Pelham teacher charged after incident

PELHAM, Ga. -- A Pelham City Schools elementary teacher was charged Tuesday with four misdemeanors related to an incident in which police say he grabbed a principal during a meeting.

Elementary school teacher Bobby Leonard Edwards, Jr., 48, has been charged with disruption of public school, cruelty to children in the 3rd degree, battery and simple assault, Pelham Police Chief Neely McCormick said.

The incident prompted school officials to lockdown all three Pelham City Schools at the request of the Pelham Police Department, Supt. James Arnold said.

Arnold, who called the incident Tuesday a "non-issue," wouldn't say whether any action had been taken by the board, instead, he referenced The Herald to the Pelham City Schools website which hadn't been updated by Wednesday afternoon.

"(The lockdown) was done as a precautionary measure at the request of the police," Arnold said. "The students were never in any danger and it turned out to be a non-issue."

According to an incident report provided by Pelham police, officers responded to Pelham Elementary School around 12:40 p.m. Tuesday. Upon arrival, they met with Principal Torrey Williams who said he was in the midst of a parent-teacher meeting that included Edwards -- three women identified as Rosie Almond, Beata Wilkerson, and Assistant Principal Dera Harkins -- and an unidentified two-year-old juvenile.

The report states that at some point during the meeting, Edwards walked towards Almond "in an aggressive manner," prompting the principal to yell "no you can't do that," and step between the two.

Edwards then reportedly grabbed Williams by the necktie, struggled with him while saying "You son of a ------ , you let this happen," the report states.

The report goes on to say that Harkins attempted to pull Edwards out of the office, when Edwards is believed to have used his elbow to strike Harkins in the cheek, causing redness.

During the altercation, the report states that Wilkerson was holding the two-year-old juvenile in her lap.


supportsedwards 2 years, 7 months ago

This school has a lot of problems. Many parents are not satisfied with the way the administration is running the school. There is also a big morale problem at all the schools.

As a former teacher and an administrator, I know how easily things can get out of hand and rumors can be started; however, this incident needs further investigation. Police reports are written by the person making the complaint and often contain falsehoods or misrepresentations. Remember, every one carries a bias of some type which colors how we interpret a situation. We will probably never know the true story or the backstory or even Mr. Edwards side of the situation.

Below are some rumors that are circulating on Facebook: 1) Parents were lied to about the lock down on the day of the incident. They were told that it was a drill. 2) A person not mentioned in the police report above was in the room and is stating that the events did not happen this way. 3) Mr. Edwards has been complaining to the school board about problems at PES and has been dismissed as a trouble maker so this is the principal's way to ruin him and his reputation.


whoz53 2 years, 7 months ago

When dealing with school administrators, you have to remember this adage. Administrators are like PIGS, and PIGS like to get dirty!


DCSSTeacher 2 years, 7 months ago

I understand you feel the need to uphold the "innocent until proven guilty" standard, but there are always two sides (sometimes more!) to situations like this. At the end of the day, no matter how justified this man felt in his anger towards the principal...his conduct was unbecoming and unprofessional. This violates the standard of ethics of his chosen profession. He knew that going into it and should definitely have known it as a veteran teacher.

Nothing justifies physical confrontation in an educational setting. We hold the public trust and, as such, are held to a higher level of accountability.

Even if he was justified in shoving the principal, he should have been jailed for hitting a woman!


cinci57 2 years, 7 months ago

You are still judging him without all of the facts. Has he been allowed to state his side? No he hasn't. You have heard one account of the situation. Wait until all of the facts are out before you choose to judge this man.


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