There are high-school students around the country who would no doubt like to keep a 25-foot buffer between them and their principal at all times.
But only one student that we know of has an actual no-contact order signed by a judge that legally mandates that his principal stay away from him.According to court documents obtained from Benton County District Court, Kiona-Benton City High School Principal Wayne Barrett has been ordered to stay 25 feet from 18-year-old student Roel Corral.
The order stems from a Sept. 1 incident in which the principal allegedly saw Corral wearing a Catholic rosary around his neck, pulled out a pocket knife, and threatened to cut it off.
Rosaries are apparently viewed as gang paraphernalia at the school, and after seeing the student wearing one earlier in the day, the principal took it upon himself to skip the part where he threatens to give detention or suspend the student and just go right to the knife.
A teacher found out about the incident and told police. Corral later told Benton County Sheriff's Deputies that he doesn't "feel safe or comfortable with the way he looks or interacts with me."
District Court Judge Terry Tanner felt the same way and signed the no-contact order, which originally kept Barrett 100 feet away from Corral until objections made him amend the order to 25 feet.
Meanwhile Benton County Prosecutors are deciding whether to actually charge Barrett with a crime. The BCSO finished its investigation into the incident Sept. 7, and Chief Deputy Criminal Prosecutor Terry Bloor tells Seattle Weekly that his office is still looking into whether charges are warranted.
The incident has also set up somewhat of an internal struggle inside the school between Barrett and the teacher--Jennifer Oliver--who reported the him to the police. Barrett claims that Oliver has it out for him and wants to see him fired. Oliver says she's just recounting an inappropriate event.
We reached out to both parties and will update if/when they get back to us.
In the meantime, Corral will keep showing up for school--possibly with his rosary, but maybe not. And if he sees his principal in the hall, he'll no doubt be smiling watching him scoot himself to the other side of the hall or just turn around altogether.