MLES videoThis security camera video shows the incident at Mattie Lively Elementary School that resulted in the arrest of Mattie Lively Elementary assistant principal Patrick Hill.
Patrick M. Hill, one of Mattie Lively Elementary School’s two assistant principals, was charged by Statesboro police Nov. 28 with simple battery in the attempted disciplining of a 7-year-old child two weeks earlier. County School Superintendent Charles Wilson has recommended terminating Hill from employment.
An educator in the local schools for 29 years who has previously served as a principal and athletic director, Hill is entitled to a hearing under the state’s Fair Dismissal Act. The Bulloch County Board of Education has one slated for him on Dec. 16.
The arrest warrant was sworn Nov. 28 by Statesboro Police Department Capt. Jared Akins and issued by Bulloch County Probate Court Judge Lorna DeLoach. In it, Akins alleged that Hill “did intentionally cause physical harm” to the 7-year-old boy “by throwing him down on a bench causing a small abrasion to the knuckle area of the right hand.” The incident reportedly occurred around 1:30 p.m. Nov. 14.
An arrest report, also on file with the Bulloch County State Court and accessed through an electronic database, shows that Hill was “taken into custody” Nov. 28 but states the address of the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office as the “place of arrest.”
He posted bond, set at $2,000, that same day. Simple battery is a misdemeanor charge. Hill’s arraignment, or formal reading of the charge, is slated for Jan. 18 before State Court Judge Joseph Cushner.
The Statesboro Herald receives arrest records daily from the Bulloch County Sheriff's Office based on Bulloch County Jail booking reports. Hill's arrest had not been posted to any of the booking reports since his Nov. 28 arrest. The Herald learned of his arrest Tuesday after another media organization inquired with the Bulloch County Schools central office, and Hayley Greene, the school system’s public relations director, issued a statement.
School district statement
Greene did not identify Hill by name but referred to him as an administrator.
“Bulloch County Schools’ district leadership was made aware of potentially inappropriate actions taken by an administrator at Mattie Lively Elementary School during an attempt to discipline a child,” she wrote.
“The school district immediately conducted a thorough investigation and reported the incident to the proper authorities. The school district has cooperated fully with law enforcement,” the statement continued.
“Based on firsthand witness statements and a review of available surveillance footage, the superintendent did decide to seek termination and non-renewal of the administrator’s employment contract,” Greene wrote. “The administrator is no longer at the school.
“The administrator will receive all rights afforded by Georgia’s Fair Dismissal Act and all other applicable laws and rules. A Board hearing is scheduled for December 16,” the statement concluded.
Phoned in follow-up, Greene said that Wilson’s recommendation of dismissal was made immediately after the investigation was concluded.
Hill had been assigned as an assistant principal at Mattie Lively just this year after three years as Statesboro High School’s athletic director and as one of its assistant principals. Before that he served as principal of Portal Middle High School and before that of Mill Creek Elementary School.