John­son case to go to the grand jury next year

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - From staff re­ports

The case in­volv­ing a sus­pended school ad­min­is­tra­tor is head­ing to the next level, ac­cord­ing to the latest from the District At­tor­ney’s of­fice.

Charges against sus­pended Youngs Grove El­e­men­tary School as­sis­tant prin­ci­pal Matthew John­son have been for­warded along to the grand jury, ac­cord­ing to District At­tor­ney Jack Brown­ing.

He said that was the re­sult of a first hear­ing on the case held last week on Wed­nes­day, Dec. 13.

The grand jury is ex­pected to take up the case “early next year,” Brown­ing said.

John­son turned him­self into the Polk County Jail and later bonded out on charges stem­ming from a mid- Novem­ber in­ci­dent where he is al­leged to have dragged a third­grader across sev­eral yards of car­peted floor caus­ing burns af­ter the child re­fused to re­spond to di­rec­tions while in the prin­ci­pal’s of­fice.

The De­part­ment of Fam­ily and Chil­dren’s Ser­vices got in­volved in the case, who then re­ferred it to the po­lice de­part­ment. The re­port stated that John­son was then placed on ad­min­is­tra­tive leave once po­lice in­formed the school district that an in­ves­ti­ga­tion was about to be­gin.

A Dec. 11 hear­ing had ini­tially been sched­uled to de­cide whether John­son would re­main sus­pended with pay while court pro­ceed­ings con­tin­ued, but it was called off af­ter the school district and rep­re­sen­ta­tives for John­son came to an agree­ment, and his sus­pen­sion was up­held.

The grand jury will ex­am­ine the case and is­sue a de­ci­sion on whether the ev­i­dence against John­son mer­its the charges of felony cru­elty to chil­dren in the sec­ond de­gree and mis­de­meanor charges of reck­less con­duct, bat­tery and sim­ple bat­tery.

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