Principal at special needs school arrest for assaulting special needs student

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — A principal of a special needs school in Brevard County was arrested for assaulting a special needs child.

Deputies said the incident happened Monday at the Learning Forward Educating Center in Melbourne.

According to a police report, the victim, a special needs child with diagnosed PTSD and ADHD was being disruptive in class and “calling another student names using profanity.”


The defendant, John David Long, escorted the student out of the class and placed him in another classroom.

The reported stated that the victim left the building and sat along outside for approximately 15 minutes and when the class went to lunch, the victim joined the end of the line.

At this point, deputies said Long told the student that he was not allowed in line and would have to eat inside.

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Long placed the child in a hold by grabbing the victim by both arms and pushed him towards stairs leading into the building, according to the report.

A witness told deputies that defendant “forcefully rolled the child into a hand rail three times, with the victim hitting the rail each time.

Deputies said after about 10 minutes Long let the child go and pinned him to the ground by placing a knee in his back and had one hand on the child’s head hand, applying pressure.

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The witness told also told deputies that the child stated multiple times that he could not breathe.

The victim received lacerations to his right eye, scratches on his arms and knees, as well as an injury to his back.

Long was arrested and charged with child abuse without great bodily arm and simple assault.

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Long was release on a $5,000 bond.

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