Boston Principal Beaten Unconscious During Rise of Violence in Schools

Henderson K-12 Inclusion School Principal Patricia Lampron. (Family Photo)
CBS News

The principal of a Boston public school in Dorchester was beaten until she was unconscious for four minutes or more during an increase in violence in the school district.

Henderson K-12 Inclusion School Principal Patricia Lampron was pummeled in the head until she was unconscious Wednesday, the Boston Herald reported.

Lampron was taken to a city hospital with what police described as serious injuries while a 16-year-old female was charged with several counts of assault and battery.

Superintendent Brenda Cassellius said Lampron and another staff member were attacked in a “disturbing and completely unacceptable” assault, the report said.

“This absolutely unbelievable violence against a headmaster should be condemned in the strongest possible terms and what is more tragic is this is the tip of the iceberg,” said Rev. Eugene Rivers, founder of the Violence Reduction Task Force.

He added the amount of violence in the schools is underreported, particularly in low-income areas.

“This astonishing act of violence must not be ignored,” Rivers emphasized, suggesting Mayor-elect Michelle Wu (D) ride with the Boston Police Department to see what they “deal with on a day-to-day basis.”

The Herald provided a description of the incident per the police report:

The Boston Police officer arriving at the scene from the other side of the school where he’d been doing a street-crossing assignment found Lampron unconscious on the ground, per the report, and the girl being held back by two “safety services officers,” or the district’s quasi-police department.

The cop cuffed the teen as she was talking about hitting the principal, according to the report.

Another school staff member reportedly told the police officer Lampron had approached the girl and instructed her to leave the school since the school day was over, and the teen told the principal to “stop following her.”

“Then, the staffer told police, the girl began ‘throwing closed fisted strikes’ at Lampron’s head,” the Herald noted. “The principal fell to the ground, and the staffer tried to intervene, but the girl shoved her away before two safety services officers restrained her.”

The girl “briefly stated that the staff would not stop following her, and that’s why she got mad,” police reportedly wrote.

One of the school safety services officers said Lampron was “completely knocked out” for “at least” four minutes, and then when she awoke she “did not know where she was and began crying uncontrollably.”

The teen was released to her mother on Wednesday on $5,000 bail and then arraigned Thursday, according to the report.

“This frightening attack comes amid a rise in violence and aggression against educators and school employees,” said Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins, who said she would prosecute the alleged attacker. “We have heard the stories of violence and threats against educators as they work to provide safe and healthy schools for children to learn and thrive.”

Local CBS affiliate WBZ-TV reported Lampron is now recovering at home.

The alleged assailant’s aunt said her niece is being held in a juvenile detention center and is not a student who causes trouble.

“My niece is a sweet, loving person and was being provoked,” the aunt said. “I know her, she doesn’t cause problems. Before people feel sorry for a 61-year-old they should also feel for a 16-year-old child.”

In an email to parents, Cassellius said there will be more safety staff when students return to school next week, in addition to more counseling and crisis prevention training.

“This will include greeting students as they arrive via bus or on foot, connecting with them quickly and ensuring they are moving into the building and to their homerooms,” the superintendent said. “Members of the Boston Police Department will also be visibly present in the area and available if needed.”

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