BRADENTON — The Manatee County School Board on Monday granted an administrative hearing to a Palmetto High School teacher who is on paid leave for allegedly slapping a student in the face last school year.
The board made its decision after Superintendent Tim McGonegal recently recommended that Peggy Hill, a science teacher, be suspended without pay for 20 day for reportedly engaging in corporal punishment.
Hill allegedly hit the student when he used profanity in front of a group of students May 4, according to an administrative complaint filed by the district.
School board member Walter Miller said Monday he was concerned with why it took so long for the board to be notified about the alleged attack.
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McGonegal said that was because the reported incident took place at the end of the last school year.
“When school started back up, we closed the investigation,” McGonegal said.
According to the complaint, five or six students witnessed the slap, which left a red mark on the student’s face.
“None of the student witnesses corroborated Hill’s account of the incident and instead concurred with the victim’s statement,” states the complaint written by district attorney Robert Shapiro.
Hill has taught in the district since Oct. 13, 1997.
A date for the hearing was not set Monday night. An administrative judge will preside over the hearing, and will make recommendations to the school board. The board will then make the final decision on whether to follow the judge’s recommendations.
In other business Monday, board members named Barry Dunn as the new principal of Miller Elementary School.
Dunn, currently assistant principal at Williams Elementary, will take over as Miller’s administrator Thursday.
He replaces Chuck Banks, who is scheduled to retire Wednesday.
The board also designated Wednesday as “MTI Day.” For six years in a row, the nationally recognized Manatee Technical Institute has won more SkillUSA medals than any other technical school, college or university nationwide.