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Rutherford County (Tenn.) school board fires principal who dragged special education student through a hallway

June 3, 2022
The November 2019 incident, caught on video, occurred at Walter Hill Elementary in Murfreesboro.

The Rutherford County (Tenn.) school board has voted to fire former Walter Hill Elementary principal Helen Campbell more than two years after she was seen on video dragging a special education student down a school corridor.

The Madison Leader Gazette reports that school district director Bill Spurlock recommended firing Campbell on the grounds of “unprofessional conduct, conduct unbecoming to a member of the teaching profession, insubordination and neglect of duty.”

The board voted 4-2 last week to fire Campbell, who was charged with criminal child abuse and endangerment in the November 2019 incident. Authorities accused Campbell of dragging a 10-year-old special needs student by his ankles through long hallways in the Murfreesboro, Tenn., school. Special education teacher Bonnie Marlar, who helped Campbell drag the boy, was also charged.

A lawsuit filed against the educators in 2020 revealed the boy in question has autism.

Both educators are on probation after agreeing to enter a diversion program.

Campbell served as Walter Hill principal from 2013 until she was suspended without pay in November 2019 

Spurlock also was suspended without pay, and the district subsequently opted not to renew her contract. 


Video provided by Rutherford County Schools shows Campbell and Marlar dragging a special needs student nearly 200 yards down a hallway 

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