It 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.
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.”