The Associated Press, November 3, 1998

No charges but principal resigns after spanking incident The Associated Press, November 3, 1998

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) -- An elementary school principal has resigned after being accused of spanking an 8-year-old boy with a purse strap.

Brenda Powell's departure Monday from Peoria's Glen Oak Primary School came less than a week after Peoria County State's Attorney Kevin Lyons decided not to file criminal charges.

Corporal punishment in public schools is against state law, but the boy's aunt had given Powell permission to physically punish him if he got in trouble, Lyons said.

The boy was sent to the principal's office Oct. 6 for talking back to a teacher after shoving another student.

Powell allegedly held the boy and spanked him on the buttocks. But the strap ``wrapped around'' the boy's body and made contact with his groin area and leg, Lyons said.

Lyons said Powell's past ``exemplary'' performance played a role in his decision not to file charges.

District 150 and Powell reached a financial agreement as a condition of her resignation, said School Board attorney David Walvoord.

Powell was named principal at Glen Oak in July 1995. She replaced Linda Fuller, who resigned and later pleaded guilty to official misconduct after district officials discovered more than $6,000 missing in school funds.

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