Vance County DA outlines reasoning for not charging assistant principal in 2nd middle school force case

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HENDERSON, N.C. (WNCN) – No charges will be filed against a Vance County Middle School assistant principal following accusations of inappropriate force, District Attorney Michael Waters announced Wednesday.

The incident involves Vance County Middle School Assistant Principal Kevin Ross and a 12-year-old student.

Waters said he reviewed hours of surveillance video from before, during and after the incident, as well as the girl’s medical records and interviewed everyone involved. Waters said Ross would not be charged because he didn’t violate North Carolina law.

“There is contact between the assistant principal and the student, but not all contact in a school is necessarily illegal. School officials are allowed to use reasonable force. That force may be defined differently in other states, but in North Carolina, school officials may use reasonable force to, among other things, to maintain order of the classroom or the school to and also to correct students,” said Waters.

Ross was suspended as authorities investigated allegations that Miktazza Wynn was left with a dislocated shoulder and whiplash when she was thrown into lockers on Dec. 11.

“I’ve seen this man attack my daughter, put his hands on my daughter not once, but twice in this video,” said Wynn’s mother, Roslyn Wynn.

Ross came in contact with the sixth-grader after she pulled a cellphone from her backpack in the hallway. In the video, Ross pushes the student up against a wall, as now-former school resource officer Warren Durham approaches.

Later in the video, Wynn tries to move around Ross, who then pushes her against the lockers.

“I’m her mother. I can’t do that to her, but a total stranger can do this to her, and you’re saying that’s OK? Where is the justice for my daughter? Where is the protection for my child?” Wynn asked.

Waters said surveillance video shows that the sixth-grade student did not exhibit any signs of discomfort or injury in the hours following the incident

“As a parent myself, if it were my child, I might be upset. As parents, we love our children and are invested in them in a different way. I don’t have that luxury as a district attorney in this case because I have to analyze it purely from a standard of whether or not I believe we can sustain a conviction,” said Waters.

Waters said the video shows Durham made no contact with the student.

Waters cleared Durham in this instance in late December.

The video released Wednesday is from one of two incidents that happened on the same day at Vance County Middle School.

Durham was fired from the sheriff’s office and charged with misdemeanors including assault on a child under 12 and child abuse.

John Miles said his grandson suffered a concussion after the encounter with Durham on Dec. 11.

Miles called for a change in state law after watching the video released Wednesday.

“Everyone can see what happened to this young girl. They need to make a phone call, not to the DA here in Henderson, but to Raleigh to get that law changed because, right now, you are telling the principal and the teachers they can put their hands on these kids,” said Miles.

According to the Vance County Schools employee handbook, corporal punishment is not allowed. However, educators are allowed to use reasonable force.

A spokesperson for Vance County Schools said they plan to meet with the district attorney and Ross “to bring closure to the personnel portion of this matter.”

The statement went on to say that earlier this month the National Association for School Resource Officers led a two-day training for all Vance County School Resource Officers, representatives from the sheriff’s office, county government officials, and school-based and district administration.

“Our goal is to ensure that, as a district, we are maintaining the highest standards for school-based policing. As always, safety is our top priority and we are committed to educating our students in an environment that is welcoming and safe,” the school district said in a statement.

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