Suspension, lawsuit & altercation with student — Duval Co. asst. principal under investigation again

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A newly released personnel file highlights a history of disciplinary issues for a Jacksonville assistant principal at an Arlington high school.

Action News Jax first told you last week about an accusation from a student. Deborah Cooper said her granddaughter was hit and slammed to the ground by one of her assistant principals at Terry Parker Senior High, on her first day of school.

RELATED STORY: Student says Terry Parker High assistant principal threw her to the ground

“You didn’t have to grab her by her neck. You didn’t have to slam her in the fence. You didn’t have to put your knee down and have her…no,” Deborah Cooper said. “You’re that big and it takes all that to get her under control? Then, that’s a problem.”

Action News Jax reached out to the Duval County School District asking if the man in the video is Assistant Principal Oscar Harris.

We also asked how the incident was being handled. A district spokesperson told us the incident is under investigation and the employee has been reassigned to duties without student contact.

Action News Jax reporter, Meghan Moriarty, requested the personnel file for Oscar Harris Thursday.

Moriarty was told she could come and retrieve the file from the district’s office since the file was too large to send via email. The 346-page personnel file outlines Harris’ history as a school employee, dating back to 1992.

In 1999, according to a letter from the Broward County School District, Harris “arranged for someone other than himself to take the Florida Department of Educational Leadership Examination.”

A recommendation for termination was presented to the school board and Harris requested an administrative hearing.

Following the hearing, a judge recommended the school board enter a “final order” of suspension without pay from March 20, 2001, to June 30, 2001. The following school year, Harris was reappointed to his position.

He came to Duval County to work in 2002. In 2011, Harris was suspended without pay for 30 days.

A letter from the school district said Harris was aware that three of his students were involved in a theft of items from the Bradford County football team’s locker room and didn’t report it to law enforcement but instead tried to handle it internally. 

The letter said, “you told staff the stolen items were returned to the school in a box and that you did not know who returned them. In fact, you had retrieved the items from the students.”

The letter goes on to say that Harris tried to persuade other staff to make false statements about the stolen items. It said he also lied to law enforcement.

In 2015, Harris was suspended without pay for 15 days for what the district called “overly aggressive” behavior towards a student. Action News Jax reported on this incident.

RELATED STORY: Duval County assistant principal suspended following school fight

This is a developing story.