Md. teacher speaks out after fight with principal on elementary school grounds
SPRINGDALE, Md. – An elementary school teacher involved in a fight with the school principal, on school grounds, spoke out on Wednesday.
Sennieal Crutchfield, joined by her attorney, Charles Tucker, Senior Partner at the Tucker Moore Group, detailed her side of the story for the first time.
“I was going to recess and she accosted me from across the parking lot,” she says.
After the June 12th fight, school officials sent a letter home, which said:
“On last Tuesday during recess, an incident occurred in the parking lot that resulted in the police and ambulance being called to the school. This incident did not directly involve any students and the matter is currently being investigated.
We have recently learned, that students may have been in the vicinity of the incident. The professional school counselor and classroom teachers will be working with students to address any of their questions or concerns.”
A school spokesperson says Crutchfield and Principal Georgette Gregory were both placed on administrative leave.
Tucker described the fight as an “unproved attack” by Gregory. He says there was an e-mail about a simple school-related decision and Crutchfield simply followed instructions, but apparently, Gregory changed the directive and was upset that Crutchfield was following the e-mail.
“She was upset that Ms. Crutchfield was following the e-mail, she didn’t get any notification that there was to be a change,” says Tucker. “Her exact words were, don’t talk to me like that you, b—-!”
Crutchfield says this was the first time things ever got physical, but claims she was bullied by Gregory for five years since becoming the union representative for the school.
She says she reported concerns to her supervisors but never got any support.
“Every day I would come to work not knowing what was going to transpire, what was going to take place, but it wasn’t just me it was my colleagues as well,” she says. “In meetings I would be intimidated, yelled at, over the announcements name called out, I couldn’t attend certain meetings, group activities, harassed constantly, come into my room, sitting in my room, my evaluation was demoted.”
Tucker says they secured a Peace Order in court, which orders Gregory to not have violent or offensive contact with Crutchfield at the school.
Their goal is to make sure PGCPS puts a plan in place to be able to deal with workplace violence, and also plans to sue.
“There’s not a professional in the hierarchy that’s set up to address these issues,” he says.
A spokesperson for PGCPS would not provide further comment about the situation, because it is still under investigation. They said there is surveillance video of the fight but due to the on-going investigation, they will not release it.
Tucker says his office is hoping to get a copy of the video as well.
DCW50 attempted to reach out to Gregory in several different ways on Wednesday, but we never got a response about providing a comment or interview to share her side of the story.