principal off of him.

Two students from from Central High School told a version of the events similar to Amare’s.

They said said Bacon grabbed the student’s bag while Amare yelled, ‘Let me go’, according to the Journal.

Bacon, they said, then grabbed Amare, threw him to the ground and put his knees on Amare’s chest.

‘Mr. Bacon was getting in his face,’ one student claimed.

Amare’s mother says she took him to the hospital later after her son complained of chest pains. She also says she is upset that charges were brought against her son.

‘They charged my son with simple assault and he shouldn’t be charged,’ she said. ‘I didn’t expect my son to get assaulted when I sent him to school Monday. Now you’re telling me that he was attacked by someone who was supposed to be there to help him?’

The school district released a statement regarding the incident.

‘Public Schools were alarmed and dismayed by the physical altercation in the cafeteria at Central High School on Monday involving a student and an assistant principal,’ it read. ‘The district immediately contacted the police and put the assistant principal on administrative leave, pending a personnel review. Additionally, the school district has explicitly requested that police investigate the incident in its entirety.’

What are you thoughts on the incident? Do you think that the assistant principal had every right to use force on a child under his responsibility, (especially for the simple act for cutting in line) and do you believe his version of events? What could have been done in this case, instead of resorting to violence on Bacon’s part?

Watch the harrowing video footage in the clip below and tell us what you think really happened and what should happen next:

(Article by Tasha Sharifa)

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