The Ashby Lee Elementary School principal who was found not guilty of assault and battery on Thursday is again receiving pay from the school division.

Shenandoah County Superintendent Mark Johnston confirmed Friday that Principal Steven Povlish is now on leave with pay.

“His leave without pay was based on the court case,” Johnston said.

Povlish had been on leave without pay since Dec. 13,  when the county School Board approved the employment change. It occurred after the first court appearance.

Shenandoah County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Judge Kevin Black on Thursday found Povlish not guilty on a charge of assault and battery for an incident last year that involved a then 5-year-old child.

“Mr. Povlish will get his back pay,” Johnston said.

The allegation as reported was that on Aug. 16 the boy, a kindergartner who at the time was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, was acting out and running.

The boy stepped on the hand of a girl who was sitting on the floor, according to testimony during the trial.

It was alleged in court testimony that Povlish placed both of his feet on the boy’s hands, rocking from his left foot to his right foot back to his left foot while asking the boy, “Is that what you do to little girls? How does that make you feel?”

Povlish denied the allegations. He testified he never made contact and if contact was made, it was unintentional as the boy rolled on the floor.

Johnston declined to answer any further questions regarding Povlish and his employment.

Povlish’s future with the division appears to still be unknown.

Johnston did speak in general on school policy for any employee.  He said the next step is for the division to conduct an assessment to determine if an employee violated school policy.

An employee who is placed on leave without pay has pay placed into an escrow account, and if brought back into the schools he or she would receive the back pay.

Johnston said that if it is determined that there was a violation, the consequences for the employee would depend on the nature, magnitude and extent of the violation.

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