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Assistant principal suspended after video shows employee with knee on student’s neck in North Carolina

By WRAL Staff

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    CARY, North Carolina (WRAL) — The day after a video circulating social media showed a school employee placing a knee on a student’s neck at Panther Creek High School, the assistant principal was suspended.

Lisa Luten, spokesperson for the Wake County school district, confirmed Friday that one of the school’s assistant principals, Jonathan Chang, has been suspended with pay. WRAL News is working to learn if the suspension is connected to the incident.

Earlier this week, Panther Creek Principal Dr. Greg Decker said in a letter to parents that staff responded to a fight between two students during lunch on Tuesday.

A video, captured by a student, shows a Panther Creek staff member placing a knee on a student’s neck during the altercation. Decker called the actions in the video “deeply concerning.”

Parents say reading the email gave them one impression on what happened, but seeing the actual video left parents and students alarmed.

The use of force seen in the video appears to be the same tactic many police departments across the country banned after Officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd.

“It is hard to see that and make the connection. That is immediately what I thought of, his knee is on his neck. Do you know what that reminds me of?” said Panther Creek student Jayla Walker.

Walker is a senior at Panther Creek and president of a student activist group called Teens Dreams.

The group was formed in response to George Floyd’s murder.

On Thursday, Walker had more questions than answers after seeing the actions of the school employee toward a student.

“How are these people we look up to and we are supposed to feel safe around? How does this occur? Everyone is going crazy right now I think,” said Walker.

The district suspended the employee in the video, and Cary police were called in to assist in reviewing the video.

“A suspension to me is just not enough. He needs to be removed from the school and they need to look into criminal charges. He could have injured the student,” a mother told WRAL News anonymously.

At last check, the school employee has not been arrested or charged.

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