Central High assistant principal resigns after altercation with student

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A veteran administrator at Central High School in Providence has resigned after video emerged of him pinning a student to the ground during an altercation Monday.

Thomas Bacon, who has worked for the school district since 1994, resigned from his position as assistant principal on Thursday, according to a spokesperson for the city. Bacon has not been charged with a crime.

“As of this morning, Mr. Bacon has resigned from his position with the Providence Public School Department effective immediately,” Mayor Jorge Elorza and school Superintendent Chris Maher said in a joint statement. “While the Providence Police will continue their investigation, we will continue to meet with students, teachers and community members and take proactive steps to support our entire school community.”

The 15-year-old involved in the incident was charged with two counts of simple assault, according to police. He is accused of elbowing a school staff member.

The student’s mother said her son wasn’t being combative during the incident.

“He was complying with them,” she said. “He was doing everything. There was no need for him to put his hands on my son at all.”

Bacon was one of two assistant principals placed on leave Monday. Officials say the other individual was attempting to break up an unrelated fight.

Eyewitness News received the district’s policies on the use of restrain. The whole staff is given them, but only those with advanced training are able to apply restraint.

Those who have that training, “…shall only use the amount of force necessary to protect the student or others from physical injury or harm…” and it is only used when “…a behavior intervention plan [has been fully implemented and] has not been effective in preventing imminent, serious, physical harm…” or “Non-physical interventions were not or would not be effective in preventing imminent, serious, physical harm.”

Eyewitness News asked the school department if Mr. Bacon had that training, but they have yet to reply.

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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