Calera principal faces harassment complaint

Published 3:18 pm Friday, January 7, 2011

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

Calera High School Principal Richard Bishop was arrested for alleged third-degree harassment after a Thompson High School assistant principal complained to police following an incident at a basketball game at Thompson High School in December.

Bishop, 51, who was arrested by the Alabaster Police Department at 2:43 pm. on Dec. 17, was allegedly involved in an incident involving both students and school personnel at the Dec. 16 game between Calera and Thompson.


Bishop posted $800 bail and was released shortly after his arrest on Dec. 17. His municipal court date is set for Feb. 11 at 2 p.m.

Bishop did not return repeated phone calls seeking comment Jan. 7.

According to an Alabaster Police Department report, Thompson Assistant Principal Angela McKnight told police Bishop grabbed her by the left arm very tightly and jerked her toward him to inform her he had been slapped by a Thompson student.

McKnight’s statement to police said she asked Bishop to let go of her arm and she would handle the Thompson students.

McKnight’s statement alleges Bishop, still holding her arm firmly, yelled at her for not taking immediate disciplinary action against the student. McKnight told police she asked Bishop to let go of her and jerked herself away from him.

McKnight’s statement alleges fellow Thompson administrators Keri Johnson and Jeff Atkins also witnessed the incident, as did Alabaster police officers John Kessler, Josh White and Alabaster Police Chief Stanley Oliver.

The police report states McKnight informed Thompson Principal Robin Thomas and Donna Dickson, the student support supervisor, for Shelby County Schools, about the incident.

McKnight, contacted at Thompson High School on Jan. 7, would not comment on the incident.

Shelby County Schools spokesperson Cindy Warner said the school board is conducting its own investigation into the matter.

“Legal constraints prevent me from commenting on personnel matters while they are under investigation,” Warner said.

Warner said an investigation is school board policy anytime personnel are accused of professional misconduct.

“Our practice in every case where there are allegations of professional misconduct is to thoroughly investigate and deal appropriately with the situation once all the facts are known,” Warner said.

Bishop was hired as the Calera High School principal in June 2008 after brief stints with Calera Industrial Supply, which sold supplies to contractors working on the new Calera High School, and Taylor Publishing.

Bishop served as the Tarrant High School principal on two separate occasions and spent one academic year as the principal at Hoover High School in 2006-2007.