No-contact order changed to 25 feet

A Benton County judge Monday modified the no-contact order a Benton City student got against his principal last week.

Wayne Barrett, the principal of Kiona-Benton City High School, now can be as close as 25 feet to the student, Roel Corral, while on school grounds or at school events.

Barrett, who is accused of threatening Corral with a pocketknife earlier this month during a confrontation over the wearing of a rosary, originally was ordered not to come within 100 feet of Corral at all times.

Barrett still must stay at least that far away from Corral when he is not at school or school events, District Court Judge Terry Tanner said Monday.

Barrett -- through his attorney Scott Johnson -- asked the court to modify the original order, because maintaining the 100-foot distance would "render him unemployed," Johnson argued in court.

Tanner opened the hearing by saying he would not consider canceling the order entirely, but that he was "open to suggestions (for) a workable solution."

Corral asked the court for the no-contact order because he felt harassed by Barrett at school since the alleged knife incident, he wrote in the petition filed Friday.

Barrett allegedly unfolded a pocketknife and threatened to cut off a rosary that Corral was wearing. Rosaries are prohibited at Ki-Be schools because they are associated with gangs.

Superintendent Rom Castilleja told the Herald after the hearing that it would have been impossible for Barrett to obey the original order and still do his job.