The Superintendent of Madison City Schools says no discipline is planned for the assistant principal who was filmed hitting a student after the student assaulted and bit him.
Videos swirled on social media of James Clemens High School assistant principal Jason R. Watts in an altercation with a student on a school bus. The incident happened on Wednesday and left Watts cut and bloodied.
Various videos from different angles show Watts engaging a student after an altercation. Watts is asking another student to get off the bus when a female student begins hitting Watts and cursing at him. Watts grabs the girl and tells her, "Don't do it; do not bite me." At one point, the student appears to bite Watts, and he seems to hit the student in response, causing pandemonium to break out on the bus.
Another school official asks Watts to leave the bus before the video ends.
Social media postings from those who claim to have been on the bus say that the altercation started with two girls arguing over either a seat or a boy; accounts vary.
According to Madison City Schools Superintendent Ed Nichols, Watts was in the process of breaking up a student fight when the incident occurred.
Echols said Watts was struck in the back of the head multiple times. He also said the female student featured in the video bit Watts, leaving a bloody bite mark through his long-sleeved shirt, precipitating Watts's response.
While the two students who were initially fighting have been suspended, Echols said that there would be no disciplinary actions taken against Watts because he was merely defending himself.
"I can't stand here today and tell you what I'd do in that situation, but I can tell you, as superintendent, I don't ever want one of my employees not to feel they can't protect themselves," Echols said. "You know, we're going to protect our employees. They're there every day. They have no choice but to go into this battle between two students and try to separate them."
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.