Penn Hills middle school principal on leave after wife claims abuse

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The principal of Linton Middle School in Penn Hills has been accused of abusing his wife, who has filed a restraining order against him, court records show.

Davaun Barnett Sr., 41, has taken a leave of absence for the rest of the academic school year, Penn Hills School District superintendent Thomas Washington wrote in a May 14 letter to parents obtained today by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

District spokeswoman Teresita K. Kolenchak said this morning that the district would not comment further as the matter is under investigation.

Mr. Barnett could not be reached.

No charges have been filed against Mr. Barnett, but according to a May 7 protection from abuse petition written by his wife, Lisa, the verbal and physical abuse started in September and continued into this month.

Ms. Barnett, an attorney and adjunct professor at Duquesne University, wrote that on May 6, her husband locked her in the couple's family room, then, when he released her, told her get out of the house.

"He told me that if I did not get out of our home I would 'wake up in a pool of my own blood' because he said he was going to 'slit' my throat," she wrote.

She said she stayed in her children's room until morning, because "he kicked me in my back out the bed and spit on me."

She also wrote that in September, she had to leave their home with the couple's two children because her husband had choked her and was threatening to hurt her again.

Also that month, Mr. Barnett came to her class while she was teaching, she wrote, and became "aggressive and threatening," prompting campus police to remove him from grounds.

Duquense university spokeswoman Bridget Fare confirms that Mr. Barnett was barred from campus after an incident at the law school in September.

Mr. Barnett served earlier as principal at Duquesne Elementary/Middle School and worked at the Weil Accelerated Learning Academy in the Pittsburgh Public Schools, where he was assistant principal.

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Molly Born:, 412-263-1944 and on Twitter: @borntolede. First Published May 16, 2013 10:15 AM


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