An issue's been dividing the halls of Leon High School. "I'd go further than that. I'd say the school is divided, the parents are divided, the community is divided," said Leon Superintendent Jay Winn.
It all goes back to what happened in the high school office, about a month ago. A teacher asked a male student to deliver a note to the band room. The band teacher thought the messenger was rude and disruptive, and brought the student to Principal David Jones' office.
Jones admitted to Winn that he and the student got into a loud, verbal argument. "One teacher said when she first heard it, she got behind the copy machine," said Winn.
The student told Winn, that when Jones wouldn't listen to him, he started to walk out. The student alleges Jones grabbed him by the shoulder, and pulled his shirt collar over his ear.
Winn says the next day, the student and his father showed up at his office. "He showed me the bruise and there was a bruise, a significant bruise, on top of the left shoulder of the student," said Winn.
Winn says a nurse verified that the bruise was made in the last 24 hours. Jones was then placed on administrative leave. Jones isn't commenting on the incident, but denies grabbing the student.
Four people say they saw what happened that day, the student, the teacher who brought the student to the office, the school secretary, and Jones.
"Three statements were somewhat consistent and there was one statement that was not consistent with the other statements," said Winn.
The Leon County Sheriff's department has turned over the case to the county attorney. Winn says that hasn't stopped everyone in the community from coming to their own conclusions. After hearing talk in the community and reading comments at KBTX.COM, Winn says he checked the student's discipline record.
"I would not classify this young man as a discipline problem. I looked back more than just one year," said Winn.
Winn says he'd like everyone to take a step back and let justice run its course. "I don't know for sure what is going to happen in this situation, but I do know one thing. We are not going to mistreat students at Leon School."
The student involved spent some time in ISS for trying to leave the office. Winn says he and the district's elementary and junior high principals have been filling in, during Jones' absence.
The school board is waiting to see what, if anything, the County Attorney does with the case. At that point, it will decide what to do next.
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