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California principal caught on camera with black teen in a chokehold

Todd WhitmireIt was a scene that had gotten out of control. Ashley Johnson, 15, a ninth grader at California’s Pittsburgh High School appeared to be gasping for air in a viral photo that has gotten 10 students suspended. Their suspension comes as a result of circulating the photo on social media that was complemented by inappropriate comments. Two other students, including Johnson, were suspended for fighting.

The school’s principal, Todd Whitmire, believes the photo circulated on social media was taken out of context. In an effort to clarify his involvement, he says he was breaking up a fight, slipped and fell.ashley johnson

Johnson’s version of the story is slightly different. She says she was slammed against the wall by a male student and didn’t fight back and that Whitmire used too much force and is responsible for her injuries to her neck. She says, “I wasn’t fighting back. I was lying on the ground.”



  1. Stacey on October 17, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Why bother even posting these stories with such little information? My 10 year old Brother could write a more informative article…

  2. Arthur McDonald on October 21, 2013 at 11:18 am

    It doesn’t seem like there was much to do with the story outside of the the photos raising some questions. Nowadays, you need video to get a more clear idea of what actually happened. But, the principal may have used excessive force in the process of breaking up the fight…it depends on the severity of the fight in question. And well, he may have hurt the girl in breaking something up, but with violence in schools, the other student may have had real malicious intention for the girl. Either way, she was really hurt, and it shouldn’t have been that way.