VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The attorneys for a local elementary school principal and a special ed teacher are both confident the assault case against their clients will be thrown out.
Surveillance video from Rosemont Elementary shows principal Cari Ann Hall and special ed teacher Alison Williams pulling, dragging and carrying a special needs first grader in the school’s hallways.
Eric Chapman has ADHD — Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder — and his mother obtained the video through a Freedom of Information Act request. Latasha Holloway then went to a magistrate and filed misdemeanor charges of simple assault against both staffers.
After an arraignment Wednesday morning in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, Hall’s attorney Michael Robusto said he expects the charges to be dismissed, and his client’s history shows she has been nothing but caring and professional.
Wanda Cooper, who represents Williams, told 10 On Your Side she’s confident Williams will also be found not guilty. “Once the facts are out, the public will see that she’s innocent,” Cooper said.
The school system says Eric was an ongoing risk for himself and his classmates, and Eric would run from the building. A statement said he was disciplined eight times last school year for defiance, insubordination, physical abuse and harassment.
The Commonwealth’s Attorney declined to pursue charges on the mother’s behalf, saying the case did not meet the standard of Virginia assault law, especially the specific section governing school employees. Holloway is moving forward on the case by herself.
Judge Deborah Bryan is scheduled to decide the case in late January.
Holloway says she is proud of her son for letting her know about what was going on at school.
“He is a hero for coming forward and telling me and now other children will have the opportunity to feel more comfortable with coming forward.”