When two girls wouldn’t stop fighting at Kingstree Senior High School, the assistant principal, 69-year-old Mack Burgess, put one 15-year-old female student in a choke hold to try and get her to stop.
He held her that way until she passed out.
Police say Burgess gripped the girl “so tightly” that she went limp.
The teen was taken to the hospital because she couldn’t turn her head after the incident. Apparently the whole thing was turned over to police after Burgess tried to lie to the girl’s mother, Yalonda Nesmith, about it.
Nesmith said that about lunchtime on Monday she got a phone call telling her that her daughter had been in a fight and that the assistant principle had put her in a choke hold.
Moments later, Nesmith said, someone from the school called and said Burgess wanted to speak with her. She said he did not mention his purported part in the altercation, and when she asked him about it, he denied it.
Later that evening, she said, she saw the footage.
“It hurt to see my daughter go limp in the video,” Nesmith said, adding: “Her brain wasn’t getting any blood, so her body did what it had to do — and she passed out.”
On Tuesday, Nesmith said, she went to the school and talked to the assistant principal again, confronting him about the accusations that he had choked her daughter.
“I wanted answers,” she said. “I wanted to see if he’d tell the truth.”
Nesmith said he lied about it again — so she reported it to police.
Police and a judge watched the video and the judge issued a “courtesy summons” instead of a warrant for Burgess’s arrest on assault charges, with police concluding that Burgess was a danger to the community for “choking a 15-year-old girl till she passed out”. He is currently under investigation.
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