Parents react to principal's resignation

By Gary Brode |

Published 01/29 2014 10:17PM

Updated 01/30 2014 10:09AM

ARTHUR -- Parents are in shock after hearing news their principal was arrested for choking his wife until she blacked out. Brian Hatfield resigned Wednesday from Arthur-Lovington junior and senior high schools. He's accused of attacking his wife at a gas station in Urbana last week. WCIA-3's Gary Brode finds out how parents are reacting.

The school sent out a text to parents stating Hatfield had resigned. Some are angry, some are concerned, but they're glad he's gone. As the sun sets on Arthur-Lovington, darkness hangs over the school. So does news of its former principal.

Parent Sam Miller said, "As a parent, we are supposed to have good role models for our kids. Our administrations, everybody, is always talking about having a good role model and to find out that we have someone in administrations that this happens to, I realize everyone makes mistakes, but I was not very happy when I found out what happened."

Hatfield was principal for two years here.

Parent Shelly Garett said, "I did not want to send my eighth-grader to school because I wasn't sure if he would be here or not. I was concerned for his well-being."

Students shared that concern.

Senior Brianna Morgan said, "I was hoping that he wasn't going to be there."

Students got the news in the announcements that Hatfield no longer works there. Garett feels the school should take some responsibility.

"I just think they need to do thorough checks on their employees; especially people who are with our children through the day."

With him stepping down, Morgan thinks the school can now look forward.

"I feel like our school is going to be better now."

Hatfield has a history of spousal abuse. In 2001, a judge ruled he abused his ex-wife, saying she was "an abused person within the meaning of the act." In 2003, Hatfield's ex-wife filed an emergency order of protection against him which was granted.

In this most recent incident, Hatfield has been charged with two counts of domestic battery. He told police he had been drinking that night.

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