A California high school principal is defending his decision to suspend 10 students for sharing a photo that shows him restraining a student -- with his arms around her neck, apparently choking her.
See the photo here .
Todd Whitmire, principal of Pittsburg High School in Pittsburg, Calif., told KTVU that the photo was taken last Friday during a fight, which he was attempting to break up.
"I had separated her and she began struggling and I was pushing her away to get her away from the area and she fell down," Whitmire told the Contra Costa Times .
Two students were suspended as a result; the other 10 for sharing the photo online with racist and derogatory captions.
The photo has gone viral in the week since.
Ashley Johnson, the ninth-grade female student in the photo, wore a neck brace Tuesday, in an interview with KTVU. She said the fight was started by a male student.
Officers told the Contra Costa Times that there was no evidence of battery; charges are not pending against Whitmire.