• Lincoln County principal accused of assaulting student


    LINCOLNTON, N.C. - Authorities have accused a Lincoln County school principal of dragging a student by the collar of their shirt after the child ran out of his office into a hallway.

    The 9-year-old student returned to class at Union Elementary School, but Nelson was suspended after video of the alleged incident was reviewed.

    The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office said in a news release it received a report of the incident at the elementary school on Nov. 30.

    “You are not supposed to do that, especially if you a teacher or a principal,” a student said.

    Officials said the student who was sent to Nelson’s office last week for behavioral issues has had outbursts in class in the past.

    That student reportedly ran out of the principal's office and investigators say Nelson grabbed the child by the collar, causing him to fall, then dragged him back into the office.

    [CMS: Carmel Middle School principal, assistant principal, dean placed on leave]

    Patrick Mitchell Nelson was charged with misdemeanor assault on a child under 12 years old and given a $500 unsecured bond.

    Sheriff's investigators said school administrators called and asked them to investigate the incident.

    "I don't think he felt like he did anything wrong,” said Lt. Matt Lykins, with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.

    Ken Heavner said he still trusts Nelson to discipline his two children who are enrolled at the school.

    "I've heard nothing but good things about the man until now,” Heavner said. “So, it's very sad that everybody is quick to judge a man off of one act.”

    Heavner said maybe Nelson was just trying to keep the peace with a child who wouldn't obey.

    "It starts with us at home, disciplining our children at home,” Heavner said.

    Nelson is in his first year at the school.

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