Principal accused of attacking students

March 1, 2012 3:19:15 PM PST
A Rogers Park elementary school principal is under investigation following claims he physically abused some students while disciplining them.

The 9- and 10-year-old boys claim they were choked or slammed against a wall.

The investigation is under way at Kilmer Elementary on the city's Far North Side. The principal has been removed pending the outcome of that investigation.

That principal has not been charged with anything yet. Besides Area 3 detectives and Chicago Public Schools officials, DCFS is involved as well, and everybody was at the school Thursday asking questions.

Quinton Brown and his mother left school Thursday afternoon after lengthy meetings with police and school officials. The 9-year-old Kilmer Elementary student and three of his friends are accusing the principal of physically abusing them Wednesday.

"He just grabbed me by my neck and threw me to the file cabinet," said Quinton.

Quinton says he and the other boys were called to the principal's office for their alleged involvement in bullying. They apparently got in trouble for using homemade slingshots.

Devonte Polk is one of the boys.

"He told us to empty our pockets, and I didn't empty my pockets, so he pushed me on the floor to grab my pencils, and I grabbed it , and he told me, 'Do you like being a bully?' and I said, 'No,' and he told me, 'You are a bully,' " Devonte said.

While it hurt, Devonte says he was not bruised physically, but mentally is a different story.

"I'm scared because when I go back to school I don't know if it's going to happen again," said Devonte.

According to parents, the principal is new. Many say he is well liked and are withholding judgment until they know the truth.

"He's a good principal. If I have any problem, I could come to him, but he would deal with it. I don't think he would take it out like this," said Adrianne Sonneborn.

The parents of the children who say they were abused are also taking a wait-and-see attitude, although, most of them have already filed police reports.

"This is a serious matter, regardless of if the kid's telling a story, or if it's the principal, or whatever. It's a serious matter until proven otherwise," said Antron Polk, Devonte Polk's father.

"I'm just surprised that this had happened inside the school. I wasn't expecting anything like this to happen," said Katina Brown, Quinton Brown's mother. "I'm kind of shocked."

Despite what he says happened to him, Quinton says he thinks the principal is a good principal.

The kids involved were in class Thursday and say they will be back Friday.