BUT California An elementary school principal was charged with child abuse and endangerment and placed on administrative leave after a video showed him pushing an 11-year-old student with special needs to the ground.
Brian Wollhardt, principal of Walters Elementary School in Fresno, resigned following a criminal investigation over the summer after violently shoving a boy on June 7. EdSource, but has since taken on a new position in a different school district.
Shocking newly released CCTV footage shows Wollhardt shoving a child reportedly with autism while the boy was talking to him and two other employees in the school cafeteria.
One of the staff members can be seen running to help the child as he falls, while Wollhardt continues to point and yell at him.
School principal in Fresno hit student with special needs. He quit the next day and is now the vice principal at another school. pic.twitter.com/Y7mmtXL8s8
— Eric Garcia (@EricG1247) September 8, 2022
Principal initially claimed an autistic child attacked him before video evidence proved otherwise
This was announced by the legal guardian of the boy, Ann Frank. alphabet 30 that the headmaster called her the same day and said that the child had attacked him. Frank added that the boy, whom she called her son, insisted that it was Wollhardt who pushed him, and not the other way around.
It took Frank more than three months to get a video of the incident to corroborate the student’s story, Frank continued.
“You can’t use force on these kids like that,” Frank said. “My son is autistic. Any parent who has seen this video knows how I feel right now.
My son was pushed by force by this director, who was supposed to protect him.”
Meanwhile, Wollhardt claims the boy “reached his face” and clenched his fist before pinning him, prompting him to push the child to the floor, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
Fresno Bee reports that Vollhardt had a similar incident with the same student 11 days earlier on 27 May.
Brian Wollhardt, Principal of Walters Elementary School, promises: “I promise to erase distance learning with my grace, sympathy, and support for my students, staff, and their families as we travel distance learning together.”#IPledgeFUSD #MakeThePledgeFUSD pic.twitter.com/77b4TRs6h7
— Fresno Unification (@fresnounified) November 17, 2020
According to the complaint, Vollhardt pushed the child to the ground and pressed his knee against the student’s back, holding him by the shoulder for “approximately 2-4 minutes”.
The director resigned after a criminal investigation, the family has since hired a lawyer
Bob Nelson, superintendent of the Fresno Unified School District, eventually notified the California Board of Teacher Evaluation, calling the incident “disgusting.”
Wollhardt was hired as the assistant principal of a school in another area after the Fresno incident, the publication reported.
Golden Plains Unified School District has since confirmed that Vollhardt was placed on administrative leave after learning of the incident and watching the video.
Frank said that Wollhardt “doesn’t have to deal with other people’s kids” and thanked the Golden Plains Unified School District for getting him expelled from school right away when he found out about his actions.
— Dave Talltree, Wimo’s son. Leilani is Ilio. (@unsc1325) September 8, 2022
“He doesn’t deserve to work at anyone’s school if he works at one of them,” Frank told ABC. “He doesn’t have to take care of other people’s children.
“Who’s to say how many other kids he’s done this to?”
Family criticizes police and school district for three months to respond to incident
However, Frank criticized the police department and the Fresno Unified School District for taking so long to respond to the incident and has since hired a lawyer.
In a statement, Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama said he was disappointed that he had not seen the video before earlier this week and added that the department would be making changes to ensure charges of violent misdemeanors are handled by a warden.
As of Friday, there were no records of any disciplinary action against Vollhardt’s teaching activities, Fresno Bee reports.
The treatment of autistic students recently made headlines for the completely wrong reasons: Three former employees of another California school were charged with manslaughter earlier this summer for the death of an autistic teenager in 2018, who died after being chained face to face to the floor. In one hour, shadow room previously reported.