A misdemeanor charge of child abuse has been filed against the former principal of an elementary school in California who quit after bullying a kid with special needs. He shoved the autistic student to the floor during breakfast.
Brian Vollhardt, the former principal of Wolters Elementary School, bullied an “upset kid” on June 7. The Fresno Unified School District (FUSD) and regional law enforcement revealed this week.
In a statement, the district said that on that particular morning, Vollhardt “joined a small group of children enjoying their breakfast” in the cafeteria.
“The former principal was dealing with an upset student along with a few staff members. Vollhardt decided to forcibly throw the youngster down rather than defuse the situation,” according to the district.
At a press conference about the event on Wednesday, Superintendent Bob Nelson stated that the behavior shown on camera was “repugnant” and would not be permitted in the district.
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Watch Brian Vollhardt, a Wolters Elementary School principal shoving down an autistic student.
According to the district, Vollhardt was placed on leave on June 8, the day following the event. The district added that the incident was reported to Child Protective Services and the Fresno Police Department on June 9.
Paco Balderrama, t he chief of the Fresno Police Department, corroborated that timetable but claimed that it was three months after the occurrence that he first learned of the case. According to Chief Balderrama, Vollhardt was accused of intentionally harming a child.
The student is autistic, according to the student’s parents in an interview. Ann Frank allegedly stated that Vollhardt first informed her that the 10-year-old had assaulted him, according to KFSN. She also blasted the police for allowing the investigation to go on for so long. As the lawsuit dragged on, Vollhardt obtained employment in another school. However, after the video was played during the press conference, he was placed on leave at that school also.
The chief stated that a trainee and a corporal took the police report on June 13. He gave credit to a Fresno Bee reporter for bringing the story to light. He said that by that day, their system had been updated with both the report and the footage.
Balderrama expressed regret for the “system breakdown” that resulted from “failing to correctly identify the event as an ‘active case.” He accepted that there was “a needless and unacceptable delay in our process.” Additionally, he said that he “should have been informed” of the occurrence earlier.
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Following an inquiry, “the district launched the disciplinary process,” then Vollhardt resigned. According to Vollhardt’s attorney, the kid had a reputation for “acting out often.”
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