MNPS Principal Resigns, Admits To Spanking Students
by Aundrea Cline-Thomas
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Principal at Robert Churchwell Elementary has resigned amid allegations that he spanked special needs students. Jahi Rohrer was hired in 2012 to turn around the low-performing school.
"Mr. Rohrer took him into an empty classroom and spanked him," parent Amanda Johnson recalled what her son told her last week.
Two mothers who don't know each other have a lot in common.
"He said well mommy he spanked me so I remembered to be good," parent Kim W said. "And that just, that hurt (me)."
They both said Robert Churchwell's Principal Jahi Rohrer spanked their six-year-old sons in separate instances. Both of their children have special needs.
"He's diagnosed to be on the autism spectrum, they call ASD," Kim W said.
"He's diagnosed with ADHD and ODD," Johnson explained. "Oppositional Defiance Disorder which is basically a chemical imbalance in the brain."
They said the separate incidents occurred in response to behavior problems their son's exhibited. While corporal punishment is legal in Tennessee, it's banned in Metro schools.
"He was really scared to go to school and he begged me to please let him go to a new school," Johnson said about how her son reacted. "Could he please go to a new school because he hated that school."
Last Wednesday, the district notified Metro Police who confirmed they were conducting an investigation. The same day, Rohrer submitted his resigned. In his letter Rohrer admits to the allegations and says "there are no logical reasons that can excuse my judgment and actions against two students in the school."
"That still puts you in ok status to go someplace else in education," Kim W said. "So that's what I'm totally against, the resignation part. You should be reprimanded... and fired."
Now that Rohrer is no longer with the district Metro Schools sais it is not pursuing its own investigation. Meanwhile, Marcia Northern has been named as the acting Principal.