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Fired paraprofessionals have day in Halifax court

Two parapros who lost their jobs after a fight last April at Halifax County High School had their day in court Tuesday.

Although both paraprofessionals were fired following the altercation, only one had to pay her dues in Halifax County General District Court. 

Yakima Claughton, 40, of South Boston was found guilty of two misdemeanors and fined $500 on each charge, disorderly conduct and assault. 

According to court records, she was sentenced to 10 days in jail with all time suspended. With the additional court costs of $107, at the end of the day she owed the court at total of $1,107.

Joanna Barksdale, 39, of Halifax was found not guilty of assault, and the misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct was dismissed.

At the time of the pair’s arrest, South Boston Police Captain B. K. Lovelace said the April altercation stemmed from a verbal disagreement that escalated into blows between the two paraprofessionals.

Superintendent Paul Stapleton applauded the staff of Halifax County High School and Principal Albert Randolph for their appropriate handling of the situation.

 “We will not tolerate that behavior from our employees. It was dealt with immediately,” he said.

Following the fight, South Boston Police escorted both employees from the school premises, and no students were involved or injured during the altercation.

On April 5, Halifax County School Board approved the termination of employment for both women who were special education paraprofessionals at Halifax County High School.