Principal joked she'd tell police black special needs student has gun, in disciplinary attempt

Posted at 12:15 PM, May 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-03 12:15:41-04

HOUSTON (KPRC/CNN) - Word quickly spread on social media about a joke Ponderosa Elementary School Principal Shanna Swearingen made on April 17 about one of her students in front of three staff members.

The young male student is black, in special education has behavioral problems and is known to run from class, according to his guardian, KPRC reported.

Swearingen was overheard saying, “We won’t chase him. We will call the police and tell them he has a gun, so they can come faster,” according to reports.

Michael Burnett, the school’s PTA president, said he first read about the comments through Facebook.

He said he’s having a tough time believing the principal would make such a remark.

“I don’t believe that it’s fair for people to take to social media on something that is hearsay, said Burnett. I think the best thing would have been to come to her and ask the question.”

Burnett said the comment doesn't align with Swearingens character.

However, the school district said that Swearingen took responsibility for her words and apologized to her students.

Assistant Principal Marcus LeFlore said the principal made a mistake.

"Regarding the events of last Tuesday, April 17, 2018, one of our own, our leader, made a mistake. Something was said that should not have been said and it struck a chord based on some of the events occurring in today’s society."

The school released a statement that read in part, "The district will continue to monitor the school climate at Ponderosa to ensure that incidents like this do not occur again."

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