The principal of a Florida middle school and his wife, an assistant teacher at a nearby Tampa high school, were arrested on suspicion of child abuse Monday.
According to WFTS, Coleman Middle School principal Michael Hoskinson, 53, punched a juvenile victim twice in the ribs earlier this month, causing the child to fall and sustain wrist injuries.
He was reportedly yelling at the victim during the assault. Authorities say his wife, 49-year-old Kimberly Hoskinson, pushed the juvenile during the same incident.
She allegedly went further, sending a threatening text message after the assault warning the victim would “end up with a lot more than a few bruised ribs” if the behavior that led to that altercation continued.
An affidavit indicates two of the child’s classmates witnessed the attack.
The victim’s relationship to the suspects is unclear, but reports indicate the child does not attend either of the schools that employed them. A school district spokesperson made that point in a statement on the matter.
“This is a personal issue and is not related to the positions that they hold in the district,” Tanya Arja said.
Their positions with the district remained unclear as of the latest reports available, but Arja said Michael Hoskinson cannot return to the school in any case due to a court order keeping him away from all children.
The superintendent and grief counselors were available this week at the middle school in the wake of the arrest.
Arja said locals are “shocked” and left without answers, a sentiment echoed by others who knew the suspects.
“I have known Mike and Kim for years, they are wonderful people,” one parent in the district said. “I cannot believe they would be involved in something like this.”
According to the Tampa Bay Times, both suspects face a third-degree felony charge of child abuse without great bodily harm. The case is reportedly being treated as domestic violence involving a family member.
Both suspects have denied the allegations, according to WTSP.
[Featured image: Michael and Kimberly Hoskinson/Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department]