An assault-and-battery charge was dismissed yesterday against the chief transportation supervisor for Manassas schools after she made a monetary settlement with the parents of a child she was accused of striking, attorneys in the case said.
The misdemeanor charge was dropped after Pauline Hall Griffin paid an undisclosed sum to the mother of the 9-year-old whom Griffin was accused of hitting with an umbrella on a school bus.
Attorneys for Griffin and the City of Manassas signed a legal document called an accord and satisfaction order, in which both sides agree to dispose of the case, said prosecutor Peter Steketee. He said the order is not an admission of guilt by Griffin.
Griffin, who has supervised the school district's bus fleet for 10 years, was accused of striking the child May 4 while trying to quiet a group of disorderly students on a school bus, police records show.
The child was treated at Prince William Hospital for swelling on the left side of her head, but X-rays found no broken bones, police said.
More than 30 witnesses who had been subpoenaed to testify were ushered into the courtroom yesterday to hear Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Judge John Ryan announce the agreement. Some reacted with applause, others complained. One woman called the agreement a "payoff."
Manassas Superintendent of Schools James Upperman said he had not been officially notified of the outcome of Griffin's case. He said he plans to meet with her later this week before deciding what action the school system should take to resolve the matter. Griffin has been reassigned from supervising children pending the outcome of the investigation, school sources said.