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D.C. principal accused in parking lot beat-down

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Photo - Coolidge High School (Graeme Jennings/Examiner)
Coolidge High School (Graeme Jennings/Examiner)
Local,DC,Crime,Scott McCabe

The principal of a District high school and two staff members have been accused of beating up a former co-worker after a homecoming football game.

Thelma Jarrett, principal of Calvin Coolidge High School in Northwest Washington, surrendered to D.C. police Thursday morning on a warrant charge of simple assault.

Jarrett and two other women, Donna Pixley, 52, and Bridgette V. Stevens, 42, are accused of hitting and kicking a former employee in a parking lot outside the high school football stadium in Northwest on Nov. 2.

The victim, Rashida King-Hicks, told D.C. police she heard Jarrett say, "Get her, bitch!" before the blows rained down on her.

King-Hicks told The Washington Examiner that she does not know why she was attacked, but had no further comment.

Jarrett and the two staff members were placed on administrative leave Nov. 9, according to DC Public Schools officials. Stevens is listed on Coolidge rosters as an administrative assistant, and Pixley was a registrar.

Jarrett, a 19-year veteran of DCPS, was promoted in 2009 and ordered to turn around severely troubled Coolidge High. She is best known for hiring the first woman in the United States to coach a high school varsity football team.

School officials have named Aubrey Brown as acting principal at Coolidge.

According to the police report, King-Hicks was watching the football game from the parking lot at 6315 Fifth St. NW when she noticed Jarrett and Pixley standing nearby.

King-Hicks, who worked as a clerk at Coolidge until about six months ago, greeted her former boss, Jarrett. Pixley began cursing at King-Hicks and they started to argue, police said.

Pixley began to get closer, and a crowd gathered. That's when King-Hicks heard Jarrett order the other women to "get her," according to the police report. Stevens then "came out of nowhere" and punched King-Hicks in the face, the police report said.

She fell to the ground and was repeatedly kicked and stomped by Jarrett, Pixley and Stevens until help arrived, the police report said.

One witness, a school mother, told police that she shielded King-Hicks with her body and helped her off the ground.

Terry Goings, the school's parent-teacher coordinator, gave a differing account to WJLA.

"Mrs. Jarrett was trying to break up the confrontation," he told the television station.

The attacked left King-Hicks with a bruised right eye and severe pain in her right shoulder and thigh, police said.

The next day, Pixley sent a text message to King-Hicks' brother, who is also an assistant principal at Coolidge, apologizing for "what happened," according to the police report.

In September, a Coolidge student shot another student near the football field as classes were letting out.

smccabe@washingtonexaminer.com

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