PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A few dozen students at Mount Pleasant High School walked out of school a half hour before dismissal on Friday to protest in support of Thomas Bacon, the former Central High School assistant principal who resigned his post last week due to a controversial video.
Bacon, who previously worked at Mount Pleasant, was seen in the video pinning a 15-year-old student to the ground at Central High. Providence Police said the student was accused of elbowing a teacher in the face.
Neither the student nor Mr. Bacon have been charged.
“We all love him as students, we’re like a family,” said Hope Fernandez, a senior at Mount Pleasant who was at the protest.
“Bacon was always the principal that helped the students when they were in trouble,” said Marcus Correia, another senior. “Gave them a second chance.”
The students held signs that said “Justice for Bacon” and “Doing his job is not a crime.”
While Bacon was not fired from his post, Mayor Jorge Elorza told Eyewitness News last week that Bacon had been notified termination was on the table. Elorza said Bacon’s conduct did not meet the “values” of the Providence School Department.
Bacon has worked for the school district since 1994. A spokesperson said he worked at Mount Pleasant High as an assistant principal from 2014 to 2017 before moving over to Central High School.
The 15-year-old student’s mother told Eyewitness News last week that her son was “compliant” with the administrators during the altercation.
“There was no need for him to put his hands on my son at all,” the mother said.
But Fernandez said she thinks the investigation should have been completed before Bacon was pushed out of his job.
“I don’t think the video tells the whole story,” Fernandez said. “To see him in that position, he doesn’t deserve it. That damaged his whole career, and him as a person. And he doesn’t deserve that.”
Providence Public Schools spokesperson Laura Hart issued a statement after the walk-out:
“This has been a difficult situation for both students and staff to work through. We support the rights of our students to voice their opinions in a thoughtful and peaceful manner. Disciplinary action, when appropriate, will be handled on a case-by-case basis.”
Providence Police said Friday the investigation into the incident between Bacon and the student is ongoing.