Girl says Maury Co. principal slapped her - WSMV News 4

Girl says Maury Co. principal slapped her

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Jerry Harrison Jerry Harrison

An 8-year-old girl says the principal of her Maury County elementary school attacked her for being disruptive in class.

Marvin Wright Elementary Principal Jerry Harrison was placed on leave after claims he slapped and shoved the little girl, but now he's back on the job.

The girl's mother says police didn't take the case serious enough, so she's now taking the matter into her own hands.

"What he did to me, it's like making me shake," said student Tristani Ellington.

Tristani said she's still frightened after what she describes as violent run-in with Harrison.

"I wake up in the middle of the night and I tell my mom I'm afraid that it's going to come back again, but she tells me just pray about it," she said.

The Columbia third-grader admits to being disruptive in class.

She was sent to the office where she says Harrison gave her a writing assignment, but when he returned to see she wasn't writing, the principal, she said, took her to a locked room and snapped.

"That's when he picked me up and threw me down on the chair, and my head hit the wall. So that's when he said, 'shut up,' and then he slapped me and put his fingers in my face," Tristani said.

Harrison was suspended in November without pay while the sheriff's department investigated, but he was allowed back to school a week later.

"I was not informed that he would be allowed to go back to the school," said mother Tykeisha Ellington.

The girl's mother said even though a grand jury found insufficient evidence to prosecute the principal, she's convinced the case was rushed and said detectives didn't seem interested in finding out what really happened.

"I feel like it was an open case that was closed inappropriately," Tykeisha Ellington said.

Now, she has hired an attorney who plans to sue Maury County Schools and push authorities to re-open the case.

"I don't see where there was a serious investigation. I don't see where the matter was taken seriously," said attorney Daniel Marshall.

"I want him to be removed from the school, and I want any compensation that's going to take care of her with counseling," the mother said.

Neither the Maury County Sheriff's Office nor the school district commented on the story Friday.

For now, Tykeisha Ellington has moved her daughter out of the school district.

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