Providence mayoral candidate Dennis calls for firing of Central High administrator

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence mayoral candidate Kobi Dennis took to Facebook Wednesday to call for an assistant principal at Central High School to be fired after video emerged of an altercation involving the administrator and a 15-year-old student.

The assistant principal has been on paid administrative leave since Monday and the student was charged with two counts of simple assault, according to Providence police. A spokesperson for the school district said the student allegedly elbowed a staff member, but it’s unclear what prompted the administrator to pin the student to ground.

“Now that my first Campaign fundraiser is over, back to business!!” Dennis wrote in a Facebook post around 10:30 Wednesday evening. “I demand the removal of the CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL assistant principal for putting his hands on our kids! If he is not FIRED by tomorrow we will march to City Hall! I don’t need to hear the full story, I witnessed enough!!!”

Two assistant principals at Central were placed on leave for their roles in unrelated incidents on Monday. One was allegedly attempting to break up a fight. The other was captured on video pinning a student to the ground. Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare said both incidents are currently under investigation.

No adult has been charged in connection with either incident.

When asked about his Facebook post, Dennis said he supports the youth activist group Providence Student Union’s call for an apology and the termination of the school administrator.

A spokesperson for Elorza did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday. The mayor also did not issue a statement on the incidents at Central High.

“This is why the community has little to no faith in current leadership,” Dennis said. “When injustices occur, they deserve swift and proper attention. I do understand the protocol when these incidents occur, but the community at least deserves a reasonable explanation.”

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Dan McGowan ( dmcgowan@wpri.com ) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @danmcgowan