South Rowan High principal suspended

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 16, 2012

CHINA GROVE – South Rowan High School Principal Don Knox has been suspended with pay pending an investigation, school officials said Monday.
Knox was suspended Oct. 5, Rowan-Salisbury School System spokeswoman Rita Foil said in a statement to the Post Monday.
The statement did not include any details about the investigation.
A Rowan County Sheriff’s Office report said a former student filed a complaint against Knox on Sept. 12.
But after several weeks of investigation, detectives determined the claim was “unfounded,” a report said.
In the statement, the school system said school administrators are assisting during Knox’s absence.
“School system administrators are working closely with South Rowan High’s three assistant principals and the administrative team to ensure that student instruction and school events proceed without interruption during Dr. Knox’s absence,” the statement said.
Knox has held the head position at South Rowan High since 2008.
According to the Sheriff’s Office report, Tanner Hoke, valedictorian of the 2012 class, told officers he was assaulted by Knox in a hallway near the school cafeteria in May. The report said Hoke “approached the principal with a question” regarding the graduation ceremonies.
Hoke alleged Knox grabbed him near the “opening of his jacket” and pulled Hoke toward him, the report said.
Hoke said he did not immediately report the allegation to authorities because he did not want the stress or “possible retaliation,” deputies said.
“The case has been closed and cleared as unfounded,” Rowan County Capt. John Sifford said.