July 24, 2009

No discipline for toe-squeezing teacher

A Florida school district said no disciplinary measures will be taken in the case of an assistant principal who squeezed students' toes as a punishment.

Assistant principal Olayinka Alege of King High School in Tampa was investigated by Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies and an assistant state attorney after five boys reported he asked them on numerous occasions to remove a shoe and a sock so he could pop their toes.

The boys said the toe-squeezing didn't hurt but they all agreed it was unpleasant and one described it as a weird type of punishment.

The investigators determined Alege's actions did not constitute battery and the school district said it now considers the matter closed, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times reported Friday. Officials said Alege will not be disciplined.

Alege described the encounters as playing around with the students.

I think the gist of it was me and the kids I was mentoring were just playing around, he said. It was one of those playful things, just playing around with the kids so they felt more comfortable.