The principal and a teacher at Walter Hill Elementary School were suspended from the school and arrested and charged with misdemeanor child abuse, officials said Saturday.

Helen Campbell, the principal of Walter Hill Elementary School, and Bonnie Marlar, a teacher at the school, have been charged with misdemeanor child abuse, said James Evans of Rutherford County Schools.

Hearings for Campbell and Marlar are set Dec.12 in General Sessions Court, said Lisa Marchesoni of the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.

Evans issued this statement:

“Hello Walter Hill Elementary School parents,

This is James Evans with Rutherford County Schools. I’m sorry to bother you on a Saturday, but I have some unfortunate information to share with you. Ms. Helen Campbell, the principal of Walter Hill Elementary School, and Bonnie Marlar, a teacher at the school, have been charged with misdemeanor child abuse by the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department. 

As a school district, we have placed both on suspension pending the outcome of an investigation. 

We understand this comes as shocking information and that you want more details, but we are not able to release additional information at this time because of the ongoing law enforcement investigation. However, we want you to know that student safety is of the utmost concern, which is why we have acted quickly to this situation until it can be resolved.

The school will be open Monday and will carry on with normal operations with an interim principal in place. Thank you again for supporting the school and working with us through this situation.”

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