Kell Principal Reports to Cobb Jail

Trudie Donovan, who is retiring this month, has been charged with failing to report child abuse; a social studies teacher charged with sexual battery is not in custody.

Updated 9:40 p.m.

Retiring Kell High School principal Trudie Donovan turned herself in to the Cobb County Adult Detention Center Thursday after being charged by Cobb Police with a misdemeanor for failing to report child abuse.

According to booking reports, Donovan was processed around 7 p.m. Thursday and was being held on a $1,000 bond.

The Marietta Daily Journal reported that Kell social studies teacher James Chadwick Brigham has not reported to authorities after being charged with one count of felony sexual battery and two counts of misdemeanor battery. The charges stem from accusations made by two students in separate incidents in May.

Original report, posted at 7:07 p.m.

A  teacher has been charged by Cobb Police with three counts of battery and sexual battery against two students, and the retiring principal has been charged with failure to report child abuse in connection with the incidents. 

Cobb Police spokesman Sgt. Dana Pierce said in a release issued late Thursday afternoon that James Chadwick Brigham, 37, of Canton, has been charged with two counts of misdemeanor battery and a single count of felony sexual battery.

Trudie Donovan, who announced earlier this month at the end of June, was charged with failure to report child abuse, a misdemeanor offense.

Pierce did not identify Donovan and Brigham as Kell employees and deferred to Cobb school officials, who were not immediately available for comment. 

Brigham is listed as a teacher with the Kell social studies department. He and Donovan were not processed through the Cobb Adult Detention Center and are not in custody, Pierce said.

He said that the investigation began when a Kell student was reportedly the victim of battery and sexual battery incidents at the Northeast Cobb school on May 17. The student reported the incidents the following day to school officials. The Cobb Police Crimes against Children Unit began investigating on May 22, according to Pierce.

Two days later, on May 24, Pierce said another student went to school officials with a battery complaint, which was forwarded to police for investigation the same day.

Donovan, 61, who had been in her post at Kell for six years, abruptly announced her retirement on June 8, after what Cobb school superintendent Michael Hinojosa told The Marietta Daily Journal was "a situation involving the reporting of a student matter."

He did not elaborate, saying it was a personnel matter. 

Donovan has been a teacher an administrator in the for 34 years, with a long tenure at Walton High School. She also was at Harrison High School before being appointed at Kell in 2006.

Mit June 26, 2012 at 01:11 AM
mike: That is exactly what the ccsd, cops, and DA have done.
Bill sparks July 04, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Donovan turned her back versus dealing head on with the situation. She was in a management role and tried to take the easy way out. I wonder how "caring" she would be to the posters above if this were their child.
Florida Dawg August 04, 2012 at 01:15 PM
There are several posters here who apparently didn't learn much in school themselves. In our country, contrary to the ignorant lip flapping here, you are innocent until proven guilty. I guess everyone here forgets THAT until it's someone close to YOU being accused. I have known Trudie Donovan for 40 years and as soon as I heard this story I knew the important side, HER side wasn't being told and it was only those ignorantly judgmentally jumping to their conclusions knowing only one side of the story who already had her pegged as guilty. It seems now, even the justice system knows better than the naysayers here as the judge recently ruled No Probable Cause in Mrs. Donovan's case. So. Now. Which of you stone throwers are going to show you have the slightest scintilla of personal integrity by publicly apologizing here to Mrs. D for your jumping the gun in your early convictions of her? You should all be ashamed of yourselves if you won't.
Bill sparks August 04, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Dawg, (not the way I remember spelling the animal in high school), you seem to have all the answers. Please enlighten us on the fact as you know them.
Florida Dawg August 04, 2012 at 11:17 PM
Allow me to simplify it for you Bill. You and the other 4 posters who publicly disparaged Mrs. Donovan in this forum did so based soley on information you gleaned as it was reported by the media. To automatically assume that the media Has All and Would Necessarily Report All of the relevant facts (IF they had them) is ignorant. While the Solicitor still has to voice their side, the Judge in the case Has In Fact determined there is No Probable Cause to continue Mrs. Donovan's prosecution. The Judge made his decision presumably based on All The Known Facts while you and the other four mudslingers made YOUR decisions to publicly crucify this dedicated Principal based only on what the media had reported and What You Wanted To Believe. Based on that, IMO, you and the other four owe Mrs. Donovan a public apology in the same forum you chose to jump the gun and stone her in. There. Is that simple enough for you? (PS It's called a nickname Bill. It's not required that it be spelled "correctly".)


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