The principal of the tiny Washtucna School in Adams County is facing a criminal investigation after a 14-year-old boy said the man sat on him as punishment.
The Adams County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday that a deputy is investigating the report from the boy’s grandparents that the principal, Glenn Martin, sat on the boy on May 7 at Washtucna School.
The grandparents reported the incident May 16.
Martin has taken leave, district Superintendent Bob Allen said. Allen said the district did not force Martin to take the leave and the principal is using his sick days to take the time off.
“We can’t say much,” Allen said. “Hopefully they will come up with all the facts. We’ll cooperate.”
The boy, Austin Lonas, told KREM 2 news that Martin sat on him with his full weight for about 20 seconds, making it difficult for him to breathe. He said Martin was punishing him for reclining on a bench inside the school, which is against the rules.
Allen said the student was reclining on a hallway bench, but said Martin was upset about Lonas wearing his hat inside.
“The hat was the main issue,” Allen said.
Allen said the district is conducting its own investigation.
School is in session until June 8, Allen said. He said he suspects Martin will continue his leave until then.
The student is still enrolled in the district, he said.
Washtucna, population 250, is about 30 miles south of Ritzville.
Martin has been principal of the K-12 school since 2002, according to the school’s website. A phone number for Martin could not be found.
It’s not the first scandal to hit the tiny school district.
In 2008, the then-superintendent of the Washtucna School District resigned after he was pulled over for driving erratically in Plummer, Idaho, and police found marijuana and a pipe in the car. They also found a bag of sex toys, leather whips, female clothing and condoms.
Christopher Eugene Gregory pleaded guilty to drug charges in September 2008 in Benewah County, paid a $125 fine and performed community service.