Spring ISD principal ‘takes responsibility' for controversial comments about special-needs student

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HOUSTON – A Spring Independent School District principal is learning the consequences of her words.

Word quickly spread on social media about a joke Ponderosa Elementary School Principal Shanna Swearingen made on April 17 about one of her students in front of three staff members.

The young boy is black, in special education and has behavioral problems. He is known to run from class, according to his guardian.

Swearingen was overheard saying, “We won’t chase him. We will call the police and tell them he has a gun so they can come faster.”

Michael Burnett, the PTA president for Ponderosa Elementary School, said he first read about the comments through a Spring neighborhood Facebook group. He said he’s having a tough time believing the principal would make such a remark.

“I don’t believe that it’s fair for people to take to social media on something that is hearsay,” he said. “I think the best thing would have been to come to her and ask the question.”

Burnett said the comment doesn't align with Swearingen’s character.

“The principal has been awesome. She broke her back during Hurricane Harvey and worked in homes of all races,” he added.


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