A Little Rock School District middle school principal was placed on paid administrative leave last week pending an investigation into an “altercation” between the administrator and a student, officials said.
Rhonda Hall, principal at Mabelvale Middle School, was placed on leave June 18, Pamela Smith, communications director for the district, confirmed Monday.
District officials said they learned June 18 of footage of an altercation between Hall and a student that reportedly took place in late January, Smith said in a statement. The district launched an investigation into the incident and contacted the Child Abuse Hotline, officials said.
Smith said that Hall was placed on paid administrative leave as officials conduct a “more thorough review of the incident.”
The district declined to comment on the nature of the January altercation, calling it a personnel issue.
“Please know that LRSD takes such matters seriously and when made aware, will investigate swiftly and thoroughly, and follow our protocols,” Smith said.
Prior to heading Mabelvale Middle School, Hall became principal at Hall High School in 2008. According to previous reporting by the Democrat-Gazette, she holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the the University of Central Arkansas and has been a district teacher and administrator since 1989.
Principals in the Little Rock School District will not be returning to work until after July 4, officials said. According to Smith, administrators will assign an interim principal to Mabelvale “sometime after that date.”
When asked about parents’ concerns regarding the welfare of children attending the middle school, Smith replied in an email, encouraging parents or others who might have information they would like to report to contact the district’s Safety and Security office, the Child Abuse Hotline, or the Little Rock Police Department.
“It remains the commitment of the Little Rock School District to provide safe, nurturing educational environments that are conducive to learning,” she wrote.