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DEVELOPING: Columbia High School Principal Arrested for Child Endangerment, Assaulting Student


By: Richard L. Smith 

Today, Columbia High School's principal, Frank Sanchez, voluntarily appeared at the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.AdHe faces serious legal charges, including a felony charge of child endangerment in the second degree and a misdemeanor charge of simple assault.

These charges were initiated on March 8th by the Essex County Prosecutor, who issued an arrest warrant for Sanchez.

According to reports, the allegations against Sanchez stem from an incident that reportedly occurred last March, involving an assault on a tenth-grade female student who is African American.

The case is currently moving forward under the guidance of Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II. A grand jury is expected to convene to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to formally indict Sanchez on the charges.

In response to these developments, Kevin Gilbert, the Acting Superintendent for the South Orange-Maplewood School District, announced on January 2nd that Sanchez had been placed on administrative leave.

Gilbert emphasized that details regarding Sanchez's leave could not be disclosed. In the interim, Assistant Superintendent Ann Bodnar has taken over Sanchez's responsibilities.

This incident follows the dismissal of superintendent Ronald Taylor two months prior, after a vote of "no-confidence" from the teachers' union and growing concerns over racial disparities within the district.