Accused 'choke hold' principal has record

June 5, 2008 6:26:12 PM PDT
We've learned an associate principal, who was accused of putting a student in a choke hold during a food fight at the school, has a criminal record. Andre Credit was convicted of misdemeanor theft twice. The convictions happened in 1995, then in 1996. That was well before he got the job at Bush High School. At the time he was 20 and 21 years old. He's now 32. Each time he was given a year of probation. For the '96 conviction he was sentenced to 180 days in jail.

He worked at HISD before Fort Bend ISD hired him a year ago despite those convictions.

The district tells us:

"It is not a practice of the district to hire employees with felony convictions, and the district evaluates misdemeanor convictions on a case by case basis prior to employment."

Credit was arrested Tuesday and charged with aggravated assault. A student says credit put him in a choke hold and slammed him to the ground following a food fight where the student threw a plastic bottle.

Today the Fort Bend Employee Federation called for a more thorough investigation of what happened after some of its members questioned whether eyewitnesses collaborated in giving statements.

This teacher was willing to defend Credit if we granted her anonymity.

"We do what we can to discipline and keep control," the teacher told us. "But [I] feel very strongly about what happened in the cafeteria involving Mr. Credit was orchestrated."

That teacher says the student was bragging in school the next day about planning to sue the school district. Something he told us as well.

Credit has not responded to repeated attempts to get his side of this story.

We should note that Fort Bend ISD police insist they conducted a textbook investigation, interviewing student and teacher eyewitnesses separately after the incident.

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