Neal A.P. is arrested for abuse
Hardyman indicted for willful abuse/torture of middle school student; set retire on Oct. 1
September 5, 2019
W.S. Neal Middle School Assistant Principal Donald Eugene Hardyman, Jr., who is set to retire effective Oct. 1, is now on administrative leave after being arrested and charged with torture and willful abuse of a child involving a fifth grade student at the school.
Hardyman, 56, 3035 Old Castleberry Road, Brewton, was arrested Friday following an indictment handed down by an Escambia County grand jury. He was released on $25,000 bond.
During an emergency school board meeting Aug. 16, the Escambia County School Board accepted the resignation of Hardyman, effective Oct. 1.
School Superintendent John Knott said this week that Hardyman has been placed on administrative leave until his retirement.
According to information released by the Escambia County Sheriff's Office, officers were called to the county school board on Aug. 9 to investigate a complaint of an altercation between Hardyman and a student.
After an investigation was conducted the case was presented to a grand jury which resulted in Hardyman's indictment.
The sheriff's office noted the investigation is ongoing.
The mother of the child allegedly abused by Hardyman said her son was 11-years old and in the fifth grade at W.S. Neal Middle School.
She said she watched two videos of the incident involving her son and Hardyman and couldn't believe what she saw.
She said her son has behavioral issues and is under a 504 plan letting the school officials know about his issues.
She said the events began on the second day of school when they were trying to send her son to On Campus Suspension and Hardyman became very aggressive toward her son.
She said the video showed Hardyman grab her son by the shoulders and shove him into a classroom. A video inside the classroom showed Hardyman shoving her son into a desk. She said Hardyman then "got up in his face intimidating him".
She said the video showed Hardyman grab her son again and then flip the desk her son was in over. She said her son got up and tried to push Hardyman's hands off of him but Hardyman spun him around and shoved him into another desk.
"He (Hardyman) picked his things things up and slammed them on the desk, putting his hands back on him and getting back in his face," the mother said.
She also said a OCS aide and the resource officer witnessed what was going on.
"Neither stepped in to help my child," the mother said.
The mother said once the principal saw the video, she contacted the school board, which in turn called the sheriff's office.
"It's been a nightmare," she said.