Terrence Yarborough, former principal of Carl Sandburg Middle School, was charged with assault after he allegedly slapped a female student on the rear in April 2017. Fairfax County Police

A Virginia ex-middle school principal was charged with assault for allegedly smacking a 12-year-old female student “on her buttocks” earlier this year, reported Fairfax County Police Tuesday.

Terrence Eugene Yarborough, 53, was placed on administrative leave for the April 4 incident. He was formerly the principal of Carl Sandburg Middle School near Alexandria, Virginia. Police reports said the ex-principal asked a female student twice to pick something up from the floor. The student replied “no” each time, resulting in Yarborough hitting her rear end.

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The student reported the incident to her teacher. Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) and Child Protective Services were told of the incident. Yarborough was placed on administrative leave and the police department and the Fairfax County Public Schools both began investigating the incident.

According to the Department of Education, 28 states and Washington D.C. prohibit corporal punishment in schools, 7 states do not prohibit corporal punishment and 15 states allow corporal punishment. Virginia is listed as prohibiting corporal punishment.

At the time of the alleged incident, the reason for his administrative leave was not made clear. FCPS Assistant Superintendent Terry Dade informed parents telling them Yarborough was on leave and assistant principal Jessica Tippins would serve as principal for the time being.

In May, an online petition was started by “Members of Carl Sandburg Community” after he resigned from his post. The petition described him as “an asset” to the community and commended Yarborough with transforming the middle school “from a school that was plagued by problems and a poor reputation to a school that is now highly regarded within the community.”

Yarborough formerly served in the Marine Corps and worked at FCPS for 10 years. He was charged with assault and battery on Monday. He was also issued a criminal summons.

Yarborough is set to appear before the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Aug. 4.

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Fox affiliate-WTTG obtained a statement regarding the incident from Fairfax County Public Schools:

“FCPS takes all allegations of staff misconduct very seriously. After these allegations were first referred to FCPS investigators, Mr. Yarborough was immediately placed on administrative leave on April 4, 2017. FCPS cooperated with police and child protective services during the course of the investigation. Mr. Yarborough did not return to the school and subsequently resigned from his position, effective June 30, 2017. Following due process, FCPS will pursue the revocation of his teaching and administrator licenses as appropriate, once the criminal case against him is adjudicated. FCPS is committed to ensuring that all students attend school in an environment that is respectful, safe and where they feel a high degree of trust with the staff who serve them.”

A representative for Yarborough did not immediately return International Business Times' request for comment. At the time this article was written, he had not yet entered a plea.