School Safety Coordinator Arrested for Assaulting Students

The coordinator, as well as a teacher, face accusations of child abuse at a Cumberland County alternative middle school.

Terry Van Drake, 47, and Danny Mandell Pettigrew, 61, both of whom are employees of Cumberland County Schools, were charged on Tuesday with assaulting students at an alternative middle school.

The four incidents in question allegedly occurred last fall, and three of the incidents involved Drake, who is the safe school coordinator. All of the incidents were investigated by the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.

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Drake is accused of pulling a student out of a seat by the wrist and a short while later grabbing the student again and forcing him to the floor, placing his knee behind the boy’s back, reports

On the same day, Drake is also accused of shoving another student to the ground by grabbing him on the wrist. He then struggled with the student on the ground, forcing the student to put his hands behind his back. Drake then picked up the student and shoved him into a desk. Afterward, the student appeared to be injured.

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Another incident occurred Oct. 30 where Drake allegedly grabbed a student by the wrist and pulled him to the ground, forcing the student’s hands behind his back. Drake is accused of applying pressure to the boy’s shoulder while pulling his right wrist backward. He then forced the student back into his desk.

Pettigrew, who is a teacher, allegedly tried to hit a student in the back of the head with his elbow. He then threw the student against the wall.

The alleged incidents came to light when one of the students complained of shoulder pain and was taken to the hospital by his mother.

Drake has been charged with three counts of misdemeanor child abuse, and Pettigrew has been charged with one count of misdemeanor child abuse. Security cameras captured the incidents but have not been released by the district attorney.

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