Charter school headmaster accused of beating 1st-grader
WCNC-TV (Channel 6), January 12, 2006

Eugene Perry
PHOTO: Salisbury Post
North Carolina Rowan County -- The headmaster of the Rowan Academy Charter School is accused of beating a first-grader. East Spencer police arrested Eugene Perry on Tuesday for misdemeanor assault on a child. Police said evidence shows Perry surpassed the legal allowance for corporal punishment. Regina Gulledge is the child's grandmother and legal guardian. She said about a week ago, her grandson and a classmate colored instead of doing the exercises assigned by the teacher. Gulledge said when the school called her, she agreed to a spanking for the child but nothing more.

"If he would have just gotten spanked that day, it would have been OK, but no choking and no picking the child up," Gulledge said.

Gulledge said she discovered marks on the child's neck later that night. Police said the child had bruises and scratches on his collarbone, chest and arms.

Gulledge said the child told her the principal threw him down in a metal chair and sat on top of him.

A board of directors oversees the Rowan Academy Charter School, but the chairman said he and the other board members resigned earlier this week.

Jack Moyer with the N.C. Department of Instruction's Office of Charter Schools said he was unaware of the situation before WCNC-TV (Channel 6) called, and is "in the process of contacting the Attorney General's office as to where we will go from there. But I am assuming that the office of charter schools will have to step in and work with the school."

Perry declined a request from WCNC for an interview. He's scheduled to be in court in March. -- Tiffani Helberg

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