DA: SLO County school officials won’t be charged with battery

Posted at 8:31 PM, Apr 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-18 23:31:01-04

The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday investigators have decided not to file battery charges against two school officials.

Last November, a complaint was filed against former Mission Prep High School Dean of Students Russ Griffith for putting a student in a chokehold.

Griffith reportedly heard profanity in the lunchroom and grabbed the student who cursed. The 16-year-old student was later granted a restraining order against the administrator.

At the same time, the office looked into a battery complaint against Atascadero High School teacher and coach Chris Ferree. He, too, was accused of using excessive force on a disruptive student.

"The investigation of Mr. Ferree was initiated by the Atascadero Police Department in November of 2017," read a DA’s office statement. "The general concern was that Mr. Ferree’s physical response to the student’s conduct was excessive."

Investigators declined to file criminal charges against Ferree.

"In both matters, witnesses provided conflicting accounts about the nature and extent of the force used and the student conduct that initiated the contact," investigators concluded.

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