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4th-grade girl allegedly beats teacher in head with metal object — principal arrested for allegedly covering incident up
Composite screenshot of WREG-TV YouTube video (pictured: Fabre Ford)

4th-grade girl allegedly beats teacher in head with metal object — principal arrested for allegedly covering incident up

A physical altercation between a student and teacher at a Tennessee elementary school left one man with symptoms of a concussion and a principal in handcuffs.

On February 2, a fourth-grade girl attending Southwest Elementary School in Williston, Tennessee — about 45 miles east of Memphis — was sent to the classroom of fifth-grade social studies teacher Demetrious Bradley because she was "acting out," according to reports.

While in his classroom, Bradley approached the girl, but she responded in violence, allegedly slapping Bradley's hands several times. She then reportedly grabbed a metal Stanley cup and struck Bradley several times in his face, striking his jaw and temple.

Bradley later reported "seeing stars" and was sent home in accordance with concussion protocols. School Resource Officer Randy Collins noticed Bradley's absence and later asked him what happened. Bradley gave Collins his version of events and claimed he was feeling better, but didn't want to discuss the matter further.

Bradley's comments shocked Collins, who had heard nothing about the incident even though Tennessee law requires officials to report all assaults resulting in injury or a threat to safety on school grounds.

Collins then confronted Principal Fabre Ford, demanding to know why she had kept him in the dark. Ford allegedly replied that she had already "handled" the situation by reporting it to her supervisor and speaking to the child's parents. When Collins asked why she had not brought it to his attention, she claimed he was not at school at the time, a claim which Collins disputed.

Still frustrated, Collins began to investigate the matter further. However, he said his investigation was stonewalled because Ford instructed potential witnesses not to cooperate.

Collins then approached the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office about the incident. When Ford was brought in for questioning, she reportedly refused to talk or to hand over witness statements. She was subsequently arrested and charged with tampering with or fabricating evidence in the investigation of an aggravated assault in a school.

She noticeably wept as officers snapped her booking photo. Whether she had ever been arrested before is unclear.

Ford was released on her own recognizance and is scheduled to appear in court later this month. She returned to work within days of her arrest.

In a statement, Fayette County Public Schools called Ford a "valued employee" who is "extremely passionate about her staff and students."

"We are disheartened by these allegations relating to an incident at Southwest Elementary School," the statement continued. "As a district, we will be transparent and cooperate fully with law enforcement. We ask for patience and respect as the investigation regarding the incident is conducted. We are fully committed to working with law enforcement to resolve this matter quickly."

The sheriff's office also began looking into the fight between Bradley and the student and learned details which indicate Bradley may actually have instigated it. The nature of those details has not been disclosed.

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