Principal won't face charges for allegedly paddling student too hard

May 24, 2003
Knoxville News Sentinel - Knox News

JACKSON, Tenn.- A Jackson city councilman and alternative school principal won't face criminal charges for allegedly using too much force when paddling a student.

Jackson City Court Judge Blake Anderson on Friday reviewed the case of Jessie Jacox and decided against issuing a warrant for his arrest, said Jackson Police Department Captain Jerry Priddy.

A 13-year-old male student claimed Jacox paddled him 10 times with a 2-inch thick paddle last month at South Highland Learning Center, leaving "deep purple bruises about 3 inches wide and long across his buttocks," police said.

The boy said in the police report he was paddled for talking in the cafeteria, but Jacox said he was paddled for "calling the other students racial names."

"I followed state rules, and I've never abused any kids in my 29 years of education," Jacox said Friday.

South Highland Learning Center serves as a temporary location for intermediate and middle school students who are removed from their regular schools because of discipline problems.

Jacox said his relationship with the teen has improved since the paddling incident.

"He's been hanging around me all of the time," he said. "The discipline must've worked because now he's a well-behaved student and an enjoyable person to be around."