A principal at a Utah elementary school is under investigation and has been placed on leave after allegedly forcing a student to take off his pants in her office as a form of discipline.
Edison Elementary Principal Laurie Lacy was put on leave by the Salt Lake City School District. Salt Lake City Police are now investigating the incident, which Detective Greg Wilking said took place on April 7.
According to a source who spoke about the incident to KSTU, a teacher sent the student to Lacy’s office after he repeatedly pulled down his pants in class. That’s when Lacy allegedly told him to take his pants off.
The student, who is said to be a refugee and in first grade, reportedly had no underwear on. The source said he was made to sit half-naked in a chair in the corner of Lacy’s office.
It is not clear how long the student was made to sit in the chair with his pants off.
Several teachers who were in Lacy’s office at the time reportedly witnessed the whole thing.
Detective Wilking explained that police were notified of Lacy’s alleged actions by the Salt Lake City School District and the Utah Division of Child and Family Services on April 12.
“The investigation hasn’t really progressed very far at this point,” Wilking said, according to Deseret News. “We’re still very, very early in this.” He added that it’s too early to tell whether Lacy’s alleged misconduct rises to the level of a crime and that he is uncertain how long the investigation will take.
Special Victims Unit officers are involved in the investigation. Detective Richard Chipping said the incident was “inappropriate in nature” but not necessarily sexual, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
Salt Lake City School District spokesperson Jason Olsen sent the following statement to KSTU:
“The district was made aware of the allegations involving the principal at Edison Elementary several days ago and immediately started a comprehensive investigation, including placing the principal on leave. We are also fully cooperating with police in their investigation.”
He declined to give details, as the investigation is still in its very early stages.
KSTU also reached out to Lacy for comment.
“Thank you for the opportunity,” she replied. “I am not able to comment at this time. When I am permitted to do so I can give you [a] statement.”
No charges have been filed in the case.
Sources: KSTU, Deseret News, The Salt Lake Tribune / Photo Credit: Eric E Castro/Flickr