A former Bridgeport principal seen on surveillance video dragging two kindergarten students down a hallway by their legs will not get her teaching license back.
Carmen Perez-Dickson, who was principal of the Jettie S. Tisdale Elementary School at the time of the 2013 incidents, told Eyewitness News that it was part of a game she and her brother played when they were younger. She claimed to have been teaching that game to the students.
"Nothing negative, I never intended to hurt a child, never ever," Perez-Dickson said.
Perez-Dickson was suspended by the Bridgeport school board shortly after the cases came to light.
She retired after fulfilling the suspension, according to officials.
At the time of the suspension, parents said they thought the punishment should have been more severe.
She applied to renew her teaching license in 2014.
The state Board of Education moved to make a decision on Wednesday about whether or not that should happen.
During its monthly meeting at the State Office Building in Hartford, it determined that there was enough evidence from the caught on camera cases and other incidents to deny the request.
The Board said it wasn't just the dragging on camera, but other incidents like when she allegedly slammed a bat down on the desk of a student who has special needs.
"Ms. Dickson seems to maintain that her use of force to the students was reasonable under the circumstances. there's no indication she believes it was improper, and no indication she would behave any differently in the future," said the Board's Attorney Matthew Venhorst.
Perez-Dickson said she is planning to appeal, because she may want to teach in the private sector in retirement.
For now, Perez-Dickson said she is focusing on the long career that came before the incident caught on camera.
"I enjoyed my years as an educator, both at Milford, at Foran High School and in Bridgeport, with the children of Bridgeport. Best years of my life, and no one can take that away," she said.
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