By Ralph Iannotti

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HILL DISTRICT (KDKA) — A parent is facing charges after allegedly striking a Pittsburgh elementary school principal Friday, but the parent says it wasn’t intentional.

Dorothy Otto has an 11-year-old son who attends Weil Elementary School. Otto says she’s had on-going issues with one of her son’s teachers because of an incident two and a half months ago when the teacher allegedly put her hands on her son.

When Otto went to the school Friday, she says she was told was not allowed on the property, and as Principal Kira Henderson was escorting her out of the building, school officials say Otto swung her arm, hitting the principal. Otto is being charged with assault.

Otto said it was not meant to be an aggressive act; it was a complete accident.

Otto said she doesn’t know when she’ll be formally charged in connection with the incident; that’s why her children are not at home with her now.

“I was afraid I was gonna get arrested today, so I made arrangements for my daughter and my son, and that’s what a real mom would do. You know? Make arrangements so my kids don’t have to suffer seeing their mother getting arrested out of their door for false accusations,” Otto said.

Otto says she’s hired an attorney, and she and her lawyer will go into details about the incident between the teacher and her son at a later date. Now, though, she’s focused on getting the story straight about what happened at the school on Friday.

“[The principal] walked into my hand accidentally. I was talking with my hands, she walked [into] my hand,” Otto said. “It was not intentional. She’s making it way more than what it is.”

School officials say criminal charges are expected to be filed against Otto early next week.

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