EAST NEW YORK, Brooklyn (WABC) --A Brooklyn principal was arraigned Wednesday on charges he hit an unruly 7-year-old student in his Brooklyn school.
Machael Spencer-Edwards, 42, was arrested Tuesday in connection with the March 13 incident, during which he is alleged to have struck Hasheem Welch after the boy slapped a teacher inside PS 202.
Authorities say he then kicked the child while he was on the ground.
"He hit me hard, and I was crying," Welch said, admitting he is scared of his principal.
Welch's mom, Shema McKenzie, snapped photos of the second-grader with bruises on his stomach and a swollen left cheek after the alleged assault, and police confirm they have video evidence proving Spencer-Edwards attacked him.
"It's just horrifying to me to know that a principal could do that to a child," McKenzie said.
The incident reportedly began after Welch refused to take off a hoodie. He then struck the teacher after they took the sweatshirt away and wouldn't give it back. And that's when authorities say Spencer-Edwards got physical.
"I hit her, and then he grabbed me and swung me," Welch said. "Brung me to the staircase and kicked me, and then he smacked me."
Following a month-long investigation, Spencer-Edwards was charged with assault, attempted assault, menacing, harassment and endangering the welfare of a child.
The Department of Education released the following statement after the arraignment:
"This alleged behavior is deeply disturbing, and has no place in our schools. This principal has been removed from the school and reassigned away from students. We are providing additional guidance and ongoing support to the school community."