Riverview Gardens District investigating after mom alleges her s - KMOV.com

Riverview Gardens District investigating after mom alleges her son was slapped by principal

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A middle-school principal in the Riverview Gardens District is on administrative leave after the mother of a 14-year-old student says a principal slapped him across the face. (Credit: KMOV) A middle-school principal in the Riverview Gardens District is on administrative leave after the mother of a 14-year-old student says a principal slapped him across the face. (Credit: KMOV)
NORTH ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV.com) -

A middle-school principal in the Riverview Gardens District is on administrative leave after the mother of a 14-year-old student says a principal slapped him across the face.

The district says they are investigating allegations involving both the principal and this 14-year-old boy, but says they have nothing to do with boy being slapped or hit. 

This 14-year-old is in the special education program through the district.

"As me being a parent, I am supposed to protect my child, and that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to protect my child and I'm going to get justice for my son," said Latonya Smith, who says she is filing an incident report with St. Louis County Police against the school.

Smith says she did not hear about what allegedly happened to her son until she got an anonymous call from another student's parent. "You know we're parents and we need to stick up for each other, so she said I'm just calling to let you know that the principle slapped your son," said Smith. 

The Riverview Gardens District admits it did not contact Smith about any investigation or allegations involving her son. "There was a miscommunication as to whose responsibility it would be to speak to the parent, and the district quite frankly should have aired on the side of over-communicating, and for that, we are very sorry," said Melanie Powell-Robinson, executive director of communications for the school district. 

The district says concerns were brought to their attention involving both the principal and Smith's son, but the concerns are not what Smith is claiming happened. "That allegation was never one for slapping or hitting the student, so we are not investigating that.  However, we are investigating the information that was alleged in the original concern," said Powell-Robinson.

The district is not releasing any more details into what concerns they are, in fact, investigating right now. 

According to the district, putting an employee on administrative leave does not mean the employee is guilty. They say this is the protocol for the safety and privacy of all parties involved. 

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