“A former principal of a Harrah elementary school was charged Friday with felony child abuse, accused of “forcefully grabbing and pulling” a 6-year-old female student.
Douglas Parker, 57, of Shawnee, also wrapped his hands around the girl’s neck and pushed her nose and face into a door at the school on March 2, Oklahoma County prosecutors allege.
“I am newly retired,” Parker told The Oklahoman on Friday. He was reached by phone at the Dale Baptist Church where he is the pastor.
Parker declined comment when asked about the charge against him. Phone messages left for school officials were not immediately returned Friday.
Parker was the principal of Virginia Smith Elementary School. On Friday, the Harrah Public Schools website still had Parker listed as its principal.
On March 2, the 6-year-old student was brought to Parker for misbehaving, Harrah police reported in a court affidavit.
Several school employees witnessed Parker grabbing the student and yelling at her, police reported. He also attempted to “place her against a door with the toes of her feet and nose touching the door,” according to the affidavit.
“Mr. Parker was using his hands, legs and feet in the attempt to keep the student against the door,” police reported. “The student was only witnessed resisting the force applied by Mr. Parker and not attempting to harm him or anyone else.”
The girl suffered bruising to her nose, police reported. The incident was recorded on video, according to the affidavit.
The maximum punishment for child abuse is life in prison. Because of his lack of criminal history, Parker could receive probation if found guilty.”