New information obtained in Phoenix Magnet principal’s arrest involving corporal punishment

Alena Noakes breaks down new details about the arrest of Phoenix Magnet's principal, John Grimes, for a September 2021 corporal punishment incident.
Published: May. 5, 2022 at 8:16 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - In response to a public record request to the City of Alexandria, KALB has obtained an Alexandria Police Department report regarding when police first became involved in investigating a September 2021 corporal punishment incident involving a 4-year-old, Pre-K student at Phoenix Magnet Elementary School. The investigation resulted in the arrest of Phoenix Magnet’s principal, John Grimes, Jr.

On April 12, Grimes, 62, was indicted by a Rapides Parish grand jury with a count of cruelty to juveniles. He turned himself into the Rapides Parish jail the following day and posted a $25,000 bond shortly after.

According to an APD police report dated Sept. 10, 2021, police first got involved with the investigation when a relative of the student contacted police to report a complaint, stating that the child was paddled at school that day without her permission.

She stated at about 2:30 p.m., she received a call from the child’s teacher telling her the child had been sent to the principal’s office because the child “would not stop talking or lay down during nap time.” She told police Grimes called her to tell her he had paddled the child “due to the incident in the classroom.”

The relative reported to police that the child told her Grimes used his hand and then a paddle. The child told her their “butt still hurts” and after pulling the child’s pants down “she observed two hand-sized whelps that were turning black and blue.”

The relative said “she thought it was not right because no one asked her if they could spank” the child, who she says had just started at Phoenix Magnet the week before the incident.

Police observed the injuries and captured them on body camera video.

They also advised the relative to contact the Rapides Parish School Board about the incident and advised her the report would be sent to the Juvenile Detective Division at APD.

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