Tennessee School Principal Fired After Dragging 11-Year-Old Autistic Boy Through Hallway by his Feet, Trying to Delete Security Footage

The principal of a Tennessee elementary school has been fired two and a half years after video footage emerged of her dragging an 11-year-old autistic by his feet through the school hallway along with a teacher.

Helen Campbell was fired for "unprofessional conduct, conduct unbecoming, insubordination, and neglect of duty" from Walter Hill Elementary in Murfreesboro on Thursday.

Student was Dragged the Length of Two Football Fields

Helen Campbell and Bonnie Marlar
Helen Campbell (left) and Bonnie Marlar. Twitter

Rutherford County Director of Schools Bill Spurlock said that on November 4, 2019, the unnamed student failed to comply to a request from Campbell. She and teacher Bonnie Marlar then grabbed the student by the ankles and dragged him through the school's hallway for 570 feet, equivalent to the length of two football fields.

The child sustained minor injuries. Both Campbell and Marlar had child abuse charges filed against them. The charges were eventually dismissed by a judge. Campbell and Marlar were suspended, and no decision has been made about Marlar's future with the school.

Campbell Tried to Destroy the Evidence

Spurlock has accused Campbell of attempting to destroy evidence, saying she tried to delete security footage from the school's cameras. Campbell pled no contest to the charge and was given probation for a misdemeanor charge. She issued the same plea, guaranteeing a conviction but not admitting guilt, to a neglect charge.

At a Thursday night board of education meeting, stills from that security video showed Campbell pulling the child by his arm from a chair, grabbing him by his belt and dragging him by the wrists.

Then, Campbell and Marlar are shown grabbing the boy's ankles and dragging him to the back of the school, with his shirt "riding up in the back with his bare skin rubbing up against that floor," according to the school board attorney.

Helen Campbell and Bonnie Marlar
Helen Campbell and Bonnie Marlar seen dragging the student through the school hallway. Twitter

Kate Kasuboski, who is the coordinator of special education at the school district, said that she "did not see any behavior that constitutes an emergency situation," which would have necessitated the child being restrained. She also added that "dragging a student" by the lengths of "almost two football fields" is "not a proper restraint."

Campbell's termination was eventually approved by a 5-2 vote. She can appeal the decision. Laura Heath is currently serving as the interim principal.