Vance County assistant principal remains employed after confrontation with student
Posted January 22, 2020 3:24 p.m. EST
Updated January 29, 2020 2:37 p.m. EST
Henderson, N.C. — A Vance County assistant principal seen in surveillance video in a confrontation with a student will remain employed by the school system. A spokesperson for the district said on January 29 that assistant principal Kevin Ross "is still employed, and he's been completely cleared."
Neither Ross nor a school resource officer accused of hurting a middle school student will face charges, District Attorney Mike Waters said January 22.
The Vance County Middle School student said the school resource officer, Warren Durham, and the assistant principal, Kevin Ross, manhandled her on Dec. 11.
The student, Miktazza Wynn, said Durham slammed her into a locker and pulled her up by her hair.
Security video released by Waters shows a confrontation among Miktazza, Ross and Durham.
Waters said he reviewed medical records and the video footage.
"After reviewing the evidence available and carefully examining the relevant law, I have determiend that no charges will be filed against former School Resource Officer Warren Durham or Assistant Principal Kevin Ross related to this incident," Waters said in a statement.
In the initial confrontation, Waters said, Miktazza took her cellphone out of her backpack, which is against school policy. Durham and Ross approached her, and Ross held out his hand for the cellphone.
Miktazza gave Ross her phone, and the three talked. Miktazza appeared to try to push past Ross, and Ross "physically redirects her to retrieve her belongings," Waters says.
Waters says Ross was in line when he used "reasonable force to force or control behavior" to correct students or maintain order in the school.
“I made a determination that the force was reasonable under state law,” Waters told WRAL News. “That is not a determination about whether this force was reasonable per any particular policy of the Vance County school system. That is a decision that will be left to school administrators.”
Miktazza's medical records didn't show she suffered serious injury, Waters said.
He added that claims Durham pushed Miktazza or pulled her hair aren't supported by the video.
Durham was charged in December with assaulting a different Vance County Middle School student after a video showed him slamming a student to the floor.
He was charged with assault on a child under 12, misdemeanor child abuse and willful failure to discharge his duties. He was later fired.
That video shows a student and Durham walking toward the camera side by side. Durham stops, reaches out, lifts the student against the wall, flips the child head-down and slams the child to the floor. Durham then bends over, drags the student to a standing position and lets him drop a second time. As the video ends, Durham drags the student toward the camera. He appears to be dragging the student by the shirt.
Vance County Schools said in a statement that district officials coordinated a training for all district school resource officers as well school-based and district administrators.
"Our goal is to ensure that, as a district, we are maintaining the highest standards for school-based policing," the school system said.