Police arrested a New York elementary school principal under allegations that he dragged a 7-year-old student into a stairwell and beat him for being disruptive.
Officers received word of the incident on March 20, though the report reads that it had occurred a few days earlier, according to PIX11. Police said that the full altercation was recorded on film at the Brooklyn elementary school, although they have not yet publicly released the footage.
The principal, 42-year-old Machael Spencer-Edwards, was arrested on April 18 and charged with assault and acting in a manner injurious to a child. He has not been working with students since then.
"This alleged behavior is deeply disturbing, and has no place in our schools," the city's Department of Education said in a statement. "This principal has been removed from the school and reassigned away from students. We are providing additional guidance and ongoing support to the school community."
The alleged altercation began during lunch when the student, Hasheem Welch, was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, which is against the school dress code, as the 7-year-old recounted.
Welch recalled that Spencer-Edwards said he was going to confiscate the article of clothing and then the principal asked a female aide to prevent him from running away. At that point, Welch said he acted out, and so did the principal.
"I hit her, then he grabbed me and swung me and brought me in the staircase and kicked me and then he smacked me," said the student, adding that the principal told him "that he knocks kids out."
"He hit me hard and I was crying," Welch told WCBS.
The student's mother, Shema McKenzie, said that her son has ADHD and doesn't follow directions very well.
A mother of another student, however, said that Welch had attacked her son on April 19.
"He's been an issue bothering my son on an almost daily basis and I'm tired of it," said that parent, Isha Hollman. "The principal is amazing."
McKenzie argued that just because her son tends to act out doesn't mean that he deserves to be beaten up.
"He lifted up his shirt, his stomach was green and blue," McKenzie said, adding that she was "furious" when she found out what had happened.
Welsh's mother said that the school never spoke with her about the incident.
"I met with the principal and he states he didn't do such things to Hasheem, and that he has a 7-year-old son himself and he wouldn't do that," McKenzie told PIX11.,
Investigators said that the video footage confirms that the assault occurred.