BRIDGEPORT - A mother who released video of her daughter allegedly being dragged down a hallway by a public school principal says she hopes public furor over the clip will lead the Bridgeport school board to reverse its decision not to fire the former principal.
Parents sent News 12 Connecticut videos of three incidents allegedly showing former Jettie S. Tisdale School Principal Carmen Perez-Dickson dragging children down school hallways. As News 12 has reported, the Bridgeport Board of Education voted back in November to suspend Perez-Dickson for six months without pay following an investigation. It also ruled that she could work as an administrator at another school once her suspension is completed.
Nakeya Hargrove says her daughter is one of the children who are seen being dragged in the security video. Hargrove says she feels Perez-Dickson should have been fired, not suspended, and she hopes the clip and one released by another parent will spark enough outrage for the board to reverse its decision.
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"How she dragged my daughter with one leg and slammed her down, that's just ridiculous," Hargrove says. Hargrove asked News 12 Connecticut not to show her face on camera.
School board records show the dragging incidents happened three times back in February and March of 2012. School district officials alerted the Department of Children and Families, and Hargrove says that's when DCF called her.
Hargrove says her daughter never told her what happened. "She was afraid to go to school and I didn't know why," the mother says. She adds that she requested a copy of the video back in November and the Board of Education provided it.
Hargrove says she fears that Perez-Dickson will behave the same way once her suspension is up. "If she goes back into the school system, who knows what she's going to do at another school?"
In a statement, Perez-Dickson's attorney says her client acted within school policy by using reasonable physical force when necessary to handle student issues. The former principal has a pending lawsuit against the district.