Blackwell Preschool principal resigns amid sexual assault allegations

The principal’s resignation comes after a parent says their child was sexually assaulted at the school
A Richmond mother says she finally feels heard -- months after she says her daughter was assaulted at school by another child.
Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 9:19 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) -Richmond Public Schools officials confirmed Thursday evening that Principal Elaine Probst at Blackwell Preschool officially resigned from her position.

On Friday, the RPS said the principal resigned due to personal reasons and would not comment further.

Linda Wood, who is currently the Associate Director for Early Childhood Education, will be stepping in as the interim principal for the rest of the year.

Probst was under scrutiny by some school board members after one Richmond mother said her 5-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted at the school by another student on Jan. 23.

The parent, Shayla Roberts, said she took her daughter to the emergency room after finding blood in her underwear. Nurses at the hospital found that the child had vaginal bruising.

When she went to the school administration about her daughter’s assault, she allowed the principal to take her daughter to the classroom to identify the person who hurt her.

However, Roberts said several minutes passed, and they didn’t return. After looking around the school, she found her daughter, the principal and the suspected student in the bathroom talking.

“You took my daughter in this bathroom and questioned. I don’t know what conversation or what you were trying to do, but it really made me feel some type of way. I send my daughter to school to be protected,” Roberts told NBC12 in February.

Roberts has since pulled her daughter out of Blackwell Preschool. She had a sense of peace when she found out Probst had resigned but still has concerns about how the situation has been handled.

”I was at peace, but then I was confused I was confused knowing that she resigned, knowing what that means that you can still move on as if nothing ever happened,” Roberts said.