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Student charged with assaulting her principal at Minneapolis school

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Prosecutors have charged a Minneapolis teenager with assaulting the principal of her school for students with emotional and behavioral disorders.

The student was 17 at the time of last month's attack at Harrison Education Center. She is charged in juvenile court.

The complaint against her says she pulled her principal to the floor by her hair and punched the woman in the face several times, causing a concussion and head trauma. The attack occurred in the cafeteria after the principal asked the student to leave the building because she'd been suspended from school, the charges say.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in announcing the charges that the principal has not returned to work since the Dec. 7 attack , which was caught by the school's surveillance cameras.

The principal is Monica Fabre, who is in her second year at Harrison. MinnPost reported last spring that Fabre is an Army veteran who led a dramatic turnaround as principal of a troubled school near Baton Rogue, Louisiana, partly by introducing a "discipline with dignity" policy.

Fabre told WCCO last week she remains committed to her special needs students and wants to come back to work when she's able.

The Star Tribune reports there have been three assaults at Harrison since last month.

School safety is also a hot topic in St. Paul, where a teacher at Central High School also sustained a concussion when attacked by a student in the cafeteria last month.

A 16-year-old pleaded guilty to assault in that case and was sentenced to 90 days of home monitoring and supervised probation.

St. Paul's teachers union is demanding improvements in school safety and filed a petition for state mediation, which is one of the steps on the path toward a strike.

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