ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque Public Schools officials say there’s another version of the story recounted by a Grant Middle School sixth-grader who claims the principal repeatedly slammed his head into a wall.
A school staffer who reportedly witnessed the encounter told APS officials that the principal, Paul Roney, never touched the child, but did use “his loud dad voice,” according to APS spokeswoman Monica Armenta.
Roney did not return calls to the Journal on Wednesday. He has been with APS since 1989, working as a teacher, coach and assistant principal. He has been principal at Grant since 2009.
The family of the 12-year-old contacted a local TV station on Friday and the child said on air that he was playing basketball with other students during recess earlier that day when some type of altercation occurred. He said he then went to inform the principal about the incident and the principal’s reaction was to repeatedly slam his head into a wall.
The child said his head was hurting and that the principal would not allow him to go to the school nurse’s office. After school, however, the mother said she took her son to University of New Mexico Hospital and called APS police, who met them there. Her child, she told the TV crew, had a mild concussion and she intends to press charges.
“I know what the kid says and I know what the principal says, and they have different versions of what happened,” Armenta told the Journal.
She emphasized that the APS police investigation is not yet completed, and that Roney denies touching the student and remains on the job.
Further, she said, investigators who talked with the child at the hospital said there were no visible signs of injury to him, and the family as of Wednesday had not provided copies of medical records regarding the child’s diagnosis and treatment to investigators.