Pitt County Principal charged with simple assault involving student

A Pitt County Public Schools principal has been charged with simple assault in an incident that involved a student on October 1.

Maurice Harris – Image via Wellcome Middle School Website

Maurice Harris, age 43, was charged with misdemeanor simple assault. Harris was issued a $1,000 unsecured bond, which he posted and was released. His next court date will be on November 25 in Greenville.

According to a press release by the Pitt County sheriff’s office, an allegation was made to a school resource officer that Harris had assaulted a 15-year-old male student in a hallway at Pitt High School at around 4 p.m. on Oct. 1.

Warrants allege that Harris grabbed the boy by his collar, pulled him to the ground and using his knee, Harris allegedly hit the boy in his upper body and in the face.

The press release said that the Pitt County District Attorney’s Office was given evidence and the results of the investigation.

“On October 23, 2019, the deputy presented the evidence to a Magistrate who found probable cause and issued a warrant for the arrest of Maurice Harris, 43 years of age, from Winterville for misdemeanor simple assault,” says the Pitt County Sheriff’s press release.

The school district has yet to release a formal statement, however, indicated that Harris has been placed on administrative leave with pay.

Harris has been the principal of North Pitt since February 1, 2017.  He was hired by the Pitt County Public school system in January of 1999 and served as a substitute teacher on occasion and was also principal at Wellcome Middle School, assistant principal at North Pitt, and a teacher at A.G. Cox Middle School.

According to his profile which was still active at Wellcome Middle school, Harris was named Pitt County Principal of the Year in 2015:

In 1998, Mr. Harris earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Middle Grades Education from East Carolina University. For the next five years, he taught 8th grade Math and Algebra at A. G. Cox Middle School. In 2004, he was accepted into the North Carolina Principal Fellows Program and completed his first administrative stint as a principal intern at North Pitt High School in 2005. After successfully completing the fellowship, he graduated in 2006 from East Carolina with his Master’s Degree in School Administration and was appointed the new assistant principal at North Pitt. In 2012, after seven very successful years as assistant principal at NPHS, he was appointed Principal here at Wellcome Middle School.
Professionally, Mr. Harris is a member of the NC Principal and Assistant Principals’ Association and has served as a member of the district’s Graduation Task Force. He was also honored by his peers in 2010, 2011 and 2012 with nominations for the district’s Assistant Principal of the Year award. Outside of school, Harris is actively involved in the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. In October of 2015, Mr. Harris was named the Pitt County Schools Principal of The Year!

According to state license records, Harris has an active NC teaching license in the areas of: Curriculum Instructional Specialist, Mathematics 6-9, School Administrator: Principal, and Science 6-9.

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips: APDillon@Protonmail.com
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