A high school principal in California suspended 10 students who posted online a photo of him putting a female student in a chokehold as he was trying to break up a fight.
Pittsburg High School principal Todd Whitmire told TV news channel KTVU that he suspended the students because of the inappropriate and racist captions attached to the photo, but some students are arguing that they were just exercising their right to free speech.
The photo went viral on Facebook soon after it was posted.
Ashley Johnson, the student Whitmire tried to restrain as he was breaking up the fight, is now in a neck brace.
Whitmire gave his account of the fight to the Contra Costa Times: "I had separated her and she began struggling and I was pushing her away to get her away from the area and she fell down."
Johnson still holds him accountable for her injury and says he used too much force.
The school district's associate superintendent told the newspaper that the photo "didn't tell the whole story" and that Whitmire was concerned for the students' safety during the fight.
Police told the Contra Costa Times that there's no evidence that a battery took place and that no charges are pending.
- Business Insider Australia