Grandmother reacts to assistant principal’s punishment following school fight

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Video shared with Action News Jax shows a fight at Terry Parker High School that occurred in February. In a Duval County Public Schools report, Assistant Principal Oscar Harris allegedly grabbed one of the students — 17-year-old Alajaah Brown — by the neck and hit another student when attempting to break up the fight.

“He does not need to be a vice principal handling himself in that manner,” Deborah Cooper, Brown’s grandmother, said.

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Cooper says Harris has no business being around children.

“For an adult to act like that, choking you, slamming you down,” she added.

Brown, the girl in the red shirt, admits to swinging at Harris.

The district says the video provides “sufficient credible evidence” that proves Harris made inappropriate physical contact.

DCPS told Action News Jax that Harris’ punishment is a 15-day suspension without pay.

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

Cooper says that’s not enough.

“That means that this is the way that they can handle your students,” she said.

According to the incident report from DCPS, it says Harris goes through annual training and should have known the proper method for restraining a student in a fight. It adds that placing arms around a student’s head or neck is prohibited.

“These are children — not children, but teenagers — and he’s an adult,” Cooper said. How can you be a vice principal if you don’t even have self-control, even on your own behalf?”

Cooper says more needs to be done, and she feels Harris has no business being an assistant principal.

Read: Slain local father Jared Bridegan’s ex-wife retains criminal defense attorney

Cooper told Action News Jax that Brown was expelled from Terry Parker High School following the incident.

This is not the first time Harris has had disciplinary issues. A 346-page personnel file shows that in 1999, Harris arranged for someone other than himself to take the Florida Department of Education Leadership examination, according to the Broward County School District.

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

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 the incident.

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