Twelve students were suspended this week after a photo of a principal appearing to choke a female student went viral.

Pittsburg High School Principal Todd Whitmire said the photo was taken last Friday as he restrained the girl who refused to stop fighting with a classmate.

The photo went viral immediately.

From KTVU:

“It certainly doesn’t show what happened,” he said.Whitmire said a total of 12 students were suspended, two of them for fighting, the others for their social media activity.┬áSome students said Tuesday that they thought suspension was an extreme punishment because the students were only exercising their right to free speech.

Read more at KTVU

The student in the photo, Ashley Johnson was wearing a neck brace after the incident. She says she was drawn into the fight after a student twice her size slammed her into a wall. She says the principle grabbed her despite her not fighting back.

She blames Principal Whitmire for her injury, claiming that he used too much force to restrain her.


Should the principal have intervened in the fight?

Should he assume liability for the student’s injury?

Sound off below!