Portsmouth middle school principal found not guilty of assault and battery

Posted at 12:04 PM, Dec 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-17 17:21:37-05

Portsmouth, Va. - The principal of W.E. Waters Middle School in Portsmouth was found not guilty of assault and battery on Thursday.

Alice Graham was charged in November. The charge stemmed from an alleged incident involving a 14-year-old female student on October 21st.

The 14-year-old student’s grandmother is not happy with the outcome of the not guilty verdict.

Bertha Ricks says her 14-year-old granddaughter still has some pain in her arm from a strained muscle injury back in October.

She says her granddaughter's principal is the one responsible for the injury.

“You may not have thought you hurt her, I'm not even saying you intended, but the fact is the evidence she's injured,” Ricks said

Principal Alice Graham was found not guilty of assault and battery today.

A report was filed on November 2nd and the student pressed charges on November 9th. Graham was served with the summons on November 10th. She was not taken into custody.

Ricks says her granddaughter came home with an injured arm, saying that the principal had pushed her from behind.

She claims that her granddaughter tried to tell Principal Graham that she was hurt and Graham mocked her.

When Ricks set up a conference to discuss the matter with the school the next day, she says Principal Graham justified the way she touched her daughter and said she was not really hurt.

"They didn't think it was important. They didn't think she was really injured,” Ricks said “I left then and went right down to social services.”

Two days after Principal Graham received the criminal summons, Portsmouth Public Schools issued a statement saying that an interim principal would be named at a later date.

After she was found not guilty of assault and battery on December 17th, they announced Principal Graham will return to W. E. Waters after winter break.

School officials released a statement about the incident:

Portsmouth Public Schools is pleased to have this incident resolved positively. Ms. Graham will return after the Winter Break on January 4, 2016. We are confident in Ms. Graham's leadership and commitment to the W. E. Waters community.

NewsChannel 3 reached out to Graham and her attorney for a statement, but we are still waiting to hear back.


Student complaint leads to assault charges for Portsmouth school principal